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Thread: Recommendations for DAM - Image Management software

  1. #1

    Recommendations for DAM - Image Management software

    Well I am frustrated. I have 2 large hard drives, and 150,000 plus images one one 500mb drive, and mirror backups on the other, with several external drives that I backup to regularly.

    I need a software solution for management of the database, catalog, rating, sorting etc of files. To date I have tried...

    Picasa 3 - Out grew it very quickly

    AC DSee Pro 2.5 - Fantastic but Crashes and Corrupts the database regularly

    IDImager - Painfully slow, and gives up on the database cataloging with no reason and will not proceed.

    Lightroom - Currently building the catalog database, 20hrs into it and is looking good.

    Any insight or suggestions, much appreciated.

    Phil
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  2. #2
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    Persevere with Lightroom I'd say

    It's not that good at backing up files though, so, you will still need to do that using another program of which there are hundreds
    Darren
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    Administrator (Site Owner) ricktas's Avatar
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    Lightroom / Aperture (mac) / Adobe Bridge

    my insight would be that with 150,000 photos, you have a DAM lot of work in front of you - no matter what solution you pick
    RICK
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Lightroom / Aperture (mac) / Adobe Bridge

    my insight would be that with 150,000 photos, you have a DAM lot of work in front of you - no matter what solution you pick
    HaHa, yeah no kidding.. problem is, that there are duplicates all over the place, and I get confused when looking thru them. Most are cataloged by using folder names, but having been on digital since 1999, I have a lot of images..

    I am past the stage of looking for a good deal, or a ton of features, just want something that works and is stable.

    Phil

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    Member rooboy's Avatar
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    I am another one for lightroom. There are also programs for searching your computer for duplicate files, I used one once on my old laptop and it worked really well, but I can't remember what the program was called and unfortunately that laptop has since passed away, sorry.

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    When you finally consider a Mac - Aperture is good. Previously I disliked it but hadn't given it a big enough run. It's a total mind change from the way you use a PC system though and once your ready to throw out your old PC ways of thinking about file and folder naming then Aperture is really the way to go. It has its own backup system called Vault which is a compressed archival system - it too works well. All the storage of your media is in an compressed archival system but you do have the ability to output a single or multiple image files in either the master (original file) or in a version (post processed file).

    If you end up resisting the natural urge to move to Mac - try using Portfolio. Its purely an image management tool with a very good tagging system. Of the all the PC based DAM systems, Adobe Bridge is probably the best available but I think you have to purchase CS4 to get it.

    With the Mac once you start with Aperture you lose the ability to use Bridge but can still use CS3 or 4 or what ever other processing software you wish to use. The limit is you can only specify one package to use in the software preferences.

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    Extensis Portfolio used to be used by all the Stock Photo people some years ago, have a look at that. http://www.extensis.com/en/products/...on.jsp?id=2000 Margaret
    Margaret

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    Antipod jev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matix View Post
    IDImager - Painfully slow, and gives up on the database cataloging with no reason and will not proceed.
    What version did you use? I know from the author performance has been improved lately and remains a hot issue for future development. It is known that importing is slow, but that is (according to the author) because it imports more than any other DAM software. To be honest, I use IdImager in a multi-user environment and, though not "fast" by any standard, don't find it painfully slow. We have about 200k images in the database...

    Anyway, check out http://www.damroundup.com/ for a good overview...
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jev View Post
    What version did you use? I know from the author performance has been improved lately and remains a hot issue for future development. It is known that importing is slow, but that is (according to the author) because it imports more than any other DAM software. To be honest, I use IdImager in a multi-user environment and, though not "fast" by any standard, don't find it painfully slow. We have about 200k images in the database...

    Anyway, check out http://www.damroundup.com/ for a good overview...
    Hi, thanks for the reply... it was the latest download as of three days ago, and I tried for several hours to import the files, loaded 10k or so files, stopped the import to test it as it was so slow, that was a few hours to get that far. Started it again and left it overnight, no more had imported in the morning, then tried again several times, could not tell whether they were importing or not. Was very dissapointing as it looked really good.

    Phil

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    NOW!! I'm not into DAM management at all, and by the sounds of it, don't really want to be either.
    That means that whilst I'd like to start adding keywording to most of my images of which there are many thousands as well, the program I know how to use is not your cuppa tea.. that much I know!
    But my issue is, not which software, I already know which one, but what to add as the keywording database searching to each image.

    How exact should it be?
    I know eventually I'll add lens info and camera info, as well as GPS info into many of my images, which is going to take me a long time to do. I don't need fully fledged database DAM management... just a few pointers as to what kind of asset management I should be looking to do.

    I estimated that I have approx 40-50K images, to play with.. many of these images will be trimmed down to maybe 20K with a few thousand that may be printable
    They're the ones I'm concentrating on, but would like to keep as many of the other images as possible as future reference... for future reference!

    So in reality my task is not so overly monumental, and most of the info I want to enter into each image will be done in batch jobs anyhow.
    Stuff like lens used for a series of images or GPS info that will eventually be easily batch edited into a series.. but it's the other confounding kind of info that I can't seem to get a start on.

    Things like, if an image is a straight up landscape shot, do you add landscape as a keyword? Is it that obvious? ... or easy, to concoct keywords!

    Say I hafe a series of images taken near the black swamp, do I add black swamp, landscape, sunset, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 as keywords?

