Recommendations for Photo Keyword Management

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Polydactyl, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Polydactyl macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2009
    First of all, I'm not a photographer...I'm just looking for an easy way to tag and organize thousands of family photos using keyword metadata. Requirements are:

    - OSX
    - The ability to drag and drop keywords onto photo or groups of photos
    - The ability to write keywords directly to ITPC/EFIX metadata in the original file
    - The ability to manage pictures in their original location without importing them into a library

    If it matters, I'm using DropBox/Carousel for my photo storage/viewing.

    Lightroom does this well enough, but I'm not too eager to shell out the $150 for the privilege. I really don't need the other 99% of Lightroom features.

    Any recommendations?
  2. HantaYo macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2012
    Check out Photo Supreme. It excels at metadata and only has basic photo editing. Price is around $100. i am using it in concert with DXO and CaptureOne.
  3. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I'd check out photo browsers as opposed to PIE's (parametric image editors, like Aperture or Lr, which store data in databases (although also in photo file metadata should you opt to)). The browsers do just that: browse, like the Finder but better.

    You'd want something that does hierarchical keywords; they are much more powerful. Be aware that if some of the photos you have are in RAW format (perhaps unlikely) the metadata would have to be written to XMP sidecars, unless the RAWs are converted to DNG.

    I haven't run across something that does drag and drop with keywords. Since most use hieararchical keywords they don't lend themselves to that, especially as the list gets long. Most use a checkbox-type approach, which works better. Select, check boxes, done.

    Photo Mechanic is the king of keywording, and it's extremely powerful but probably overkill. But one of the free alternatives has one of the best keywording setups, and that's XnViewMP,

    It's got a kinda Window-y/Java-y interface, but it's killer with keywords. Shows a hierarchy, a history of recently used keywords, and allows creation of keyword sets. Stuff you'd normally only get in something like Lr. It might also be very useful for you in that it can do batch operations, and renaming. And it's filtering is well thought out, since ultimately you need to find stuff with the keywords too. And you can move around files from within its interface too. Finally, it can change dates, something that can be useful if you have to sort old photos that were scanned long after the image was actually made.

    Finally, it incorporates exiftool, the king of metadata manipulation (via the command line). This allows you to see all the details of the photos.

    For some reason, this little gem is often overlooked, but it's features rival applications you'd have to shell out a lot of coin for.
  4. Polydactyl thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2009
    Thanks for the replies. These are definitely the types of tools I'm looking for.

    Unless I'm missing something, XnViewMP doesn't seem write keywords directly to files when using the keyword manager...or I haven't found the right setting for this.

    Still playing around with Photo Supreme. Anything else I should be looking at?

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3 July 7, 2015