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Author Topic: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Mini-Review and anchor-point  (Read 3988 times)

IainB

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Originally posted:2018-01-24
Last updated:2018-04-07

Basic Info
App/Service Name24_412x150_B7E811AA.png Picasa3 "Sunset"
Thumbs-Up Rating :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:
Download URLpicasa39-setup - v3.9 Build 141.259 (2015-10-14) Sunset version.exe
MD5 hash: F5E535745F0E2140C31623DF8F9AD746
App Version Reviewed"Sunset" v3.9 Build 141.259 (2015-10-14).
Test System SpecsWindows XP and upwards.
Supported OSesWindows XP and upwards.
Support MethodsHelp web pages: https://support.goog...picasa#topic=6247471.
Upgrade PolicyNo upgrades.
Trial Version Available?N/A (free to trial or use)
Pricing Scheme$FREE

1.0 Introduction and Background:
This Mini-Review is more of an anchor-point for people interested in exploring the features/functionality of Picasa3 and wanting to know where the now discontinued software can be downloaded from.
The version referred to is the Picasa3 "Sunset" (my name for it) version released by Google at the product end-of-development point.

The content of this Mini-Review follows on from my comment on DC Forum:
Re: Picasa to be 'phased out' (File link updated 2017-09-12)
« Reply #26 on: 2016-07-21, 06:33:42 »
Ghacks wrote:
… I suggest you download Picasa from the official website to have local access to the installer. While Google may keep it up after it shuts it down, you may want to have a backup of it at hand should you require one.

From <http://www.ghacks.net/2016/02/14/want-to-keep-running-picasa-you-can/>
The download source was (on Filehippo.com): Picasa  3.9 B 141.259 - http://filehippo.com/download_picasa/
This "Sunset" version was downloaded by me and saved as:  picasa39-setup - v3.9 Build 141.259 (2015-10-14) Sunset version.exe

The file is apparently still available from there: Picasa  3.9 B 141.259
_____________________________________
EDIT 2017-09-12:
The download source at Filehippo.com (above) apparently no longer hosts that Picasa file.
However one can still obtain it from the good link here, and it works just fine: picasa39-setup - v3.9 Build 141.259 (2015-10-14) Sunset version.exe
That good download link is to a Public file on my personal box.com account. I saved it there for posterity when I suspected that the file would become publicly unavailable (which it has, apparently). For posterity, it would be appreciated if DCF members could mirror that file, so that my site was not the only one. I am unsure as to whether Picasa3 "Sunset" (as I call it) is or will be available via Wayback or other public archiving service.
 

2.0 Overview:
There is a good overview in the Help web pages about Picasa3 "Sunset" at:
https://support.google.com/picasa/?ctx=picasa#topic=6247471

It covers these points:
Heading: Welcome to the Picasa and Picasa Web Albums Help Centre.
  Get started with Picasa & Picasa Web Albums.
  • Selecting file types
             Photos
             Videos and audio
             RAW format images

  How to use Picasa & Picasa Web Albums
  • Add photos to Picasa
  • hotos in Picasa
  • anise photos
  • Email or export photos
  • lideshows. photo collages & movies
  • Do more with Picasa
  • Uninstall Picasa

  Accounts, abuse and privacy
  • What's happening to Picasa & Picasa Web Albums?
    (NB: This discusses switching/migrating to Google Photos)
  • Use the Google album archive


3.0 Specific/Notable Functionality:
Tags:

3.0 Who this software is designed for:
Any PC user of Windows (probably from XP and upwards) who needs:
  • an image media management tool which provides an extensive cataloguing database;
  • an image database that caters for all/most image types and common video types;
  • an image database that uses extensive metadata and facial/object/colour recognition, labelling, virtual album folders;
  • an image database that incorporates comprehensive media editing and presentation tools.


4.0 The Good:
  • An excellent (first-class) and stable image media management tool, with very good ergonomics in an intuitive GUI.
  • Comprehensive Help file.
  • Surprisingly fast and powerful in what it does..


