My love hate affair with Google’s Picasa is starting to tilt more towards just being one of love. Picasa 3 is out (somehow I totally missed the Beta) and has some really great new features. I especially like the new video controls (no idea why it took them so long to implement a shuttle slider control) and the fact that videos now also play in slideshows (whoo hoo!) There’s also some really nice slide show transitions that have been added as well, which can help make some of your more mundane shots… well less mundane I suppose
I’m also using the screensaver functionality to play selected images from Picasa (though this was already in Picasa 2.7) and again this uses some of the nice transitions available in the slideshow.
Two reasons I’m blogging about this. Firstly as hitting the normal “Check For Updates Online” link in Picasa doesn’t allude to the fact that there’s something new available, I thought I’d spread the word. Secondly, I was looking at Nokia’s Ovi service (which does look pretty sharp I must say) as an alternative to my Picasa and Picasa Web Albums. This was primarily because of what Picasa Web Albums does to videos when they’re uploaded. Basically it buggers them up during transcoding, losing considerable quality – which is bizarre because I’m actually uploading .mp4 files that don’t need any transcoding (from my N95) and would look just fine if left alone. Not only that, the original files seem to still get stored on the Picasa server, taking up space that I’m paying for. Hopefully that’s something that will be addressed in future Picasa Web Albums updates.