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Messages - zevel [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Let's get back on topic
« on: March 06, 2012, 08:48 PM »

I appreciate the active participation of tool developers in this thread but not to the point of completely hijacking it.
This thread was about comparing the features, performance and capabilities of different image organizers, let's not turn it into a beta-testing thread for a single one.

You can always create another thread and link to it from this one.
Maybe the admins can even transfer some of the existing posts to the new thread.

Thank you for understanding.

Hi K.Murat,

Our test databases contains 500k medium sized images.

Sounds like a good fit for my needs.
I'd like to apply as a beta tester.

The answer should be yes, depending on precisely what you mean by FAST. Especially for indexing.

When the colection was somewhat smaller, I tried Adobe Lightroom.  It took 4 or 5 days to index the collection on my (admittedly underpowered) machine.  That is *not* fast.

And depending on what you want indexed and what else you want it to do.

I don't know yet. I'm new at this.

Complex changing of tags and hierarchies of tags could also take a while across a huge number of images if the tags are attached to the file rather than simply living in the database; with images most info is usually kept with the image so that tagging etc is independent of the program that created them - but it will have an impact on speed if you want to do a lot of complex changes.

Firstly, I'm OK with everything residing in the DB, provided that I can:
- Export the DB into the EXIF/IPTC if I want to switch programs.
- Move the images around between folders and have the changes reflected in the DB (I'm OK doing it within the program).

Secondly, changing the tag structure can be handled on the query level, without having to retag anything.  That may complicate and slow down the queries though.

There's nothing in your post to suggest that the program needs specific image cataloging abilities. Does that mean that a general cataloging program/database would be fine? Or is there something else you need it to do (such as read/index the EXIF)?

I'd like to view the files as thumbnails when I operate on them or see the results of a query.  Additional image-related functionality can be detecting similar images (although I have VisiPics and Similar Images to do that).  I probably would not need photo-specific functionality though.

All the programs mentioned in this thread are specifically intended for photos and photographers. They are looking for a lot of specific features that you may or may not need - with an overhead in speed that you appear not to want - and permit changes of tagging structures, but do not expect that this will happen very often.

Well, I have somewhat atypical requirements.  Maybe one of the programs will fit the bill, even if I end up not using 90% of its capabilities, or maybe you could recommend something else (or another place to ask the question).

Thanks for your help!

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).
Fair enough.

Let me tell you what I am looking for in a photo organizer/cataloger. I appreciate your suggestions.
I currently have about 250K images, disorganized into some 4K folders that people lumped them into, taking over 100GB with more coming once in a while.  By and large they are JPEGs with a handful of GIFs and PNGs, no RAWs.
I need to assign multiple tags to them so that I can say, for example, "give me the images tagged as sports, kids, outdoors" or be more specific and request "soccer", "baseball" or "tennis" instead of "sports.
I want the tags to be hierarchical, so that tagging an image as "dolphin" will implicitly return it when searching for "mammals" or "animals".  Ideally, it would be possible for tags to participate in multiple hierarchies so that the "dolphin" tag above will also match "marine", etc.  I expect to have lots of tags and categories, including cross-category tags.  This should probably be a feature of the search, see below.
I also need the program to be flexible: allow adding/removing/changing tags on single images, folders, folder trees or just groups of selected images; changing the tag/category structure and having the changes automatically applied; moving images between folders; etc.
And last but not least, I want it to be FAST, both when indexing and when searching.

Does such application exist?

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?

I really feel your pain. And feel guilty, since I feel I tipped you in the IDI direction at the beginning.
To be fair, you also mentioned IMatch.
Speaking of which, how does IDImager compare with IMatch (and others) in the context of cataloging and searching very large image collections?

General Software Discussion / Re: Basic Question on Photo Tagging
« on: October 01, 2009, 11:24 PM »
Hi Lutz_,

Other programs doing this are IdImager, Studioline Photo, Helicon Photo Safe, Acdsee (I guess only the professional version), ....