5.0 Needs Improvement:
Have found nothing so far.


6.0 Why I think you should use this product/service:
Having used several different media image management tools, I have yet to come across one as good or as comprehensive as Picasa3.
It literally "set the standard" for other image media management tools to follow.


7.0 How it compares to similar products:
For some years previously, I had been a confirmed user of the excellent ACDSee, but I migrated to Picasa after trialling it and being blown away by its superb design and functionality. It was much more than I had thought I required, and this caused me to then accrete more/new "learned" requirements/expectations. Picasa "raised the bar", as it were.

Thus, to some extent, Picasa has spoiled me. There are apparently some similar/alternative tools to Picasa3, but none that I have come across so far actually seem able to meet my newer requirements set, or match Picasa3 for comprehensiveness or accurate face recognition and metadata cataloguing/searching.
A search of the web will no doubt turn up many perfectly good, alternative tools and reviews of same. For example, one on the DC Forum:
[url=https://www.donationcoder.com/legacy/Reviews/Archive/GraphicsViewer/index.html]The Image Management Tool Shootout(Archives - Informative and excellent review, though arguably dated by now.)


8.0 Conclusions:
  • Very useful: An impressively solid and useful desktop program, which retains its ability to use uploading/downloading to the Cloud, even though Picasa Albums is defunct (now become Google Photos).
  • Reliable: Stable. Never seems to give any trouble. I had two database crashes on earlier version(s), but not with this "Sunset" version (so far).
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 11:22 PM by IainB »

IainB

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Re: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Index/Links
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2018, 09:57 PM »
Originally posted:2018-01-24
Last updated:2018-04-07
Copied from: Modify message - DonationCoder.com - <http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?action=post;msg=416459;topic=44983.0>
Building an Index of cross-references here... please help!
General references:

Switching/Migrating from Picasa to Google Photos:

Tags, Keywords, Indexing:
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 11:21 PM by IainB »

IainB

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Re: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Mini-Review and anchor-point
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2018, 10:57 PM »
BLANK on purpose (Reserved).
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 11:04 PM by IainB »

IainB

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Re: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Using Tags in Picasa
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2018, 11:01 PM »
Using Tags in Picasa:
If you are already using Picasa, then you can use Tools-->Experimental-->Show tag as album.
I use that in Picasa quite a bit, and find it very handy.

The trouble with tags is that they are usually data attributes within a photo-management database, and if you get a wrecked/corrupt database (as has happened to me once with ACDSee and twice with Picasa), then you can lose hours of work invested in building the data in the database. They are not usually easy to recover intact. So don't rely on the resilience of the database, because they are probably not all that resilient.

My workaround: Instead rely on the data you can store within the image file. If you have mostly .JPG files then you can have EXIF data for any camera-related data, and IPTC info. for any freeform data you might want to attach to the image. When you add a caption in Picasa, it goes into the IPTC info, and is immediately searchable. So you can put in or duplicate your "tag words" into the IPTC info, and then never worry if you lose their external tags if your database gets corrupted (because you can easily recreate the tags and tagged photos using a sort).
I therefore recommend the principle of having the photo records contain their own meta-data not only as a good data-security measure, but also because it reduces your dependence on the idiosyncrasies of any particular database system. So you can use Picasa, ACDSee, Irfanview, or whatever, to utilise the meta-data.

Hopes this all makes sense or is of use.

IainB

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Copy of the Googlr Picasa Blog post about the shutdown of Picasa:
(Text copied to spoiler below image.)

23_640x341_BDCD9267.png

Spoiler
Moving on from Picasa
Friday, February 12, 2016 10:00 AM
Since the launch of Google Photos, we’ve had a lot of questions around what this means for the future of Picasa. After much thought and consideration, we’ve decided to retire Picasa over the coming months in order to focus entirely on a single photo service in Google Photos. We believe we can create a much better experience by focusing on one service that provides more functionality and works across mobile and desktop, rather than divide our efforts across two different products.

