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Thread started 16 Nov 2017 (Thursday) 11:59
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Digital Asset Management - Program Recommendations?

 
BostonBay
Junior Member
20 posts
Joined Aug 2014
On a small lake in Western Illinois
Nov 16, 2017 11:59 |  #1

Decided to migrate my workflow from Linux to Windows. In Linux I used a program called PIX to manage my photos. It was extremely basic, just allowing a user to browse photos, showing thumbnails or full photos. What I used it for was tag management. I could assign tags and descriptions to photos using PIX. Then, I could filter/search for photos with certain tags. Once located, I could open/edit the photos with RawTherapee or GIMP.

Anyway, I have been trying different programs to manage my photos. I like Zoner, but there is no true "free" version. I don't mind paying but they require a yearly subscription. Stop paying and the program stops the user from changing any tags, photos, etc... within the program.

I have heard that something similar happens with Adobe once a user stops paying the subscription.

I don't mind paying for software, I just do not like subscriptions or storing data in the 'cloud.' My workflow does not require cloud storage and I don't mind adding storage media when necessary.

So... Does anyone have thoughts on DAM software for photos?
It must...
1) Not rely on a cloud service.
2) Not require a subscription service that will cripple the software or data if the subscription isn't paid.
3) Allow for assignment of tags/keywords to multiple photos.
4) Allow user to filter/search for photos based on keywords.
5) Support all basic image file formats, including Canon CR2.
6) Allow for "edit", like RightClick->EditWith->RawTherapee, DPP, what have you.

Wish list:
1) Keep tags/meta-data in a XML or other text file. Export would be ok as well.
2) Show map from GPS EXIF data in photo. Also, assign/copy GPS from one photo to others. ( I really like how Zoner does this.)
3) Allow the user to browse the photos using a hierarchy of tags/keywords.

Suggestions, comments and thoughts are welcome.

TIA
-Ken


Just a noob with a Rebel T3 (1100D).
www.ruralruins.com (external link)

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keeperseeker
Cream of the Crop
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Joined Dec 2011
b.c. canada
Nov 16, 2017 12:16 |  #2

You could check out ACDSee suite.


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Lumens
Senior Member
374 posts
Joined Dec 2013
Mesa, AZ
Nov 16, 2017 12:36 |  #3

You ask a lot as I don't know of much that will meet your requirements. The Lightroom Library is likely the best DAM out there but the subscription model makes it trash (IMHO). I am looking everywhere for alternatives myself so I can say "Bye Bye Adobe".

ACDSee is perhaps the second best I've seen for an alternative DAM. Download the trial offer and see how you like it, I liked it enough I pre-ordered the new Mac version. My phone tells me it is available for download starting today, so when I get home.....

SkyLum will be coming out with a new DAM early next year and I really like their edit/develop modules (Luminar & Aurora 2018) so I may end up using it when it becomes available. Capture One and OnOne Pro are Lightroom alternatives that include a DAM. I found Capture One a bit high priced and I was not impressed with the edit/develop module in OnONe Pro, but likely worth downloading the trial and seeing what works for you. I am thinking the ACDSee will hold me until SkyLum comes out with what they have.


FUJI XT1 -> XF 10-24, XF 18-55, XF 55-200, XF 27mm pancake
6D -> Canon 28mm f2.8 IS, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 85mm f1.8, Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro IS
Canon 24-105 f4L, Canon EF 70-200 f4L IS USM, Canon EF 100-400L IS
7D -> Canon EF-S 15-85

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digital ­ paradise
Cream of the Crop
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Gallery: 9 photos
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Post has been last edited 1 month ago by digital paradise. 10 edits done in total.
Nov 16, 2017 14:51 |  #4

BostonBay wrote in post #18497858 (external link)
Decided to migrate my workflow from Linux to Windows. In Linux I used a program called PIX to manage my photos. It was extremely basic, just allowing a user to browse photos, showing thumbnails or full photos. What I used it for was tag management. I could assign tags and descriptions to photos using PIX. Then, I could filter/search for photos with certain tags. Once located, I could open/edit the photos with RawTherapee or GIMP.

