Microsoft Windows Live Photo Gallery review
It fits well with the Windows 7 design, and it's free - but so is Google Picasa, and we know which we'd choose
Review Date: 22 Oct 2009
Reviewed By: PC Pro
Price when reviewed: Free
Windows Vista’s Mail, Calendar, Photo Gallery and Movie Maker are missing from Windows 7, but there’s no need to panic. They’re all available – new and improved – as a separate download.
Windows Live EssentialsMicrosoft Windows Live Mail
Microsoft Windows Live Movie Maker
Microsoft Windows Live Writer
Microsoft Windows Live Photo Gallery
Windows 7: The Full ReviewRead our comprehensive overall review of the whole Windows 7 family
The one application in Windows Live Essentials collection we’re not completely convinced by is Photo Gallery. The reason? Google’s free Picasa application is better – better at searching, browsing, organising quick edits and sharing.
The one major advantage of the Photo Gallery is that it makes simple photo-editing and tagging facilities available in a view that fits far more naturally into the Windows 7 way of doing things.
There’s also that tight integration with other Windows applications and services, allowing you to add photographs from published albums to Writer blog posts, for instance. Like Picasa, it also offers face recognition.
But with Google Picasa offering advanced features such as geotagging, a more streamlined interface and far more mature options for editing, printing and sharing photos, we won’t be moving away to Photo Gallery just yet.
Author: PC Pro
Just thought I'd mention that, thus far, Live Photo Gallery is the only way I've found of importing digital video into Windows 7 (short of dedicated video editing software). If, like me, you have a firewire camcorder, it seems like you need to install this to import footage.
By Bassey1976 on 22 Oct 2009
I downloaded Picasa 3 enthusiastically after reading this article, and I really liked it for about 30 minutes until I discovered that Picasa wasn't picking up any of the tags that I'd attached to all of my photos through Windows...investigating more thoroughly, it seems that Picasa doesn't support XMP tags, which is the format that windows uses. So I'll be awaiting some standard tagging format support before I move over to Picasa 3. Shame, because I loved the face recognition and the overall GUI style.
By pbrn999 on 29 Oct 2009
Is Picasa really better at tagging, organising, etc?
You say Picasa is "better at searching, browsing, organising, quick edits and sharing." I don't know about "edits" because I haven't used either program to edit photos, but I think it is highly questionable whether Picasa is truly better than WLPG at any of "searching, browsing, organising or sharing".
Obviously some users will place more weight than others on features like face recognition and geotagging, but when it comes to organisation of large collections of photos I think WLPG's strengths put it well ahead.
pbrn999 has commented that Picasa doesn't recognise XMP tags. Nor does it seem to recognise star ratings applied in other programs (such as WLPG, Windows Explorer or Photoshop Elements). Nor does it save tags in the photo files for use in other programs and by other users. So not many marks for "sharing" ... either for importing or for exporting tag and rating information.
Picasa still seems to have no concept of organising tags in hierarchies (something users have been crying out for since version 1). To take one example of why this is needed: suppose you have some photos tagged with "Buckingham Palace", some with "Trafalgar Square", others with "St Paul's", etc., you have no easy way of selecting all "London" photos unless you can group all the tags for Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, St Paul's and so on into a London category and then filter or search by category name as well as or instead of by tag name.
Apart from the few built-in filters the searching facility in Picasa seems to be very one-dimensional. And the filters don't seem much use ... for example you can only filter for "starred", you can't filter for "two or more stars". You can't set a date range (indeed Picasa seems to present totally confusing information about dates). Look, by comparison, at how many options you have in WLPG for filtering, grouping and sorting in multi-dimensions. So, WLPG earns far more marks in my book for "searching", "browsing" and "organising".
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, WLPG is much more intuitive (to this user, at least), partly because it fits in so much better with the Windows way of doing things.
By hugheagle on 10 Nov 2009
- Mac users stung by early iCloud Drive upgrade
- iOS 8 bugs plague iPhone and iPad users
- Microsoft offers free Office 365 directly to students
- Adobe buys Aviary to open Creative Cloud to mobile
- Why Apple won't kill off Beats Music
- Huawei snaps up UK Internet of Things firm Neul
- Policing the web: anti-piracy and beyond
- Apple racks up 10 million iPhone 6 sales in three days
- iPhone 6 is toughest Apple handset yet
- OneDrive tempts iPhone 6 buyers with 30GB storage
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- BlackBerry Passport UK release date, features, specs, and rumours: when is the new BlackBerry coming out?
- OS X Yosemite release date, price and key new features
- How to change keyboard in iOS 8: customise the iPhone 6 keyboard
- The 7 best Chromebooks of 2014
- iPhone 6 vs Galaxy S5: is the Apple or Samsung flagship smartphone right for you?
- How to install iOS 8 without deleting apps and data
- The best smartwatches of 2014: what's the best smartwatch?
- Nexus 6 (X or Shamu) release date, price and specs rumour roundup
- Best of IDF: top tech and memorable moments from Intel's tech show
- How Apple Pay works and how to use it on your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office