We know for many of you, a great deal of care has gone into managing your photos and videos using Picasa—including the hours you’ve invested and the most precious moments you’ve trusted us with. So we will take some time in order to do this right and provide you with options and easy ways to access your content. We’ve outlined below some of the changes you can expect.

Picasa Web Albums
If you have photos or videos in a Picasa Web Album today, the easiest way to still access, modify and share most of that content is to log in to Google Photos, and all your photos and videos will already be there. Using Google Photos, you can continue to upload and organize your memories, as well as enjoy other great benefits like better ways to search and share your images.

However, for those of you who don’t want to use Google Photos or who still want to be able to view specific content, such as tags, captions or comments, we will be creating a new place for you to access your Picasa Web Albums data. That way, you will still be able to view, download, or delete your Picasa Web Albums, you just won’t be able to create, organize or edit albums (you would now do this in Google Photos).

One thing to make clear is that none of this is happening today—if you have a Picasa Web Album you can keep using it as normal. We’ll start rolling out these changes on May 1, 2016.

Desktop application
As of March 15, 2016, we will no longer be supporting the Picasa desktop application. For those who have already downloaded this—or choose to do so before this date—it will continue to work as it does today, but we will not be developing it further, and there will be no future updates. If you choose to switch to Google Photos, you can continue to upload photos and videos using the desktop uploader at photos.google.com/apps.

Finally for developers, we will also be retiring some functions of the Picasa API. Developers can learn more here.

Again, none of these changes are happening today, and we’ll continue to update you along the way. We apologize for any inconvenience this transition causes, but we want to assure you that we are doing this with the aim of providing the best photos experience possible. Google Photos is a new and smarter product, that offers a better platform for us to build amazing experiences and features for you in the future.

Posted by Anil Sabharwal, Head of Google Photos
Permalink Links to this post

From <http://googlephotos.blogspot.co.nz/>


tomos

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Re: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Mini-Review and anchor-point
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2018, 05:41 AM »
Thanks for this review Iain :Thmbsup:

7.0 How it compares to similar products:
There are apparently some similar/alternative tools, but none that I have come across match Picasa3 for comprehensiveness or accurate face recognition and metadata cataloguing/searching.
just for the record:
it does not read the 'Comment' field (as seen below in Windows Explorer) -- I dont know if other apps do read that field (but seems like one that should be read).
It does read the 'Subject' field.

Screenshot - 2018-01-24 , 12_39_08.png
Tom

IainB

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Re: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Mini-Review and anchor-point
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2018, 01:58 PM »
@tomos:
just for the record:
it does not read the 'Comment' field (as seen below in Windows Explorer) -- I dont know if other apps do read that field (but seems like one that should be read).
It does read the 'Subject' field.
The reason it doesn't read the Windows Explorer "Comment" field is probably because that is an editable field in the NTFS ADS (Alternate Data Stream) - which is a bit like "a special data file linked to a normal data file". Picasa doesn't seem to rely on or use the ADS. This is probably because the usefulness of the ADS is constrained by the fact that it is risky - i.e., somewhat unreliable as a data field, for many/most user purposes - because it is not necessarily persistent.  That is, it is typically stripped off/deleted by default, during certain file move/copy operations to non-NTFS storage (e.g., on backup devices).
I find it amusing that you say "...but seems like one that should be read...", because it is a moot point. I mean, it seems that any such legitimate user requirement - potential or otherwise - may have been far from the minds of the Microsoft designers of the NTFS ADS. Otherwise, I suspect that they would probably not have left it as constrained as it is.    :D
The Picasa designers' workaround to the potential ADS data persistence risk would thus seem to have been (probably quite correctly) to avoid it altogether.

