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Print Page - Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2

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Software Discussions => idImager => Topic started by: danaltick on August 03, 2009, 09:02:15 PM



Title: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 03, 2009, 09:02:15 PM
This comparison has been prompted by my desire to harvest as much XMP data as possible including DNG rendering adjustments as well as my concern over the future and support of EM2.  I discuss my initial approach to backing up the rendering/PIE adjustments with iView/EM2 here http://thedambook.com/smf/index.php?topic=4039.msg23336#msg23336.

I'm in the first stages of comparing the latest release of IDimager v4.  I must say the user's manual is quite big and appears to be very thorough, a definite plus.  Here are some of the features I've found so far that are not available in iView.  I don't yet own EM2, but I'm assuming they are not available there either.  I also plan to note any relevant features in iView/EM2 that are not available in IDimager:

Free floating & docking panels w/ collapse capability (like Photoshop CS4, probably flash based)

IPTC 2008 XMP extended panels support

Full EXIF browsing and searching

In addition to Date/Timeline browser, full Calendar w/ image date range support

In addition to Catalog Explorer, a built-in Windows Explorer media browser w/ collection support

Private catalog set support

Full XMP harvesting/syncing including DNG rendering adjustments

More to come. 

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 04, 2009, 06:33:10 AM
Here's some info from the IDimager manual on catalog labels.  I don't agree with not using conventional keywording (wonder if that means the labels are stored in the keywords field; would certainly hope not, will have to check that).  As Peter points out in the new book, catalog sets can be filtered against keywords which can minimize the chance of data mismatches.  There are also many times when you might create sets that you may not wish to use as keywords (e.g. Client Selects, Day One, Deliveries, etc.).  I also don't think IDimager's label mapping capability is a substitute for EM2's Place Finder. The location information should be provided during the ingestion/bulk metadata phase where possible.

"Catalog labels are not exactly the same as metadata keywords. IDimager separated these two because metadata keywords are simple flat lists (no hierarchy), meaning you'd be quite limited in organizing keywords and keywording capabilities. Catalog labels are more flexible and the good part is that IDimager can keep catalog labels and metadata keywords in sync. I highly recommend that you use catalog labels for keywording and don't use direct keyword editing in the image details which you may be used to from other image management applications.

By assigning catalog labels to your images you are in fact adding keywords, but while a keywords is only a "string" without additional intelligence, catalog labels are more. For instance you can tell IDimager to keep a catalog label private and in that case the catalog is *not* written to the keywords while you have it available in your catalog. This way you will be able to search on it while at the same time you are guaranteed that this info is not sent out to your customers. Another feature in IDimager allows you to "map" a keyword to an image detail field. For instance you have a catalog label called "San Francisco" then you are able to map this catalog label to the City field on the Image Content tab of the Image Details ([Alt]+[Enter]). Another extra is that for each catalog label you can tell IDimager that when you assign a label that it should also assign all the parent catalog labels. For instance; you have a label hierarchy "Places -> USA -> California -> San Francisco". Then when you assign the label "San Francisco", IDimager will automatically assign "California" and "USA"... and if these parents are also mapped to fields these will also be filled on syncing the image. One more thing; you can also assign a GEO location to a catalog label. Then when you sync the image, IDimager will automatically GEO tag the image. For instance; you have a catalog label "Statue of Liberty". This is a "fixed place" and so you could add a GEO location to it. Then as you assign the label your images is also GEO tagged."


Dan


Title: Re: IDimager v4 review
Post by: peterkrogh on August 05, 2009, 06:32:35 PM
Dan,
I assume it can show you the Location fields, it's just that they are not hierarchically organized.  Is that it?

Seems like something Hert should add...
Peter


Title: Re: IDimager v4 review
Post by: havezet on August 07, 2009, 06:43:16 PM
Dan,

I'm travelling right now and have to type this on the phone so sorry for this short reply.

