Tag Archives: linux

In 2016 Google Killed Picasa, and there’s still nothing as good

These days all the huge tech companies want you to rely on them for every single thing you do. They use the cloud as the ONLY way to process, store, and share photos with apps like Google Photos, Apple Photos, etc…

But lets be honest here. None of those products are as good, as fast, easy to use, and convenient as Google Picasa was, not if you’re taking photos on things other than your phone that is.

I have a huge photo and video library on my computer from a wide variety of different cameras. I want to be able to browse through them quickly and efficiently, make changes, share, create photo albums etc, without having to hand all of my personal data over to Google.

I’ve gone though all the supposed ‘equivalents’ out there, such as:

  1. Digikam
  2. Shotwell
  3. Elementary OS Photos
  4. Windows Photos
  5. Google Photos (online)

And countless others, every single one of them fails in some way or another. In addition to all of them not doing what I wanted them to do, trying all of these different photo programs had left my photo library in a disorganized mess, divided into scrillions of subfolders, some with dates, others with album titles, others with seemingly meaningless titles, and no rhyme or reason to any of it.

So last Sunday I had enough and did a serious cleanup of my whole library. I did this by using the Dolphin File Manager and removed all of my image and video files out of all the zillions of sub-directories, then placed all images in one folder on an external drive, and all videos in a separate folder on the same drive. This took some time, but it was worth it. It not only cleaned up a lot of space (since I had a completely silly amount of duplicates), but I finally got all my photos and videos in a place where I can actually manage them.

The question still remains though, what do I use in place of Picasa? Well right now I’m going between about 3 different programs on my Linux PC. However, there’s still currently no good backup solution for Linux to google photos, so any pictures I want on the cloud must be manually uploaded. The simplest program is still Elementary OS Photos. It works okay, and has some features that I like, but almost none of the cloud backup integration works, and it cannot make web albums.

I use Gthumb to create HTML galleries for my site computerartgallery.com and still twiddling around with Digikam, mainly for tagging and cataloging video clips.

The bottom line is tech companies and developers are outright ignoring what users what for photo organization, and we basically had it with Picasa, now it’s gone. Yes you can still download Picasa and it will even run in Linux, but a lot of it’s features are broken now since it no longer syncs with Google’s cloud services.

What should a good photo manager do? Well in my opinion this:

  1. do not mess with directories, leave folders exactly as you create them
  2. scan multiple directories of your choosing
  3. basic editing features
  4. exporting photos and galleries in email and HTML

That’s really pretty much it. I have no idea why nobody is coming in to fill this simple need. I’m mostly writing this post out of frustration in hopes that someone with development skills will see this post and decide to take on the task.

Linux 4.18 Arrives With Some Big Changes!


Following a number of delays, Linus Torvalds has finally announced release of a Linux 4.18, the latest stable release of the Linux kernel.

Announcing the arrival of Linux 4.18 on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML), Linus Torvalds writes:

“One week late(r) and here we are – 4.18 is out there. It was a very calm week, and arguably I could just have released on schedule last week, but we did have some minor updates.”

 

In development since June, the Linux 4.18 cycle has taken a little longer to fully form that anticipated, but with a decent change-log attached, I’m sure most won’t mind.

Linux 4.18 is also lighter than previous releases, with nearly 100k fewer lines of (obsolete) code than Linux 4.17.

Read the complete story at:

https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2018/08/linux-4-18-kernel-release-features

Why Young Creatives Should Use Linux Instead of Mac or Windows

The tutorials I’ve made on YouTube about Audacity are by far the most popular of all of my videos. I started to wonder why this was? I realized the answer was pretty simple. It’s free software that is pretty good at what it does and runs on every platform. This is why Audacity is very popular among young creative musicians. This got me thinking about how these people are only using about 1% of the amazing open source software they could be using if the were all using Linux instead of Windows or Mac OS.

If you’re a teenager and want to setup a computer to become a YouTuber, Music Producer, Film Maker, Photographer, Graphic Designer, or all of those things, doing so with Mac or Windows is going to cost you an arm and a leg. It is hardly worth spending $3000 on a Macbook, then another $3000 on software when making money in the creative landscape can be challenging, especially when you are first starting out. A much better option would be spending $500 to $1200 on a PC then install a Linux distro geared towards creativity like  Ubuntustudio. You could even spend far less than this. I personally use a 10 year old Macbook running Ubuntu and KXstudio that I purchased for $150.

If you’re a young music producer, there’s a ton of great programs on the Linux platform. There’s several DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) like Ardour, Qtractor, Rosegarden, and LMMS. There’s high end mastering tools like Jamin, and of course Audacity. There’s the Jack Audio Connection Kit, that allows you to interconnect nearly every piece of audio software into one gigantic modular audio workstation, there’s thousands of plugins, software synths, and FX all available for free on Linux.

But it’s not just about audio, Linux has become incredibly powerful as a full multimedia workstation. For photography there’s full RAW development capabilities with Darktable, and Digikam, photo editing programs like GIMP and Fotoxx. For Graphics there’s Inkscape and Blender, and for video editing there Kdenlive and Openshot. 

This is all just the tip of the iceberg too! There’s always new and exciting software being developed for Linux, there’s a huge user support group online, and there’s more and more of us who use it for everything every day!

To me there’s also ethical reasons to use Linux as apposed to the other two. Mac is one of the worst companies when it comes to planned obsolescence. Every time they release a new OS, suddenly computers they made just 4 years ago are completely useless (if you’re using Mac OS). There’s no more security updates, no updated web browsers, software companies all play along and drop support forcing you to purchase software and hardware updates. This is not only unneeded, it is incredibly wasteful. It is completely insane that we live in such a society that normalizes throwing away a computer after only 5 years of use when the only reason is corporate software developers decided they want you to buy a new one.

If you’re a young creative person, I urge you to consider what I am saying here. You can spend a lot less money, make the money you DO spend last longer, and help the environment as well has have all the tools you need for complete creative expression if you switch 100% to Linux.

RPG Style MIDI Music [Rosegarden FluidSynth Linux]

Here’s a pretty 90s sounding ambient song that I could see in an old top down RPG in some exotic land. I composed the track in Rosegarden and used the Qsynth/Fluidsynth soundfont player for sounds. The soundfont is of a Kawai K1 Synthesizer. Dedicated to Fornax Void.

Buliding a Soundfont in Linux with Swami

I used these tutorials for learning how to create a soundfount in Linux enabling my MPD 24 to work great with Linux and Jack! Thanks so much to Linux Music for making these!

If you’re looking for a great ableton drum rack replacement that is open source, this will do the trick!