Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson no more, an era comes to an end

There’s no word which can express the grief the world is experiencing right now, as messages keep popping up praying for Michael Jackson to rest in peace here. Speculations whether the his cardiac arrest was genuine was something most wanted. Let’s hope the issue gets settled. Over the years he became the king of pop and truly lived like a king. Though controversies started tarnishing his fabulous career, yet he remained at the top with albums like Thriller, Bad, Invincible breaking records. His death led to a tremendous revival amongst his old and new fans to rejuvenate with his music, some claiming that Google’s News service showed up “We’re sorry” messages frequently virtually being attacked by such a huge number of hits on the same topic. Jackson’s video channel has already receive an incredible 12,694,527 hits. A fan here is surely utterly grieved, so are all his friends. Taking music and dance to an altogether different level, his music is sure to last amongst us forever. We simply will love to keep watching his feats here over and over again. Billie Jean will surely inspire millions over the decades to come. This video is one of my favorite pieces.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Picasa vs Flickr : Ultimate giants of photo sharing, which service is better for you?

There has been really increasing debates as to which is best amongst these two giants. Each one beats the other in their own segment making the choice difficult for the end-users. I am an avid photographer. I always have my 120GB hard disk asking for space to picasa_logofree up and I simply love to click the upload button in the Picasa software to share with all my friends and family. This software almost forms the brain and heart of the popularity of Picasa. It’s extremely easy to share all the photos just by clicking upload and instantly your photos are send to your online albums, ready to be shared or kept private. Till now, the Picasa album’s free limit had been enough for me. I already have about 14-15 albums and close to 120-130 snaps in each of my own Picasa album. I have completely explored Flickr and have found it’s social networking aspect extremely attractive and addicting. Also there are lot’s of API tools that make Flickr what it is today more than Yahoo itself! And so I am sticking to both Picasa and Flickr for the time being. Here are my Flickr photos if you want to add me and keep track of my photos.

FlickrLogoBut the cost of the two services based on the features they provide provides a very tricky picasa_flickr situation for the end-users to decide what they really need. You really need to have a very crystal clear idea of what you really want from your photo sharing service. Then only the choice would make you satisfied in the end. Here is a quick snapshot of what the two services provide. With a little research work and comparing them it is not a difficult choice.

Category

Picasa Web Albums

Flickr

Ease of use

Very decent to use. The albums are arranged reverse chronological order. Uploading interface looks like this.

Concept of set here. All photos belonging to a set are arranged together. Uploading interface looks like this.

Navigability and Uploading

Very easy. The Kewll toolbar makes it even easier. Get it here.

Uploading and navigating is very simple. The Kewll toolbar helps here too.

Get it here.

Number Limits

A free user can create up to 250 albums, total 500 photos and videos per album, i.e. total 1,25,000 photos.

No limit. Upload infinite photos and videos. But there is limit of total 100MB of photos and 2 videos every month.

Drawback

Lacks the professional look and feel.

200 photo limit for free users. When you upload the 201st photo, your 1st photo gets hidden, which you cannot view until you delete 1 of the 200 you can view. See this.

Size Limits
(free users)

Photo:20MB and <50Megapixel
Video : 1GB
Total Capacity : 1GB


You will be reminded like this.

Photo : 10MB
Video : 150MB
Total Capacity:100MB/month
You will be reminded like this.

Size Limits
(paid users)

Photo: 20MB (&<50Megapixel)
Video : 1GB


Total Capacity : Options of 20GB, 80GB, 200GB, 400GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB and 16TB.

Photo : 20MB
Video : 500MB
Total Capacity : Unlimited

Pricing

20 GB ($5.00 USD per year)
80 GB ($20.00 USD per year)
200 GB ($50.00 USD per year)
400 GB ($100.00 USD per year)
1 TB ($256.00 USD per year)
2 TB ($512.00 USD per year)
4 TB ($1,024.00 USD per year)
8 TB ($2,048.00 USD per year)
16 TB ($4,096.00 USD per year)


To check out more see this.