Does this help for the place finder report?
http://repository.idimager.com/cgi-bin/idi_script_repository.exe?action=scriptDetails&scriptID=467da441%2D0575%2D4db3%2D71b1%2Debdf944b6ef7

thanks
hert


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 09, 2009, 07:23:21 PM
Peter,

I would actually prefer to have browsing capability of the hierarchical location information with the ability to click on multiple sets simultaneously, similar to the Place Finder in EM2.  However, if Hertz's script works as stated it sounds like it will do the trick as long as it doesn't create duplicate sets if I accidentally run it on the same images more than once.  Haven't tested it, but I'm assuming it doesn't; therefore, I removed the "No Place Finder" support feature from the list above.

Looking good so far.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 09, 2009, 07:25:48 PM
I changed the name of this thread because my plan is not to do a comprehensive review of IDimager, but rather a comparision of the major features with EM2.  My primary objective is to make a more informed decision between the two products and hopefully help other Windows users do the same.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 09, 2009, 07:32:51 PM
Looks like I can't remove the no Place Finder support from the first post above.  I seem to be having trouble scrolling through my editing window for posting.  This seems to have started when I upgraded to Internet Explorer 8.  Peter have you noticed this when making long posts under Windows with IE8?

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: peterkrogh on August 10, 2009, 06:30:16 PM
Dan,
Are you trying to split the post?
Peter


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 10, 2009, 06:42:17 PM
Peter,

No, just trying to remove  a line near the bottom.  I put my cursor in the edit window and arrow down to the bottom by holding down the down arrow key.  However, when I release the cursor it pops me back up to the middle of the post.  I think it might be an IE8 quirk.  MicroSoft just seems to have a propensity for messing up a good thing.  Gets old after a while if you know what I mean ;-).

I'm going to try this on another one of PC's with IE8.  I'll get back to you.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 10, 2009, 08:40:16 PM
Peter,

Just tried it on another PC and get the same problem.  It must be an incompatibility with IE8.  Try typing something at the bottom of my first post above using Vista with IE8.  I assume you can do that as adminsitrator.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 10, 2009, 08:51:02 PM
Peter,

Just found the problem.  You have to select "Compatibility Veiw" mode when viewing this site in IE8.

I removed the no Place Finder support from the first post above

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 11, 2009, 08:13:57 PM
It appears as though IDimager's catalog labels (known as catalog sets in EM2) are stored along with the IPTC keywords.  The IDimager Search commmand does not search on Catalog Labels.  This concerns me somewhat due to the potential for data mismatches between catalog sets and keywords, as well as migrating to another asset manager in the future if necessary.  It looks like the catalog labels/sets will be lost in the keywords.  What if you had a keyword with the same name as a catalog set, but different meaning; would only one keyword exist on export?  Also, I create allot of catalog sets that I don't intend to be keywords.  Maybe I'm not seeing the whole picture here, but I would think you would want to keep Catalog Sets independent from keywords.

By the way, I'm building quite a long list of worthwhile capabilities that idImager has that are not found in EM2.  I plan to post those soon.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 11, 2009, 09:08:13 PM
Ok, I was able to look at the ICS schema in Bridge created by idImager.  It does look like idImager keeps the catalog labels in separate structures within that schema; however, it doesn't appear to harvest them if the images are imported to a new idImager catalog.  It instead copies them to the IPTC keywords field.  So if I had to create a new catalog from my images I would lose my catalog labels/sets; unless Hert has created a script to harvest them.

I'm also hoping he has a script that will harvest iView/EM catalog sets from the mediapro schema.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: mphillips on August 12, 2009, 03:07:17 AM
Hi Dan

In order to "reconstruct" your catalog via the ICS scheme you need to switch an option on "Read ICS Scheme if Available". It is generally switched off, and only switched on for a reconstruction.

Hope that helps

Regards

MikeP


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 12, 2009, 05:22:24 AM
MikeP,

Thanks allot.  I see that now.  I also see an option to not merge the catalog labels to keywords on sync.  Looks like the problem's solved.

Hert really seems to have thought of everything.

Moral to the story, finish reading the manual before speculating ;-).

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: billseymour on August 12, 2009, 09:21:18 AM
Manual? What is this word I've never heard of?

--Bill
(or, from 'Treasure of Sierra Madre':  "Manual? We don' need no steenking manual!"


