« I pull the plug on Apple's iPhoto at v 9.1.5 | Main | One last batch of iPhoto and Picasa tests »

August 02, 2011



one killer win for picasa is that it tags photo's inside the actual image file, where as iphoto just enters tags into spotlight's database. you can only embed tags from iphoto if you resave or convert the picture which is of course lossy- this is the only way to email a tagged photo from iphoto. obviously if the iphoto library gets corrupted all your hundreds (or thousands) of iphoto tags disappear, where as picasa could just re-read the tags from pictures it had previously tagged. I love iphoto's polish, and many of it's features, but picasa (despite being kinda ugly and having some really clunky elements) was the better choice for me


Hate iPhoto 9.1.5. It mangled my library, but fortunately I have had this experience before and backed up my library prior to upgrading it. You're experiences are very similar to mine in that iPhoto 8 was an improvement over previous versions but subsequent versions have been terrible.
Constant library permission repairs, rebuilds etc...wasting huge amounts of time. I too will try Picasa to see if it's an improvement. Thanks for your extensive documentation of your efforts.


John Davis

I have absolutely no problem with iPhoto. It's not slow and it does what it says on the box.

I wonder if it might be your equipment?

Picasa is ghastly.

The GUI is not intuitive at all. It's even worse than Word or Photoshop for complexity. I'm sure that investing time in it might pay off. But since iPhoto does everything I need and it's plenty fast enough and integrates with other Mac apps that I use - Comiclife, Pages, Mail, etc., etc., I see no reason to change it.


Well as I said in the article, iPhoto 9.1.5 borrows the worst of Picasa and adds some very bad things on its own.

Picasa is not complex. If you are happy with iPhoto stay with it, but back up your libraries regularly. I take a lot of pictures, and the new iPhoto is not the program for me.

It is hard to blame my equipment since Picasa manages 17 times as many photos effortlessly on that very hardware.

Your reasoning is typical Apple thinking, the problem can't be with software that Apple has newly released. The problem is me. What I have is too old or I haven't properly maintained it. I don't buy that. You shouldn't have to have the latest and greatest to manage a library of photos.

I still like iPhoto 8 but iPhoto 9.1.5 is not a good program, and I don't want to trust my photos to it.


@ocracokewaves - while I agree that John Davis makes a mistake by generalizing his experience and observations of iPhoto and Picasa, you are betraying your own bias with the comment: "Your reasoning is typical Apple thinking..."

It is typical of people in general to question the observations of others, when their own observations differ. Yes, there is some brand loyalty to Apple that, at times, seems too fervent. This is true of many brands and products across all sorts of tech and non-tech.

For my part, if you leave those assertions out of your blog and subsequent comments, it would be a better read.


Well if you will notice the masthead, it says "A Salty Perspective on Apple." I don't pretend to be a comprehensive unbiased view of Apple. After nearly twenty years there, I think that is likely impossible, and my goal is to balance the views that Apple can do no wrong.

I try to walk a fine line, but I am human and likely make mistakes. I add commentary which tries to add the views of someone who was insider. I am certain that I often err one way or the other, but many of the comments that I get ask for that insider perspective, and many of the comments that I don't publish cry out for an explanation of their twisted logic.

However, I try to be very impartial in any tests that I do. I use Macintosh, windows, & Linux. I have no vested interest in one or the other, I just try to use the best tool for the job. Right now for Photos it is iPhoto 8 or Picasa but not iPhoto 9.1.5.

Thanks for your perspective.


I did note your masthead and made the assumption that it referred to both your home and a "seasoned" perspective on Apple.

I'm certain I err just as much as you and other for a variety of reasons, without every having worked for any software or computer company. My perspective is colored by having been an partial admin and user of multiple platforms and software over 25 years in newspaper, plus personal use.

The information you relay on iPhoto 9.x is instructive and believe me, I'm paying heed. I'm a relatively light user, 2500 photos on my newest computer, a 3 year old MB Pro with iPhoto 6. I have probably 8-10,000 photos archived elsewhere. I'm one of those who doesn't take "enough" pictures, from a family who never did ...

I'll definitely be visiting your site for the "salt" more in the future.


One more thing...

I'm one of those who is "concerned" about Google and what it does with personal information. As a result, my practice is to use Google and its properties as little as possible. I imagine my distrust blinds me to useful stuff on occasion.

I share this to illustrate my lack of knowledge regarding Picasa.


I don't know that I trust Google more than I do Apple. It just happens their tools work for me right now. The integration between Picasa, Picasa Web albums and the Photo Gallery on my Droid is a dream for me.

As to email, I have a dozen different email addresses, only two are Gmail accounts and two are MobileMe. All but one of the dozen is IMAP based so I can use it with any hardware or software.

I regularly use three and sometimes five different browsers. On top of that I have a serious Linux machine with photos on it. I have been using Linux since 2004, and it has made huge strides, but is not quite what I need for every day yet.

Not long ago I came to the conclusion that if you are on the web, you have probably given up your privacy. That said, there is a lot of stuff worth protecting.

Apple's encrypted disk images are one of my favorite ways of protecting stuff that I store on my computers or in the clouds. It is very, very good stuff. I also use a digital signature with one particular email account. It allows me to encrypt emails to people who have the same type of digital ID.

I also use a smart token with PayPal.

Beyond that I keep my head down, stay as far from Cupertino as I can, and keep plenty of gas in the boat out back.

I did run into a really strange problem with Apple a couple of years ago. One of my credit card numbers migrated to another account of mine where I never authorized its use. I alerted Apple, they quickly fixed it, but the incident convinced to start using single use credit card numbers on almost all my web transactions not just Apple's sites.


thank you very much for this post and the others on this topic. i grew up on apple (LC2, then PPC, etc), but for the last 8 years I've been living on a Dell running WinXP. I *just* bought myself a new 13in MBP, and am in the process of migrating all the data from the Dell to the Mac. I've been an avid user of Picasa since its early days, mostly as an organizing and uploading tool for my ~35,000 photos. Occasional photoshop use for editing. I was hoping to find a good comparison of iPhoto vs picasa before making the switch. Your posts make me comfortable with the idea of at least trying Picasa (which I have no problem with at all), even though iPhoto is the "native" and pre-installed solution (new MBP has Lion installed). Thanks again.


The most interesting comments here have been the caveats that 'you need to keep in mind your own needs'. Here is my main need: organising data - i.e., face tags and geolocation.

I have been using iPhoto for years and have been largely quite happy with it mainly because I have not needed it to liaise with Google services at all.

However, now I have a Google+ account and want to upload my photos, but the "face" tags don't carry over and neither does the geolocation data, both of which I painstakingly add. Whilst Facebook doesn't have geolocation data, at least the "exporter" iPhoto plugin imports the face tags. The Picasa iPhoto uploader plugin doesn't.

I originally thought this might be Google's fault for not writing a decent exporter. Then after reading some other stuff (including the above) I thought maybe it's iPhoto's fault for storing the tag data in a strange way.

But you know what? They're both proprietary companies and it's nobody's fault really. They both have their goals and that's that. Hopefully some geek will write a iPhoto plugin that uploads face tags and geolocation data to Picasa, but until then, I simply have to weigh it up and make a choice. So my decision is that if I find out that Picasa (app not plugin) exports face tags to Facebook, then I'm switching to it. Apple Computer loses out.

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