Top Reasons to Use Picasa over iPhoto. Or why iPhoto sucks.


iPhoto is terrible at organization. I realized that the minute I saw that photo imports appear in their own date separated folders.

All of your organization is good ONLY for iPhoto. You can have nicely grouped albums of pictures, but on your hard drive, they are still in these individual folders by date.

That means you’ll have photos taken on July 20th in one, July 21st in another.

Also, I noticed the “iPhoto Library” isn’t a typical folder and isn’t even navigable by web upload dialog boxes.

It’s extremely messy to have organization ONLY IN iPhoto.

Plus, there are too many very practical benefits of Picasa’s organization. I feel as if Apple wants to remove the filesystem as much as it can from its user. Picasa works with it and doesn’t use as much magic.

Note that for all the great organization features Picasa brings, it has its share of problems in other areas… iPhoto is better at SYNCING. It’s fast and knows which photos to download.

Picasa downlaods slower since it has to read through all pictures on your phone to determine which are duplicates.

Can’t have the best of both worlds it seems. For now, a small extra wait when syncing photos is completely bearable to me.

Enter Picasa: Free.

Wow, this thing is an improvement.

It has support for both virtual organization (folders stay the same) and real, physical separation.

Imagine the dialog box I get when I drag a photo from one folder to another..

Can it really be? Yes.

But wait. There’s more…

Right click reveals a move to new folder shortcut, add to album/new, split folder here (all photos TO the split stay in folder, rest go to new folder.

So convenient.

Next, it lets you define certain important folder attributes so that it’s a little more functional than “New Folder”.

And when we click okay?

Oh, and great out of the box editing support.

I’m glad I didnt’ give up and end up with 1000 pictures over 500 folders, in organization only accessible to iPhoto.

Picasa Collections: Virtual folder organization

Just as Albums virtually organize photos (iPhoto-style) and Folders physically organize photos (on the filesystem), Collections virtually organize physical folders.

Did that make sense?

To start, right click on a folder you’ve created and select “Move to collection”

Select a new collection name or previously existing one, and you’ll see your new “collection”.

So there you have it.. Virtual organization of real folders.

Minimize them, focus on groups of folders without having to nest your main folder groups so far.

Copy full path:

If you need to get a single file in a giant list to your upload form, iPhoto wins: you could drag directly from the photo in iPhoto to your file select box. Well, at least in Picasa, that’s not the ONLY way to find your photo.

In Picasa, right click and select full path.

Then, in your file selection window, push command shift G, then command v to paste the direct path.

There ya go.


19 thoughts on “Top Reasons to Use Picasa over iPhoto. Or why iPhoto sucks.

  1. I was using Picasa but have now upgraded to iPhoto as like it so much more you move your mouse over the folder shows all the photos init easy to edit photos love iPhoto think . If i did not have a mac would buy a mac just for iPhoto alone.

  2. How on earth could anybody be happy with iPhoto…?
    Personal photos are one-of-a-kind treasures, and for Apple to plow them all into one large (relatively inaccessible) file is unforgivable.
    It’s sad when people have become so brainwashed by Apple, that they would defend a program like iPhoto.

    1. It is not one large file, it is a package. Right click on your library, show package contents, Modified -> and there’s all your photos organized by date

      1. I understand it’s a folder. What I’m saying is that the folder structure inside of it is nonsensical. It is sorted by useless dates. You might have 3 pics in one day, 5 in another, even if they are logically sorted differently in the app. The folder structure needs to replicate in-app structure so that it can be navigated outside of iPhoto.

        Apple’s move away from filesystems makes no sense, since at the end of the day, we use filesystems. This is not the iPhone where the filesystem is hidden from us.

        On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 3:24 PM, Useful Stuff.

    2. I absolutely agree!!!!! It sucks. I’ve wasted enough time trying to figure out the “upgrade”. Again, I DETEST version 9.1.5 and can’t wait to move to a different program. Is Picasa the agreed-on front runner?

  3. I’m new to Mac after many years of using PC’s. I duly imported all of my photos into iPhoto and discovered what a mangled mess it makes in terms of organisation of files and how difficult it became to find things to edit with other programs.

