You know that you are out-of-step with humanity…

… when one of your favorite computer applications is simply killed by the manufacturer: “Google Is Finally Killing Picasa”

Adobe Bridge and Adobe Lightroom are the closest competitors, as far as I know, but neither of them are as efficient at the task of sorting through hundreds of photos that come out of a digital SLR, picking favorites, doing minor editing such as cropping, and pushing those favorites up to the Web for sharing. I guess this is a lesson that, for creative professionals, leaving the safety of the Adobe mothership will result in down-the-road agony.

Google hasn’t announced any plans to open-source the Picasa desktop app, so it looks as though users are simply being thrown to the wolves.

Readers who use Picasa: What is next for you?

16 thoughts on “You know that you are out-of-step with humanity…

  1. Oh no! I agree with you, it’s an excellent tool for managing a large photo collection. Fast and usable, it doesn’t get in the way. I know a collection of JPG’s in the file system is always going to be portable. Not so sure about these online services.

    I switched to Aperture on the Mac, after problems with the Mac Picasa, but my Dad still uses Picasa on the PC. So, now, both the programs I trusted (Aperture and Picasa) are going away.

    Lightroom appears to be the only ‘local’ option for a 1TB photo collection. I’ve tried it countless times, but always went back to Picasa or Aperture. Scrolling through photos never seemed very smooth, plus I don’t really trust Adobe. Apple Photos is way too slow with my collection sitting on a Thunderbolt drive.

    Not happy!

  2. Picasa will continue to function on the desktop and will continue to provide us with
    * easy, if a bit faulty, image import and video editing
    * great indexing and search
    * smooth scrolling through a million pictures
    * simple editing, simple tagging
    * the ability to make albums
    * the ability to upload said albums somewhere. Google+, Google Photos, Flickr

    So I’ll try to stick with it.

    There are hardly any worthy alternatives

    I’ve tried Lightroom. I find it way to slow/stupid at indexing, searching and browsing.

    I will maybe check out digiKam and Phototecha. But I’m afraid there is no better software on earth to manage your close to one milion photos than good old Picasa.

  3. James, is Aperture for the Mac “going away?” I don’t think so, even if Apple quits developing it… the present version will live on for ever, or for enough many years until a replacement for it makes an apearance.

    Phil, I haven’t used Picasa, in fact no other Google services than Gmail, and some rump Google Drive/ Google Docs that have been foisted on me. What it all teaches us is that relying on free, online services is not a sound strategy in the long run. Still, the unexpected demise of so important a tool as the Picasa ought to provide enough of an incentive to FOSS community to develop its own, offline server-held photo management program to replace the commercial (non-)offerings. Half or more of the Web runs on FOSS anyway; gimp competes nicely with the Photoshop; so what is there to prevent aboutcoming of a Better Picture Mousetrap?

  4. Count me in as another out-of-stepper, I use Picasa (PC version) all the time.

    I must really be out of step, I used to love Google Reader and they killed that too, LOL!

    @Jani One apparent difference between Picasa on the desktop and Google Photos is that Picasa lets you work completely offline where GP looks like it’s web-based? I haven’t looked at it closely.

  5. I too use Picasa on PC. I will continue to use it. I’ve tried Lightroom. It’s too expensive, finicky, and slow. I’ve made sure I have a copy of the last Picasa installation application too in case I need to re-install or add to another PC.

  6. Well, that’s a bummer, but not entirely surprising since Google has a history of killing off projects and it didn’t seem like they were too active in supporting it.

    I’ve been using Picasa for at least 10 years, I think, and I’ll keep using it until it stops working for me. I do very little editing of photos so I mainly need it to organize/export/publish like you said.

  7. Picasa was great at importing files. Just drop them into any folder in your structure, and it added them to its DB. Aperture is clunky in that regard, never quite sure how to add misc pictures to my collection, or where it keeps them if I do.

    I hope it continues working for a while. Old applications seem to have problems after a few OS releases go by, though.

    Google photos is actually very good, I think. Amazing, even. But I’m not trusting my entire collection to it (backed up in the cloud using Crashplan). Who knows what Google may do to it in 10 years?!

    Somebody needs to make something better than Picasa at local photo management! Cross platform, fast, smooth, extensible and easy to use. I’d pay a reasonable price for that.


  8. It’s already been mentioned, but seems to be the best alternative if you don’t want to depend on proprietary options. It’s OSS (so not likely to disappear), available for most platforms, and has plenty of features (tagging, facial recognition, etc…).

  9. One of the reasons that I don’t think Google Photos can’t be a substitute for Picasa is that all of the images must be uploaded to the cloud before work can begin. This seems ridiculous if you’ve taken a DSLR to a child’s soccer game. You might have taken 1000 pictures and you’ll only want to publish a handful.

    Google Photos is also a disaster for traveling. I used a laptop with Picasa to sort through images during an Antarctic cruise that had slow, expensive, and unreliable Internet service. I picked out the handful that I wanted to show to other passengers, to email using the $100/few megabytes service.

  10. I knew Google was turning evil when they dropped Google Reader (although that ended up being a boon for the open web and RSS readers that weren’t trying to control how RSS works). That, however, mostly screwed over technical folks and journalists.

    This, however, screws over moms, dads, grammas and grampas. Google has finally turned the corner to PURE EVIL!

  11. Images uploaded to Google Photos stay private until shared, and there’s basically unlimited storage (for “HQ” photos, not RAW, mind you). And if you install the Photos Backup tool, any new pictures on your laptop get uploaded silently in the background. Obviously this isn’t going to work when cruising in the Antarctic, but in the rest of the world, free wifi at least in your hotel is starting to be the default setting.

    Now it does definitely require a shift in mindset to start treating the cloud as your workspace, instead of the place where you publish the finished output… but once you’ve made the leap, your attitude changes; personally, I now start getting antsy if I’m working on something locally and it’s *not* backed up to the cloud!

  12. I’ve been recommending Picasa for years to beginning photographers, because it’s free, handles raw, and generally does a great job. Google Photos is fairly terrible for these purposes; it doesn’t even seem to provide a histogram.

    I’ve been looking for a free alternative for the last few days, and I can’t find anything. I’m really bummed. I think I’m going to have to tell people to either pay for Lightroom or use only Instagram-style casual editing. It’s a huge bummer.

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