Anyway, I have been trying different programs to manage my photos. I like Zoner, but there is no true "free" version. I don't mind paying but they require a yearly subscription. Stop paying and the program stops the user from changing any tags, photos, etc... within the program.

I have heard that something similar happens with Adobe once a user stops paying the subscription.

I don't mind paying for software, I just do not like subscriptions or storing data in the 'cloud.' My workflow does not require cloud storage and I don't mind adding storage media when necessary.

So... Does anyone have thoughts on DAM software for photos?
It must...
1) Not rely on a cloud service.
2) Not require a subscription service that will cripple the software or data if the subscription isn't paid.
3) Allow for assignment of tags/keywords to multiple photos.
4) Allow user to filter/search for photos based on keywords.
5) Support all basic image file formats, including Canon CR2.
6) Allow for "edit", like RightClick->EditWith->RawTherapee, DPP, what have you.

Wish list:
1) Keep tags/meta-data in a XML or other text file. Export would be ok as well.
2) Show map from GPS EXIF data in photo. Also, assign/copy GPS from one photo to others. ( I really like how Zoner does this.)
3) Allow the user to browse the photos using a hierarchy of tags/keywords.

Suggestions, comments and thoughts are welcome.

TIA
-Ken

Adobe Lightroom

1) The new LR CC Classic or also called LR7 which is the upgrade from LR6 does use the cloud if you don't want it to. It is often confused with new LR CC Version 1 designed for mobile devices which is 100% cloud based. I did not install LR CC V1 nor do I plan to. I am only using LR7 and all my files and catalogue are stored locally. There is a sync to cloud feature that I have not used and will not use. I have a subscription account and I'm not in the cloud.

2) If you cancel your subscription Adobe allows you to continue to use LR7 but disables the Develop and Map modules and syncing features. You can continue to use the catalogue and export images.

3) Your files and catalogue are stored locally. Your images are not in the catalogue. The Catalogue is just a record of your adjustments. Even if Adobe chose to cripple LR further if you exported and save your Jpegs locally you have them and the original RAW files on your drives. Adobe can't do anything which is why they won't cripple it further. Not sure about the cloud but if you drop out you still get to use it. Storage drops from 20 to 2 GB. Even if you used the cloud as a backup but store exported images locally Adobe still can't do anything.

4) Subscription is no different than stand alone LR6. You download and install it on your system. Just like stand alone software you purchase a licence to use it. In this case yo don't get an actual license key but it is the same thing. You are editing on your desktop, not on the cloud.

5) I can go into where I store my folders with Canon's DPP, open a file that was edited by Lightroom and do all the editing I want to because it does effect LR's catalogue. I can later go to LR, open that file and nothing is changed from the original edits made there. I do it all the time.

6) The only thing about Adobe is once you pick a location for the catalogue which does not even have to be on the same drive as local RAW file folder storage it his highly recommended to move folders around or rename them within LR. If you do this using the OS, etc the link to the catalogue is broken. You can recover but it is not advised to do it that way. There were a few complaints about the catalogue getting messed up when people upgraded from LR6 to 7 and it is basically file mis-management. You follow a few basic rules and everything will be fine. I've been through 2 upgrades 5 to 6 to 7 and had no issues.

You might find this interesting. It is from an LR5 demo because it was new but the same for LR7.

https://helpx.adobe.co​m ...troom-smart-previews.html (external link)

As you can see you can do this at import. Build previews is a different feature. There you tell it how big to make the previews so it builds them during import rather than building after import for each image later. Less lag time later when culling, etc.

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digital ­ paradise
Cream of the Crop
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Gallery: 9 photos
Joined Oct 2009
Nov 16, 2017 15:14 |  #5

In summary there has been a lot of confusion out there about Adobe and the new LR CC Classic. You don't have to be in the could. The only link is the Launchpad where you choose want you want to install and where you are notified about updates. If subscription does not appeal to your principles, $10 a month is too much for you or you don't like Adobe or their products, etc then great. The DAM is pretty good so don't walk away without take a look at it for the wrong reasons. BTW I paid for the whole year.

You also get PS CC which again is local storage and a free website with Portfolio. I dropped my Zenfolio account as I really did not need anything that sophisticated. Saving $154 a year on that. I just finished building it and starting to populate it. The link is below.