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 12, 2009, 09:43:26 AM
Did I say "read" the manual?  Wow!  That was a real slip of the keyboard.  Should have been "ditch" the manual.  Bill, thanks for pointing that out.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: billseymour on August 12, 2009, 12:03:41 PM
De nada. (I was worried there for just a sec...)
--Bill


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 19, 2009, 08:45:30 AM
I finally finished a first pass of the IDimager manual with some hands-on experimenting and a bombardment of questions at the IDimager forum http://forum.idimager.com/viewforum.php?f=2&start=0.  Wow!  Talk about allot of info!  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  At times along the way I kept debating whether the app was just too complicated and/or confusing; however, now that I'm beginning to see the larger picture, I believe it all serves a purpose and is extremely well laid out.

All I can say is, this application is everything a catalog manager should be.  It's truly in a class all by itself.  I have never seen an asset manager this comprehensive and yet so user friendly.  If this was truly developed by one individual (i.e. Hert), then I'm totally blown away!  And Hert, I don't think you have to worry about Lightroom or Expression Media catching up to the asset management capabilities of IDimager any time soon.  I really can't wait to see what's coming in version 5.  Simply an amazing app!

Below is a list of those features I believe are worth noting and for the most part either have more capability than EM or are not supported by EM.  There were actually a number of other features that were as good or better than EM or were not supported by EM, but I did decided not to list.  For example, the Stamper, powerful Batch processor, comprehensive email support, printing, elaborate CD burning, full backups, extensive built-in editor, and more).  You can find out more about these in the online manual below.  I did also note a few weakness of IDimager in the list (albeit not many).

I did my best to make each list item clear and concise, but again you can find more information from the online manual http://manual.idimager.com/ where necessary.

Note - idImager refers to Catalog Sets as Catalog Labels (or just Labels).

1.   Free floating & docking panels w/ collapse capability (like PS CS4)
2.   Supports IPTC 2008 XMP extended schema
3.   Supports PLUS XMP schema
4.   Good mouse-over details of all XMP fields including XMP syntax for the given field
5.   For selected images, a per-XMP field ability to append, replace, delete, or leave unchanged
6.   Powerful script engine w/ ability to code scripts and macros directly into XMP fields
7.   Full EXIF browsing and searching
8.   Private Label support
9.   Full XMP harvesting and syncing w/ PIE adjustments
10. Visual thumbnail indication of whether images are in-sync or out-of-sync
11. Visual thumbnail indication of whether images have assigned catalog Labels
12. Visual thumbnail indicator of whether images are online, offline, or missing
13. Per-image list of currently assigned catalog Labels
14. List of most recently used catalog Labels
15. 100% loop preview from thumbnail view (similar to Bridge CS4)
16. Prevents accidental changing of star ratings when clicking on thumbnails (Use Alt-Click for ratings).
17. Full script support with library of plug-in scripts
18. Ability to setup Workspaces (including color themes) similar to Photoshop with each having a keyboard shortcut (EM2 uses View Options dialog)
19. Full image downloader w/ mirroring, validation, DNG conversion, and integrated Label assignment (somewhere between EM and IIP)
20. Full XMP GUI meta editor w/ custom schema creator http://forum.idimager.com/viewtopic.php?t=430.
21. Ability to attach GEO location info (w/ distance radius) to catalog Labels
22. Ability to establish relationships/links between Labels for quick navigation to related Labels.
23. Supports Stored Groups analogous to Lightroom's Smart Collections, but also automatically assigns Labels as images are added to Stored Groups
24. Can drag-n-drop both directions: images to Labels or Labels to images.  Can also drag directly from file system to Labels.
25. Separate Catalog Assignment mode allowing for quick series of Label assignments via checkboxes
26. No Back button or history in IDimager, but can go back to main page after a search
27. Copy and Paste Labels to/from selected Images (Ctrl-Shift-C, Ctrl-Shift-V)
28. Supports versioning for derivatives w/ Version Detection Wizard and metadata cascading across the versions.  Versions show as single thumbnail.
29. Supports stacking for Pano's, HDR, collages, etc.
30. Supports virtual and fast selections for quick groupings prior to assigning permanent Labels
31. Very powerful searching capabilities including:
     Extremely fast multi-searching w/ mouse of everything including Exif, Search hard drives using wildcard characters, Boolean-wise conditional searching, Search for missing images, Search for out-of-sync images, Search across categories (e.g. catalog Labels, color Labels, file types, ratings, etc.) using AND, OR, and NOT
32. Integrated GPS with Google Maps
33. Comprehensive Light Table w/ up to 30 images w/ DNG preview support.
34. Full-screen image viewing mode w/ DNG preview support.
35. Does not support playing of audio or video files, but can catalog many different file types.
36. Browse and select images across date ranges with a visual calander
37. Extensive slideshow editor with multi-track timeline supporting MP3 and WAV.  Can create AVI, GIF, and self-extracting EXE movies.
38. Extensive web publishing with powerful template editor w/ built-in HTML code and metadata access
39. Currently supports uploading to Flickr, ZenFolio, SmugMug, Google Picasa, and Facebook
40. Smorgasboard or options including complete thumbnail customization with HTML editor
41. Uses industry standard SQL database format
42. Good documentation
43. Good support forum

