Pick of the week: Mac edition

Posted by Minnaar Pieters 25 Feb 2009

One of the biggest problems with Apple is the persuasive but untrue marketing - "every Mac just works", you can "use MS Office" (even though MS Office for Mac is a disaster) - Apple would make you believe that every Mac comes with the software you need. True, iLife is a very high quality package to bundle with a new computer. I enjoy iWeb - nothing comes close in terms of ease of use. The rest of the apps are great as well. But once you used Picasa, iPhoto is not that great. And its free...

Picasa has always been a great app for Windows and still is possibly one of the best simple photo editing tools. Honestly, I would pay for it if they started charging for it tomorrow. For simple editing nothing comes close in terms of ease of use. Simple things like cropping, straightening and colour adjustment is push button easy. But the biggest advantage compared to iPhoto is that Picasa doesnt create a big unnecessary library file. With iPhoto, the original files is duplicated into a proprietary iphoto library file which can quickly grow massive in size. File adjustments are kept as layers which can be undone, but the original file is not affected, unless you choose to do so. Users can then keep their photos in a well organized folder scheme.

Newer features include the ability to create simple movies and post directly to online services. Users can also quickly generate collages, and great filtering abilities are available. Want to see only photos with people on it (no landscapes etc) then just click the head filter. Want to see photos with a greenish colour - just type color:green in the search box.

Of course Picasa does not yet have the new facial recognition features of iPhoto '09, but the web service does have it. I really hope it is built in to the next version as well.

Give it a shot (even if you are a big iPhoto fan). The mac version can easily view all your iPhoto albums automatically in the source list, so you can hit the ground running.
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I am a R&D Analyst in Stellenbosch South Africa who has a immense passion for all things tech related. I embrace technology, open source and web standards, and I participate and contribute to the social web.