The launchpad. As you can see I did not install LR CC.

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BigAl007
Cream of the Crop
Joined Dec 2010
Repps cum Bastwick, Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK.
Nov 17, 2017 10:37 |  #6

On the Adobe front, if you stop your subscription, it is actually even better than has already been stated. In addition to still being able to access all of your images, complete with all of your added metadata, you can actually ADD more images to the catalogue, and even perform very basic edits to them.

The edits are possible since there is a Quick Edit feature in the library module, that allows you to adjust the basic image controls, although not with quite such fine levels of adjustment. Saying that when working in the Develop module I will often control the sliders with the mouse wheel. This give steps of 5, on sliders that mostly run from -100 to 100. This is about the level you get in the Quick adjust. In addition you can apply one preset. It seems that in quick adjust you cannot build up presets, if you change the preset it takes you back to the default conversion first. In the Dev module you can build images up with presets, since you can limit the controls that any particular preset affects.

While talking about the Quick Edit functions, I recently found out watching one of the Adobe TV videos on Youtube that although you cannot edit video in the Lr Dev module you can apply Quick Edit tools, such as WB, Exposure etc to video in the Library.

When it comes to Lr presets I really don't think it is worth spending money on them, and I don't see much purpose to even downloading them. Creating your own though is very worthwhile. They are very easy to create too, it takes only three mouse clicks, and entering a name, to create a preset, although you might want to do a little more work, and limit the number of controls that are set/reset by the preset.

For someone who has a large collection of images, but is no longer an active photographer Lr CCC can continue to be an excellent DAM system, which will allow the addition of occasional new images, RAW or an RGB format, and even allow for simple edits. Although the map module stops working, you can still add geographic information to images, it just means you have to do it manually by entering the text to the relevant field. This is possible in the Library module.

Oh and if you are on a supported platform (Win/Mac) you can now use Adobe Bridge with just a free Adobe account. IMO Bridge is one of the best media specific File managers around, although if you want maximum compatibility with Lr it is best to have Lr also automatically write xmp files. I find this really useful when working with file types that aren't supported in Lr, since you don't have to keep switching between a file manager, and Lr for the images.

Alan


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digital ­ paradise
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12,246 posts
Gallery: 9 photos
Joined Oct 2009
Nov 17, 2017 12:54 |  #7

Not sure if you are interested in Adobe but here are a more links.

http://prodesigntools.​com ...irect-download-links.html (external link)

and

http://prodesigntools.​com ...creative-cloud-myths.html (external link)

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BostonBay
THREAD ­ STARTER
Junior Member
20 posts
Joined Aug 2014
On a small lake in Western Illinois
Nov 18, 2017 09:11 |  #8

Thanks to everyone for the feedback.

I have decided to give ACDsee a try first. Why? May seem an odd reason, but their DAM uses old-school FoxPro database and index files. If I want, I could fairly easily integrate external programs to catalog, add keywords, assign keywords without even starting ACDsee. I'm a professional programmer, so being able to peek and tweek under the hood of any program is an advantage.

I'm not completely disregarding Adobe. I have a month of free ACDsee usage to evaluate whether I want to try Adobe.

-Ken


Just a noob with a Rebel T3 (1100D).
www.ruralruins.com (external link)

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digital ­ paradise
Cream of the Crop
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12,246 posts
Gallery: 9 photos
Joined Oct 2009
Nov 18, 2017 09:17 |  #9

I have been reading that people are suggesting ACDsee as an alternative but mostly due to the new plan system Adobe introduced for LR. Also some misunderstanding about the cloud which makes people uncomfortable.

Good Luck.


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BigAl007
Cream of the Crop
Joined Dec 2010
Repps cum Bastwick, Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK.
Nov 18, 2017 17:22 |  #10

Until this latest Lr release the Lr catalogue was a simple SQLite format file. The latest version is now compressed, quite useful since my 50,000 image catalogue has dropped from around 20 GB to under 6 GB. I don't know how that has affected the catalogue exactly, I guess it's simply being zipped/unzipped on the fly, since it seems to be about the same size as the Zip compressed backups the last version seemed to create.

Alan


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