Author Topic: Photo Mechanic Cataloguing Features...  (Read 10125 times)

Offline RobertE

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Photo Mechanic Cataloguing Features...
« on: July 03, 2006, 04:33:18 AM »
Hi,

What features would you like PM to include for cataloguing?

What I'd like, in no particular order:

1. an "open", scalable database (Mysql?)
2. ability to search across multiple catalogues (whether open or closed)
3. separate previews from the catalog (sub folder?)
4. portability (not too many sub files)
5. auto-save
6. cross platform
7. enterprise *option* (multi-user access)
8. extensive import/export options (csv, xml, etc)
9. to attach scripts (Applescript and VB)
10. auto-update for folders (monitor OS for new/modified files)
11. non-image file support (pdf, indd, mov, mp3... c/- Quicktime?)
12. re-sizable thumbnails
13. OS level undo
14. friendly GUI (not like Cumulus!!!)
15. built-in back-up + recovery system
16. colour managed
17. versioning/stacks (c/- XMP?)
18. hierarchical metadata (keywords, location, etc)
19. private metadata (exists only in database)
20. offline archiving (CD, DVD, etc)
21. place holders (image not archived but metadata in place)

...to name but a few.

-- Robert.

Offline FairfieldPhoto

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Re: Photo Mechanic Cataloguing Features...
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2006, 05:37:09 AM »
How about a companion product to Photo Mechanic that bolts-on to provide these functions.  I think the next "big" thing in digital photography will be Digital Asset Management, but I don't want to burden/bloat PM with this -- I love the speed and functionality as it is (notice I haven't been positing any enhancement requests - it does everything I need for what my business is today).

A companion product would allow for a parallel (but complementary) work flow and that product could evolve on its own path without being limited by what PM can (or won't) do today. 

-Mike

Offline Pavel

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Re: Photo Mechanic Cataloguing Features...
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2006, 12:50:47 PM »
I too would like to see this as a companion program - not as a part of Photomechanic as I can't imagine bolting it ontop of and into PM would cause performance issues and control bloat.

But a new app that integrates with PM would be awesome.  Even better if it were about the same price as PM itself. :)

I second that part about Canto.  The UI is from mars and though I try it every year and a half or so - I can't get past the convoluted design decisions. 

The enterprise ability sounds like it may increase the price if other companies are used as a guide - so perhaps two versions priced according to standalone and enterprise features?

The built in backups and offline archiving would be very nice.  That is one area that aperture does well although it is limited to drives - very useful but limiting if it's the only way.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2006, 12:54:28 PM by Pavel »

Offline gregoire

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Re: Photo Mechanic Cataloguing Features...
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2006, 02:37:31 AM »
Cataloguing would be a great addition to an otherwise excellent product. Thanks even for considering this, Camera Bits!

Main thing would be to filter through the different folders/volumes on about every IPTC/XMP field imaginable. While I do have a folder structure that allows for countries and dates, I use iView to create subsets on place, date range, rating and photographer. Only 4/5-star rated goes to the website through an HTML export with a custom build template. iView is so damn convenient with this as you can AND/OR different field names to quickly make selections. That way I can easily rebuild e.g. my Paris page on my website to include the latest additions without recursing through all folders to find what I need, or rebuild all of France except Paris, etc.

I don't really see why this should be a separate program. We have a 'favorites' pane, we have a 'navigator' pane, why not add a 'filter' pane. I agree with another of Kirk's posts though that adding files to a catalogue should be a user action to avoid having to wait when time is an issue. Maybe have an option on ingestion ('add to catalogue' with a catalogue selector). In fact, I think a combination in one user interface would make life more simple. Nowadays, I have to fire up PM, then iView and lastly PS to do what I want. Just being able to skip having to fire up another program with another interface and another way of handling things would be sooo much more convenient.

Offline norman heng

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Re: Photo Mechanic Cataloguing Features...
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2006, 04:51:02 AM »
Hello Kirk,

Will there be catalodguing features in the near future, like i-view?    Any advice? (to wait or not to wait)

NormanH

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Photo Mechanic Cataloguing Features...
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2006, 06:47:35 AM »
Norman,

Will there be catalodguing features in the near future, like i-view?    Any advice? (to wait or not to wait)

It depends on what you think the "near future" is.  I'd say we're more than six months out.

-Kirk

Offline Pavel

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Re: Photo Mechanic Cataloguing Features...
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2006, 08:58:51 AM »
Six months ... that would be good news and well worth waiting for.  Keeping my fingers crossed. :)

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Photo Mechanic Cataloguing Features...
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2006, 01:11:07 PM »
Six months ... that would be good news and well worth waiting for.  Keeping my fingers crossed. :)

Please note that I said "more than" six months out...