It is unfortunate we don't currently have a Mac version, but I would hate to see that slow down Hert's progress.  Hopefully he can hire someone to help him with that down the road.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 23, 2009, 09:03:58 PM
Thought this was worth mentioning.  I discovered that through the use of IDimager's Batch Processor which contains a plethora of editing commands, I was able to create a batch job very quickly that batches out my DNG proofs, resizes them, and sharpens them using a sharpening editor that is plenty good enough for print proofs.  It even has a dynamic sharpener that only sharpens the highlights; not bad.  I think this is a nice convenience because it keeps you from having to edit the DNG's in ACR and rebuild the previews just to add some sharpening for print proofs.  And of course, it's always nice not having to touch your archive.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 24, 2009, 07:12:00 PM
Here's yet another very nice feature I've just discovered.  IDimager has a preview mode similar to Bridge that allows you to setup a filmstrip mode just like Bridge (albeit vertical rather than horizontal).  You can then save that Workspace and hotkey to it at any time.  You tell IDimager to build the previews at a specified resolution, usually much lower than the full resolution of the images.  I built mine at 1280 pixels which is plenty large enough for my monitor.  It puts these previews in a separate database file that can easily be ported along with the primary metadata database.  It's actually faster than EM because it's not working off the full resolution images or full res DNG previews.  It actually downsizes the DNG previews.  I can now hotkey between my LightTable mode and my FilmStrip mode, just like Bridge.  This app just keeps on impressing me.

So far the performance seems pretty good.  It even supports multi-threading.  I've heard that Hert is beefing up the performance even more in version 5.  Anxiously awaiting news on that.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: havezet on August 25, 2009, 12:41:57 AM
I've heard that Hert is beefing up the performance even more in version 5.  Anxiously awaiting news on that.

Dan,

I can't share any details about V5 yet, but it adds new features, has some major existing feature redesigns, more multi threading features, and much much more. Oh and you're right...it also adds some performance.

Stay on the lookout for the first public beta soon.

Hert


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 25, 2009, 05:00:32 AM
Hert,

Sounds great.  Can't wait to test it out.  I plan to build a new Core i7 system this fall.  It will have 4 hyper-threaded cores, so looking forward to utilizing those cores.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 25, 2009, 07:01:38 PM
Did some dragging and dropping of images and folders from one catalog to another to see if the catalog labels travel with the images.  Doesn't appear to.  You have to perform the same export of source and import of destination (i.e. sync) to/from the files to bring along the metadata from one catalog to another; same as EM.  Would be nice if all the metadata would come along with the files without having to actually touch the archive.  Maybe in a future version.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 26, 2009, 08:21:29 AM
A little more info on IDimager's preview mode vs. EM's Media View mode.  EM does allow you to create previews at a fixed 1280x800 pixels.  These are typically used for offline viewing; however, they do make the catalog quite a bit bigger and less portable.  This of course is a similar situation with IDimager's preview mode.  The larger the preview the bigger the catalog.  IDimager does have an Image Viewer that looks at the full size image without using the previews, very similar to EM's Media View mode.  The Image Viewer also gives the ability to rate, add color labels, and navigate, just like EM's Media View mode.  You basically have a choice with IDimager.  If you want to keep your catalogs as small as possible, then go with the Image Viewer and Fullscreen mode options.  If you want a filmstrip mode and very fast navigation, then go with the Preview option.  I like the filmstrip option so I'm probably going to go that route, but make my previews around 800 pixels max.  Unlike EM, IDimager allows you to change the preview size. 800 pixels should be a nice compromise.  Also, IDimager doesn't have the 1.8GB database size limit that EM has, and the previews are stored in a separate thumbs.db database file so I don't really think it affects performance too much as it grows.  I plan to run a test on about 10k images with this 800 pixel size to see how large this makes the database.  I also plan to compare import performance between the two apps.  I know that import performance has been an issue with IDimager, so I may wait for the v5 beta to do this.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 26, 2009, 08:24:32 PM
Been playing around with IDimager's Batch Processor.... very impressive!  I quickly put together a list of batch commands that spit out some quick proofs that were downsized, sharpened, cropped to a different aspect ratio, watermarked with my watermark file, increased the canvas size and made it black along the bottom, then captioned it with my copyright and description just like Dr. Brown's Caption Maker.  Now that is one powerful Batch processor.  The diggs just keep comin'.  Too cool!

