Picasa syncing to Google Photos seems to be broken; what to use instead of Picasa?

Folks:

Although Picasa continues to run on my Windows 10 desktop computer, one of the things that I liked best about it has stopped working. Adding a photo to an album that is specified to sync to the web no longer results in an automatic update. Telling Picasa to sync a new folder to the web first results in an annoying prompt for a username and password (these credentials used to be saved for months if not years). Then there is a spinning uploading icon. Then there is apparently a silent failure because the album doesn’t show up in Google Photos (but if you retry 10 times it might).

Back in February I posted about Google killing off Picasa and it seemed that there was no obvious replacement in terms of a seamless desktop/web application or a web-only application that actually does what Picasa used to do.

What about now? Has anyone found a good solution? What can the Adobe tools do? I pay for them every month but I haven’t comprehended even 1 percent of the features!

[Separately, a superstar programmer friend who recently quit Google says that the Alphabet reorganization will result in big changes: “Here is their trick: cut out big pieces of google, e.g., fiber, verity life sciences, x labs, etc. At first all of the org charts point to larry, the people are comfortable. then a few months ago, the org charts no longer reported to larry. Eventually they will put in firewalls and then start layoffs and squeezing, unit by unit. So google fiber will probably get a huge layoff. They’ll probably spin off the car company from x labs and squeeze that with ‘make money or die.'” He estimated that more than half of the Google staff could be fired without an impact on revenue or product development. But so far my personal experience is that Google is killing great products that shouldn’t cost a lot to maintain.]

10 Comments

  1. shadowhillway

    September 9, 2016 @ 11:35 pm

    1

    “He estimated that more than half of the Google staff could be fired without an impact on revenue or product development.”

    what about the idea that Google employs those staff so that they aren’t working at a competitor?

  2. J. Peterson

    September 10, 2016 @ 12:30 am

    2

    I posted this about Google’s penchant for shutting down products last April 1st.

  3. ianf

    September 10, 2016 @ 12:56 am

    3

    “[…] Google is killing great products that shouldn’t cost a lot to maintain.

    Closing down of the Google Reader was almost an act of aggression against the RSS aggregators and their users. GR worked so well, with no browsing delays due to transparent look-aheads, probably the most complex AND WELL DONE web app to date. Google could easily spawned it off into an independent company, but that wasn’t in their plans. 4+ years on, nobody has managed to come up with a functional replacement. Perhaps that was the day when Google decided that there are more profit opportunities in being evil, than in not being that.

  4. Steven

    September 10, 2016 @ 1:34 am

    4

    I have the same annoying experience as you. Telling Picasa to sync a new folder to the web first results in a bug ridden login experience (I’ve gor two factor authentican which makes it worse).

    What I’ve found out:
    * Don’t sync it. Share it to G+. Then it’ll automatically show up on G+ and Google Photos
    * Don’t try to share a video. The upload will break, be abandoned.

    Do
    * After sharing to G+ (and thus Google Photos) go to Google Photos, press Albums, find your album. Add the videos, rearrange the pictures and do the sharing you wish to do. Making it a shared album is usually adviseable.

    Your Windows 10 has a Windows Live Photo Gallery. But I still prefer broken Picasa to it. Picasa is so great at letting you browse/search all your pictures fast and do quick touch up.

    No better alternatives
    http://alternativeto.net/software/picasa/

    DigiKam for Linux can do much of the same stuff
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksohC42JhdA
    https://opensource.com/life/16/5/how-use-digikam-photo-management

    But browsing is not as fast as with Picasa.

    If you really, really want to abandon Picasa, Lightroom is probably your best shot at a fast and pleasant working environment
    http://jnack.com/blog/2015/05/30/tip-integrating-lightroom-with-google-photos/
    https://www.youtube.com/user/AdobeLightroom/videos

    Seeing as Google is able to sink half a billion dollars into Nest with nothing to show for it, it’s baffling that they won’t maintain Picasa for Windows. Affiliate income from foto.com, Google Drive etc. should easily recoup those 1-200.000 dollars per year.

  5. J. Peterson

    September 10, 2016 @ 3:02 am

    5

    @ianf, Inoreader is a complete replacement for Google Reader. It took a while, but by now the

  6. J. Peterson

    September 10, 2016 @ 3:06 am

    6

    …they’ve surpassed it in capability. [Note to self: don’t try and compose comments on flat glass screens.]

  7. Patrick M O'Keefe

    September 10, 2016 @ 7:36 am

    7

    @ianf, I used Google Reader and switched to Feedly, have been happy with that.

  8. TimB

    September 10, 2016 @ 10:40 am

    8

    @ianf – I second Patrick M O’Keefe’s vote for Feedly. I screamed loud and long at the demise of GReader – but now find (the free version) of Feedly better in every way.

    RE: Picasa – Steven is probably right about Lightroom – while much more capable it doesn’t hit the “good and fast enough” sweet spot for me like Picasa.

    Re: Google – they’ve already announced significant cuts in Google Fiber. So sad that no one will be around to challenge the AT&T/Comcast, etc duopoly on price and performance. If entity now known as Google under Alphabet allowed all the others – then the quarterly reporting end game is that not much else survives within Alphabet.

  9. ianf

    September 10, 2016 @ 11:47 am

    9

    @ J. Peterson – existence of the Inoreader eluded me wholly, I don’t know how, but thanks for the tip, will try it out. At least it has a clear business model: £12/year for ad-free stream.

    As for Feedly, that was the one I first tried, then some 10? others, none has ever come near the level of ease of usability of GR. The more advanced of them, like Flipboard, want to make easily swallowed text snippets into magazine pages. Maybe I should revisit Feedly, but somehow I harbour a prejudice that no independent, even a dedicated (but minute in relation to Google’s) RSS infrastructure will be able to mimic GR’s instantaneous delivery (those of you who remember Larry Wall’s rn program for Unix CLI will know what I’m talking about.)

    As for them disinvesting some of the other branches, perhaps we should distinguish between, say, Göögle Fiber (which involves either laying down cables, backbone to leaf nodes, or buying up the bandwidth on the other provider’s cables), and their purely software-driven projects. In fact, we shouldn’t be stopping at that, but disinvesting ourselves from those Google “services” that we can (two can play the game).

  10. Alex

    September 10, 2016 @ 6:12 pm

    10

    Lightroom plays nicely with Flickr. I switched over a few months ago after finally giving up on Picasa. It still doesn’t sync automatically, unless there’s a feature I haven’t found yet, but it’s predictable and stable.

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