I really like using the Scanner and Camera Wizard (SCW) in Windows XP (and yes, it was originally developed for Windows Me!). SCW makes organizing digital photos easy, because you can select the pictures you want to transfer from your camera or flash memory card reader, name them, and copy them to a folder of your choice (by default, the name you assign to the picture group).
Unfortunately, SCW just hasn't kept up with the times. When you use it to transfer large pictures (5MP and higher), it's painfully slow to display the thumbnail images you use to select the photos you want to transfer. Thus, it's not surprising that SCW's been replaced in Windows Vista.
Even worse, its Vista replacement, the Importing Pictures and Videos wizard, is an annoying case of "one step forward, two steps backward."
What's good: optional picture tagging during transfer; automatically rotating pictures during transfer; displaying pictures in the Windows Photo Gallery (one of my favorite new Vista features); picture transfer from USB thumb drives.
What's bad: no way to select only certain photos for transfer; slow transfer times.
I know the list of good features is longer than the list of bad features, but trust me: if you use a digital camera, you want more control over image storage and naming than Importing Pictures and Videos gives you.
If you're a bargain-hunter (how does "free" sound?), try Google's Picasa2 . Picasa2 displays the photos on your media (including USB flash drives) in a hurry and lets you select the pictures you want to transfer. During the 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' transfer process, Picasa can name the pictures, the destination folder and add caption and location information you specify.
For more control over the transfer process, use the Photo Downloader in Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 . The basic transfer process (which also works with USB flash drives) is comparable to Vista's Importing Pictures and Videos wizard, but it's faster. However, open the Advanced Dialog and you can specify author, copyright, file and folder name, add a tag, automatically fix red-eye, and (as with SCW and Picasa) you can select the photos you want to transfer.
If you prefer other photo editing programs, check the feature list for file transfer programs you can use instead of Importing Pictures and Videos.
So, if you're grinding your teeth waiting for Importing Pictures and Videos to work its way through your digital pix, don't settle for it: you have better choices, and some of them are free!