We’ve packed a lot into the new beta version of Windows Live Photo Gallery. At the same time we’ve heard users ask, “What’s new in Photo Gallery?”. Here’s a quick clip-and-save list of the top features to check out. In the coming weeks we’ll be going into more detail about everything on this list. Stay tuned.
An updated look. Photo Gallery has a new user interface design that puts the emphasis on you and your content. We’ve minimized the amount of space that controls take up in order to give more space and focus to your photos and videos. Want even more room? Collapse the navigation tree (hint: pane on the left) and close the info pane (hint: pane on the right) for a wall-to-wall view of your collection:
Just the right amount of Info. Try out the new Info pane (hint: click the Info button to turn on or off) for a quick look at the people and descriptive tags you’ve assigned to your photos. Based on popular requests, we’ve also bubbled up more metadata about your photos and videos. Plus, you can dial in how much metadata you want to see by dragging the divider up and down. You control what you want to see.
People tags! Photo Gallery automatically detects faces in your photos to make it easy to tag. And with our people tagging user interface you can quickly choose folks from your Messenger and Mail contact lists. Open up a photo and click “Add people tags” to get started. And to appeal to the narcissist is all of us, there’s a single click “That’s Me” link to identify yourself in photos.
Keep in touch. Browse your photos by person using the People navigation area. When you’re browsing by person, click on someone’s name and look at the new people banner (hint: along the top) to see the latest photos they have shared online at Windows Live, and download the ones you like – right from within Photo Gallery.
Make your photos look great. Photo Gallery provides the tools you need to get it right and add a personal touch, with little effort. For example, if you’re like me, all your photos come out a little crooked. Just click on Straighten photo, and Photo Gallery will automatically straighten it, or use the slider to tweak it yourself to add a neat effect. While we all love color, the new Black and White effects will give an artistic touch to your photos.
Publish wherever you want. We think that Photo Gallery is so good that users will want you to use it every time to share your photos, no matter what online service you use. Our new SDK will let developers create plug-ins for users that, when installed, will appear right on the Publish menu. Check out the current list of available plug-ins.
From photos to movies. Now going from your pictures to a published video on the web is just a couple of clicks away. Choose photos and video clips from your collection, and click Make a Movie to put together a great looking movie.
Limit the information about each file when you share. The new Publish options let you control what file metadata is included when you share your photos online.
Support for Photosynth, Image Composite Editor, and other Extras. There’s always room for more! The new Extras menu is the place to look for apps and services that extend the Photo Gallery experience. Photosynth is the first experience that’s integrated – just install it to start making your own synths from Photo Gallery. Want creative control over the image stitching process? Try out the brand new Image Composite Editor. Both of these new programs are just a click away on the Photo Gallery’s Extras menu when installed.
And there are a few more gems hidden in there as well. I hope you’ll give us a spin – and tell us what you think!
— Rodger Benson (Lead Program Manager)