Which one, in your opinion, will work better with a "huge" collection?
Do they support nested tags and complex searches?


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?


Try XnView - very comprehensive (free and you can use it as portable app)
Uses the IPTC tags - and you can batch tag etc.
XnView can do everything you ask AFAIK, excluding the ability to handle such huge number of pictures with ease, and mostly because I don't have so many to test :)

I tried XnView. It does look like a nice viewer/browser but, as an organizer, I couldn't get the hang of it.
Maybe I am missing something...

Exactly unlike you, I am using FastStone and happy about it. But what I need is more editing that organizing/tagging.

Ditto for FastStone.

A very interesting approach to tagging images is employed by Viewer2.  I really like it.

The concept looks interesting but I don't see how it would scale to a couple of hundred thousands images.
I decided against installing it for now.  If I am wrong, feel free to point it out.

Bluemarine is not ready for the prime time, I just couldn't make it do what I want.
Pictomio didn't even try indexing my collection, too large I guess.
It agreed to index one subdirectory (the largest one I had) and I left it overnight.  In the morning it was stuck, taking 100% CPU and not progressing.

Both apps got uninstalled.

You might want to take a look at PhotoMesa.
(see attachment in previous post)
PhotoMesa crapped on me with an exception while it was trying to index the collection.  Epic fail.
3 down, more to go...

By the way, if you know of an application that conforms to my requirement below (as in, actually tried it), please say so - it may shorten my search.

My wishlist for an organizer:
* A primarily tag/search/view application.  I don't mind if image manipulation functionality is included, but it is not a priority (I can do it using other tools).
* Fast and robust. Can work with thousands of folders and hundreds of thousands images.
* Allows for adding/moving/removing images into the tree after it was already indexed (either from inside the app or externally).
* Allows tagging whole folders or individual images.
* Tags are saved in the image files (IPTC/EXIF/etc.) in a portable way, as well as in the DB (need one for speed).
* Supports nested tags/keywords.  E.g., define "animals", "cats" and "dogs" tags.  Searching for "animals" will find images tagged as "cats" or "dogs".
* Supports complex queries (E.g., "animals" but not "birds" except "ostriches").
* Supports browsing and searching by tags and by folders.
* Allows batch setting of other metadata (comments, copyright, etc.)
* Ability to find duplicate/similar images can be a nice bonus.
* Freeware is preferred (obviously).

myphotoindex might be worth a look

OK, tried that one as well.
Slower than iTag but it does support hierarchical tags and seems to work with folders as well.
Unfortunately, it did not save the tags in the EXIF/IPTC of the images.  Not good enough.

Back to iTag - when I re-run it, I found out that it did not remember the index from the previous session and expected me to index the collection again.  Epic fail.

I will uninstall both and continue searching.

I reviewed an excellent image tagger a while back:
I installed iTag.  It took several hours to index the collection (Adobe Lightroom took several days...) and it felt nice and snappy.
The problem is that it does not seem to support hierarchical tags, only a "tag cloud".

I'll try some of the other recommendations as well.

XnView can do everything you ask AFAIK, excluding the ability to handle such huge number of pictures with ease, and mostly because I don't have so many to test :)
Testing is not a problem.

Just take a picture, name it "pic.jpg" and run the following batch file in the same directory.
It will copy it 1 million times into a 2-level directory structure.
(make sure you have anough space on your drive)

@echo off
for /l %%a in (1,1,100) do (
  md dir%%a
  for /l %%b in (1,1,100) do (
    md dir%%a-%%b
    for /l %%c in (1,1,100) do (
      copy pic.jpg dir%%a\dir%%a-%%b\pic%%a-%%b-%%c.jpg

Is there a program that can handle very large numbers of files (say, 100K), allow me to tag individual images as well as groups and/or folders with keywords/labels/categories, store the tags within the image metadata (IPTC) so that manually moving them around will not confuse the program and quickly search and display subsets by keywords and other criteria?

Built in image similarity detection will be a plus.

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