24.95$ per year
To check out more see this.

Social Networking

Not pronounced. The Explore tab provides some really decent photos by other users. You can comment on those photos and add the user to your favorites.

Unmatched social networking till now. Very easy to comment on other's photos and add him as a contact. There are several groups and discussions going on. Lots of people comment and discuss each other's photos. This social networking aspect is one of the biggest and major attractions of Flickr which Picasa will find it very tough to beat.

Video formats

3GP, AVI, ASF, MOV, WMV, MPG, MP4, M2T, MMV, M2TS

AVI, WMV, MOV, MPEG (1, 2 and 4), 3GP

Video FAQ

You really need to check these out before deciding on the video segment.

Flickr seems beaten down with only a 90 second limit, but check out these if you want to know more.

Tagging while uploading

Tags and captions can be added on a photo.

Tags, description and title can be added on a photo.

Tagging existing photo

‘Name tag’ can be added to persons in the photo.

‘Notes’ can be added to objects or persons.

Privacy

Options of making the albums:

Public (will appear in search results and visible to everyone)


Unlisted (will not appear in search results but can be viewed with the exact album link, no need for viewers to sign in, making the process extremely simple, easy and fast, an advantage over Flickr)


Private (viewers need to be invited by the owner)

Option of making the photos:


Public (visible to everyone) 


Visible to friends
(visible to people whom you add as friends, viewers need to be signed in and added to your contacts as friends before hand, a disadvantage)


Visible to family (

visible to people whom you add as family,

viewers need to be signed in and added to your contacts as family before hand, a disadvantage

)


Private (

only visible to you

)

Blogging

Not available. Extremely convenient through Picasa software though.

‘Blog this’ button available for every photo.

Upload by email

Easy to use, specially for mobile cameras. Check out.

Difficulty may arise when sending more than one photo. See what they say.

Downloading

Extremely easy to download both photos and videos from personal albums and albums of other people (if they allow). Some steps to follow are here.

Not so easy and simple as Picasa but yet works fine. Both photos and videos can be downloaded.

Slideshow

Feature is available.

Feature is available.

Geotagging

Feature is available.

Feature is available.

Supporting Desktop Software Amazing cool software called Picasa. Can be launched from within

Kewll

. Every photographer's delight. It automatically gathers all media files on the hard disk and provides easy navigation for the user. Just a click of the 'Upload' button will upload hundreds of photos to the Picasa Web Albums. Other options available are 'Blog This!', ‘Print’, ‘Email’, 'Movie' and 'Collage' maker. You may check out some features here and here.
One third party software available that only helps in uploading the photos to Flickr and shows the size of uploading photos. A very big drawback and disadvantage in this segment compared to the Picasa software.
So expensive!

Picasa Web Albums is really expensive beyond the 80GB/20$ per year which asks for 50, 100, 256, 512, 1024, 2048 and 4096$, but with amazing storage limits ofcourse!

Flickr though asks for 24.95$ per year, but it gives unlimited space and count to the number of photos and videos. This is a major advantage of people who want to backup their photo collection or are an avid photographer. I have got my Pro account for storing my best collection.
Professional Photography

Can be used for professional photography. But more useful for friends and

family photo collections and gatherings.

Very useful for professional photographers. Vast exposure to the photography world and like-minded people.
Third Party Applications Does not support use of third party applications. Third party applications provides several useful and entertaining tools.

Backed by

Google

Yahoo

Conclusion

If you are looking for a cool and casual platform just to share some special occasional photos with your family and friends, this is for you. In case you need some more storage you can also try out their 20GB (5$/year) plan, or if you require 40GB get another account and purchase 20 more again or go for their 80GB (20$/year) plan if you want to.

If you are a professional photographer or even an enthusiast, you must get a Flickr Pro account. Initially though you might find the 24.95$/year a bit too much, but it will allow you to share unlimited photos (or if you want, you can backup all your photos there with permission set to “Private”). Besides, you get several communities to discuss and share your pics where you might find several useful information.