So, I'm posting this after I managed to make these two fixes to my Linux version of Picasa (3.6), running Jaunty. However, since much of this advice came from outside the forums, and because I think it took a few new tweaks on my part, I am posting this pseudo-tutorial... in case it helps others!
(PS If you don't yet have Picasa 3.5 or Picasa 3.6 installed, go to http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2009/09/p...x-install.html for instructions)
#1 - Playing video files (.mov, etc.) in Picasa...
Officially, Google tells you that Picasa for Linux won't play videos: http://picasa.google.com/linux/faq.html#15a. They're wrong. Thanks to AlanRick and this forum thread, http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=967713, I found the amazing set of instructions at http://wiki.winehq.org/picasa. Thank you to Christian and whoever else put them up! However, it took me a while to wrap my head around the exact steps, and I believe it took a couple extra tweaks, so I'm going to lay them out here step by step. (But please take a look at all the warnings on the site first; I've been synchronizing fine with my web albums, but you never know):
(1) Configure Wine generally - Run "winecfg" in a terminal, go to the "Applications" tab, then go to the "Windows Version" field, choose "Windows XP", and click "OK".
(2) Configure Wine for the Picasa wrapper - Run "/opt/google/picasa/3.0/bin/wrapper winecfg" in a terminal, and do the same. (You can have program specific settings, and I think you need to have the right settings specifically for the wrapper. If anyone can confirm whether this step is necessary, please let us know.)
(3) Download Quicktime Alternative version 2.7.0 (quicktimealt270.exe) - It took me a little while to find this, at http://codecguide.com/download_qt_old.htm (just choose a mirror for the right version).
(4) CONFIRMED UNNECESSARY
Install Quicktime Alternative straight up (probably unnecessary) - Okay, I accidentally installed Quicktime Alternative straight from the download when Firefox asked me if I wanted to open it with Wine. I'm pretty sure this is unnecessary. But if you want to do exactly what I did, go ahead and do the same. Make sure to follow the configuration instructions laid out in the next step. (Again, if anyone can confirm that this step is unnecessary, let us know and I'll delete it.)
(5) Install Quicktime Alternative the right way (through the Picasa wrapper) - Run "/opt/google/picasa/3.0/bin/wrapper /home/quicktimealt270.exe" (of course substitute "/home/" for whatever path leads to your .exe file). Then follow these configuration instructions (I remember the actual installation being slightly different then the posted instructions, but it was easy enough to follow and I don't remember exactly what was different, so I'm just re-posting verbatim):
(a) choose to install the "full" version thus "mplayer classic install" is checked;
(b) make sure the "configure settings for quicktime" box is checked;
(c) when the quicktime window settings is opened go to the "advanced" tab and choose to use GDI.(6) Link Picasa to the QuickTimePlayer.exe file (again maybe unnecessary) - Run "/opt/google/picasa/3.0/bin/wrapper QuickTimePlayer.exe" in a terminal. (To give some background, I first tried running "/opt/google/picasa/3.0/bin/wrapper "c:/Program Files/QuickTime Alternative/QuickTimePlayer.exe"" and then "/opt/google/picasa/3.0/bin/wrapper "/home/username/.wine/dosdevices/c:/Program Files/QuickTime Alternative/QuickTimePlayer.exe"", but both of these commands gave me a whole bunch of error messages. Then I tried the "/opt/google/picasa/3.0/bin/wrapper QuickTimePlayer.exe" command, and did not get any error messages. Accordingly, to the extent any of this was necessary, I suspect it was the latter that worked.)
(7) Restart Picasa (and Ubuntu?) - I'm pretty sure I had to do one or both of these.
(9) Configure Picasa - Go to "Tools" then "Options" then "File Types" and check the two movie file types. (PS I skipped 8 on purpose, because it made a smiley face with sunglasses) .
(10) Maybe Restart Picasa (and Ubuntu?) again?
(11) Load your video files! (I confirmed this to work with .mov, .3gp, and .3g2 files, because that's all I had. I have also been synchronizing to the web, without problems so far. Although, again, check the warnings at http://wiki.winehq.org/picasa.)
One more time, please let me know if people can better deduce which steps were and were not necessary, so I can tighten ship on this tutorial!
#2 - Fixing the Picasa freeze after you accidentally click on the "Places" sidebar
After doing much face tagging that I really did not want to lose (PS I strongly suggest that anyone who spends a lot of time on face tagging backup their tags; I liked jaysiej's suggestions at: http://www.google.com/support/forum/...2cd7&hl=en#all), I made the brilliant decision to click the "Places" button below the sidebar on the bottom right corner of Picasa. This froze Picasa, and caused Picasa to freeze immediately whenever I re-started it. Thankfully, however, I found a solution at http://markmail.org/message/44hajtxu...+state:results (thanks to Henri and Ege!), which I will now re-post; so that it's on the forums, and because it took me a while to find the file location:
(1) Exit Picasa if it's running.
(2) Navigate to "/home/username/.google/picasa/3.0" (of course change "username" to your username, and you'll have to show hidden files to get there), and open "user.reg" (you may want to make a backup of user.reg first). You could also just run "gedit /home/username/.google/picasa/3.0/user.reg" in a terminal.
(2) Change "active_metadata_tab"="thumbui/places_toggle"
to "active_metadata_tab"="thumbui/people_toggle" (all quotation marks included).
(3) Save user.reg.
(4) Start Picasa!
Alright everyone, please let me know if this helps even just one person. So I can justify the two hours I spent writing this mess of a tutorial !