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Why is it so hard to find a decent image organizer?

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these are all great suggestions! thanks for everybody's input.  if i may take it one step further  from just cataloging to a more professional usage - any suggestions on a program that shows your individual photos along with its tags/keywords and extra info like model release and photo resizing and price settings?

A thank you to Mr.G for bumping this thread as I must have missed it the first time around.

I had never heard of ExifPro before and this is the first viewer I've ever seen that is good enough to threaten ACDSee's spot on my computer. My needs are different than most here. I'm not a photographer so I'm not in much need of DAM, but over the years I have collected (hoard might be a much better term) many pictures that have struck me on way or the other so fast viewing and efficient sorting are my two major bullet points when evaluating an image viewer.

ACDSee circa v3 was very fast and efficient. Circa v5 and v6 ushered in an era of slowness for the app. Around v8 the developers appeared to have learned from their mistakes and the speed was back. With the latest versions I'm starting to feel the slowness starting to creep back in.

It's still too early to tell yet, but ExifPro is a breath of fresh air. It's as fast as ACDSee ever was and after playing around with it for 15 minutes or so I was painfully aware of how much ACDSee is starting to lumber.

As a side note, I tried the new ACDSee Pro v3 beta and the whole experience just screamed to me, "Moving in the wrong direction!".

Ok, I'm looking for a file renamer or image manager or similar software with some very specific features. First some background.

I organize images (photos) primitively through timestamped directories and timestamped and tagged image filenames. I can then search images using tags via FARR/Everything. Path example:  C:\photo\20090815\090815-002609 john mary steve london.jpg

I use Bulk Rename Utility (BRU) and some AHK helper scripts to speed up tagging in BRU (to quickly add/remove common tags to some BRU boxes). Two main drawbacks with BRU:
- no thumbnail mode
- tagging via BRU is very slow. If you have 30 images and want to tag all with a date taken timestamp + some other fixed tag then that can be done very quickly. But if you in addition want different additional tags to different subgroups of those 30 images then BRU is slow to use.

I've worked around the problem somewhat with AHK scripts for faster adding of tags (faster than typing them) to BRU boxes and by having a thumbnailed explorer window of the same folder open next to the BRU win for visual cross reference while tagging. It works ok only because I never have that many photos to tag at a single time.

However, now I've got a significantly larger larger number of image files that I want to manage. So I need something faster. But I still want to keep my system with directory and filename timestamps and tags. For maximum portability and minimum lock-in.

So I seek something with these features:

1. thumbnail mode
2. some very fast way to add a tag to selected file(s) (For example, single click a tag in a list to toggle a tag on/off for all selected)
3. some simple way to rename the actual image file name based on its EXIF timestamp and the tags added in step 2

An extra bonus would be if the program can also work the other way i.e. import some image files by parsing existing tags in the filenames and adding files+tags to the applications internal database. But that is not very important.

Something very much like BRU but with thumbnails and better tagging would do the trick. Suggestions?

So I seek something with these features:

1. thumbnail mode
2. some very fast way to add a tag to selected file(s) (For example, single click a tag in a list to toggle a tag on/off for all selected)
3. some simple way to rename the actual image file name based on its EXIF timestamp and the tags added in step 2
-Nod5 (August 14, 2009, 06:18 PM)
--- End quote ---
Try XYplorer.
1. yes
2. yes
3. needs a simple script that you can pass through the address bar, e.g.:
        //prefix EXIF date to current filename:
        ::rename b, "<dateexif yyyymmdd_hhnnss>-*", p;

Further XYplorer offers a one-click solution to set the modified date to the EXIF date of a file (also bulk).

But note: XYplorer's EXIF functions will only be officially released in the next version! (8.30)

DonL: Thanks! I had already downloaded the XYplorer trial and looked through the help file but found no EXIF tagging solution. So I was about to give up on it. But this gives new hope!  :Thmbsup:

BRU has four date metadata variables to work with: created, modified, accessed, taken. Will XYplorer's dateexif be equal to date taken?

The thumbnail mode in XYplorer is excellent. Very fast and configurable! Great with the right click popup previews. I think view mode "details with thumbnail#1" (where thumbnail#1 is set to pretty large) would be most useful since in the regular (non-detailed) thumbnail modes the filename is cut off which makes changes to the end of long filenames hard to see (ellipsis, grr!)

Problem regarding tagging and putting tags in filenames:  I've not yet found a very fast process in XYplorer for the type of filename tagging I need. It looks like there are two (or maybe three) alternatives:

A. set up rename commands that append a tag to filename (user > manage commands...). Select files and execute command through clicking user > rename > commandname or a set hotkey. But that might get slow/hard sometimes. Example: a folder of 100 images files where image subsets are to be tagged with multiple (different) tags from a set of 20 tags. 20 hotkeys is to much to remember. A repetitive three click menu process is too long. Things would speed up if the user commands could be put as a list (not menu) of text buttons directly on the toolbar AND if they somehow could be made into toggle commands (i.e. executing the command for tag "dog" on a file that already has "dog" in its name removes that tag from the filename). Advantages with A: the file name changes are immediate. No limit to the number of tags. Multiple tags can be added to each file (that is a must!).

B. set up Tags in Xyplorer by changing the default tag titles from "Red", "Yellow" and so on to whatever tags I need. Apply tags to selected files by adding the Tag dropdown to the toolbar and clicking Tag menu > tag. And then after tagging do an extra script to write tags to filenames. Drawbacks: each file can only have one such tag (?). For multiple tags I would need to (i) apply first tag for all files, (ii) write tags to file, (iii) apply second tag ... and so on. That seems to slow.

C. since XYplorer supports some form of scripting (I haven't looked into the details yet) AND dual pane mode, this might be possible: set up a folder with one script file per tag that when executes does a command like in A. Enable dual pane, let one pane view the script files then other the folder with images to tag. Select files to tag in one pane, the doubleclick a script in the other to apply tags.


Edit: General brainstorming (not specifically regarding XYplorer): what I'm looking for seems to fall between two categories of common applications: Image managers are good at fast tagging of images but often presuppose that the user will also use the same application to later do tag based browsing/searching/viewing and so do not support complex file remaning based on a combination of datestamps and tags. File Renamers/Managers are excellent at complex file renaming but have obstacles for very quick multi-tagging and have no or limited thumbnail mode. So far I've mostly looked for File Renamers/Managers that can do the other part too. But maybe I should be looking from the other direction: some image manager that is excellent at tagging AND at least support some sort of database export (to XML, CSV or some other plaintext format). I could then make an AHK script that parses the export and for each path associated tags does a rename action.


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