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Author Topic: Why is it so hard to find a decent image organizer?  (Read 77891 times)
Mr.G
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« Reply #125 on: July 04, 2009, 01:07:40 AM »

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?
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Innuendo
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« Reply #126 on: July 04, 2009, 12:16:58 PM »

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!".
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Nod5
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« Reply #127 on: August 14, 2009, 06:18:15 PM »

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?
« Last Edit: August 14, 2009, 06:20:57 PM by Nod5 » Logged
DonL
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« Reply #128 on: August 15, 2009, 02:23:36 AM »

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
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)

http://www.xyplorer.com/
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Nod5
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« Reply #129 on: August 15, 2009, 04:14:18 AM »

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.

Comments?


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.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2009, 04:34:13 AM by Nod5 » Logged
DonL
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« Reply #130 on: August 15, 2009, 12:02:03 PM »

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
...
Pretty long post. Could need some ellipsis... I added one... Wink

I prefer to answer shortly, never mind, and give you some information you *might* not know yet about XYplorer:

1. Not only right-click, but also left-click on thumbnails gives a preview, but only as long as you hold the mouse button down.
2. You can quickly add a tag by directly clicking into the tag column! That's one click per tag. (You have to activate this mode in Configuration / Tags).
3. Yes, only one tag per file is possible; but you also have the "Comment" field where you can put as many keywords as you like, which you later (see next point!) can use for searching.
4. The current version of XY does not yet support searching by Tag or Comment, BUT one of the next versions will. And this search will be *ultrafast* because it will get the info directly from the tag database and not from the file system / hard disk. A big advantage over alternative tagging systems like descript.ion.
5. Your scripting idea ("C.") with Dual Pane would work, nice idea actually. Especially useful for semi-automatically filling the Comment field.
6. XYplorer does support export of file data (including tags and comments!) to CSV format ever since. Check out the Report tab on the Info Panel...
7. Version 8.30 will also support Date Shifting (e.g. add 3.5 hours to the EXIF date before renaming/touching the file).
8. Yes, XYplorer's dateexif will be equal to date taken. Note that files can have only EXIF and no date taken (if "date taken" refers to "extended shell properties" of files). XYplorer's dateexif will return the EXIF date of those files as well.


Don
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Nod5
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« Reply #131 on: August 16, 2009, 04:13:26 AM »

Pretty long post. Could need some ellipsis... I added one... Wink
cheesy

Thanks for more pointers! Worth repeating: XYplorer has a lot of great features. Though in the end it seems I'd need some scripting to speed my final goal (tags to filenames) after all. I haven't found any other application that without scripting achieves that (very narrow) goals exactly either so I'm going for some AHK solution that operates on top of some thumbnail list view program like XYplorer or Explorer.
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DonL
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« Reply #132 on: August 16, 2009, 02:43:04 PM »

tags to filenames)
Oh, you want to add tags directly to filenames (rename the file) -- ok, this can also be done in a one-click fashion using XYplorer's scripting. Like you could set up 20 Catalog items which on a click do whatever you want to the current file name. All imaginable logic and rename artistry is supported.

Very soon you will also get customizable toolbar buttons which will do whatever you tell them to do in one click.

 smiley Don
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StCroixSkipper
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« Reply #133 on: August 17, 2009, 03:30:09 PM »

I'm new to this thread.  I just discovered it today.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Microsoft Photo Gallery.  It comes free with Vista.  It uses Microsoft's new Desktop Search Engine to create its index. 

Images are indexed in the background.

I have 6,000 images and it displays thumbnails quickly. If you 'mouse over' a thumbnail, it shows a full image with metadata, i.e. tags, comment and title fields.

I've used Picasa 3 and it croaks on a large number of photos.  This problem has nothing to do with the index, it is simply a problem of trying to render more images than it has memory.

I am a developer and have written several applications for myself and my family to manage our own digital images.  Photo Gallery does a fair job but it lacks a few features.  The search works well for a large number of image files.  It supports all types of image files as well as video clips.

You can see all of the photos with a given tag simply by clicking on the tag.  You can see the images in a folder by clicking on a folder.  In the search control, you can enter in search words and it finds all of the images that contain all of the search words.


I'd like to see your thoughts on how it compares with the other products you, as a group, have investigated.  embarassed
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Nod5
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« Reply #134 on: August 18, 2009, 03:12:45 PM »

[...] tags directly to filenames  [...] ok, this can also be done in a one-click fashion using XYplorer's scripting. Like you could set up 20 Catalog items which on a click do whatever you want to the current file name. All imaginable logic and rename artistry is supported.  [...]  Very soon you will also get customizable toolbar buttons  [...]

