Just two short weeks after returning home, we’ve managed to get our Hawaii trip pictures online. That’s got to be some sort of record for us. We’ve also posted pictures our our Disneyland trip. One of these days, we’ll be posting a bunch of other miscellaneous pictures that will pick up where these leave off.

On a related topic, we used iPhoto to manage, edit, and caption the Hawaii pictures. We normally use iView Media Pro (update: as of 2010, iView Media Pro is now PhaseOne Media Pro), but we didn’t have it on Kathy’s computer when we were in Hawaii, so we just switched to iPhoto for the trip. While we were gone, a new version of iPhoto was released as part of the iLife ‘05 suite, so I thought we’d give it a try.

I’d used iPhoto briefly when it was first released and found it lacking. In addition to being glacially slow, many of the features I used regularly in iView were missing or neutered. The deal-breaker for me was its lack of the scripting support I would need to make my gallery-generating scripts work. On the other hand, it was free with every Mac and made ordering prints a breeze.

Now in version 5, iPhoto has come a long way. It has support for hierarchical photo albums, some nice photo editing tools, much-improved slideshow support, and extensive scriptability (among many other improvements). Using it to edit and caption our pictures was a breeze. Ordering prints is still just as easy (and cheaper, at 19 cents per 4x6 print) and it now has support for creating picture books in three sizes, both hard- and softcover, rather than the single hardcover style previously available. I’ve already ordered a couple books and the first arrived on Friday. I put together a series of pictures from Henry’s first four years and created a hardcover book of them. It was very easy and the result is beautiful.

So, will I switch to iPhoto full-time? Not anytime soon. iPhoto’s support for keywords is still abysmal compared to iView. It also has an annoying tendency to antialias pictures too strongly when viewed on-screen. It makes all pictures look a little blurry. iView antialiases, too, but the result is much more visually pleasing. Finally, I’m still not convinced that iPhoto can handle large photo libraries without choking. My iView catalog currently has close to 23,000 pictures taken over the last seven years and works great. Why mess with a good thing? If I was just starting today, though, there’s no question I would use iPhoto.