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Author Topic: Why is it so hard to find a decent image organizer?  (Read 84758 times)
superboyac
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« Reply #225 on: April 05, 2010, 03:04:54 PM »

I like Pictomio, not bad as an organizer either.
pictomio looks interesting.  I'm going to have to check it out.

But I guess by image 'organiser' tagging is pretty much a must - otherwise I think I'd stick with DOpus too - as I have it 
True.  I actually find myself using DOpus more and more for simple photo management.  Back in the day, file managers didn't have thumbnail capabilities, which is what made ACDSee so cool.  But no, just about all of them can do it, so it makes programs like ACDSee more expendable.  So this is where we're at now...

BTW, I forgot to mention that I have also been using the free Faststone Viewer for viewing photos and even some light editing - it's quick, looks very nice, and hasn’t done anything to piss me off yet!!   Grin
Faststone is nice!  I keep forgetting about it.  Maybe that's the answer.  It really is one of the better, if not best, freeware browser/catalog application out there.  I'll have to see how pictomio stands up against it.
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Darwin
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« Reply #226 on: April 05, 2010, 03:09:55 PM »

Can't argue with any of the comments in response to my last couple of posts! Overall, I am pretty sure that I'll wind up doing what I've been doing - keeping things organized in DOpus. What is nice about PSP X3 is that it doesn't actually do anything with the pictures that I can see. By this I mean that it doesn't index them or create a catalog. It simply reads the tags/exif info and displays pictures filtered accrordingly. The advantage over DOpus is that I can also tag my images. So... I'll use DOpus to move stuff around and to import pics onto my computer and PSP X3 if I feel the need to tag my stuff.

Jim - PSP X2 worked fine on my system (both under Vista and 7 - both 64 bit). I gave up worrying about their protection system after I could no longer get the Protexis removal hacks to work under Vista. They've changed it under X3 - it's now called the psiservice. On my system, it gobbles up about 23MB of working set RAM/1 MB of private working set memory. With 4GB of RAM on tap, I don't care about it anymore. However, when I think too hard about ti, I do get a bit PO'd about the principle of it, but c'est la vie. Lots of other apps are running similar nonsese on my system. MacDrive, for example.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #227 on: April 05, 2010, 11:26:33 PM »

No RAW support in Pictomio? http://forum.pictomio.com...ult.aspx?g=posts&t=50 In the bin it goes!

- Oshyan
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Jibz
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« Reply #228 on: April 06, 2010, 02:00:00 AM »

??
I don't know what I'd use for organization.  That's why i'm following this thread.  I'm not a big photo user, so i don't have a lot of pictures.  But if I did, I don't know what program I'd use.  Tagging, cataloging, etc.  I don't do any of that.  My photos are organized just by folders and files.  I'm actually amazed that nobody has recommended a clear cut favorite in this thread...it's been a while!  In my experiences, I've found that the applications that can do this well are really really slow.  Like Lightroom.

Much the same for me. I have 6-7 gigs of images at the moment that are organized pretty much only by folder structure.

I would love to find a really good piece of software to tag and organize them which is why I'm following this smiley.

The ones I've tried have either been buggy/klunky, without decent search/filter options, unable to handle more than a few thousand files, or $200.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 03:08:19 AM by Jibz » Logged

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cmpm
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« Reply #229 on: April 06, 2010, 04:37:51 AM »

No RAW support in Pictomio? http://forum.pictomio.com...ult.aspx?g=posts&t=50 In the bin it goes!

- Oshyan

So what do you use for raw format?
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Darwin
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« Reply #230 on: April 06, 2010, 07:03:33 AM »

My photos are organized just by folders and files.  I'm actually amazed that nobody has recommended a clear cut favorite in this thread...it's been a while!  In my experiences, I've found that the applications that can do this well are really really slow.  Like Lightroom.

Mine as well. Just to add, not only are the apps that do this well slow, they are also EXPENSIVE. Like Lightroom... $300  ohmy

I loaded the trial and then uninstalled it almost immediately. I couldn't afford the possiblity of deciding that I wanted might actually want it!
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 07:05:14 AM by Darwin » Logged

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« Reply #231 on: April 06, 2010, 09:04:16 AM »

I think what surprises me here is the distribution of prices.

There are some excellent freeware viewers, and even good freeware catalogers (Farstone seems decent, although I was a bit surprised you cannot donate less than $10 in their donate what you want form mrgreen). However none of these have decent support for tagging (IPTC etc. support), or the few that support it have only very rough filtering support so the tags don't do you much good.

