Friday, March 03, 2006

Picasa vs. MS Library vs ACDSee

Before I decide whether to upgrade to latest version of ACDSee I decided to try it out, as well two other photo managers, and ended up doing a bit of a comparison on impressive (+) and disappointing (-) features of each app. This is not a comprehensive list - so any other comments are welcome.

AFAIK Microsoft Digital Image 2006 Suite is pretty new. I only looked at the Library app, but they've done a pretty awesome job IMO. I couldn't actually find much fault with it... whereas the other two there had quite a few annoyances. But in the end by offering a similar feature set PLUS being free, Picasa must be giving the competition a hard time.

Are there any other impressive photo managers out there that might put any of these to shame? (I know there are a few avid photographers around here!)

Google Picasa 2.2.0 (free)
+ easily assign labels
+ password protect
+ create timeline
+ adding new 'watched folder' processes images very fast
+ batch rotate, brightness etc.
+ batch resize (export to album)
+ built in editor
- all folders added at same level (no hierarchy)
- can only star images (no 5 star rating)
- can't hide/drag the navigator that appears when zoomed in on image
- move mouse stops slideshow
- entire collection is shown in the main window (grouped by folder). Even hiding a folder still displays it (just seems to move it to the end).
- no medium size preview display

Microsoft Digital Image 2006 Library (US$34.95)
+ easy to add new watch folders
+ 5 star rating, 6 (customisable) flags
+ includes images in subfolders in thumbnail view
+ can group by different options (e.g. rating, year, filesize etc)
+ easy rename & edit caption (tile view)
- processing images for a newly 'watched folder' seems to take 3-4 times as long as Picasa

ACD Systems ACDSee 8 (US$49.99)
+ can select multiple folders to combine images displayed in preview area
+ rate images from 1-5
+ assign to hierarchical categories
+ very advanced search facility (but can't save your search criteria)
+ favorites - add's shortcut to image or folder in favorites pane
+ no need to import folders - uses existing directory structure
+ highly customisable
- no way to expand all subfolders in Folders pane
- adding to favorites cannot add to a subfolder within favorites
- doesn't show images in subfolders unless expand and select them
- can only apply basic filters to listing view
- can't save a search (which should be a critical feature considering the filter function is so basic)
- no easy rename of images / description
- crashed once during a slide show