Picasa, the popular free photo management software made by Google, has finally made its way to the Mac. The application has long been noticeably absent on the Macintosh - especially given the fact that it has been available for Linux (which typically lags behind Macs and Windows) since 2006. It’s also a direct competitor to Apple’s long running iPhoto product, which has come with all new Macs for years. So how does it stack up?
In my brief testing the application seems to be very snappy (much faster than iPhoto), though it lacks the sleek look of Apple’s products. Photos import quickly, effects are easy to find and apply, and most things are intuitive, though the folder browsing can be a little confusing. It might not be as pretty as iPhoto, but I won’t be surprised if power-users make the switch (or at least consider it).
The number of videos viewed by Americans increased by 34 percent over the past year with 12.7 billion videos viewed in November 2008 versus 9.5 billion the previous November, according to the latest report from comScore Video Metrix. That means Americans spent a whopping 40 percent more time watching online videos over the course of the year, notes NewTeeVee.
Seventy seven percent of the U.S. internet audience watches online video — that’s a lot of couch potatoes surfing the internet with laptops balanced precariously on their knees (raise your hand if you’ve ever been burned by an overheating laptop).
ComScore reports that 146 million viewers tuned in to watch online videos in November 2008, which isn’t a huge spike from the 138 million in November 2007. However, in 2008, the average viewer watched 273 minutes of online video during the same month. That’s an increase of more than an hour in the past year (195 minutes in November 2007), or two and a half episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
While the average video was watched for 3.1 minutes, the average video on Hulu was watched for an impressive 11.9 minutes, longer than any other internet property in the top ten list. Hulu’s offering of premium TV shows and films is definitely a factor in keeping U.S. viewers watching longer, even with ads sprinkled sporadically throughout.
The top ten list of online video sites has subtly shifted over the course of the year. YouTube remains king of the castle, accounting for more than 98 percent of all videos watched on Google sites (Google’s market share is strong at 40.3 percent, up from 31.4 percent a year ago). YouTube attracted 97 million viewers, who watched 5.1 billion videos on the site. Please tell me you didn’t watch this one, in which the Jonas Brothers cover John Mayer’s “Gravity,” perhaps one of the worst things brought to you by the year 2008...