Why Picasa Makes Us Do A Happy Dance

From 98% to 13% drop in usage…

A couple of days ago I noticed that my free 1 GB Picasa Web Album storage usage has dropped significantly from 98% to an amazing 13%.

I was like, ‘Whaa?’

Images under 800px do not count!

Later I found out that Picasa Web Album has stopped counting images under 800px AND videos under 15 mins against your usage – which means…

…If I got this announcement right, I have unlimited online storage as long as I keep my images under 800px AND my videos under 15 mins.

I don’t know about you, but we love us some free online storage…

Some (ungrateful) commenters on the above post said that increasing the limit to 1024px would’ve been better.

But hey, for the price tag -FREE- I can’t complain. Besides, considering the fact that it significantly reduce my quota it seems that most of my images are already within the limit anyway.

Other things about Picasa that make us the happy dance?

Picnik, their web-based integrated photo editing thingy? Not that bad for quick and dirty editing.

Vignette, my crazy cool carnival mask, text -- all done on the web through Picnik

– I can use Picasa to offload my images that are posted on this blog (and on our Facebook page).
– I can use my Google groups to limit who can see which photo albums.
– I love how fast and easy it is to go from inserting my memory card to a ready-to-share-with mom-dad-and-grandma online album.

Everybody does the happy dance!

So, that news made us do a short happy dance because who, especially those about to embark on long term travel, doesn’t like free (and unlimited) online storage?

Tell us, what do YOU use to share/store pictures from your travels?

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16 Replies to “Why Picasa Makes Us Do A Happy Dance”

  1. I use Picasa AND Flickr. Flickr has my favourite photos – that I wouldn't want to lose – and Picasa web has all the blog photos. Difficult to keep on top of sometimes but I would be so upset if I lost all my photos so it's worth it.
    Julia

  2. Hey Jill. I use Picasa as well, and have for the three years I've been travelling (and many years before then!). I'm debating switching to Smug Mug, but Picasa as nonethless remained a lifesafer as all of my backups (3 of them) plus notebooks, laptops and camera were stolen last fall, and then only remaining photos I have from that time period are those on my blog or on Picasa. I'm pretty thankful for the service myself!

  3. I have yet to decide on one online storage for photos. I do like Picasa because of the Picnik editing software for fun and easy post processing. I've done the trial for Smug Mug and just wasn't sold on the idea of paying so much for the Pro version. Picasa is a good way to have your photos hosted for a blog post, but you tried uploading RAW files I'm sure it would get filled up pretty quickly. Thanks for sharing the info!

  4. @jill – You asked about upload time. That of course depends on your connection speed, but suffice that I've uploaded say 200 (high res original) pics at time and it takes less than a minute. (now that is not to say it will be that fast when I'm doing it from a g-forsaken rice paddy in Vietnam) 😉 Also, I can easily compress/resize my images for use in my blog, etc. using the built in picnik. But the most important thing for me is that it's unlimited storage and my precious originals are never tampered with.

    1. I really like Picnik so it's nice knowing that Smugmug has it too. What I'm looking for is an easy workflow from importing/sharing (with privacy option)/compressing (and secondary backup) so I'll be for anything that can offer me that… I think it's time to give Smugmug a try. Thanks for writing that review post!

  5. @Stephen – as I said, I did a lot of research, waded through a ton of reviews, comparing and contrasting, apples 'n oranges. For example, one of the most recent reviews re: uploaders said that Picasa's uploader was "crummy" while SmugMug's was "fantastic". As we all know, wading through the pros and cons of a given product/service is never an easy task. And of course we each have our own druthers – mine I spelled out in my "Desperately Seeking…" blog post.

    In short, if I'm gonna pay, I just think SmugMug has TONS more value to offer for the rubles. LOTS more options, customization, and yes, you can edit to your heart's content with picnik (it's built right into SmugMug). If you like, you can take a peek at my SmugMug site: Through the Eyes of TravelnLass" to see the various viewing options, I can hide galleries and/or password protect them, right click protect my images and/or only allow d/l of a given size, easily drag and drop between galleries, the list goes on and on.

    In short (yeah, as if…) 😉 I'm not trying to say SmugMug is the ONLY way to go, but for MY priorities/purposes, it does everything I want and more. Shoot, I may even opt for the Pro version

  6. What an interesting read and comments! I am currently using flickr n have been so for the past 1 year. I haven't tried Picasa before but after reading your article perhaps I should not store all eggs in one basket!

