I recently uninstalled Gallery, a free online photo organizer. When I launched my gallery, called “Imagery,” back in February, I explained that I was only doing this so I could host the photos on my own domain, and questioned whether this was worth the trouble when services like Flickr and Picasa Web Albums required much less work.
I did like having the photos hosted on my own domain, and I really appreciated the absolute control and customization options, but I never really added any photos after the initial launch. I also got lazy about upgrades and had to worry if that would lead to hacking. This is just my personal site, so I don’t want to invest a significant amount of my time into maintaining it. I may decide to give it another shot in the future, but for now I feel much better leaving the technical bits to the experts.
I still really like Flickr, and have put a lot of time into organizing my photos there, but my current photo sharing solution is my Picasa Web Albums gallery, offered by Google. I’m free to use whatever products I want, but I think that eating Google’s dogfood, even for personal stuff, is an important part of the development process and should help to improve the product’s experience for everyone. Plus, starting today, there are two killer features of Picasa that make it the right solution for me: Face recognition and synchronization.
I once tried to go through my iPhoto library and tag all of my thousands of photos based on who was in them. I’m glad I gave up on that, because now Google does most of the work.
Synchronization with a desktop client
One-way uploads from iPhoto are a nice start, but what if I later add more information about my photos on the web or on my desktop? Picasa Web Albums synchronizes with the (Windows-only) Picasa desktop client, and for that reason alone (okay, there’s another reason) I’m buying Windows tonight to take advantage of this.
Update: The Picasa team has a blog post about their latest offerings, including a couple of videos showing off the new features.