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 27, 2009, 06:27:25 AM
How's this for support http://forum.idimager.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10655.  Just like the old days.

This is a 2-page post.  Don't forget the 2nd page.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: peterkrogh on August 28, 2009, 12:24:50 PM
Dan,
I, too am impressed with Hert's responsiveness, and the flexibility and extensibility of idImager.
Now if he would only offer cross-platform...
Peter


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 28, 2009, 01:28:58 PM
Peter,

Understood.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: Dierk on August 29, 2009, 02:38:47 AM
Peter, why exactly do you ask for cross-platform as a universal?


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: billseymour on August 29, 2009, 05:26:28 AM
And a further question, related to Dierk's (and hopefully Hert can comment on this, as well):

How well does Idimager run on Macs (and Apple computers generally) when using Boot Camp or Parallels? If the answer is "it runs fine", then isn't the cross-platform issue largely solved? I refer to the following (I know Peter, Dan, Dierk, etc know this, just including the reference for anyone unfamiliar with what I am talking about):
---------
If you need to use a particular Windows-only application, you have a few options: Boot Camp comes with every new Mac, and it lets you run Windows natively — as if your Mac were a PC. If you want to run Mac OS X and Windows side by side, you can purchase Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMware Fusion. Install one of these applications, along with the Windows Installation CDs, and you can run the occasional Windows program right next to your Mac applications, without having to restart.

http://www.apple.com/getamac/faq/
--------

Now, something I don't know is: the above refers to running on a Mac- does Apple still make any non-Mac computers, and if so, does the same solution work for them? (I know, I am an Apple-techno-peasant, but hey, whaddayagonnado?)

--Bill


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: peterkrogh on August 29, 2009, 11:42:59 AM
Bill,
I, too, am interested in how well idImager runs in a virtualized environment.
Per another thread in the Lightroom section, any management program must make use of system-level resources, and this might be one of those app types where this becomes problematic.

Peter


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 29, 2009, 12:46:01 PM
Ran a performance test on Web Gallery creation with IDimager and EM using a collection of 238 DNG's.  In each case I made the web gallery images 480 pixels max.  The thumbs were close in size.  Here are the results:

IDimager with the option "Allow stored catalog previews to be used when available" turned on w/ 900px previews in database: 195 secs.

IDimager with the option "Allow stored catalog previews to be used when available" turned off: 220 seconds (using DNG previews here)

EM using DNG previews: 390 seconds

Makes me wonder now why EM is taking so long.

Dan



Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: havezet on August 30, 2009, 08:27:34 AM
Peter,

I know of some IDI users who later on switched to Mac and who run IDI succesfully in virtual box; though I don't know if they're using VMware or Parallels or other virtualization software. There should be postings about this on the IDimager forum.

I'm also interested in an answer from you to Dierk's question.

Hert


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: peterkrogh on August 30, 2009, 09:10:57 AM
Hert,
When you refer to Dierk's question, what are you asking?  Is it:

"Mac and PC are not the whole universe of OS.  What about Linux?"
If that's the question, then, sure, for those trying to brave Linux as an imaging platform, I see the issue of being left out.