The ones that actually do offer decent tagging and filtering capabilities all of a sudden bump to $150 and up.

It doesn't seem like the kind of functionality that is so hard to develop that it justifies that kind of cost increase, but that might just be me.

Just for reference, here is what I (think I) am looking for:

  • Store thumbnails in a database or similar to provide fast browsing (i.e. must not reread image folder every time you browse)
  • Support annotation and tagging using a standard method (IPTC/XMP/...) (i.e. not storing it in some proprietary file that no other program can read, and provide no export option)
  • Decent searching and filtering on any metadata, including full support for multiple conditions
  • Non-destructive, must not change the original image data in any way without explicitly being told to
  • I don't particularly care much for editing functions (I have dedicated software for that), but if present they much be non-destructive
  • Preferably a dedicated piece of software, and not an image editor with a half-hearted cataloger stapled on
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 09:05:57 AM by Jibz » Logged

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JavaJones
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« Reply #232 on: April 06, 2010, 12:14:52 PM »

No RAW support in Pictomio? http://forum.pictomio.com...ult.aspx?g=posts&t=50 In the bin it goes!

- Oshyan

So what do you use for raw format?

Still deciding, hence my test of Pictomio. cheesy I currently use Picasa because it's super easy, low maintenance, and gets me up and running very quickly. I also really like the face recognition feature and find it more than a novelty (or at the very least a *great* novelty Wink). Most significantly however I don't like Picasa's limited editing functionality and non-tunable RAW conversion. Honestly I'm good with Picasa's organizational abilities as far as tagging (basic, but fine), and I like all the other stuff it can do, e.g. resize for email or web posting or make a slide show, etc. all very easily.

Anyway I've been trying Bibble 5, DxO Optics, Capture 1, Lightroom, and a few others off and on for a little while now. I really just haven't had the time to try them all in-depth. Hence not having made a decision. I'm perfectly happy paying $300 for one of these apps if it really fulfills all my requirements, and that's probably commensurate with the size of my photo collection, some 55,000 pics and over 330GB, as well as the fact that I use RAW almost exclusively now. I certainly understand not wanting to pay that much for a tool to do this though, if your needs are significant. Wink

- Oshyan
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J-Mac
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« Reply #233 on: April 06, 2010, 01:14:45 PM »

I have to go the Support route with IDimager Pro - too much $$ invested to just drop it now, though that is still a strong possibility.

IDimager Pro - if I ever get it to work here - is only an organizing solution; I still need to get a good photo editor installed again. I was using Paint Shop Pro X for that - I feel that is the best editor around for the money and also for the ease of use. The Adobe products are way more than I need and they are also appropriately complex. Long learning curve IIRC. I don’t shoot RAW images; don’t work with RAW images at all. I cannot get out and about very much unfortunately so most - virtually all - of my image work is from existing photos. A lot of them are mine but a lot more are from various family members' photo albums. I am apparently the official family history researcher and chronicler for my near and extended family and it is a big help to have access to old family photos from all branches of my family. So I beg, borrow - but not steal! - old family photo albums from family members all over and add them to the master tree as appropriate. Now, having more than 20,000 such photos, tight organization is a must! I notice that most of the heavy users of IDimager advise using fairly standardized but extremely detailed categories and keywords. An example suggested to me at their forum was:

Religion
----Religious Buildings
----------Churches & Cathedrals
----------Mosques
----------Temples
----Religious Books
----------Bible
----------Koran

BTW, none of those are my categories; just the "sample" example suggested to me for Category Label Hierarchy in general. But I really don’t need nor want that level of detail. I'll be very satisfied with labeling all photos with the family branch, generation, name, date...  That sort of organization. Currently I use folders for categorization and I did have all labeled in ACDSee, but ACDSee stopped working on Windows 7 shortly after installing it after I upgraded from XP Pro unfortunately. And categorization by folder gets tougher and tougher as you get into the tens of thousands of photos! So I need a decent image organizer and I still need a damn good image editor - lots of very old photos that often need to be optimized to varying degrees.

But IDimager has very little in the way of photo editing; it is not developed as an image editor. I was going to upgrade my Paint Shop Pro to the latest version but I discovered that their "Piracy Protection" spyware-like service it installs has been tightened up and previous hacks to disable the service and keep the program itself working are no longer working. So I continue my search!

Thanks for reading all my whining crap, if you're still here!   tongue

Jim
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 01:18:24 PM by J-Mac » Logged

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tomos
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« Reply #234 on: April 06, 2010, 01:18:16 PM »

I think what surprises me here is the distribution of prices.

