Wednesday, November 26, 2008
PC Magazine: Windows Live Photo Gallery (Wave 3) beta


A write-up on WLPG's latest beta at PC Magazine. The summary:

Bottom Line

The Windows Live Photo Gallery (Wave 3) beta has improved editing tools, a unique people-tagging feature, and the ability to upload to Flickr and other services. But Photo Gallery still trails Picasa, which has better face tagging and integration with online galleries.


Good organization of photos. Easy uploading to online photo galleries, including non-Microsoft sites. Automatic face tagging. Excellent panorama creation.


No geotagging. No help with screen captures. People tagging trails Picasa's equivalent. Limited slideshow and special photo-effect options. No blemish remover. Unsupported camera RAW formats.

Looking at the Cons...

Around the people tagging: given that it's in the Windows Live Photo Gallery desktop client and Picasa people tagging is currently Web Picasa only, WLPG a lot more interesting for actually organizing your full-resolution photos by people and enjoying them on your computer, including the photos you're not keen spending the time (or risk) putting online. Given that you tag the people once on your hard disk, you can do groovy things like get the LiveUpload Facebook publish plug-in and ba-damn! all your people tags get auto-Facebook tagged for people with the same names on your Facebook friends list.


And there's certainly the opportunity for the people tagging metadata in the photos to be used and read by other photo sites going forward. It's pretty easy for them to just look at the XMP XML blob and do something with it. This includes Web Picasa.

I'm not sure what Mr. Muchmore's RAW comment on the Cons list meant. If you have the appropriate raw codec installed for your photos (like Canon's for CR2 files) you'll be able to see them in Photo Gallery just fine and organize away. See, not edit. But you have to have the manufacturer's codec installed. Also, if you're heavy into RAW, you most likely have been using the RAW software that came with your camera or have sprung the big-bucks for a RAW-focused photo editing environment like LightRoom, so again, not really a focus as of today for real point-and-shoot and mobile-phone-photo-snapers.

Screen captures? This is important for consumers? I'd like to know more.

And for geotagging lovers (an exuberant but perhaps tiny minority - of which you can see I'm a member if you go to my flickr map page), you can at least download the Microsoft Pro Photo Tools and it shows up under the Extras menu in WLPG Beta, meaning that you can select a bunch of files to send over to Pro Photos to geotag etc.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Netflix Speaks Out On Sony Movies Disappearing From Xbox 360 Service — It’s Not A Glitch


This is why you want diversity in ownership of media companies:

Joystiq broke word this evening that Netflix stopped Xbox 360 users from streaming movies distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment.

It makes no sense for a huge electronics company to be allowed to own media like this. This is a pretty obvious negotiating tactic, probably around getting NetFlix for the PS3 and preventing the Xbox from having a living room advantage.

Usually, it has been to Sony's extreme strategic loss to own these media companies. This ownership killed their Walkman line: here you are creating a media player that, you know, might be playing music pirated from the other parts of your own company. Better put in some exotic extremely distasteful codecs that no one wants to ensure that the media only comes from physical CDs.

Oh, and put a rootkit onto our CDs so that we can prevent people from ripping them.

Dumb. And now their stupidity spreads.

Sony should be forced to sell off their media assets.

Original story: MTV Multiplayer » Netflix Speaks Out On Sony Movies Disappearing From Xbox 360 Service — It’s Not A Glitch

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Friday, November 14, 2008
Upload Pictures to Facebook and Videos to YouTube with Windows Live Photo Gallery


Will Duff has released his Facebook plug-in for Windows Live Photo Gallery that lets you not only upload your pictures to your Facebook account but also works with People Tagging in the latest version of Windows Live Photo Gallery (currently in Beta):

LiveUpload to Facebook is a plug-in for Windows Live Photo Gallery Beta that makes it easy for anyone to upload their photos to Facebook. The plug-in takes advantage of the new people tagging feature in Windows Live Photo Gallery Beta to persist your people tags onto Facebook.

  • Organize and tag your photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery Beta.
  • Quickly and easily upload your photos to Facebook, including any people tags added in Windows Live Photo Gallery Beta.
  • Upload your pictures to an existing album or create a new one.

Download link: LiveUpload to Facebook – Home

Will also has an upload to YouTube plug-in: LiveUpload to YouTube – Home

Good job, Will! It's great to see these plug-ins released.

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