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Old 02-02-2007, 03:09 AM   #1
john_b
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Default organising images

I've been toying with ACDSee as a means of organising images and I do quite like many of its features.

As I scan old photos and the collection increases, I'm just starting to appreciate the scale of the time and effort involved in the cataloguing and tagging process. It's not that I mind doing it, but I'm just concerned that the resulting database can be made future-proof such that it could be exported to other applications as the need arises.

I suppose I'm assuming that there isn't a recognised format that could encompass such data - keywords, comments and various tags? If not, then it seems to be a bit of shortcoming as I can't be the only one facing such a dilemma. Pity that there isn't an image format that could include such data and then the information could be embedded in the image file...

...or maybe there is?

Any sensible solutions, anyone?

John
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:49 AM   #2
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Default Picasa and Irfanview

Picasa is a free photo organizing tool from Google.

It may not have all the features you want, though.

Irfanview is a free photo organizing and editing tool.


It has more features than Picasa. Other forum members may suggest commercial tools with more features, but these two give you an idea about what basic photo organizing and editing tools can do for you.
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:23 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
Irfanview is a free photo organizing and editing tool.

It has more features than Picasa. Other forum members may suggest commercial tools with more features, but these two give you an idea about what basic photo organizing and editing tools can do for you.
I have a copy of Irfanview but didn't know it can be used to catalogue images? Maybe mine is an old version - 3.98 - and it's been improved. Or maybe I'm just completely missing it...;-(

I'm not too bothered about editing the images and will use Photoshop or whatever for that, but I'm really more interested in being able to export any data associated with them for possible use in other apps.

I'll investigate Picassa. I'd always assumed - obviously wrongly - that is was some kind of online tool for sharing your photos... oh dear!

John
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:29 AM   #4
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I'll investigate Picassa. I'd always assumed - obviously wrongly - that is was some kind of online tool for sharing your photos... oh dear!
No, there is also an on-line image sharing site linked to the pc program. You don't have to use the on-line facility.

I'd recommend you look at IMatch which is an excellent image management/filing system and allows you to embed information in jpegs..

   
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Old 02-02-2007, 07:09 AM   #5
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I'd recommend you look at IMatch which is an excellent image management/filing system and allows you to embed information in jpegs..
That's what I use - and I can only highly recommend it. "Real" image management - especially with lots of images - means that you should be able to access your data even when the images themselves are off-line. Picasa is a toy compared to IMatch - not only in that respect, buut also in its implementation of standards. But IMatch is pretty rigorous, meaning that when you edit, say, IPTC data with it, you can be sure that other standards-compliant programs can actually read that data.

As to being future-proof: while it stores its database in a proprietary format (for efficiency), all backups you make with the program itself are in a simple (and editable) plain-text format - that's saved my skin once already.

Not an easy program to get into - but worth the effort. And it's worth many times more the asking price; many more expensive programs don't even come close in power and flexibility. Poke around on their forum to get a taste of excellent support and a real community around the program.

   
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Old 02-02-2007, 07:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
Picasa is a free photo organizing tool from Google.

It may not have all the features you want, though.

Irfanview is a free photo organizing and editing tool.


It has more features than Picasa. Other forum members may suggest commercial tools with more features, but these two give you an idea about what basic photo organizing and editing tools can do for you.
Both could be called "organizers" but not "management" programs. Irfanview is mainly strong in supporting many formats for viewing and (simple) editing; Picasa (last I heard) wants to copy all your images instead of recording where they are. (I consider Picasa no more than a toy.)

Neither can do anything for large collections where most of your images are off-line. How are you going to find those images? That's what you need an image (digital assets) management program for, which stores data about your images, as well as their locations, off line, so you can sort, select, browse, without having any of them online.

Me, I'm using IMatch - see my reply to Kelvyn. (I'm also occasionally using IrfanView, but as a viewer mostly, when PSP isn't handy.)

   
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Old 02-02-2007, 07:21 AM   #7
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I'm just concerned that the resulting database can be made future-proof such that it could be exported to other applications as the need arises.
Maybe it can be. Have you checked with ACD Systems to see if their database can export to standard formats.

Quote:
Pity that there isn't an image format that could include such data and then the information could be embedded in the image file...
Some photo formats support embedding IPTC standard data. I'm pretty sure that this includes JPEG, TIFF, PSD, and possible a few RAW formats. But I don't have any experience doing this; I only know that it exists.

I'd be concerned about the reliability of the application that does the internal tagging, so my photos don't get trashed. There also might be a way to take a photo managers database information and put it into the IPTC slots. But I don't know how risky this is.
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:30 AM   #8
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Maybe it can be. Have you checked with ACD Systems to see if their database can export to standard formats.
Brilliant! Many thanks - I'd tried the database export feature before but couldn't make any sense of what it was doing or the files that it produced. Your suggestion prompted me to try again and I must have ticked some different boxes because it produced an XML file of sorts with various categories and my comments and keywords.

That's great news because if I can export to a readable file then it should be possible to import to another app if need be. Might need to tinker with the format but at least the information can be generated and I'm now a Happy Chappie!

Quote:
Some photo formats support embedding IPTC standard data. I'm pretty sure that this includes JPEG, TIFF, PSD, and possible a few RAW formats. But I don't have any experience doing this; I only know that it exists.

I'd be concerned about the reliability of the application that does the internal tagging, so my photos don't get trashed. There also might be a way to take a photo managers database information and put it into the IPTC slots. But I don't know how risky this is.
Uh-oh. IPTC? This is new to me so I'll need to investigate. I take your point about the danger of corrupting valuable files. Hadn't occurred to me and I guess, at the very least, that you'd want to keep copies which didn't have extraneous data embedded in them.

Thanks again!

John
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:40 AM   #9
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I'd recommend you look at IMatch which is an excellent image management/filing system and allows you to embed information in jpegs..
Thanks for that - and also to Marjolein for her comments. I'm going to delve further into their website and it does look promising so I dare say I'll download the trial version.

Of course, with the state of the US dollar these days, it's got to be a snip at $60 - almost giving it away really...;-)

Oops! <GDR>

John
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Old 02-03-2007, 08:38 AM   #10
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IPTC? This is new to me so I'll need to investigate.
To add to this, I looked around a little more and it looks like Adobe's XMP standard is further along than I thought. Anyway, there is a brief article about IPTC and XMP at Wikipedia, and maybe this can be a jumping off spot for you.

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Originally Posted by john_b View Post
I take your point about the danger of corrupting valuable files. Hadn't occurred to me and I guess, at the very least, that you'd want to keep copies which didn't have extraneous data embedded in them.
At the very least, do lots of testing and read the experiences of others. I think one of our members had a photo trashed by ThumbsPlus when she tried to set internal data. I would also not be inclined to trust ACDSee with adding internal tags to files. Beginning with Version 3, ACDSee seems like they rushed it out the door. And between versions, their update patches don't address some of the significant problems.

Anyway, when you get this all worked out, please post about it.
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