Iphoto for windows?
May 16, 2009 1:22 PM   Subscribe

I use Iphoto but my wife has a laptop with windows XP installed. She has been using Picasa, but we both hate it. We import pictures then they disappear. It's really difficult to navigate our existing photos, whereas with Iphoto it's fairly simple, even though hardcore photographers seem to hate it. We just want something that allows her to easily import pictures from her camera or card reader and browse them easily with a chronological sort by roll/album/year etc.

It would be super helpful if you could only recommend software that you've used with rank beginners or link to a review of said software package.

It need not be freeware, we just want something that is simple and bulletproof, i.e. something your grandma could use. Also, my wife does not want to put pictures online. She came of age when people didn't share their entire life online with the universe. Thank you, I am worn out from looking.
posted by mecran01 to Computers & Internet (23 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Our budget for this is about $50-$75. I wish we could afford a mac mini.
posted by mecran01 at 1:28 PM on May 16, 2009

Have you tried Windows Live Photo Gallery? It's free, does everything you want and seems intuitive enough for beginners or semi-computer-literates. It has uploading features (to Windows Live spaces, yuck), but you don't need to use them.
posted by jozzas at 1:32 PM on May 16, 2009

I know you said no internet, but you can set privacy restrictions on Flickr so that only friends / approved viewers can see them. I used Picasa and hated it, and now I use Flickr and am happy.
posted by puckish at 1:37 PM on May 16, 2009

Microsoft Office Picture Manager should be able to meet your basic needs. If you want something that's a little more powerful but is simple to use, why not try ACDSee Photo Manager?
posted by KokuRyu at 2:01 PM on May 16, 2009

Windows explorer should be able to do this. Edit the columns to show the information you want to view by, and then click the columns to sort by that data type.
posted by gjc at 2:10 PM on May 16, 2009

I don't see why you couldn't just use the computer's standard import app and a judicious attitude towards organizing folders.
posted by oddman at 2:23 PM on May 16, 2009

Oddman: My wife has a hard time navigating windows and windows explorer. She wrote her college papers on a typewriter. She is intelligent in many other ways, but the vagaries of windows are not her strong point, she has four small children at home, is going to school, has a lot on her plate, and now is not a good time for her to acquire those skills. We're looking for a turnkey solution.

I'll start looking at these other solutions.
posted by mecran01 at 2:28 PM on May 16, 2009

ThumbsPlus is one of my can't-live-without applications. I've been using it for years and I recommend it without reservation. It's $50 and well worth it. (You can try it for free for 30 days.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:49 PM on May 16, 2009

You might want to play with Photoshop Album Starter Edition. It is free and is essentially a teaser to get you to buy Photoshop Elements ($99). When I was helping a Windows users this seemed to be the most "iphoto-like" app I could find for Windows.
posted by birdherder at 3:11 PM on May 16, 2009

When using Windows, I'm partial to FastStone Image Viewer. I usually change the settings to give it a black background and white text though.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 3:12 PM on May 16, 2009

Sorry, forgot to add: FastStone Image Viewer is free, you can watch a 6 minute video review here and read user reviews here, here, and here.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 3:21 PM on May 16, 2009

adcsee is very good.
posted by JohnR at 3:22 PM on May 16, 2009

I'm in a similar situation: our fix was for me to set up another account on the Mac, and that one gets used pretty much just for iPhoto. Could something similar work for your wife?

In fact, the latest version of iPhoto even makes it very easy to have multiple libraries, so you could just let her use your account and your copy of iPhoto without it affecting your pictures. Just hold down option while launching to create a new one or switch between them (you can also double existing libraries to switch to them)
posted by fightorflight at 3:35 PM on May 16, 2009

Why are images disappearing from Picasa? I've never seen that happen. I don't use it for import but I have not found a simpler, better picture management software anywhere. The day it was officially released for the Mac I was damn happy to ditch iPhoto.

