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I almost like Picasa, but there are two issues that irk me and I wondered if anyone knew of an application that does what Picasa does but without the following problems:

  1. Network drives. Picasa is hopeless with network drives. Ideally, I'd like photos to be stored remotely and thumbnail databases to be stored locally with a client-server set-up to update client databases. The main aim is to get updates propagated to clients efficently, reduce network bandwidth and have quick browsing on the client. It needs to be snappy when used over a wireless network.

  2. This is just a minor point but the folder view looks awful, especially when it uses those tiny thumbnails. (Also, what is it with folders being drawn vertically. Having spent years looking at folders orientated horizontally, turning them on their side looks so wrong.)

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what platform - mac, linux, windows? –  warren Nov 14 '09 at 13:01
Definately linux and maybe Windows. –  Skizz Nov 16 '09 at 10:05
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closed as not constructive by slhck Oct 7 '12 at 14:04

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5 Answers

Some other products you can try (no idea how they handle network drives):

Windows Live Photo Gallery

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+1 for XnView –  Molly7244 Sep 22 '09 at 14:42
+1 one more ! –  ldigas Sep 22 '09 at 14:50
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1) I had, like many others, the same issue with Picasa and found the solution on this page. It worked great for me too. You can give it a try.

2) I'm not sure whether you tried different views under the menu option View->Folder View in Picasa? I like the flat folder view the most.

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That appears to be OK for multiple users on a single PC, however, I was thinking about a single store of photos on a server accessed from multiple PCs (and multiple users!), with the system optimised to keep network traffic to a minimum. –  Skizz Sep 23 '09 at 8:15
With a workaround you can still use the tool junction to access the main Picasa libraries on your serving pc. Junctions don't work with shared drives though, you'll have to map the Picasa library folder as a drive persistently before you can make the junctions. technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896768.aspx Things that could spoil this setup: - bandwidth - access to the libraries by multiple pc's, so a backup of the main libraries is important. - junction is gone (what happens when network/mapped drive is unavailable?) –  Rick Steven Sep 23 '09 at 16:52
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Windows Live Photo Gallery supports network drives (I use it with my photo libraries stored on my Windows Home Server).

Because WLPG supports IPTC and XMP metadata, then if you tag your photos on one client PC, those tags get written into the images as metadata. What happens then, if you view the files on the server from another client PC, is that the same tag hierarchy will be built up in the WLPG running on the second PC. So all client PCs will see the same tag hierarchy.

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Something like ThumbsPlus? Though unlike Picasa and MS Photo Gallery, it's not free or especially cheap. The Pro version does, however, offer:

The ability to use another SQL database such as SQL Server 7, SQL 2000 or Sybase Adaptive Server Anywhere.

The Pro version is required for users who wish to share ThumbsPlus databases across a network. This includes home networks.

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1) I know that Phototheca for Windows (I participated in creation of this app) can import photos from network shares or drives, photos are not copied to local PC, and thumbnails database is stored locally, as you mentioned.

But this program doesn't update content of imported folders automatically, so there is no easy synchronization. In this case all the time you would like to have recent updates locally you should do import again and again.

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