Picasa team must be grumpy. Their baby has failed to thrive in Google’s cloud, the desire for images to be managed locally incompatible with Google’s dream. It took me a while to give up on it, I have 20K images, and I did not want the switching headache.
The lack of drag and drop integration really hurt while I was creating a photo book at Nation’s Photo Lab. I switched to Adobe Lightroom: nice folder browsing support, metadata are kept in XMP, an open standard. I’ve never been a fan of iPhoto/Aperture’s straightjacket.
To migrate, I needed to preserve Picasa’s image edits, and star ratings.
Image edits were a breeze: just click on “Save to disk” icon in every one of your folders.
Preserving star ratings took a bit of coding: I had to parse Picasa.ini files, detect the stars, and modify the file’s XMP metadata. I wrote a script that does this PicasaToXMP.py. Starting from the launch directory, it traverses all subfolders, finds all star-rated images, and gives them 5 stars in the format Lightroom recognizes. It won’t work on movies, and will write out all the failures in the error log, so you can fix this manually.
Before running the script, you need to install an exiv2 package from MacPorts. The script can easily be modified to deal with any other metadata stored in Picasa.ini.
Posting this just in case you’ve decided to switch, my Google search for this script turned up nothing.