  7. Somewhere far far away would be a start. No point having all your backups right there.

    Dyanne @TravelnLass So pay the $20 per year for Picasa for 20 gig. A good place to host your photos, develop basic edits for online usage then when your home down and get serious with the editing. I believe smugmug doesn't have any built in editing software which means you've got to use your own.

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  9. Coincidentally, I recently spent a ton of bleary hours researching a good place to stash and display my bazillion travel photos (plus no doubt gazillions more when I head to SEA in October): "Desperately Seeking… The Perfect Photo Gallery"

    My conclusion? I agree w/ Cherie above – SmugMug meets all of my needs and more.
    Admittedly, I had some very specific gotta-haves (like… unlimited storage and – MOST IMPORTANTLY – no compression of my precious originals.)

    I discovered that Flickr compresses everything you upload – not sure about Picasa. But 800px? Fine for online display (i.e. 72px/inch), but you do realize that an 800px image will print out at most, about 2.25 inches, yes? So I hope you're only using Picasa for duplicate online versions of your precious originals.

    In short, with SmugMug – for about $3/month – I can display AND STORE all my originals, with no worry about any limitations, nor nasty resizing and/or compression (thankyouverymuch!) And if you have a discount code (let me know, I found a fine photog site with one), you can get 20% off so you're lookin' at little more than 2 bucks/month for carefree unlimited photo storage.

    And though SmugMug backs up all your photos w/ the gold standard (i.e. Amazon), redundant backups (locally, on external hard drives, etc.) are of course only prudent. But for online photo storage I honestly don't see how Picasa can be of much help.

    1. Picasa lets you upload the original size if you want — but I do love the fact that I can compress my photos (easier to share through the blog and with my folks). We don't use Picasa for our main backup – we use an external hard drive for that — because it would take too long to upload all the pics in the original size. If you use a service like SmugMug — does it take a long time to upload your pics in original size? Do you just let it run all night?

      And you're right, 800px is not useful other than for sharing purpose. Definitely not for printing.

  10. Online albums are awesome, and a fantastic way to share travel photos with family, friends and followers. We started out using Flickr (a Yahoo product), but have grown a bit concerned about Yahoo's financial health and commitment to up keeping the product line. With little advancement recently, and shutting down other core products of theirs… scary.

    So we just switched to SmugMug at $50/yr, which has a strong (and paying) professional photographer community.

    In general though, we're very cautious of depending on the cloud for anything, and never ever rely on online albums as our primary photo storage or as the only place an edited version of a photo exists. Everything is loaded locally and redundantly backed up locally and offsite (we leave behind external hard drives with trusted friends & family as we travel). Uploading online is just for the best photos that we want to share, and are merely duplicates.

    Trusting any company (regardless of how successful they seem now) is scary business. What if they decide to quit supporting a product later (Google has a history of dropping projects that are no longer serving their needs), what if there's an equipment failure outside of your control (we've had mail gone missing from gmail), or a glitch in their system (we had a Mint.com bug delete 2 years worth of carefully tagged transactions), etc?

    Our photos are too precious and irreplaceable to trust to anyone else but our own back-up routines. Which while certainly not fail proof – at least then, we'd have no one else to blame but ourselves.

    1. You've raised really good points. Having many hard drives died on us (and recently almost killed our site due to a plugin error) we've learned to have multiply backups. We do love the cloud because of its relative ease of use: we also use Dropbox and regular 'traditional' external hard drive for backups that we'll be taking with us. Unfortunately we don't have an offsite server of our own but it would definitely be ideal (because if we lose our bags, we'd lose the external backup hard drive as well).

      Photos ARE precious. Our house got flooded once and all photos and negatives of when my brother and I were young were destroyed. My parents were devastated.

  11. I have never used picasa or flickr, because I like to have my files on my servers. I have a separate site where I upload my travel pics (it's now under some more tweaking, since I got rid of Coppermine Gallery and am using wordpress with a photo gallery plugin). It helps me keep my stuff together, I can give it as many resources as needed (so I don't have to worry about having to pay more or filling up all the space) and, as soon as I finish all the work on it and re-upload all my "junk" from where we've already been, I can start making some money from it too, by placing ads on it.

    1. That's definitely an interesting idea… always like the idea of having our own remote server, but not sure of where to put it.

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