Best image management tool

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sesshi, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #1
    So here's a question:

    Currently we have slightly under 2Tb's worth of mainly ~5MP JPEGs. Increasingly RAWs, still camera-taken MPEGs and AVCHD's from Handycams have also been creeping in which is likely to make the repository grow even more. The images/videos are currently sorted in folders - year, project, milestone, etc. Currently the workflow is 100% Windows - but I need to accommodate some Macs into this environment.

    It is absolutely imperative that the software work within the current folder structure, and that it be capable of maintaining the current folder structure (via SMB on a Windows Server 2003 machine), and also for a potentially locally located subset.

    Working within the folder structure, the software should be able to navigate, search, view, email, print, export and edit (either using own reasonable editing facilities for speed, or an external program such as Photoshop). The ability to drag the image being browsed - either from a thumbnail or a full-size window - directly to another application would be highly desirable.

    Speed (especially of thumbnailing and general response over network or local drives, as well as folder search), reliability and usability are paramount. As a professional tool, costs are secondary to productivity.

    Which image management app would you say is the best OS X app for this use?
     
  2. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    #2
    Adobe Lightroom (cross platform) or Aperture (Mac only)
     
  3. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #3
    Lightroom isn't going to do much with movies and it doesn't readily support collaborative efforts. You might want to look into Extensis as well as investigating their competitors - I think they're playing in the product space you want to explore.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    It is absolutely imperative that the software work within the current folder structure, and that it be capable of maintaining the current folder structure (via SMB on a Windows Server 2003 machine), and also for a potentially locally located subset.
    [/QUOTE]

    Odd that you should care what disk your collection physically lives on. Even RAIDs this size or so cheap. (just a few hundred $ for a Drobo.) I'd think you should be willing to put the data on whatever hardware would work best.

    Whatever software you use you really do not want users going in to the folder structure and by-passing the asset manager. It WILL get out of sync and be a mess to fix if that happens. If you are going to move to an asset manager you are going to have to enforce to users go through it and can't get around it. Otherwise it you have a big mess to clean up.

    OK now seeing as you asked in an Apple forum, I'd have to say look at Apple's Final Cut Server. It's not just for video
    http://www.apple.com/finalcutserver/cataloging.html

    It looks like Final Cut Server can access content hosted on an SMB share. Can do backups and disconnected subsets.

    The other option for a LOT less money is just to use Adobe Bridge. It's a simple but does everything you listed in your short list of requirements. Maybe that is all you need.

    Or maybe Adobe Bridge and Version Cue
    http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/versioncue/
     
  5. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #5
    Most of these I've dealt with and rejected for some reason or another.

    However I heard a very brief mention of Extensis and failed to follow up on it the last time around - I'll check it out, thanks.

    Any others will be appreciated. I'm looking to get as many viable options as possible.
     
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #6
    If you would like to use one and the same app for movies and photos, you need something like Microsoft Expression (formerly known as iView Media Pro). It's a `traditional' media management app. Modern photo management apps such as Aperture and Lightroom will not cut it, because they don't know what to do with your video assets. This means you will have to live with limitations when it comes to editing within that app and version control, something that Aperture and Lightroom can do easily.

    However, I've had problems with database corruptions back when I still used iView (I think the last version I've used was version 2.7 or 2.8, not sure, it's been a while). I'm not sure, though, whether these problems still persist. I do not recommend putting your files on a server if speed is paramount. If you have only 100 MBit ethernet, you are limited to ~10 MB/s. Depending on your camera, this means your connection manages about 1 image per second if you're using RAW files. This will be obviously a drawback if you're browsing through folders with RAWs in full screen. You can alleviate that to a certain degree by generating larger thumbnails.

    Apple's Final Cut Server is focussed on videos, so I'm not sure how well it fares as a tool for photo management.
     

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