Sunday, August 16, 2009

Managing pictures on Ubuntu

I have amassed 30,000+ pictures since I got my first digital camera six years ago. For the past few years, I have been using iPhoto to organize these. (It is now very slow, since it tries to preload thumbnails of every picture on startup, or something similarly unreasonable.)

I like four features of iPhoto:
  1. Photo files are stored in directories by YEAR/MONTH/DAY . This makes sense.
  2. I can use albums to group together photos of the same event taken on different days.
  3. If the camera date was set wrong, I can change the metadata on the photos.
  4. My entire library is in iPhoto and organized in a way I understand.
I am trying to find a similar way to manage photos on Ubuntu. I have so far been unsuccessful. F-spot satisfies (1) but there doesn't seem to be a clean, working way to grab the albums from iPhoto. (Manually re-creating the albums for thirty thousand photos is not an option; I haven't found a hack that works yet, either.) Also, I can't figure out how to change the metadata with F-spot, or with any other Ubuntu software, for that matter.

I have heard good things about Picasa (Google's answer to organizing photos) but also bad things (it's slow; too many bells and whistles).

Suggestions? I've been making myself cozy on Ubuntu, but this is really irking me.

[Update, two hours later: I installed Picasa to try it out. After an XKCD-like series of events, something -- possible a hidden preference file? bug reports online are unclear -- is quite borked about my entire setup. Also, Google now gives me search returns in French and Portugese, but not English. Now everything I try fails, not just with Picasa but also basic OS functionality. Aaaiiieee! But there are no sharks. Yet.]

This post's theme word: nidicolous, "nesting."

1 comment:

George said...

What kind of hardware do you have? iPhoto is supposed to scale to a pretty large number of photos. Is there any preference that limits how many are displayed in the main window that prevents the startup costs from being so high?