Neat! Though by the time I read this I had already done a small standalone AHK tag toolbar that works ok for my purposes. It gets the selected files path from the active explorer/xyplorer/etc window through ctrl+c and then operates on the filenames. (If there's great demand for it -- unlikely! -- then I'll clean up the code later and post it. Drawback: I've found no easy way to re-select multiple files in Explorer programmatically from an AHK script after renaming.) Anyway, I will keep checking XYplorer's development on this front. Customizable toolbar buttons that allow the user to run almost anything is great for many other uses also I suspect. I still like the XY's thumbnail mode a lot so I might use it for that alone with my script - I'll testdrive some more and we'll see. Thanks for all the helpful feedback!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2009, 03:17:47 PM by Nod5 » Logged
zevel
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« Reply #135 on: September 19, 2009, 09:07:57 AM »

Sorry about resurrecting old threads but I am interested to know if something has changed during this time.
I am too looking for an application that will quickly and efficiently organize huge numbers of images (read: over 200,000).

So far I've read recommendations for ExifPro, IMatch and IdImager.
Can anyone suggest how the current versions compare?

Thanks.
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tomos
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« Reply #136 on: September 19, 2009, 04:37:41 PM »

Zevel,
I 'm not sure about ExifPro, I think probably it's tagging wont be what you are looking for - it is a great viewer.
Here's what I said about it earlier this year

I would say ExifPro is great for looking at an image collection that isn't organised - it loads thumbnails very quickly and has a good viewer as Jim says
but:
I discussed the matter of the IMHO way too limited tagging option with the programmer years ago. It's obviously not one of his top priorities.
Create several tag files, but not too many, don't get tempted to use tags as keywords. Use other software to add exif keywords instead.
I think the tagging in ExifPro is to help you select images for printing or moving etc (i.e. short term, limited)

'Cataloging' in the programme is mainly aimed at recording images on removable disks or creating 'virtual' collections - images saved at up to 1280 x 1280 pixels

Tagging (IPTC for Jpegs): you can use keys 1 to 9 & 0 as shortcuts for the first ten tags. it cannot tag certain file types - problem here being it chokes on say, a tif file and wont apply tag to any selected files after the tif file - this probably not a problem for most people (me neither, I just happened to be testing iin a 'mixed' folder).
You can give an image multiple tags but there is no organisation/hierarchy of tags - just a list.

You can filter to in include or exclude tags; also based on a 'star' rating; include/exclude by text (partial) in filename; also by filtering rules - see spoiler below.
You can save filters based on combo of all these filters (I think that's new since last time I tried it)

then there's editing of 'File Info'
Quote
File information is saved in the XMP format (XML-based), defined by Adobe Corporation. This data is either embedded in photos (in the case of JPEG files) or written to a stand-alone XML file accompanying photograph's file (raw formats).
...
File Info Tool can operate on the currently selected photograph (its name is shown in the window's caption). However if multiple images are selected before entering File Info dialog, then the same set of information will be applied to all of them when the user presses ‘Save to All’ button:
You can save templates for this data with shortcuts Alt+1 to 9

hope that helps,
Tom

edit/ PS have you also seen this thread: Basic Question on Photo Tagging
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Tom
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« Reply #137 on: November 07, 2009, 01:03:16 PM »

[...] tags directly to filenames  [...] ok, this can also be done in a one-click fashion using XYplorer's scripting. Like you could set up 20 Catalog items which on a click do whatever you want to the current file name. All imaginable logic and rename artistry is supported.  [...]  Very soon you will also get customizable toolbar buttons  [...]

Neat! Though by the time I read this I had already done a small standalone AHK tag toolbar that works ok for my purposes. It gets the selected files path from the active explorer/xyplorer/etc window through ctrl+c and then operates on the filenames. (If there's great demand for it -- unlikely! -- then I'll clean up the code later and post it. Drawback: I've found no easy way to re-select multiple files in Explorer programmatically from an AHK script after renaming.) Anyway, I will keep checking XYplorer's development on this front. Customizable toolbar buttons that allow the user to run almost anything is great for many other uses also I suspect. I still like the XY's thumbnail mode a lot so I might use it for that alone with my script - I'll testdrive some more and we'll see. Thanks for all the helpful feedback!
Id love to try out your AHK script if you post it I can just copy and past it.
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StCroixSkipper
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« Reply #138 on: November 12, 2009, 05:53:00 PM »

I still haven't found anything that does what I'd like.  I'm a developer so I've written my own.  I've outlined the major features below and I'd appreciate anyone's feedback.  I know there are more good ideas out there and I'd like to hear them.  Understand that this is a work in progress. I'd be happy to make functional versions available for review if we can figure out how to get it to the folks who are interested.

