Mossberg: Apple’s iPhoto bests Google’s Picasa

“Two of the best photo organizers have just been updated, and I have been testing them on my collection of more than 10,000 digital photos. One is Picasa 2, which runs only on Windows and is now a free offering from Google, which purchased Picasa last year. The other is Apple Computer’s iPhoto 5, which runs only on the Macintosh. It comes free on every new Mac. Existing Mac owners can buy it as part of the excellent $79 iLife suite, which also includes programs for organizing and editing music and videos, and for authoring DVDs,” Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret report for The Wall Street Journal.

“Both programs are packed with good features and have been significantly upgraded in their new versions. But iPhoto is the better of the two — mainly because, unlike Picasa and most other competitors, it totally frees users from understanding the computer’s file-and-folder system. With iPhoto you can organize your photos in any way you choose, regardless of where the underlying picture files are stored on the computer. This makes iPhoto much easier to use than Picasa, or any other photo organizing program I have tested,” Mossberg and Katherine Boehret report. “If you have a Windows PC, Picasa is a decent choice, as long as you understand and maintain a good system of folders on the hard disk. But Mac owners have a better overall photo organizer in iPhoto.”

Full article here.


  1. I love Pages and Keynote!!!!!!!!!!

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    I can´t remember the day when I made one presentation and two pages so quickly! And so that it looks like PRO=ME ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

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  2. Frankly, I’ve been disappointed in iPhoto specifically because of the way it stores photos — getting to your actual image files in the OS is a huge pain in the ass, ‘cuz it puts them into its own little storage system.

    I’m just saying. I’ve never tried Picasa.

    MDN magic word: “put” – as in, where’d you put my pictures, iPhoto??!

  3. iPhoto kind of blows

    You can export them out of iPhoto in their original file format. I’m on windows now but I know the feature is there. I can’t wait to f**King buy my Mac and leave this Wintel crap in the trash.

  4. One man’s “benefit” is another’s pain in the ass. When users don’t know where their photos are actually stored, it is very easy to lose them. I’ve seen it happen many times.

    When a program forces you to pay attention to where your pictures live, then you can include them when you back up your hard drive or switch computers.

    Brain-dead operation may facilitate ease-of-use, but losing thousands of treasured images can be a very rude awakening.

  5. Importing photos in iPhoto is too slow. Compared to iViewMediaPro, iPhoto is still 10 times slower. Why can’t Apple make a decent product that won’t take 1s/picture to import. I have 17,000 photos, this is a big issue for me. Of course, for 300 photos iPhoto is good enough.

    Too bad the pretty slide show transitions belong to the slow picture viewer.

    I don’t the fact that iPhoto can’t browse photos by directory. I have 100+ photo directories, each prefixed with date and title. If I do that with iPhoto (and I can’t simply import my directories as lists, I have to do it over by hand) and iPhoto crashes, I loose everything. The iPhoto database is a closed format, the possibilities of full access to the photos are crippled. Finder is much better ar handling a 17,000 JPG collection!

  6. I’m at 22,000 photos on a G5 with 2gb of ram. iPhoto handles these 6 megapixel images very well. When I was on a PC, my problem was that I would edit a photo at the file level and then the photo library program couldn’t find it. I had a ton of blank photos as a result. I like the way iPhoto handles it. And you can revert to the original with a ‘right’-click of a button. Love it!

  7. I still find iPhoto too slow to use. I only have something like 3,000 photos, and the latency is painful.

    Any advice on what I should do? It seems like others here have no problems with it, even with much bigger libraries.

    Any advice would be most welcome.

  8. But iPhoto is the better of the two — mainly because, unlike Picasa and most other competitors, it totally frees users from understanding the computer’s file-and-folder system.

    Hmmm. I’m not sure which Picasa Mossberg is using because the one on my computer, courtesy of Google, found every, single photo on my HD in short order, regardless of where they were originally stored. So it sure doesn’t seem to me that one needs to understand file systems in order for the program to find your pics.

    The other advantage is that all photos are organized chronologically.

    It probably won’t be too long before Google ports Picasa to OS X and then Mac users will be able to decide for themselves which they prefer.

  9. I personally think Picasa kills the newest iPhoto in many different areas. I have yet to even really utilize iPhoto because it is such a pain in the ass to load libraries into it if they are on your HD but not in the iPhoto directory. And its slow, and it doesnt have as many features as Picasa.

    Still, I am not going to go out and buy a PC just to use Picasa.

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