Hey! This is the old a broken mold. Newer stuff is at abrokenmold.net.
That being said, feel free to rummage through the archives over here. Also feel free to leave comments; we're still keeping an eye on this.

I have to say I am very impressed with the new Picasa. It seems to be faster (I think) and has gained a lot of polish. I don't really want to write a review, so I'll just list some improvements and additions.

  • improved - full screen slideshow: it is a lot faster this time around. Much more viable for doing quick full screen showoffs to people clustered about your laptop or curious family members. Extra transitions have been added (take that, Windows Photo Gallery!); Cut (I think all the old one did was Dissolve), Pan and Zoom, Wipe, Circle, Push, and Rectangle. And a exit transition/animation. Very pleased with this.
  • addition - tags: nice to see this in there. I don't use tags right now, but I'm sure it could be useful.
  • improved - search: now does a sort of auto-complete/suggestions drop down thing. Also, you can just start typing, instead of having to hit up the box.
  • improved - folder/album buttons: added some stuff: a slideshow button (labeled 'Play'), movie button, and gift CD button (that's better… I guess the old place for that at the top was kind of *out* of place).
  • addition - faces filter: now you can search for photos with faces in them. Great. Also appears in the folder/album buttons. I heard you can tag people, too, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet.
  • improved - folder/album bar: now it has transparency, which varies fluidly, depending on where you're scrolled too. Picks up the folder/albums button bar as you scroll by. Kind of cool.
  • addition - Projects: a section for projects you do in Picasa. Appears if any exist. Useful if needed, I guess.
  • addition - retouch (under Basic Fixes): it's like a magical cloning tool. Animated and very cool. I like it.
  • improvement - Picasa Web Albums integration: I can't actually say much about this, as I haven't ever logged into Web Albums from Picasa, but just from looking around the app, it looks tighter… stuff like Sync to Web and Share buttons on the folder/album bar.
  • addition - Geo-Tag: uses Google Earth. I think this might have actually previously been an experimental feature, so maybe not quite "new." Didn't fully try it out, but looks good so far… I suppose a direct lat-long entry might be nice (on a guess).
  • improvement - Collage: still at home on the bottom button bar, but vastly improved. Launches in it's own tab, so you get a lot more room. Adds a Frame Mosaic option, which has one bigger picture in the middle. Better format (size and shape) options. Pictures are now draggable, and can be scaled and rotated in the Picture Pile. Multiple Exposure has an animation to tell you it's working and a x out of y progress meter (nice, because the old one could take seemingly forever if you dumped a big load on it). Also, it appears you can save drafts of your collages… do I hear photo gift projects coming on?
  • addition - tabbed interface: Sometimes… not quite like Firefox tabs. But some actions bring down a tab bar and give you another tab with a working screen (and we find out the main view is called 'Library'). The ones I've found so far are Collage and Movie Maker. And yes, you can have more than two tabs open. And Ctrl+Tab switching works (yay!).
  • addition - Movie Maker (or could the old Picasa do movies? I don't remember…): quite impressed with this. You get some transitions from the slideshow and some different ones. Lots of other nice stuff, including broad dimension support (320x240 to 1920x1080), slide duration (fit to music included… sweet!), MP3 & WMA soundtrack support, text slides, basic video clip support, and integrated YouTube upload. Playback in edited mode is pretty fast and smooth.
  • improved - movie playback: lots better. No longer are we stuck with a play button. Now we have a seekable progress bar and what looks like editing via start and end points. Also, there's an edit button for videos with saved projects. Woot.


Well, that's all for right now. The only other thing is the Picasa Photo Viewer, which is pitched to you at update/install or first run (I don't remember which… it gets installed even if you don't set image file associations to it). I declined then tried it out later. It's pretty cool… filled with Picasa tricks (starring with Picasa closed, anyone?) and pretty quick to boot. The interface is a nice full screen overlay with pretty effects (though you can get it into a window with Alt+Tab). It's not replacing Windows Picture and Fax Viewer for me right now, but it's definitely a keeper.