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Author Topic: DAM solutions  (Read 12710 times)
Chris_Brown
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« on: July 25, 2007, 08:06:52 PM »
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I've been using iView Media since it was freeware and now it's been acquired by Microsoft. iView Media Pro has worked flawlessly for tracking my digital assests and my fear is that it will become bloatware. MS doesn't have a stellar track record when it comes to Mac software, so I'm looking into alternative DAM solutions.

Does anyone on the forum use database software such as FileMaker Pro or mySQL?

Are there any other DAM solutions as focused as iView Media?

Any help is appreciated.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2007, 02:47:49 AM »
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When - or rather if - it becomes bloatware (isn't everything nowadays) is the time to switch. I recently had meetings with the xMedia team at Microsoft (ex iView and MS folk) and they're mostly Mac nuts, so I wouldn't worry too much. MS are realistic and know they need to pander to the Mac market if they are to be a bigger player in the graphics area.

You could also look at programs like Lightroom and Aperture. These are more geared towards volume raw processing, and each has underpowered DAM. For example, if you want to manage non-photographic assets as part of your photo projects (eg a wedding shooter might have sound and video clips) then you'll need a DAM anyway.

I'd forget the Filemaker or mySQL idea unless you want to spend vast amounts of time to a custom solution. I tried it using SQL Server and you can certainly do it, but you'll need a whole range of skills (database SQL, programming) and you'd hit specific issues like working out how to extract image thumbnails and previews, EXIF, IPTC and XMP metadata etc etc. I can handle most of those, but it was eating far too much time and off the shelf solutions are far better.

You should see what xMedia version 2 is like, and assess whether it's worth the upgrade - ie take a cold and rational view, not through Mac-blinded eyes.

John
« Last Edit: July 26, 2007, 03:04:22 AM by johnbeardy » Logged

Nick Rains
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2007, 04:39:03 AM »
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You should see what xMedia version 2 is like, and assess whether it's worth the upgrade - ie take a cold and rational view, not through Mac-blinded eyes.

John
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=129949\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi John

Is V2 out then? I hadn't heard...
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Nick Rains
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2007, 04:49:33 AM »
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Hi John

Is V2 out then? I hadn't heard...
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No, no, no. I should have said "wait and see what v2 is like when it comes out next spring".

John
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alain
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2007, 09:12:44 AM »
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Hi

You could look at idimager for a nice DAM solution.

Alain
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Fred Ragland
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2007, 09:52:14 AM »
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Hi

You could look at idimager for a nice DAM solution.

Alain
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Yes, nice, inexpensive and responsive support...but Windows only.

Fred
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Thomas Krüger
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2007, 09:54:25 AM »
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Imatch from www.photools.com works fine. The database can be exported and there is script support for special needs and also a big userbase with a fine forum.
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francois
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2007, 09:56:22 AM »
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Yes, nice, inexpensive and responsive support...but Windows only.

Fred
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Fred,
Have you looked into Extensis Portfolio ([a href=\"http://www.extensis.com/en/products/asset_management/Portfolio-8-5.jsp]here[/url])? I have no real personal experience with this software but we have a few customers who think it's a great solution. A 30-day demo version is available and it works on both PCs and Macs.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2007, 09:57:48 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
Fred Ragland
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2007, 10:05:26 AM »
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Fred,
Have you looked into Extensis Portfolio (here)? I have no real personal experience with this software but we have a few customers who think it's a great solution. A 30-day demo version is available and it works on both PCs and Macs.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=130270\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Thank you, Francois.  We need to look at the new version.

Fred
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2007, 11:23:27 PM »
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When - or rather if - it becomes bloatware (isn't everything nowadays) is the time to switch. I recently had meetings with the xMedia team at Microsoft (ex iView and MS folk) and they're mostly Mac nuts, so I wouldn't worry too much. MS are realistic and know they need to pander to the Mac market if they are to be a bigger player in the graphics area.
I agree that the xMedia team are devoted to their program, but in the long run I think it will become another useless piece of MS bloatware.