-Kirk

Offline Pavel

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Re: Photo Mechanic Cataloguing Features...
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2006, 06:07:08 PM »
I did.  To me it's simply enough that it's being considered.  I am frustrated with cataloguing software more than any other aspect and have hope more in a potential new product by camera bits more than any other realistic alternative (even aperture).  Good stuff takes time, right?  Shouldn't be any other way.  I'm just glad that it looks like it's an idea who's time is seen as having come.

Offline poboxnyc

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Re: Photo Mechanic Cataloguing Features...
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2006, 11:30:11 AM »
RE: Catalogueing feature.  If it compromises the editing function-- speedwise etc, I'd prefer using a dedicated cataloging program.  In my experience combining functions into one program often compromises either or both program, I'm not saying this will be the case.  If Photo Mechanics slows down when the cataloging is incorporated-- I'll be upset.  I'm type A compulsive when it comes to editing, like a lot of photographers.  Anything more than one click is just too slow.  I'm using photomechanics on my new macbook and the speed is just a pure joy. It's to only program that can work with in my rhythm and lot of editing and other things we do on the computer is about rhythm -- especially under the pressure of time.

Offline Primoz

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Re: Photo Mechanic Cataloguing Features...
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2006, 02:24:11 AM »
Personally I agree with last poster. Cataloging feature is something what I really wouldn't want in PM. And if there will be, please make it just an option which doesn't need to be installed/run if photographer doesn't want it.
I like PM much more then other programs, because of its speed (and of course great support ;) ). And when I'm out there shooting speed is all what matters, at least for me. Once when you add database, cataloging etc. it will slow down things no matter what. Not to mention laptops always have too little memory :)

Offline bazography

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Re: Photo Mechanic Cataloguing Features...
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2006, 04:52:15 PM »
I use PM and Portfolio at the moment, and can't wait for a PM cataloging feature.

Currently, I import into PM where I do all my sorting, tagging, adding IPTC info, and editing via Photoshop. PM handles all my daily chores because it's simply the best browser ever. The files stay on my hard drive until I have enough to fill a disc, then I burn a disc and catalog it using Portfolio. I use Portfolio simply because I need the ability to find photos that I've catalogued offline... I don't like it much for anything else, searching offline is the only thing I can't do in PM.

I've read on this forum where some feel image editing features should be integrated into PM, others feel cataloging should be integrated, and still others feel that cataloging should be an add-on program. Although I see image editing as very separate from PM (leave that to Photoshop), I see browsing and cataloging as extentions of the same idea... looking through, searching for, and generally handling digital photos. Only difference is that some are on your HD and some aren't. I don't think a cataloging program really needs to DO much more than PM already does, it just needs to broaden the existing scope to include offline images. Same contact sheets, preview windows etc, with the ability to find and display offline files as well as HD files. In that respect, it seems to make more sense to integrate cataloging abilities with the current PM rather than building a stand alone or "add-on" program. Knowing the PM gang, they would never allow it slow down other tasks or get too big and bloated. I think an integrated approach will ultimately be simpler, plus the best features the PM will be right there are at your fingertips.

Perhaps in addition to the "navigator" and the "favorites" columns on the left, PM could simply add a "catalog" column to accommodate custom and /or smart galleries of all your cataloged photos. Otherwise, hopefully the look and feel of the PM we all know and love could remain basically unchanged.

I guess one question is whether all photos ingested into the PM browser automatically become part of the PM cataloging database, or does the user add them manually when ready? I would prefer the latter so nothing ends up in the catalog until it's ready (sorting, IPTC info, editing etc). Perhaps a simple "add to catalog" command that sends the selected photos to be cataloged.

As for features, here's a few I'd like (many of these are features I like and use already in Portfolio):

- the whole point of cataloging is the ability to find you're photos, so powerful and highly customizable search features, saved searches and integrated "smart galleries" are important. Also handy would be the option to search for only offline photos, only photos on HD, or both. The ability to limit the search to user-selectable folders on a HD as opposed to the Spotlight-style whole HD approach would also be great.
- automatically update the thumbnail/preview file path when photos are burned to disc and removed from the HD so you don't have to re-catalog the disc.
- if cataloged photos are still on your HD, they will be visible in the browser area and the catalog area. Therefore it would be nice if the PM browser had the ability to identify photos that have already been cataloged to avoid accidentally sending them to be cataloged again.
- when sending images to be cataloged, the option to build custom-sized full screen previews as well as thumbnails.
- within a contact sheet, in addition to the filename under each photo add the variables option so extra info like date or file path (disc name) can be viewed.
- option to view contact sheet in a list-type view so all IPTC info and/or camera data (user customizable?) can be seen next to each thumbnail.
- sorting of galleries using any of the variables options, or custom manual sorting.

Sorry to go on at length, but a PM cataloging solution has been on my wish list forever. Hope to see it soon... tomorrow would be nice! (kidding... sort-of). Do you know/are you able to share any details yet, like; integrated program vs add-on program, features, timeline etc?
Cheers.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 05:19:39 PM by bazography »