I have used Picasa at home to organize my personal photo collection and I have found it is a very useful tool for my personal photos. It managed them well, had some nice browse features, and the basic photo editing fixes were enough for routine tasks – crops, red eye reduction and slight colour modifications. Oh, and it’s free. But I never really found it had any features I needed at work as part of my day to day media production workflow. That might just change with this new release.
Google has added some nice features to Picasa 3 and is turning this photo organizing tool into much more of a multimedia production tool.
Some of the new features include the ability to geotag photos, add text to photos, some beefed up photo editing tools and easier synch to web to transfer your photos to your (free 1 gig) Picasa web space.
But what really has me jazzed about this new release is the video feature. Drop in some photos, a bit of audio, some text and bang, you’ve got yourself a spiffy little animated slideshow. And with a one button upload to YouTube built in, it’s easy to post to the video sharing service.
Granted, the video editing tool is fairly basic. For example, it looks like you can only set a transition style for the entire project and not individual photos. But for ease of use and quality of the final product, this new feature may sway me away from my standard photo story creation tool, Microsoft’s (also free) Photo Story. But I am not sure the limited video editing options will sway me away from that other MS multimedia freebie MovieMaker.
I have a feeling I am not going to get much done today.
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