If the issue is
"Why does being Mac-compatible matter so much?", then I'd say it does not, for those who are PC only, like Dan. For those who use Mac, or, like me who have dual platform environments, it means everything. My time for testing is limited, and it's hard to justify putting a program at the heart of the operation that cuts out more than half of the audience. (To the extent that the program itself is at the heart.  Much of my work is not program-specific. It's about best practices that transcend any particular piece of software.)

If platform was not an issue, it would be pretty easy to say that IdImager offers the most complete feature set by a considerable margin. I know lots of Mac users who would be very enthusiastic to have access to the features you've created. Perhaps virtualization will make this a reality.

Or maybe you will just make a Mac version...
;-)
Peter


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 30, 2009, 09:38:24 AM
We are truly in an age of virtualization with the newer processors supporting it at the core level, and each new generation of processors literally trumps the generation before it.  Most all servers today run in virtual environments supporting all the major O/S's.  Performance is not a real issue anymore.  I think this would be the avenue I would be investigating.  I see this as a way for the small developer to compete with the big guys.

Dan 


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: Dierk on August 30, 2009, 10:48:13 AM
Peter, your answer is what I wanted us all to see, both parts, the Linux one as well as the dual-environment one. It is absolutely necessary to put a perspective on any recommendation, especially universal ones. I, for one, am not on Mac and never will be if I can forego it*.

There's a lot to consider for the future of any application. For instance, Mac and Linux have a lot in common as they are both based on UNIX, both will probably never be more than minor niche - it might even be that Windows will go the way of the dodo. Currently I see a lot of work in bringing apps onto the Internet to be used through Web browsers or rather smallish starter/browser UIs based upon browsers. Google surely goes this way; contrary to MS a few years ago, the big G knows what they are doing. But Google with their PIM and office apps are not the only ones, Invelos [and its predecessor] have been offering partial Web connection for years. Lately Collectorz.com started to port their programs to the Web [for the time being desktop, iPhone, and Web will coexist].

In another thread we discuss the lukewarm statement from MS about the future of xMedia, and some users are now in a state of frustrated content, waiting only for the most glaring problems to be fixed [coming down to database size]. I am not to sure MS isn't in the same state ... While the UI is still superior to everything else with only one tweak really needed [panels movable and visible at the same time], the program as a whole is just ... old. MS and the users need a killer feature, say, database handling locally and on the Web. We need much better gallery creation possibilities, especially on the Flash front; actually the gallery API needs an overhaul so what can be done by third-party companies with Lightroom and more could be done with xMedia.

How come I have to create Helper application entries to get my files correctly handed over to their associated program? Is a better integration for other programs called possible, making xMedia a hub for all things photo? What about a Picasa/flikr-like photo community hosted by MS, directly accessible via xMedia [optional, not mandatory, in both directions]? How about an optional rights-free repository of audio and video material open to use in slideshows created via xMedia?

Let's be clear, nothing of this is new, most of it already done one way or another by other companies, Adobe comes to mind, who are obviously not just contemplating all of this. ATM Adobe is the big sausage when it comes to all things photo, with no contender. Adobe is creation-oriented, Lightroom uses a database but that is not its selling point, ease of image processing is. MS has nothing to offer on that front [please, buy a good RAW processor-cum-image-processor like Lightzone and add it to xMedia] but has a very good media management app - and the know-how to work it. Why don't they?

This will sutely incite the wrath of Khan ... sorry, don't even like Star Trek ... the wrath of Appl users, which sizable with xMedia: For now, MS, concentrate on developing xMedia on Windows and towards Web; the Mac market is a niche and one that knows how to run Windows programs on their designer machines. A Mac app on Windows, never heard of that.




*Sometimes I have to work with them, for years in the past, before and after Mac went essentially Unix.


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 30, 2009, 11:36:27 AM
The Mac is a niche market, but not for photographers.  It's where Photoshop was born.  It might be interesting to take a poll on the forum, Mac or Windows.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 30, 2009, 02:00:16 PM
Just ran an ingestion test between IDimager and EM using the same 238 DNG's mentioned above in the web gallery test:

EM: 125 secs

IDimager with no previews: 325 secs

IDimager with 900 px previews: 500 secs

This is the only area I've come across so far where IDimager is lagging significantly in performance.  I would hope to see some improvements in this area when version 5 is released later this fall.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: peterkrogh on August 30, 2009, 03:25:06 PM
Dierk,
I think you are on target with much of your commentary (without directing any of my comments to the issue of future EM releases).