I guess they charge high prices mainly cause they can - photography has been accepted as an expensive hobby where everyone wants to get 'the best'

But maybe also because workflow is very important in these apps: hence there needs to be a lot of work done on the GUI - coders hate working on GUI's & charge triple rate for that kind of work (:p and maybe it's more labour intensive too?)
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« Reply #235 on: April 06, 2010, 01:21:17 PM »

I think what surprises me here is the distribution of prices.

I guess they charge high prices mainly cause they can - photography has been accepted as an expensive hobby where everyone wants to get 'the best'

But maybe also because workflow is very important in these apps: hence there needs to be a lot of work done on the GUI - coders hate working on GUI's & charge triple rate for that kind of work (:p and maybe it's more labour intensive too?)

I guess I should have added a smiley at the end of all that smiley
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superboyac
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« Reply #236 on: April 06, 2010, 02:28:50 PM »

Oshyan, consider trying out Photo mechanic.  People who use it say that it's handling of RAW files is amazing.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #237 on: April 06, 2010, 03:33:18 PM »

Oshyan, consider trying out Photo mechanic.  People who use it say that it's handling of RAW files is amazing.

Yep, it's definitely on my list after recent mention of it. Haven't had a chance to try it yet though.

- Oshyan
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« Reply #238 on: April 06, 2010, 04:48:04 PM »

If you are going to look at PM, you need to be very clear about what it is.

It is a browser, sorter, tagger - and it is fast.

But it isn't a raw converter, an image editor or a cataloger.
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zevel
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« Reply #239 on: April 06, 2010, 04:54:13 PM »

If you are going to look at PM, you need to be very clear about what it is.

It is a browser, sorter, tagger - and it is fast.

But it isn't a raw converter, an image editor or a cataloger.

I'm confused.
What's the difference between a browser+sorter+tagger and a cataloger?
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« Reply #240 on: April 06, 2010, 05:00:51 PM »

I'd suggest looking at Corel if you are shopping.
They have come a long way i think.

http://www.corel.com/serv...184951547051#tabview=tab0

I tried a few of their products and like them all.
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Dormouse
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« Reply #241 on: April 06, 2010, 05:16:20 PM »

I'm confused.
What's the difference between a browser+sorter+tagger and a cataloger?

A cataloger stores details of all your photos, allowing very fast searches, allows you to keep lots of different virtual collections, keep track of different versions of the same thing.

A browser, sorter, tagger is like a file explorer taking in details of all the files, allowing you to browse them and add tags, ratings etc. It allows you to sort them rapidly, so that you can decide what to keep or not etc. PM allows you to add tags to the photo itself as well as to a sidecar (not many progs did that at the beginning though a number do now). Most cataloging products allow you to do all of these as well as being catalogers, but they won't (usually at least) be so fast.

You need to realise that this market is full of very, very specialised programs mostly at high prices. Adobe Bridge is another example of the same sort of product. Some progs specialise purely in downloading images from cards and cameras (eg Breeze Downloader).
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tomos
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« Reply #242 on: April 07, 2010, 03:36:13 AM »

thanks Dormouse, things are getting slowly clearer Wink


PM allows you to add tags to the photo itself as well as to a sidecar
Is one of these preferable?
IPTC is stored as part of the file AFAIK - isnt that (IPTC) pretty much a 'standard' ? (I suspect if I reread this thread that's covered somewhere embarassed)


A browser, sorter, tagger is like a file explorer taking in details of all the files, allowing you to browse them and add tags, ratings etc.
that's a good description of Exif Pro then
(but I'm not sure of it's RAW capabilities)
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superboyac
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« Reply #243 on: April 07, 2010, 09:04:23 AM »

Yes, Dormouse's last couple of posts are good.  I didn't realize until lately in this thread how specialized this market was, and how confused I was about it.

True, Photo Mechanic is not a cataloger.  The way I've had it explained to me from photographers is that when they take a bunch of pictures, they first browse through them using Photo Mechanic.  They pick their files, sort them, do whatever they have to do to get the batch of photos they want to work with.  Then, they pass those photos to a real photo editing and/or managing application like Lightroom or something.  The benefit is that when you have hundreds or thousands of RAW files, you can browse through them very very quickly.  In other programs, there is a slight delay while the program reads the big RAW files.  Like, you have to wait for thumbnails to load, for pictures to render, etc.

So that's the workflow as I understand it from the photographers.