    Thankfully after a lot of effort I was able to get everything back into folders (had to do it manually) and now use Picasa. I think iPhoto’s editing is a bit better and I liked it’s easy upload to Facebook and Flickr, but Apple’s hiding of the files was just not on for me.

  4. Picasa can get iPhoto library’s photo, maybe can use iPhoto only for iPhone’s photo… But Picasa can’t edit photo from iPhoto library

  5. I spend hours just trying to find the file of a photo in iPhoto so I can share it in e-mail through gmail, but can never figure it out. And now iPhoto thinks my network is not connected (not true) so I can’t even share using mac’s mail. Sometimes I wish I never bought a mac.

  6. HA! Out of frustration with dealing with the file system that iPhoto hid my pics in and after ranting to apple’s ghost-feedback I just googled “iPhoto sucks” and found this article and cannot thank you enough!
    What’s with apple not wanting you to know where your files are? Just one of the many reasons iTunes sucks too! (and yes I’ve read people defending iTunes as well!) They make good hardware, but their user-end software sucks entire shopping carts full of scrotums.

  7. I just spent over 3 stinking hours trying to upload an edited image to a server. The server would only take pictures that were in black and white and cropped neatly to allow for processing. I scanned the original into a jpeg file then edited in iphoto. I went to upload the picture and somehow the server wouldn’t take it because it said the image was not at least 90 dpi. But before editing, the jpeg file was 300+ dpi. Apparently somehow changing the file to black and white and cropping it changed how other programs view its dpi. WTF? That doesn’t make any sense. I switched to google’s picasa and voila done. Thanks Google.

  8. After several attempts (and long hours) of getting my iPhoto library under control I decided to remove all data from iPhoto, stop Photostream and switch to Picasa/Web Albums.
    I mostly like Apple stuff but here Google is much more transparent and functional.

  9. I can’t get my original photo back from IPhoto. Drag and drop only works 10% of the time. If drag and drop more than 2 photos, nothing happens. Sometimes IPhoto changes the date and reduces the size of original photo.
    Exporting a photo will alter the size of the photo also. I just want my original back.

  10. I HATE iPhoto and Aperture just for this reason.
    It could be very nice software but Apple wants to control also HOW you must catalogue your photos: WTF!
    In picasa I open finder: in a tab there is my EOS card and in another tab there is my archive.
    Well, I create folders like I want and called like I decide. Just open Picasa and voilà, it automatically detects new files and register it. Also face detection is much better: in iPhoto and Aperture you must indicate every single person who is. That means that if you are importing 3000 photos you should pass over 3000 faces! Picasa instead auto detect faces: all you have to do is to indicate the name of the first than Picasa do the rest finding where that person is, that’s it! If any doubt a simply question asks to you “is this one “xx” ? You must just press confirm or not. If there are 60 questions (60 doubt) you can quickly check all, just eliminate the 2-3 persons are in wrong (if there are) and click at the end on “confirm all”. Thousands years ahead of iPhoto and Aperture!
    If you take a pic, than open your finder and your camera card and manually move your photos in the Aperture or iPhoto library you will NEVER find them opening iPhoto or Aperture!!! This just because there isn’t a continuos library check like in Picasa. And Picasa is very more flexible: it let’s you to choice between “do not scan”, “scan just one time” (like the bad iPhone and Aperture do), and “keep updated” that means Picasa check the folder for new files/folders everytime you open the program.
    Very good features in Aperture and iPhoto but the problems listed (yes, these are true PROBLEMS, not “mode of use”) makes them UNUSABLE!
    All much easy to use in Picasa. Please Apple, try to learn something by winners, do not pretend that all you do is dogma! Very angry user!

  11. I have been a Mac users for over 10 years. In the beginning iPhoto sucked. After 10 years of new OS releases iPhoto still sucks -the worst s/w Apple has written.

  12. I need to have 100% control over my pictures/files. When I bought a iMac 3 years ago and tried iPhoto I was really stunned over this “hide away” policy and loss of control over my pictures. I had used Picasa in Windows and when it was released for Mac I was really happy!! Go for Picasa and be the boss over your own pictures on a big iMac screen.. a perfect match!!

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