I don't know about the "Subject" field per se, but it is probably one of several fields that are filled/overwritten by the (very reliable and persistent) data contained in the EXIF and IPTC fields in the JPG file. I'm not sure whether such fields form part of the ADS, but that would be kinda irrelevant since the contents of the .JPG file would always take precedence and overwrite that field on a copy/move to another NTFS device.

The issue is really about persistence of user metadata attached to, or associated with image files - and .JPG format images in particular, as other formats (different standards) do not seem to carry the EXIF or IPTC fields that a .JPG file can contain.
In case you might have missed it, and for completeness, it is worth repeating a quote from earlier in this thread, as it points out the insufficiency/impermanence of database-specific metadata about images, and the resultant need for the user to use and rely on the persistent metadata in the EXIF or IPTC fields that a .JPG file expressly can contain.

Using Tags in Picasa:
If you are already using Picasa, then you can use Tools-->Experimental-->Show tag as album.
I use that in Picasa quite a bit, and find it very handy.

The trouble with tags is that they are usually data attributes within a photo-management database, and if you get a wrecked/corrupt database (as has happened to me once with ACDSee and twice with Picasa), then you can lose hours of work invested in building the data in the database. They are not usually easy to recover intact. So don't rely on the resilience of the database, because they are probably not all that resilient.

My workaround: Instead rely on the data you can store within the image file. If you have mostly .JPG files then you can have EXIF data for any camera-related data, and IPTC info. for any freeform data you might want to attach to the image. When you add a caption in Picasa, it goes into the IPTC info, and is immediately searchable. So you can put in or duplicate your "tag words" into the IPTC info, and then never worry if you lose their external tags if your database gets corrupted (because you can easily recreate the tags and tagged photos using a sort).
I therefore recommend the principle of having the photo records contain their own meta-data not only as a good data-security measure, but also because it reduces your dependence on the idiosyncrasies of any particular database system. So you can use Picasa, ACDSee, Irfanview, or whatever, to utilise the meta-data.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 04:29 PM by IainB, Reason: Minor typo. »

IainB

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Re: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Mini-Review and anchor-point
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 02:43 PM »
EDIT: Updated section 7.0 How it compares to similar products: of the Mini-Review to include some more details/discussion and a general link about alternatives to Picasa3.

IainB

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Re: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - EXIF+IPTC search/index standards
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2018, 12:26 AM »
Picasa - EXIF+IPTC  search/index standards
Cross-posted from: Re: Feature Request: Search text notes in screenshots
« Reply #2 on: 2013-03-14, 23:04:24 »
(NB: Note that using Picasa Tags causes the Tagname used to be written to the the .JPG file's IPTC Keywords field.)
_________________________________________
This is something I've been trying to work out for some time. With mouser's new new captions features it's starting to make it easier.
cmpm found & posted a solution here: http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=34092.msg320268#msg320268

Doing a search with Agent Ransack works for finding captions.
In the results will be the Screenshot with caption.
http://www.mythicsof...ansack&page=home
Thank you for this. I've read about Agent Ransack before but hadn't tried it. Just did and it found every caption search test I threw at it. And with the export to clipboard or file I can generate about any type of listing I want. Very nice.

When I started to play about with them, it surprised me how tremendously useful the data-carrying potential for JPG/JPEG files was/is.
JPG image files seem to have lots of places to insert data/text.

For example, in the IPTC info there are tabs for:
  • Description (you can put data in here)
  • Keywords/Categories (you can put data in here)
  • Credits/Origin (you can put data in here)
  • Options

Of these, Description has 8 or 9 subfields for you to insert data/text:
   1. Title
   2. Artist
   3. Byline Title.
   4. Copyright
   5. Caption
   6. Caption Writer
   7. Headline
   8. Instructions
   9. JPEG Comment (Not really an an IPTC field?)

In the EXIF info:
There are various Tag fields, not so easily changed by the User.
(Filename is a Tag, so if you change the filename, then you change that Tag's contents also.)

