I don’t tend to have too many photos to share. I own a digital camera (a cheap one that doesn’t really produce great photos, although I’d be willing to share some of the blame for that!), but for a variety of reasons I don’t use it all that often. When I do share photos, I usually use either Picasa or Flickr. I find Picasa’s interface for viewing a bit better, but both websites offer a fairly limited upload interface. I also enjoy being able to upload photos right from the desktop, instead of first opening a web browser and then navigating to the correct website, clicking on the upload button, and then navigating my own hard drive to find the pictures. I figure there’s a lot of time and effort saved by uploading from a desktop application, which is why I was happy to see Picapy, a desktop application for Linux that allows me to upload to my Picasa account.
Picapy is very simple. If you’ve ever used the Desktop Flickr Organizer (a Flickr uploader for Linux), or any similar program, I should make it clear from the beginning that Picapy is not in the same league. There is no setting permissions, or tags, or captions. You can’t resize or rotate your photos before uploading, or anything much, really, besides uploading. But if all you want is the ability to grab a few photos and upload them into either existing albums or albums you create while uploading, then Picapy is a decent choice.
I hate to say this, and maybe other users don’t let it bother them like I do, but the first thing I noticed about Picapy once I started it was the buttons. The ugly buttons. I tend to use desktop themes that aren’t flashy. I like things simple, clean and basic. The buttons are none of those things. Glossy brown, rounded corners, and bright red and yellow icons. Not my ideal color scheme, and I can’t think of a Linux theme I’ve seen that these would match. But again, I’m kind of a snob, I suppose, and I’m sure I could change them if I really wanted to, by digging around in the resources. Still, I always like a program that makes a good first impression, and in my mind, Picapy didn’t do that here.
Now that I’m done making digs at its looks, let’s get to the important stuff, like how Picapy works. Simply put… it works simply. You’ll need to give it your Picasa credentials (usually your Gmail address and password), and then you’ll see all the albums you already have in your Picasa account. If you want to upload to an existing album, just double click it. The album will load (you’ll see small thumbnails of each image, which can in turn be shown at full size by double-clicking once more), and all you need to do in order to upload to it is click the second icon (the one with the plus sign), navigate to your photos and click the OK button. It’s simple!
If you want to create a new album, hit the blue up arrow until you’re back to the screen showing all your existing albums. Now just hit the middle icon again, only this time it will allow you to provide a name for your new album. Once you’ve done this, you’ll see a new folder with that name. Double-click on it (it should be empty), and go ahead and choose your photos in the same way. In either case (uploading to an existing album, or creating a new one first), you’ll get a progress bar showing your upload process.
Picapy isn’t really meant for it (and is kind of slow for this purpose), but if you want, you can use Picapy as a basic manager. Click on a photo, then the bottom of the top three buttons (the one with the minus sign), and you can delete a photo. You can also click on a folder (even if there are photos inside), click the same icon and delete the entire album. As I said, it’s kind of clumsy for this purpose, and you’ll need to delete every photo by itself (there are no batch commands of any sort), but it will get the job done in a pinch.
Overall, I’d say Picapy is a nice, basic desktop uploader. It definitely gets the job done, and is simple and straightforward to use. It doesn’t offer any bells and whistles, and it does need a bit of work on its interface, but if you have to have a desktop uploader for your Picasa account, and don’t want to deal with using the full Picasa program, it’s not a bad choice.