Author Topic: Using catalog functions while "offline"  (Read 1569 times)

Offline jmc

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Re: Using catalog functions while "offline"
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2019, 12:43:16 PM »
Are these offline features planned?  Limiting the ability to do select/sort/catalog is a serious detractor to the utility of PM+ IMHO.

We'll have to weigh the benefit vs. delay in finishing the product for those that don't need such a feature.  PM has always made metadata changes to the files themselves (or sidecars) so changing to a de-sync system could be rather troubling for some users.

At this time you're the only one that has requested this feature.  If we get more people saying that the absence of this feature is a deal-breaker for them then we'd have to move towards implementing the feature.  That's really the criteria we use for all feature requests, along with whether the idea makes sense at all to implement.

-Kirk

I would just like to add my voice in support of adding some kind of offline catalog editing.  I have the travel/return scenario, and others like simply preferring to disconnect from RAID arrays and work on my laptop outside.  It isn't a dealbreaker today because all of the other catalog software is too slow by far, but if they catch up enough in speed, then it would become a dealbreaker.  I do feel like it's a minimum feature, but understand that it could be added later.

Offline bcarlsonphoto

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Re: Using catalog functions while "offline"
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2019, 05:18:08 AM »
I third this request. Being able to add important data to files while they are offline is an important aspect of any DAM. I understand the concerns and complications it raises but you can always push the edits out to your files when media is reattached (or when a software goes belly-up). I personally prefer to rely on a database as opposed to relying on what is actually in the files. Continually re-accessing & changing files is not good for their long term integrity. At least that's how I understand it.

I am adding another vote for offline catalog editing. I would use the functionality to add new metadata to catalogued images in a "travel/return" scenario.

To test this on PM+, I created a "travel" catalog on my desktop and copied the catalog folder/files to my laptop. When I tried to add metadata (two persons' names) to all the (preview) images using the Metadata (IPTC) Template, I got an error popup that says, "None of the selected photos are in a format that can be captioned by this version of Photo Mechanic Plus." (See attached.)

From a usability perspective, if adding metadata is not possible with an offline catalog, then the error message should state so. Currently the message implies that the photos could be captioned if only they were in the right format or if I obtained a different version of PM+. It doesn't give me any clue that the issue is related to being offline. (Perhaps the current language is so vague because you might decide to add the functionality in the future.)

But I would much prefer that you add offline catalog functionality rather than just fix the message wording.

Here's an example of the value of offline editing... I just returned from a trip with a Media Pro "travel" catalog created expressly for the purpose of editing metadata for hundreds of scanned historical photos using a second computer (my laptop) while interviewing elderly people about the photos (to get names of people, places, historical notes, etc.). When I returned home I was able to merge the new metadata into the original images on my desktop (see attached dialog below). Media Pro saved me dozens of hours (if not days) of rework. If I am understanding the current plans for PM+ functionality correctly, I would not be able to do this with PM+.

Online Kirk Baker

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Re: Using catalog functions while "offline"
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2019, 06:04:52 AM »
I third this request. Being able to add important data to files while they are offline is an important aspect of any DAM. I understand the concerns and complications it raises but you can always push the edits out to your files when media is reattached (or when a software goes belly-up). I personally prefer to rely on a database as opposed to relying on what is actually in the files. Continually re-accessing & changing files is not good for their long term integrity. At least that's how I understand it.

Backups are your best strategy for long-term integrity.  If the images/sidecars don't have your data and the database goes belly-up, what are you going to do to get your metadata back?

-Kirk

Offline bcarlsonphoto

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Re: Using catalog functions while "offline"
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2019, 05:50:13 AM »
I understand if the database goes belly-up you are potentially SOL (trust me, I get it. I'm using Media Pro and I'm in a bind because the program went belly-up). I do have 3 copies of all my data. My online drive, my offline/offsite drives & Blu-rays (hopefully shifting to cloud sometime soon).

But I only write changes to my online files. I do not attach my offline drives to update metadata on them (from what I've read of Peter Krogh's DAM book, it's a good practice to do it this way). If you rely on a database and your online drive fails all you have to do is buy a new drive, copy your offline drive to the new drive and make sure the database sees the new drive. Make sense?

I guess it's just pick your poison? Either rely on a database and risk it going foul or risk a drive failing and you loose the images and associated metadata (provided you aren't updating offline files as well).

Though maybe this is where a RAID would help (not sure which number RAID at the moment)? You can have a more reliable redundancy with a RAID.

Online Kirk Baker

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Re: Using catalog functions while "offline"
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2019, 07:56:09 AM »
You should have backups of any data that can be permanently lost.  Database and images.  Anything else means you could lose your life's work.

I have no idea why Peter would promote having copies of images that are out of sync with each other.  Makes no sense to me.

-Kirk