Google Picasa can see all these filenames and fields (all this data) and automatically indexes it all, including the file path.
So you get an instant response when you search for any of it in Picasa. You can thus sort your images/data in multifold ways using various text strings.
There is a function called "Tags" in Picasa, which enables you to use unique linear tags (i.e., not Tags in a hierarchical tree) to categorize your images.
It's really easy to use Tags from the Tags Panel. You can Tag images individually (one by one), or en masse (in large groups).
You can have multiple (different) Tags for any given image.

This is interesting and rather useful:
If you put the word (say) "Sausage" in the IPTC Keywords/Categories Keywords field for a JPG file, then it appears in Picasa with the Tag "Sausage", and vice versa if you put the Tag "Sausage" as a Picasa Tag for that image.

In the Picasa menu, if you select Tools | Experimental |Show tag as album, you can select the Tag "Sausage" and that then becomes a logical album for all the images with the Tag "Sausage". This is in addition to the usual Album category function, which is comprised of an assortment of your selected images or groups of images from your database of images.
Using Picasa you can then send all or some members of an album (whether a category or a Tag album) online to a web-based album in Picasa.

In addition to this, if you have some images with text in them - e.g., (say), a picture of a receipt) - and if you save those images as TIF/TIFF files, then Windows 7 Search/Index can be set to automatically OCR scan these images and index any text found in the image. So you can search for that text from the Start menu.
Refer: Search for TIFF documents based on text content

If you have any images in OneNote Notebooks, then OneNote can be set to automatically OCR scan these images for text, and that text gets indexed, together with ordinary text in the Notebooks, and all of it is integrated in the Windows 7 Search/Index, so it can be searched for either just from within OneNote, or from the Start menu.
_________________________________________

tomos

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Re: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Mini-Review and anchor-point
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2018, 03:44 PM »
Does anyone know what's the story with Picasa and name tags?

in Options, I have 'Store name tags in photos' selected, but I cannot actually find this info anywhere in the file (using ExifToolsGUI, which in the past has found everything for me).

It looks like this means that the name tags are only available locally. I created an album and uploaded to google Photo -- cant find any name tags there either.

If these tags are only available locally, is there *any* way I can share them?
TIA

EDIT//
I read (should have searched first -- more info, but no solution) --
face recognition name tags

Face recognition name tags are the new kid on the block in terms of metadata standards. Being new, face recognition name tags do not have a place in the old IPTC standard but it does have a proper place in XMP.

Picasa saves face recognition name tags in the correct place again. How awesome is that!

Picasa saves face recognition name tags in the correct place in the XMP image header.
A simple conclusion about Picasa image metadata

Picasa is right on with the most important pieces of image metadata. Picasa saves them all in the right place. Granted, Picasa provides an interface only for a limited set of image metadata elements, but it saves them in the right place.
https://www.organize...bout-picasa-metadata
Still cant find it though using either IrfanView, or ExifInfo (which claims to read XMP data)
Tom
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 04:12 PM by tomos »

tomos

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Re: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Mini-Review and anchor-point
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2018, 06:23 AM »
in Options, I have 'Store name tags in photos' selected, but I cannot actually find this info anywhere in the file (using ExifToolsGUI, which in the past has found everything for me).

I have since found the name tags using ExifToolsGUI -- I dont know did it not initially show due to user error or maybe a delay in Picasa actually writing the info to the file. FWIW / unfortunately Photo Supreme image organiser (formerly idImager) does not show the info.

Screenshot - 2018-03-12 , 21_48_24 002.pngGoogle Picasa "Sunset" version - Mini-Review and anchor-point
Tom

tomos

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Re: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Mini-Review and anchor-point
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2018, 06:27 AM »
Related thread:
Scanned photos from Picasa to google Photo: experiences
re
what works and what doesnt when syncing between Picasa and google photos (in particular related to scanned images).
Tom

tomos

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Re: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Mini-Review and anchor-point
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2018, 01:57 PM »
Google has disabled Picasa's ability to upload / download / sync photos to google photo.