Here is what it does today.

I copied most of the UI of Microsoft's Vista Photo Gallery.

Left pane has folders and tags, middle pane has thumbnails, you can adjust the size of the thumbnails with a slider.
If you fly the mouse over the thumbnail, it brings up a large window with the image metadata.
You can drag selected thumbnails to folders and it copies or "moves" the image files to the new folder.
If you double click on a thumbnail it shows the fullsize image with metadata and allows you to modify the metadata
It uses the Desktop Search Engine to store the metadata and perform searches


My application looks much the same as Photo Gallery and has the same features mentioned above but it also does the following:

1. The folder icons are graphics that tell you if there are images and/or audio and/or video files in the folder.  You can instantly tell if you have a) photos only, b) photos and music, c) photos and videos, d) photos, music and videos, e) music only, f) video only or g) music and video files.  I look into the folders as you open them to see what kinds of files it contains and choose which folder icon to display.

2. Photo Gallery only lets easily you look in "special" folders like "My Pictures" or "My Videos" by default.  You can look in other folders by "adding" additional folders that reside anywhere on your system.
My app lets me see and navigate to all my drives both fixed and removable upfront.  I can plug my camer into a USB port and see the photos directly from the camera.

3. I hate the P1010485.jpg names my camera gives image files.  When you drag one or more selected thumbnails from the middle pane to a folder, it not only moves the image file to the new folder but it renames the file to the folder name with a unique suffix (_0001.jpg).  Then it updates the image metadata by removing the keyword that contains the old image file's folder name and adds the new folder name as a keyword to the metadata.

4.  If you rename a folder, it will create a new image file name with the new folder name. It removes the old folder name from the image metadata keywords.  And it adds the new folder's name as a keyword in the metadata.

5.  Photo Gallery only lets you add keywords (tags), modify Rating and specify a title.  I expose and edit Title, Keywords, DateTaken, Author, Subject, Rating, Comment and Copyright.  I also show you which camera was used to take the picture.

6. I don't like the way Photo Gallery lets you remove tags.  You need to select them and then get a context menu and select the only option: "Remove Tag".  I show you the metadata fields in text.  When you fly over the text with the mouse, I make the text editable so you can quickly make any changes you want.  Keywords are shown together separated by semacolons.  you can double click on a word and it is selected.  The delete key removes it or you can start typing over it.  Ctrl-z undoes the previous action.  I'm working on a way I can make the same changes to multiple photos.

7. Photo Gallery doesn't let you change the DateTaken.  My wife and friends are always sending me pictures taken when their cameras have bad Date and Time values set.  I allow you to change the date and time the images were taken so when you sort by DateTaken you'll see the photos in the order they belong.

7.  When you drag one or more thumbnails onto a tag, Photo Gallery applies the tag as a keyword to the metadata of all images selected.  I do the same but I've added a check box to each tag so you can select one or more tags and dragging a thumbnail to one of the checked tags adds the text of all the checked tags to keywords in the metadata of each image file.

8. I have trouble find my photos in Photo Gallery.  It gives me the filename but not the full path in many cases.  I have thousands of photos.  I hate struggling to find them.  I display the full path of each file with the metadata.

9. Many times I want to do more than just "Auto Adjust", "Adjust Exposure", "Adjust Color", "Crop Picture", or "Fix Red Eye".  I have an Edit menu option which brings up GIMP if it is installed so I can really manipulate the image.  I could as easily bring up another photo editting application like PhotoShop but it costs hundreds of dollars for much the same functionality. GIMP is OpenSource and free.

10. I haven't done it yet but I'm considering breaking up the tags into categories.  I'll let the user define his categories and then when he adds a tag he can specify which category it belongs in.  I'll probably add Places, People, and Events tag categories by default.

11. I really want video and music included.  I'm working on the video and audio files now. The folders show whether they contain audio or video but I haven't written the code yet.
 
