Picasa Tip: Backup or Gift CD? What’s the Difference?

Picasa has the ability to burn your pictures to a CD or DVD – a DVD is simply greater capacity – all from within Picasa.  You don’t need any extra steps.  But wait!  There are actually 2 ways that Picasa can burn your pictures to disc.

  1. Gift CD: Create menu | Create a Gift CD…
    The purpose of a Gift CD is to give all your pictures to a friend.  You want your friend to see the improved pictures … *after* your edits.  So the disk will just contain the Exported file of each picture.  You also have the option to Export the pictures in a smaller size.
    Gift-CD
  2. Backup Pictures: Tools menu | Backup Pictures …
    Backups are intended to be insurance that you will never lose your original pictures. Picasa burns to disc your originals, even the ones in the Picasa Originals folders, along with all the picasa.ini files with hold your edits.  When you restore using a backup made with Picasa, you are completely back in business with all your edited photos and the ability to undo every edit back to the original.
    Backup

The lesson is … don’t use Gift CD for your backup.  Unless you don’t care about having your original pictures and the ability to undo your edits.

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

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Backup your photos to CD

Backup Monthly to Disk (CD or DVD)

Backup to External Hard Drive

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Burning Pictures to Disc

A friend of mine, had her house severely damaged in a flood.  The house has now been cleaned and gutted and they will spend many months putting it back together.  To help the construction workers in putting shelves etc. back in her desired places, she decided to go thru all her pictures from the last few years and collect appropriate photos of each room.  She then wanted to put all those pictures onto CD to take to a printer to create a large format print to be tacked to the wall in each room. (pretty ingenious don’t ya think?!)

Pictures in an Album

All the pictures were organized into a Picasa album, but how does she burn them to CD?  She couldn’t find any command to ‘Burn to CD’ or ‘Copy to Disk.’  When she tried to Export and specified the DVD drive, she got an error message, “The Destination Directory could not be Created.”

She was afraid that she had to use Windows and find all the pictures all over again, copying them to CD as she went.  She could have exported the album to another folder, then used Windows to burn that folder to CD.  But Picasa can do the entire job, if you know where to look.

Two Choices

Picasa actually makes it very easy to copy pictures to disk, but you won’t find it listed in quite the way you might expect, so a lot of people miss it.  There are two ways to copy files to disk and both are available on the main menu.

  1. Backup (Tools menu, Backup Pictures)
    Just click on the desired album and then Tools, Backup Pictures.  Click ‘New Set’ and give it a name.  This will copy the original pictures *and* all Picasa edits
    image
  2. Gift CD (Create menu, Create a Gift CD)
    Same start – select the desired album, then choose Create, Create a Gif CD, and Picasa will burn your edited pictures to the CD or DVD in your drive.image

Picasa will complete the entire job for you, burning the CD or DVD.  The only difference is that, with Backup, you’ll have your original pictures plus any edits.  To see the photos as edited, you would need to restore and work with the photos using Picasa.   Using the Gift CD method, the .jpg files on the disk will be the edited versions – just as if you Exported them.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

 

 

 

 

 

DVD of Pictures that Plays on your TV

Picasa makes it nice and easy to burn pictures to a DVD with it’s Gift CD feature, but that DVD will only play its slideshow in a computer, not in a TV or standalone DVD player.  That’s because Picasa is creating a data DVD, not a video DVD.

DVD Maker is Free

If you want to be able to play it in a TV, you need to use some other software.  Windows DVD Maker comes free with Windows Vista, or Windows 7.  Just click on Start and type DVD – you should see Windows DVD Maker in the list and you can click on it.

In DVD maker, you click on Add Items.  That takes you to your file system where you can find ‘My Pictures’ and select whatever pictures you want.  All the pictures you select will be added to one slide show.  Any videos you select will become separate items on the DVD.

image

Prepare your Pictures First

Realize that this is using the picture files on disk, they won’t include your Picasa edits unless you saved those edits to disk.  My preferred method is to Export all the photos to a new Folder, then it’s easy to select all pictures from that folder. They also won’t be in your custom order, they will be in the order that they are on your disk.  See the article on keeping your pictures sorted.

When you have all the items added, you may want to change the disk name and/or change some of the options before clicking Next.  The question mark in the upper right is the help menu – read thru that for the complete process.

On the next screen there is an option to add music to your slideshow. image

 

When you’re done customizing, just click the Burn button in the lower right.  You should use DVD-R or DVD+R.  DVD RWs work in fewer players.  You may need to research the particular requirements of your player.  See this informative website on DVDs and DVD players.

The resulting DVD should play in either a computer or a DVD player.

Other Ways to Make a DVD with Pictures from Picasa

If you use Picasa’s ‘Movie’ feature – you will have control, in Picasa, of the slide order and the music.  The result is a .wmv file.  Then use your DVD maker to put that wmv file on a DVD. If you want to narrate your slide show as well, we highly recommend the free program from Microsoft called Photo Story 3 (Windows only).  See the Geeks on Tour Photo Story page for more information.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

 


 

Gift CDs and Temporary Albums

I’ve had a couple questions this week about making Gift CDs.  The readers had photos scattered throughout their computer’s folders and they wanted to burn them as a group to a CD to give to someone else.  The Gift CD process is very quick and simple:

  1. Select the folder or album with the photos
  2. Click the Create menu, then Create a Gift CD
  3. It will tell you if your selection will fit on the CD
    image
  4. You can include more folders or albums by clicking the ‘Add More…’ button.
  5. When you’ve selected all you want, click Burn Disc.

The resulting CD will have all the pictures – the edited versions – and it will automatically play a slideshow after being inserted into a computer’s CD/DVD drive.

The point of this article is how you can use Albums to collect all the photos you want to group together.  You *don’t* need all the pictures to be in a folder.  Anything you can do with a folder, you can do with an album.  Think of albums as ‘virtual folders.’

Now, here’s the really cool part … temporary albums.  Any time you search for something the search results can be shown as a temporary album.  With the temporary album selected, you can play a slideshow, create a collage or a movie with all the pictures in the temporary album.  You can also Export, Upload, Email, Shop, or anything you can do with pictures in the selection tray.

image

One thing you cannot do with a temporary album is create a Gift CD.  But, not to worry, you can simply create an Album from the pictures selected in the temporary album.  After burning the Gift CD – you can simply delete the Album you created.

http://content.screencast.com/users/ChrisGuld/folders/Showme-Picasa/media/a8b90da7-dfa2-4b1e-acd4-77ed51f82eb7/pic342_tempalbum_controller.swf

 

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

Searching for Pictures

Starring Pictures

Using Albums for Organizing

Using Tags aka Keywords

Using Search to Create a Temporary Album