Google's Picasa: Peer at it closely and you'll find an app teeming with features that do everything from import to edit to upload to share photos and videos online. Let your eyes glaze and that feature set blur, and Picasa is still as easy to use for the photo management basics as it was when it was first conceived, before it came into Google's fold. Firmly in the consumer camp, Picasa doesn't strive to be the most powerful image manager or editor in its class, but for all its tools, this freeware middleweight does hold the distinction of being the most easygoing option for a wide swatch of home users.
Picasa scans your hard drive for photos and organizes them by folder, making it easy to find pictures and videos taken over the years. Editing tools include light adjustment, straightening, effects, and retouchers to cover over blemishes. You can annotate and geotag photos, and can turn pictures into collages, and pictures and video clips into movies. But where Picasa really shines is in its online storage and sharing tools. Syncing and sharing buttons on the album level let you keep folders up-to-date on your free, online Picasa Web album--all without leaving the desktop app. The same goes with sharing. Select contacts and Picasa will e-mail them the link to the online photo album as it simultaneously uploads photos to that very album.
The latest version integrates facial recognition technology that spots faces and lets you identify them with an address from your Gmail account, or just with a name. Although time consuming at first, the genius of this exercise in visual metadata is revealed the next time you hunt for an image and find yourself searching not by an individual album, but by the name of the subject within that sought-for snapshot.
There is one caveat: Picasa eats a lot of memory, so be wary of a performance drag, oh ye of modest memory. In every other respect, this free photo editor and organizer program is an excellent choice for amateur shutterbugs with plenty of photos to lightly edit and share.
Transfer, find, organize, edit, print, and share images, all with this easy-to-use product. Watch Picasa automatically organize all your pictures into elegant albums by date. Having all your photos in one place means no more time wasted searching for folders or files. The program works with JPEG, GIF, BMP, PSD, and movie files and is compatible with most digital cameras; it detects your USB driver and imports pictures into albums. Editing tools include cropping (standard or custom), removal of red-eye, and enhancing--even switching from color to black and white. Create slide shows set to your MP3s. Integration with Picasa's free Hello instant picture-sharing software lets you share hundreds of photos in seconds and chat in real time. E-mail photos with Picasa's built-in client to take the guesswork out of compressing images, and order photo-lab quality prints or print at home with no mistakes. You can also make instant backups to CD (or to other hard drives) of your photo collections, to organize your photos using labels and stars (just like with Gmail), to write captions for all pictures, and to organize videos as well as pictures.
What's new in this version:
Version 3.5 Build 79.69 has fixed an issue where the Universal Terms of Service displays garbled text when installed on non-English versions of Windows. Also fixed an issue where certain scanners weren't recognized when importing.