I've known about iMatch for years, it seems. I just dumped it as a possible option because I believe it used to be rather expensive for one.. and secondly its target audience used to be much less the broad range of photographers of all sorts of skill levels that it is today... they used to target photo pro's and advanced amateurs and companies specifically. Now it seems they've changed the philosophy around a bit and are offering a much more accessible tool for just about anybody interested in digital photo management. I do remember loving it when I tried it, but couldn't justify the price at the time. I'm willing to say that iMatch may be good enough to blow both APE and ACDSee out of the water in terms of image management capability. The reason I say this is because iMatch has been focused on image management specifically, for YEARS. ACDSee has always been more of an all-in-one type deal, with image browsing, editing and some organizing thrown in for good measure, and Photoshop Album is for noobs, more or less. Not only that, but it ALSO is more of an all-in-one type application, except that the organization component is very strong and everything else is not all that great from what I could tell. I also remember reading extremely good reviews of iMatch back at the time when I tried it.
Do post impressions of iMatch if you try it. I'd be HIGHLY interested. I may try it out myself if I get to it this week.
Overall, I must say I like APE's way of dealing with image management more than ACDSee overall so far. It's much more intuitive and I never had any trouble finding all my catalogued images in APE while with ACDSee, I had to post about the problem before I figured out the image well was what I was looking for.. also, in APE any image can easily be excluded from the catalogue by simply selecting it and hitting the delete key on your keyboard, or via right-click context menu, and leaving the "Delete file from disk as well as from catalogue" (or similar) option UNCHECKED in the delete dialogue that pops up. It's that simple! And in ACDSee I'm supposed to deal with filters and be limited to only being able to exclude whole folders from the image catalogue? Also, APE's interface is far prettier to look at and has some very sexy features ACDSee can not call its own. One of those is image stacking. In APE, you can stack images that are very similar, (like burst-shot images for example, or other very similar images), on top of each other, which is represented in APE by a thumbnail that has visible layers below it to signify a stacked little collection. The top image will have a showing thumbnail, the ones below will not be visible, but the stack can quickly be stacked and unstacked via the context menu. Another sweet thing about APE is how it deals with categories/tags. You can create multiple categories and then you have the option to either create a SUBCATEGORY or a TAG in an existing category. It makes far more sense than ACDSee's universal naming of tags as "categories". As I said before in this thread, you don't want to call a person, for example, a category. Rather, you want to have that be a tag, which is much more intuitive and logical than ACDSee's way of handling this problem. Also, each tag, after having been assigned to at least one photo, in APE, actually gets its OWN THUMBNAIL. Now THAT is cool. On the right in the organization panel, when you are looking at tags, you will actually see small thumbnails ON each tag, the source images for which seem to be selected more or less randomly. I suppose the tag just gets thumbnailed with the FIRST image that was tagged with that tag.
Little things like that are what make me think APE better than ACDSee at this point.