If you tell us why Picasa doesn't work for you (that is, why you hate it) perhaps someone can figure out what is wrong. Picasa doesn't manage your photos, it just indexes them. If they've disappeared, it's because they've been moved or deleted outside of Picasa - that, or your photo database is completely corrupted.

By default all it does is show you photos it found, organized by folder in a flat view (there is a tree view option too). I just use the automatic upload utility that came with my camera to get photos onto the computer, then use Picasa to look at them. The organization isn't that different from iPhoto, in viewing anyway - except Picasa doesn't move photos into different folders, it just shows you which folders already exist and what photos are in each.

Not using Picasa to offload images from the camera might help.
posted by caution live frogs at 3:38 PM on May 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

Here is one typical Picasa behavior: We upload 195 images from my wife's camera. They have been taken in the last month or so. Picasa sticks them in the midst of the "2008" section in the viewing pane on the lefthand side.

There is no way to "view the last uploaded album" either, as far as I can tell.

The split reality, with both folders (that represent actual folders in your directory structure) and "Albums" which are the equivalent of plalists, is also confusing.

It is very, very stressful to try and teach my wife how to use Picasa. Trust me on this.

The machine running Iphoto is my work macbook. She wants to be "in control" of the family photos because she doesn't know what's going on. So there is a relationship component to this question.
posted by mecran01 at 4:57 PM on May 16, 2009

p.s. I uninstalled picasa and reinstalled it in case there was a corrupt database problem, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
posted by mecran01 at 4:58 PM on May 16, 2009

The multiple sliders are a pain to navigate with the trackpad on her laptop as well.
posted by mecran01 at 5:14 PM on May 16, 2009

How about setting up VNC on her laptop and letting her use iPhoto at a distance?
posted by wheat at 5:39 PM on May 16, 2009

I'm pretty sure that there's no way to move the photos from her camera, through her windows laptop, to my macbook using VNC.
posted by mecran01 at 10:02 PM on May 16, 2009

mecran01: You're totally correct. I was thinking of a slightly different workflow, where she would import the photos from her camera to iPhoto (using your desktop Mac, since that is dead easy), but then edit and organize them with her laptop, via VNC to your desktop.

I don't think it's a great solution, but it just might do the trick until you can afford to get her a Mac laptop. My wife handles the photos in our family (we share an iMac). We used to keep them on her WinXP laptop, using Adobe Photoshop Elements. She says she's at least 50% more efficient/productive using iPhoto, to the extent hat we no longer use her laptop for anything, and I really need to eBay it and put the money toward a MacBook for her.

If you're stuck with the PC laptop for a while, I'd try out some demos of Adobe Photoshop Elements. Maybe you can find an older version (I used 3.0, and it was fine) or an educational discount or something. That was the best one I found for Windows. It isn't iPhoto, by any stretch, but it's not bad.
posted by wheat at 9:45 AM on May 17, 2009

Here is one typical Picasa behavior: We upload 195 images from my wife's camera. They have been taken in the last month or so. Picasa sticks them in the midst of the "2008" section in the viewing pane on the lefthand side.

Sorry if you've already checked this, but is the time and date set on your wife's camera? I had one camera that wouldn't ever remember the date when the battery was replaced, and all those photos are in one giant folder.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:48 PM on May 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

So far it looks like Photoshop Starter Edition has the best interface for sorting images chronologically. Also, thanks to your help, I figured out that the camera was set to the right date, but in 2008. Whoopsy. As my wife's skills improved we will check out some of the meatier applications. Thank you!
posted by mecran01 at 12:39 PM on May 22, 2009

I know it's a bit out of your budget, but take a look at Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom. I use Lightroom for 99% of my photo editing, in addition to 100% of my photo management. If you know anyone who is in college (even just taking a exercise class at a local community college qualifies), they can buy Lightroom for $92 thru uscollegebuy.com which is a heck-of-a-deal for the power in this program.
posted by jcdill at 12:38 PM on June 27, 2009

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