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Reviews: Photo Management Software

January 26, 2010

Remember a few years ago before the popularity of digital cameras, we used the cameras with film rolls? They usually had about 36 shots, which you hoped and prayed came out clear enough when you took them to the photo shop to get processed. Two days later, you pick up your envelope of photos and you’re about 75% disappointed by the dark, blurry photos featuring body parts other than a smiling face.

Thankfully, those days are behind us. With today’s digital cameras, we can immediately preview a shot after taking them, delete them at will and send them to friends and family via email or social networking sites. However a new problem arises, photo management. It is now extremely easy to rack up hundreds of digital photos that can be a nightmare if you ignore organization from early on. Most camera’s by default, label pictures by date/time taken or some chronological letter/number system like SDC10011,SDC10012…and so on. It can be time consuming renaming files, putting them in folders, tagging the people/body parts in the photos and then sharing them with your contacts.

All hope is not lost. There are some great pieces of software that can automate and simplify this arduous task for us. Some of these cost a body part or two, but the ones I am going to review are free or come bundled with your Operating System. These include

Picasa: Free photo management/editing software from Google which also features Picasa Web Albums for easy online storage and sharing (1gb free) (windows only)

Windows Live Photo Gallery: Microsoft’s free photo management/editing software (not bundled with windows 7 surprisingly) that also features online storage (25gb free!) (windows,mac,linux)

iPhoto – Comes bundled with Apples OSX (Snow Leopard) Operating System when you buy a new mac. $79 otherwise features built in sharing features and easy organization. (mac only)

In the next coming post, expect a full review of Google’s Picasa, then Windows Live Photo Gallery, while my good friend and apple fanatic will guest blog on the merits of iPhoto. Hopefully this will help you decide which of the software is best suited to your needs.

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