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Google Turbocharges Picasa Web Albums

Google has taken it upon itself to make some improvements to its Picasa Web Albums product. You know Google, it's all about speed -- and speed is what makes the refreshed version of Picasa Web Albums better.
Google has taken it upon itself to make some improvements to its Picasa Web Albums product. You know Google, it's all about speed -- and speed is what makes the refreshed version of Picasa Web Albums better.As with many things, the previous version of Picasa Web Albums often forced you to choose between speed and detail. You could flip through albums faster if you didn't mind looking at smaller, lower-quality images. If you wanted to look at full versions, it took longer to flip through an album.

Not anymore.

Justin Zaren, software enginner, writes, "You can see for yourself by visiting any album and hitting the arrow keys as you flip through pictures. Better, yet, take your browser full-screen, and fire up a slideshow -- if you've got a decent broadband connection, you can see our responsiveness at high-resolution by pressing (or holding) the arrow keys. We're proud of the fact that we've managed to accelerate the photo-viewing experience without compromising on quality -- as always, we still dynamically retrieve and display the largest-size photo that'll fit inside your browser window, up to a whopping 1600px. (Sure beats looking at small, blurry photos.)"

Naturally, I had to check it out. All I can say is, "Wow." It's leagues faster than before.

I take a lot of pictures at the concerts I attend and post them to my Picasa account, where it's easy to share them with others. I opened a slideshow of the most recent concert I attended. The slideshow panel itself, complete with the 60 thumbnails, opened nearly instantly.

I clicked on the slideshow to watch it, and it jumped to the full screen view very fast. I set the slideshow to change up pictures every two seconds, and it cycled through them quickly, with the full images loading with no delay. This is a definite improvement.

I (and Google) invite you to check it out.