The Picasa Desktop application will no longer support uploading or downloading photos and videos, creating online albums, or deleting online photos, videos and albums (see our update in the blog post here). If you try to upload or download, you may see something like:

    “Failed to download album list”
    “Error: Failed to retrieve URL for upload”
    “Error: Request failed”
    The upload manager staying at 0% progress

If you want to upload photos and videos to Google Photos, you can use Backup and Sync at photos.google.com/apps.
https://productforum...c/picasa/brvRowxSDcM

I hate google right now :-/
Tom

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Re: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Mini-Review and anchor-point
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2018, 02:58 PM »
They're trying to push their new products instead of supporting their legacy users.  I can see why... but it sucks.

IainB

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Just to keep this all together in this Picasa discussion thread:
@Tomos: Sorry, but I thought Google's blocking this [API] was already quite clear from the Picasa blog:
Moving on from Picasa
Friday, February 12, 2016 10:00 AM
Update March 26, 2018: The Picasa Desktop application will no longer work online, which means that you will not be able to upload or download photos and videos, create online albums, or delete online photos, videos and albums.
...
Desktop application
As of March 15, 2016, we will no longer be supporting the Picasa desktop application. For those who have already downloaded this—or choose to do so before this date—it will continue to work as it does today, but we will not be developing it further, and there will be no future updates. If you choose to switch to Google Photos, you can continue to upload photos and videos using the desktop uploader at photos.google.com/apps.

Finally for developers, we will also be retiring some functions of the Picasa API. Developers can learn more here.

Please note, you’ll still be able to access all of your photos and videos in Google Photos at https://photos.google.com/. If you want to upload photos and videos to Google Photos, you can use Backup and Sync at photos.google.com/apps. ...

Copied from: Picasa Blog - <http://googlephotos.blogspot.co.com/>

There's nothing to stop you from using Picasa as an image management tool/database, and shipping up the photos to Google Photos, as required. (I had thought that was what you were intending doing.)
________________________________________________
@tomos: Well, don't despair, because you can probably still have your cake and eat it.

IF you create Picasa albums out of the Tags (this was an innovative experimental feature that works beautifully), Picasa places the photos in sort of "virtual folders" according to each Tag - these virtual folders are created within the Picasa database. Picasa doesn't care where these Tagged photos are physically stored on disk (in logical folders). It can always find them again. So, once you have a Tagged album, you can use Picasa to drag and drop the pix it contains, as a group, into a newly-named logical folder on disk. Picasa will keep track of which photos have been moved where. You can then use Google Photos to upload/sync that album folder to the Google Photos cloud as an album/collection, and then share it to whomever you want. After that, maintain those album folders on your hard drive, so you can remove photos, or add new photos to an album (using Picasa, as above). The additions/changes to the album will be reflected in the Google Photo sync.

The Tags are magic because they are metadata which is attached to the data (the images).
If the Picasa database crashes or gets corrupted (it can happen - though I haven't see it in the "Sunset" version yet), Picasa can rapidly rebuild/recreate the Tagged virtual albums, because the Tag will have been written as metadata to each of the the photos' IPTC info. One of the things that doesn't get written to EXIF/IPTC fields are the face IDs of the people in the photos - which data only seems to exist in the database, and which needs to be rebuilt after a crash/corruption (which takes a bit of time). But the thing is, it can all be rebuilt/recreated.

So you keep maintenance at a low state and can almost have it as easy as it was in the original Picasa approach. To achieve this, all you have to do is use the Tagged virtual albums in Picasa.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 10:56 PM by IainB »

IainB

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Re: Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Mini-Review and anchor-point
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2018, 10:53 PM »
EDIT 2018-04-07:
Added/modified to the OP and the Indexing post below it:
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 11:20 PM by IainB »