I don't want to "wait & see" though. I want to be proactive in finding a longterm solution to an ever-expanding library of digital media: photos, video clips, sounds, the works. The database should be scalable, stable and free from bloat.

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You could also look at programs like Lightroom and Aperture.
Nah, I prefer a solution specific to the needs of cataloging & tracking digital media files.

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I'd forget the Filemaker or mySQL idea unless you want to spend vast amounts of time to a custom solution.
I agree that it would require skills beyond that of a commercial photographer, but once the database has been set up (whatever the solution is), I would hope it last at least a decade.

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You should see what xMedia version 2 is like, and assess whether it's worth the upgrade - ie take a cold and rational view, not through Mac-blinded eyes.
Agreed, but I'm not Mac-blinded, I just don't want a program that is optimized only for Windows. Thanks for your input.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2007, 11:38:31 PM »
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Imatch from www.photools.com works fine. The database can be exported and there is script support for special needs and also a big userbase with a fine forum.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=130267\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
iMatch looks like iView, but is Windows only. It looks like a worthy solution to cataloging digital media. Thanks for the link.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2007, 02:36:35 AM »
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I agree that the xMedia team are devoted to their program, but in the long run I think it will become another useless piece of MS bloatware.
I don't want to "wait & see" though. I want to be proactive in finding a longterm solution to an ever-expanding library of digital media: photos, video clips, sounds, the works. The database should be scalable, stable and free from bloat.
Nah, I prefer a solution specific to the needs of cataloging & tracking digital media files.
I agree that it would require skills beyond that of a commercial photographer, but once the database has been set up (whatever the solution is), I would hope it last at least a decade.
Agreed, but I'm not Mac-blinded, I just don't want a program that is optimized only for Windows. Thanks for your input.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=130786\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Proactive or prejudiced?

Seriously, don't underestimate the amount of effort involved in constructing a custom solution - and updating it. The off the shelf packages include a wide range of capabilities and interact with a lot of poorly-documented proprietary format files. You aren't going to find many individual programmers able to cope with the imaging issues as well as databases (they're often completely different mindsets), plus you have a whole series of other aspects that bolt onto the core DAM application. You'd be into hiring a small team to reinvent many wheels, and the whole thing will regularly need updating as you decide to adopt new imaging techniques (eg multi frame images, smart objects).

Where there is room for custom applications is in extending the features of your off the shelf cataloguing application. So for example you might have an Access or Filemaker database that adds a whole lot of extra fields to manage stock submissions and sales. I've written another that linked into the photographer's database of models and locations. To a certain extent, you can also write an alternative front end that uses the off the shelf app's automation object.

For an off the shelf package, you should consider Extensis Portfolio. From a scalability perspective, it has a lot to offer, so you can easily move up from the built in database to enterprise scale back ends like SQLServer and Oracle. It's also multiuser and oriented to a multimedia environment. In many ways iView has a lead, but Portfolio's custom fields are better than iView's in that you can have as many as you want, can define them as number, date, multivalue, so you have a lot more flexibility over the data it can contain. And it also has smart galleries, which work like the Mac OS smart folders. And like iView it benefits from being designed for the Mac market and then ported to Windows.

John
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2007, 12:35:32 AM »
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Proactive or prejudiced?

Both!    I believe more in the bazaar than the cathedral at the moment.

I will be using and evaluating Microsoft Expression Media (even the name is long) over the next year or so, but I'm doubtful. Everything MS develops for the Mac becomes bloatware.

It seems odd to me that with all the database software currently used in the world (Amazon, iTunes, Getty images, etc.) that there's now nothing available for the Mac platform that's been honed to be fast, efficient, and optimized for thousands or millions of high resolution catalogued images.
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AjantaKVS
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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2007, 07:45:28 AM »
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Hello,

You  can also think of  Canto Cumulus DAM solution, I feel it has got all the features you are looking for, just give a try, demo versions are available on request at their site.

Thanks
KVS
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