It sounds like if you don't have a lot of RAW files, maybe PM is not for you?  Or if you're not a photographer?  I don't know...
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« Reply #244 on: April 07, 2010, 09:15:35 AM »

The big advantage of PM is speed. It can process RAW files at high speed which is a critically important feature for a lot of professional photogs who need who need to get their photos on the market or with their customer ASAP. It isn't really a RAW converter in that it doesn't produce the best images, but it reads and processes raw files so that they are easy to sort, tag etc. Scripts for automatically appending copyright notices etc etc. Amateurs with a lot of photos can value this speed too.

It is also fast with other types of format. RAW just matters most because the file sizes are much bigger & take more processing and professionals prefer to shoot in RAW.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 09:27:22 AM by Dormouse » Logged
Dormouse
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« Reply #245 on: April 07, 2010, 09:25:22 AM »

PM allows you to add tags to the photo itself as well as to a sidecar
Is one of these preferable?

Now that's a question. Much debate on the issue. It's generally felt that sidecars are safer, but it really all depends. And what it depends on may be something you don't know because it is in the future.

There's a sticky thread on this issue in the IDI forums.
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Dormouse
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« Reply #246 on: April 07, 2010, 09:29:04 AM »

A browser, sorter, tagger is like a file explorer taking in details of all the files, allowing you to browse them and add tags, ratings etc.
that's a good description of Exif Pro then
(but I'm not sure of it's RAW capabilities)

Exif Pro is only just moving on to working with some RAW files. I've never used it myself. And it doesn't have the reputation for workflow speed that PM has. But then it doesn't have the price either.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 11:39:53 AM by Dormouse » Logged
Darwin
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« Reply #247 on: April 07, 2010, 11:32:55 AM »

A browser, sorter, tagger is like a file explorer taking in details of all the files, allowing you to browse them and add tags, ratings etc.
that's a good description of Exif Pro then
(but I'm not sure of it's RAW capabilities)

Exif Pro is only just moving on to working with some RAW files. I've never used it myself. And it doesn't have the reputation for workflow speed that PM has. But then it doesn't have the price either.

I love the idea of exifPro, and bought a license. However, as I've noted elsewhere, it generates HUGE index files (almost 2GB) and two deal breakers for me:

1. If, while indexing, it encounters an error, it sits and waits for user input to keep going SO you can't leave it running for an hour or two and come back to find all of your photos catalogued.

2. There is no way to add new photos to a catalog - you have to create a new catalog. Cumbersome.

EDIT: just to note, the 2GB catalog created covered 37.4 GB of photos! So, perhaps not so bad... Having said that, when I was able to use and compare exifPro, Zoner, Ashampoo, and PhotoCollector back to back, exifPro's catalogues were the biggest of the bunch by a fair margin. Granted this was two years ago.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 11:54:48 AM by Darwin » Logged

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J-Mac
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« Reply #248 on: April 07, 2010, 11:45:19 AM »

PM allows you to add tags to the photo itself as well as to a sidecar
Is one of these preferable?

Now that's a question. Much debate on the issue. It's generally felt that sidecars are safer, but it really all depends. And what it depends on may be something you don't know because it is in the future.

There's a sticky thread on this issue in the IDI forums.

Dormouse, I am accustomed to clear and concise answers from you - and now this "...riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." (To quote Churchill).   Cool   Grin

Jim
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Dormouse
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« Reply #249 on: April 07, 2010, 12:20:48 PM »

PM allows you to add tags to the photo itself as well as to a sidecar
Is one of these preferable?

Now that's a question. Much debate on the issue. It's generally felt that sidecars are safer, but it really all depends. And what it depends on may be something you don't know because it is in the future.

There's a sticky thread on this issue in the IDI forums.

Dormouse, I am accustomed to clear and concise answers from you - and now this "...riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." (To quote Churchill).   Cool   Grin

Jim

Oh dear  embarassed
I was hoping that what clarity is available would emerge when people read the sticky thread I referred to.

To try and explain it myself:-
If people continue to use the hardware and software that they have now, it makes little difference which choice they make. But hardware manufacturers can change the RAW formats at will - and they do, to store info from new camera features or because they have thought of a way of squeezing more info from the data from the sensor and update the firmware on current cameras. They will update their own software - but that software may then not read extra info that has been recorded within the RAW file by other programs and may not read RAW files that have extra info at all. So sidecars can be thought of as safer as the original RAW file is still there. Other people like everything to be in the file so that they need not be dependent upon databases or programs that will be able to read the sidecar (though sidecars are pretty much a standard anyway).

One critical issue with all catalog programs that you will put a lot of work into is security against future changes because you can easily export/import the data. And that is the underlying issue here.
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