Live Photo Gallery v Google Picasa. And the winner is…..

Arriving at a final conclusion about which one of these two excellent free photo editing programs is superior to the other has certainly not been easy.  Until recently I would have definitely chosen Windows Live Photo Gallery, simply because of its ability to upload your photos to so many other photo hosting sites such as flickr and Facebook and  its inbuilt panoramic photo stitching ability.  It has been the mainstay for all of my photo editing for as long as it has been available to use,  but since the recent new updates to Picasa such as the excellent  People tagging which recognises the same faces in your photos and  the  easy to use  Geotagging feature, I have to choose  Picasa. 

Yes there all me

The new facial recognition is so time saving, requiring the user to only  tag a few photos of a particular person in order to enable  Picasa to then find other instances of  that face then tag all other instances automatically, or if it is not sure, suggesting to the user all other instances. This is a boon if you have lots of photos of a person. The Geotagging feature is so easy to do as well,  being right there on the viewing page. 

Geotagging in PicasaSince I began to compare both of these programs, Picasa has received two new updates. Contrast this with Live Photo Gallery which has not been updated with any new features for nearly a year.  That means that even if Geotagging and people recognition were introduced into Photo Gallery in the next Wave 4 update, supposedly scheduled for sometime next year, it then means that Photo Gallery would in essence be playing ‘catch up’ with Picasa.

My only gripe with Picasa is that it doesn’t allow you to publish your photos to outside sites such as Flickr or Facebook, by default you have to upload to your Picasa Web albums,  although this can be worked around  by simply downloading the PixelPipe plug in to Picasa and then enabling Flickr and Facebook sites (or any other site that you happen to use) into PixelPipe. 

The default extras available in each program tend to balance one another out.  Picasa contains an excellent Collage feature by default, whereas Photo Gallery has the ability to create a panoramic photo.  Both allow you to make a movie using your photos and both of the Movie features are fairly easy to get to grips with even for a new user.  There are other extras available for Photo Gallery such as Auto Collage and Photosynth which can be downloaded from HERE  but they are not currently built into Photo Gallery by default.   Also Auto Collage is not free to use at this time.

I am hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that in the new Wave 4 updates to LIve Gallery the following will be included into Photo Gallery by default. Auto Collage incorporated, Geotagging inside the Live Gallery window using the excellent Bing maps, Photosynth also included and people tagging being able to (as in Picasa) recognise the same face in all of your  photos after you have tagged just a  few.

Then  my conclusions would obviously be completely different, but as these two excellent free photo editing applications stand at this point in time and  in light of the recent updates made to it,  I have to choose Google’s Picasa.


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About technogran
A granny and a geek? You bet! Still trying desperately to keep up with it all.

5 Responses to Live Photo Gallery v Google Picasa. And the winner is…..

  1. Cal Croucher says:

    TG as I followed your comparison of Live Gallery vs Picasa with interest I have respectfully disagree with you on your conclusion that Picaso beats Live Gallery. Yes the facial recognition is nothing short of brilliant and found that for that feature alone I will keep Picasa but for every other feature and function Live Gallery is better. The interface in Live Gallery is more user friendly, the slideshow feature is much nicer to watch, especially on a HDTV. The collage addin feature ($19 USD) is worth every penny and makes the collage feature in Picasa seems like a joke with is crude photo organization, lack of image blending, and total absence of image analysis when combining images to make the collage. I could go on but then I’d be better of blogging about it rather than commenting here.

    I look forward to Wave 4 with the hope that the Live Team adds some improvements in advanced image editing and yes facial recognition but in absense of these I intende to stick with Live Gallery.

  2. technogran says:

    You don’t mention the easy peasy geotagging Calvin. And if you employ the Picasa Photo viewer to view any of your photos on your computer, then it really puts it all to shame. I also put both of the Movie making features through there paces, and apart from the fact that I had difficulty getting the Picasa one to upload to YouTube, they are both equal.
    Calvin, I use Live Photo Gallery. Always have done. I am as surprised as you to have to reach this conclusion. Its purely because of the two recent updates to Picasa which have left Photo Gallery lagging behind.
    And I do not agree with you about the user interface either. I think for a newbie, Picasa has a very simple interface, easy to understand and use. There are more complicated features hidden in ‘tuning’ and ‘effects’ but the general interface is very user friendly.
    One of my big quibbles with Picasa is when you load your photos in, it doesn’t let you choose which ones but that could be because I had already loaded them on my comp using Photo Gallery.
    Cal I am NOT a google fan, I very rarely use any of their applications, but decided to do this comparison just to see which one came out best.

  3. websource says:

    nice info..
    by the way, if you need to Download Images from Picasa Album without install Picasa, there are a few tricks here ->

  4. Thanks for the info, lost at this point. I’ll be checking back.

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