Tag Archives: photography

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.