12. I use the desktop Search Engine to find images that match a certain criteria just like Photo Gallery.

13. I don't organize the photos by date taken yet but I will.  I've done it before and its easy.Change To:
  Suggestions:
Antone'sAntoine'sAntonie'sAnton'sanyoneAntoni'sAntony'sanemone'scanyon'sanion'sAnson'sAntonsanonsanemonesintonescanyonsanionsAndonisunyokes 

   
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Lutz_
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« Reply #139 on: November 12, 2009, 06:12:26 PM »

Mr Skipper, sounds like you have implemented some very neat ideas.
Congratulations !!!
How about some screenshots?
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StCroixSkipper
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« Reply #140 on: November 12, 2009, 07:39:48 PM »

Here are some to start with... I'm not sure this is the way to add and display attachments but here goes.





When you double click on a thumbnail it shows a large image.  You can change any of the metadata fields easily.



When you fly over a thumbnail with the mouse, you get a larger image positioned if posible on the right side of the thumbnail.  If the larger image doesn't fit there I try the left side and raise and lower it until it all fits on your screen.




* OverExposure_4.jpg (30.12 KB, 414x402 - viewed 180 times.)
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StCroixSkipper
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« Reply #141 on: November 12, 2009, 07:45:44 PM »

Sorry, that was my first time adding images to the post.  I only messed up a little.  But you get the idea.
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superboyac
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« Reply #142 on: November 13, 2009, 10:36:23 AM »

Nice work, Skipper!
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Curt
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« Reply #143 on: November 13, 2009, 11:48:34 AM »

very impressive, StCroixSkipper  - will it somehow be available to the public?  tellme


---
---
what goes for adding LARGE pictures, in posts, the "thumb"-option is very useful:





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StCroixSkipper
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« Reply #144 on: November 14, 2009, 03:06:58 PM »

Its useful now but I still have many ideas to implement.  I'd love to make it available and get feedback about what folks like and don't like. I'm not sure the best way to do that.  I don't mind if folks use it but I'm really after critical feedback.  I'll have it in a form that is tested and working well by the end of the year.  I only work on it in my spare time.  Suggest some ways to make it available.
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delwoode
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« Reply #145 on: November 15, 2009, 09:22:15 AM »

Its useful now but I still have many ideas to implement.  I'd love to make it available and get feedback about what folks like and don't like. I'm not sure the best way to do that.  I don't mind if folks use it but I'm really after critical feedback.  I'll have it in a form that is tested and working well by the end of the year.  I only work on it in my spare time.  Suggest some ways to make it available.
If you would like more interest and feedback why not make a separate post here something like "New image browser feedback wanted"
At the moment you post is buried at the back of this one
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DonL
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« Reply #146 on: November 17, 2009, 09:19:43 AM »

[...] tags directly to filenames  [...] ok, this can also be done in a one-click fashion using XYplorer's scripting. Like you could set up 20 Catalog items which on a click do whatever you want to the current file name. All imaginable logic and rename artistry is supported.  [...]  Very soon you will also get customizable toolbar buttons  [...]

Neat! Though by the time I read this I had already done a small standalone AHK tag toolbar that works ok for my purposes. It gets the selected files path from the active explorer/xyplorer/etc window through ctrl+c and then operates on the filenames. (If there's great demand for it -- unlikely! -- then I'll clean up the code later and post it. Drawback: I've found no easy way to re-select multiple files in Explorer programmatically from an AHK script after renaming.) Anyway, I will keep checking XYplorer's development on this front. Customizable toolbar buttons that allow the user to run almost anything is great for many other uses also I suspect. I still like the XY's thumbnail mode a lot so I might use it for that alone with my script - I'll testdrive some more and we'll see. Thanks for all the helpful feedback!
Update: the next XYplorer (8.70) will support searching files by tags and comments, with full support of wildcards, Boolean operators and reg exp.
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StCroixSkipper
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« Reply #147 on: November 24, 2009, 10:26:42 AM »

Delwoode,
That's a good idea.  And can I post the exe and dll as an attachment?  Is that appropriate.  I definitely would like the feedback and the forum to discuss design decisions.  I've got a few things to fix but give me a week.
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tomos
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« Reply #148 on: November 24, 2009, 10:30:23 AM »

[...] And can I post the exe and dll as an attachment?  Is that appropriate.  I definitely would like the feedback and the forum to discuss design decisions.  I've got a few things to fix but give me a week.

you'd have to zip those type of files (or whatever).  Sounds very interesting look forward to it smiley
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Tom
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« Reply #149 on: November 30, 2009, 03:27:16 PM »

Per delwoode's suggestion I've created a new topic, "New image organizer feedback wanted" and have made OverExposure available there.
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