Fuck you, Picasa

Like a complete n00b, I use Picasa to manage my computer photo archive. In conjunction with a couple of lightweight photo viewers and Photoshop, I can do whatever I need. It easily imports, does light photo modification, and exports in conveniently resized batches.

It’s got it’s share of flaws too, though. The color balance is just useless for removing anything but the faintest of color casts, there’s no way to darken midtones (fill light will lighten midtones, but the slider only moves in one direction?!), and it’s impossible to apply sharpening after an export/resize, which is the only time sharpening makes any sense (so everything going to the web needs to be run through a photoshop unsharp mask first).

But it was all stuff I could deal with, until yesterday. See, it turns out that the import option “Safe delete: only pictures that are copied will be deleted from the source media,” really means “UNLESS ANYTHING WHATSOEVER GOES WRONG, THEN I DELETE YOUR PHOTOS PERMANENTLY.”

What happened apparently was that the destination drive was full, and instead of doing what it SAID it was going to do, Picasa (yes, 3, the latest version) decided to drop me a friendly warning and then delete the photos off the memory card. Didn’t even crash, just hapily sat there while the realization that two days worth of photos were flushed down the digital crapper.

I just finished Planet Google, and now I’m really having some second thoughts about trusting any more of my information to this company. If a version 3 of one of their products can do this, what am I to expect from the legion of “Beta” products they’re pushing on the world?

Posted: Monday December 8, 2008 by Alesh Houdek · · Comment feed for this post: RSS, atom

 

Comment

  1. James    Dec 8, 02:50 PM #  

    I never trust Google. I usually use www.snapfiles.com to find good, free software to do what I need. Hopefully you can find something better there.



  2. Miguel Marcos    Dec 8, 04:25 PM #  

    Sorry to hear about the ordeal. I use Lightroom on my Mac and I trust Lightroom but I never choose to have it delete images off my card while copying images off a card. (I always mount cards, never connect my camera via USB). I let it copy the images and, once I’ve verified everything is functional and copied on my raid1 drive, then I erase the card in the camera.



  3. alesh    Dec 8, 06:26 PM #  

    Miguel~

    Yeah, it actually was a CF card plugged into my monitor’s card reader. But the workflow you describe is exactly what I used to do, and what I’ll be doing again in the future. Rockwell insists that formatting a memory card each time you empty it of photos is good practice.

    But the point remains that this is straight-up a programming fuckup on the part of Google, and is pretty inexcusable. And possibly speaks ill of their overall operation.



  4. James    Dec 9, 10:53 AM #  

    PhotoRec should be able to recover your photos off the CF card.



  5. Sabrina    Dec 11, 04:26 PM #  

    i used to live and swear by google and its products. and to an extent i still do. i realize that they are trying to make themselves some sort of an indespensible monopoly, which i do not agree with… however, i can’t say i’ve had any issues with picasa. i always upload my pics and delete from the source only the pics that were transferred, or whatever the wording is. hope it doesn’t happen again.

    if anyone finds a good picture program that stores, organizes, edits, AND let’s you create a super easy web album to send your friends, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.



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