    This future endeavour of mine is for no other purpose than my own, and I know what I want to add as keywords.
    But before I make the mistake of assuming that no one else actually cares(ie. stuff it up for the future) is there some kind of conventional wisdom to use DAM more appropriately.

    I know basics about database management, as my ex was into that line of work, and I remember her issues with database building and the associated issues of future expandability of it all.


    My little basic pea brain can't fully grasp the concept of database management with an eye to maintaining future expandability but a basic tutorial on what kinds of things other do(with their images) may go a long way to helping simpletons like me save messing up something that should be simple for the future.

    Hope my question makes sense
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    Antipod jev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matix View Post
    it was the latest download as of three days ago, and I tried for several hours to import the files, loaded 10k or so files, stopped the import to test it as it was so slow, that was a few hours to get that far. Started it again and left it overnight, no more had imported in the morning, then tried again several times, could not tell whether they were importing or not. Was very dissapointing as it looked really good.
    Importing is slow, but that is due to the fact that IdImager is getting a lot of information into it's database that other DAM packages don't (basically, all metadata is converted to XMP that, in turn, is stored in its database). The pro version is a lot faster than the personal edition, especially if you use SQLServer (SQLite is said to be a lot slower).

    Hertwig (the author) recently said:
    "[Importing speed] should be in the range of 1 - 2 seconds per photo. [...] switch progress info off when importing, it doesn't do anything useful and delays)."

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    Antipod jev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    NOW!! I'm not into DAM management at all, and by the sounds of it, don't really want to be either.
    One of the main advantages of using speciailized DAM software like IdImager over LR and similar software is that you do not need to keep all your images on-line whilst still being able to search for them. Multi-user access might not be needed in your situation and being able to quickly search and compare images can be done using other software too, but they are all part of DAM.

    what to add as the keywording database searching to each image.
    Yeah, that's where the boys are seperated from the real men!

    Without kidding, building a good searchable system is no easy job. I must confess I do not use DAM for my personal use - it cannot compete with my own memory and directory structure system. But for multiuser and commercial applications, it sure is a necessary evil.
    Last edited by jev; 17-04-2009 at 2:01am.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jev View Post
    .... I must confess I do not use DAM for my personal use - it cannot compete with my own memory and directory structure system. But for multiuser and commercial applications, it sure is a necessary evil.
    LOL! same here

    I seem to remember 99.9% of my entire collection of images and where each one was taken. A very well organised directory structure of dates and place sees to that.

    what I'm assuming is:
    if the image has searchable keywording embedded in the XMP/IPTC data fields, then it should remain there when I upload and help to organise stuff more efficiently for uploading to a website(later on). I have a very basic gallery ATM, and would love to (find the time to!) create a standard photographer's gallery site one day, where the image has that kind of data embedded into it. Hopefully the gallery software will be able to read the XMP/IPTC data and cross link images to relevant sub galleries by date/locationfeatures/etc .... automagically, so that I only have to upload files and not necessarily have to sort them as well.



    Am I on the right track?

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    Thanks for all the replies folks, I created the mess so I guess I will have to sort it. For too long I have been copying the entire card, deleting only the really bad shots and not organizing better. It is now biting me as I want to weed out the garbage and tag specific genre images for cataloging and further sorting.

    Will keep trying, thanks again.. any miracles notwithstanding I will try to build a database with IDImager, or persevere with ACDSee which really is the best if it would only work reliably.

    Phil

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    But my issue is, not which software, I already know which one, but what to add as the keywording database searching to each image.

    How exact should it be?
    I know eventually I'll add lens info and camera info, as well as GPS info into many of my images, which is going to take me a long time to do. I don't need fully fledged database DAM management... just a few pointers as to what kind of asset management I should be looking to do.

    ........

    Things like, if an image is a straight up landscape shot, do you add landscape as a keyword? Is it that obvious? ... or easy, to concoct keywords!

    Say I hafe a series of images taken near the black swamp, do I add black swamp, landscape, sunset, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 as keywords?


    Arthur

    One of the things I note about using Aperture and I think might also apply to many other high end DAM applications is that most of the EXIF data is already there and capable of being used in a boolean search, mind you I'm not using older non-CPU manual lenses that are incapable of creating EXIF about their operation. This includes GPS data if your have a GPS device attached to the camera (I use the Geomet'r unit) or use a GPS update software during post processing such as GPS2Aperture.

    In the Aperture systemt the EXIF data with the exception of the caption and copyright fields whilst usable to search or tabulate cannot be updated. Maybe it could be changed/created with some more software like I do with the GPS but so far I haven't had the need to add or change this type of data.

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    Progress Report.... after sifting through the pros and cons of the various systems, I am back to IDImager, but with the MS SQL Server Express database manager and the appropriate version of IDImager installed. The import is now running a little faster, yes closer to 1 or 2 seconds per image, but has run for 10 hours with no problems. If it runs steadily for another couple of days, then I will know better.

    Thanks for the input and suggestions, I will report when it is all done.

    Phil

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    Ausphotography Veteran Analog6's Avatar
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    On the naming front, my folders are named by date (yyyymmdd) for sorting adn with a keyword or two following the date. I used to rename files when I had edited, but I don't do that anymore, I just ad adj tot he filename. It means the files stay together and show up together in lists.

    I use FastStone Image Viewer which is free (due to financial constraints). I have 4 external disks though, it is all getting a bit confused, as I have been digital in some form or other (shot or scanned) since 2000.
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