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Picasa 2 Goes Live
I've really liked used Google's Picasa software to manage my pictures for the last six months, so I was excited when I saw that Picasa 2 had been released. It's a free download from http://www.picasa.com/; if you install it over an existing setup, it will update itself, otherwise it will ask to import all of your pictures.

This version has really improved the photo editing features, giving a wider range of filters, letting you straighten pics that are slightly crooked, and adding the ability to caption pictures easily. It even has iTunes-like star ratings, so you can mark your favorite pictures and find them easily, while still keeping things organized by labels. I really like how the editing features don't alter the original pictures -- they are just saved as transformations that are applied when you view the picture or export it for use elsewhere. The slide show feature is also pretty nice, and you can burn a CD of a slideshow to give to your friends and family. It even exports pictures to a Series 2 Tivo that's connected to your network.

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So it seems interesting that Picasa would opt for IIM as their metadata standard, as opposed to, say the XMLish JPEG2000 standard for image metadata, or a similar, more intuitive one ;-)

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