Your interest in web integration is one I see everywhere, surely at places like Microsoft, Adobe, and Apple. Almost all of these, however, are assuming that it's going to be someone else's job to actually preserve the entire collection. They are all fighting about being the sexy front-end application, not the robust, reliable, and forward-compatible back-end application. Hert is one of the few that seems to be putting a lot of development thought into this area, outside of the very expensive enterprise-level DAMs.

My own personal belief is that there is a huge opportunity for the company that can create a great back-end application that can have extensible stuff bolted onto the front. Let me sort my images on my machine, and let my wife sort on heres, and let us trade the work back and forth. Then, let me hook a web app onto the database and share. In the database world, this kind of arrangement has been a solved problem for something like 20 years.  Why has it taken so long to move into the imaging space?

As to Dan's comments on the virtualization, that's true for lots of computing, but robust manipulation of the filesystem tools is integral to DAM functionality, and I think that raises some very fundamental problems. It's one thing to boot a Mac in Windows, quite another to run Windows in a Mac environment and have the software access the Mac APIs when many of them are very different from the Windows APIs. (This takes me to the edge of my knowledge about this subject - I know this is a potential issue - I don't happen to know how solvable it is.)  I'm concerned that the only real way to make this work is to have two parallel applications.

Maybe Hert can weigh in on this...

Peter


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 30, 2009, 03:50:10 PM
Peter,

I really don't think it should be a problem running Windows in a Mac environment.  I worked in a real-time sumulation environment for a few months last year where we were compiling, linking, and running our simulation (comprised of thousand of files) in a Linux environment running completely virtual under WindowsXP as separate windows.  This simulation also accessed the file system in real-time, and this was on older dual-core Conroe processors; nothing compared to today's quad-core hyperthreaded Core i7's.  If this works in a real-time sumlation environment, I don't think DAM would be a problem.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: Dierk on August 30, 2009, 11:25:05 PM
Peter, I don't see 'robust manipulation of the filesystem tools' in xMedia, except on the Mac ...

That's another troubling point about the program since MS took over - let me remind you that I am anything but an MS basher, and that I was all in favour of the take-over when it happened - very annoying bugs stand seemingly forever. Like not being able to d'n'd folders within xMedia; we have to create a new folder, d'n'd all images over, then delete the old folder. I am also missing an indicator that a folder is not empty though all my Importer files are out [i.e. no BMPs, JPEGs, NEFs, DNGs, TIFFs anymore but XMPs or video files or text files]; thus I have to go through Windows Explorer to see if I can savely delete the folder. Not robust.

Another one is that f**** unbelievable explode bug for keywords:

(http://Foto.Write4U.de/Forum/vocab.png)

There shouldn't be any doubles in the keyword file. And in past versions it worked quite well, enter a line of comma-separated keywords, hit <Enter>, the terms are applied individually, the line is taken over into the keyword file. It is also exploded into fragments, which can be good, though I don't want that [make it optional!]. All right thus far, but now, whenever I enter keywords as described they get added individually no matter if they are already in there. That's a mjor setback for me to get CVK translated into German with additional keywords added.


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: peterkrogh on August 31, 2009, 12:48:48 PM
Dierk,
I was unaware of the "exploded keywords" bug (nice mental image).

A best I can tell, what you are describing is that when entering a keyowrd hierarchy, all nodes are added as separate keywords, even if an identical item is already there.  Is that it? 

Also, not sure what d'n'd means.

Peter


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: Chris Bishop on August 31, 2009, 01:09:58 PM
Spare your blushes Peter, hide behind the green bottle, probably the best green bottle in the world? Do you have the same adverts?
Drag n Drop ?
Chris


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: peterkrogh on August 31, 2009, 05:40:12 PM
I thought it was dungeons and dragons...
Peter


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 31, 2009, 07:17:34 PM
As Larry the Cable Guy would say, "I don't car who u r, that was funny rite ther"

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on August 31, 2009, 08:37:30 PM
I've made quite a few suggestions on the IDimager forum since I started evaluating it.  Below are the links to those threads.  Peter, feel free to critique as necessary.  Don't won't to send Hert on any wild goose chases.

http://forum.idimager.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10659

http://forum.idimager.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10495

http://forum.idimager.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10685

http://forum.idimager.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10666

http://forum.idimager.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10608

http://forum.idimager.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10655 (already taken care of)

http://forum.idimager.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10506

That about wraps up my evaluation/comparison unless anybody has any recommendations/suggestions.

Quite an awakening!  I would never have guessed this app was so comprehensive.  I'm truly stupid-fied.  Hert, I'm humbled by what you have accomplished.  I only regret not having looked at it sooner.  Can't wait for version 5.

Now time to get back to re-systematizing my DAM, with IDimager of course.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: Dierk on August 31, 2009, 11:06:00 PM
A best I can tell, what you are describing is that when entering a keyowrd hierarchy, all nodes are added as separate keywords, even if an identical item is already there.  Is that it?

Exactly.

d'n'd has - outside of role player communities - always been a standard abbrev for drag-and-drop. Sorry, I tend to shorten words, phrases, even sentences a lot on days I've a lot to say on-line.


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: peterkrogh on September 01, 2009, 06:06:34 AM
Dierk,
Don't know why I didn't process DnD - yes, that's common usage.
Usually, my brain works in acronyms, or MBWIA.
Peter


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: Dierk on September 01, 2009, 10:54:07 AM
Using Opera, I created a search box for the toolbar from: http://www.acronymfinder.com/

Oh, and the linguist in me tells me to be a little pedantic on 'acronym', neither MBWIA nor d'n'd are such, they are just abbreviations. An acronym is an abbrev formed from several words by using single letters from each [usually the first one, but let's not get too pedantic], which is then spoken like a word, hence '-nym' = name. NATO is the standard example.


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: peterkrogh on September 01, 2009, 02:40:46 PM
I can pronounce MBWIA.
;-)
Peter


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on September 01, 2009, 08:13:49 PM
I just discovered that IDimager can replicate the Place Finder capability in EM due to its ability to browse all the Metadata Panels by control clicking on them just like EM.  For example you can Ctrl-click on State then City then Location very easily; and of course you can supplement this with Ctrl-clicks on the Ratings, Color Labels, File Types, etc. just like EM, but with many more fields.... very powerful indeed and really negates the need for Hert's script mentioned earlier in this post http://thedambook.com/smf/index.php?topic=4202.msg23383#msg23383.  You can also Ctrl-Alt-cliick to exclude specific fields.  One thing it doesn't do though that EM does is highlight the fields contained in the selected images.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: havezet on September 01, 2009, 08:30:18 PM
One thing it doesn't do though that EM does is highlight the fields contained in the selected images.

Hi Dan,

You can read the in/excluded items in the title of the Collection Viewer (in other words; directly above the thumbs)

Does that help?

Hert


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on September 02, 2009, 04:59:46 AM
Hert,

Yes that does help.  I like that approach.  You can always see the full conditional list.  With EM you only see the highlighted terms if those portions of the hierarchy are actually visible in the Catalog Explorer window.  It would be nice of course to have both, but one or the other will certainly work.

Dan


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: havezet on September 02, 2009, 07:59:18 AM
Dan,

When using Ctrl+Click then IDimager also displays an indicator at the far left of the selected item (a lime colored vertical bar).

Hert


Title: Re: Comparison of IDimager v4 to EM2
Post by: danaltick on September 02, 2009, 08:09:49 AM
Hert,

Yes that's true.  Let me rewind for a moment now that I think about this.  With EM all you have to do is select some thumbnails and whatever metadata and/or labels/sets have been assigned to those thumbnails gets highlighted in the Catalog Explorer tree hierarchy.  This happens without any multi-image Ctrl-click searching.  Now the Quick Assign feature does give you all the Catalog Label assignments, but it doesn't show the other Branch assignments such as Color Labels, Ratings, other IPTC metadata, file types, etc. Make sense?

Dan