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Expression Media worth it ?
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Mike_098
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« on: October 17, 2007, 05:44:00 PM »

Hello Folks,

I have read the The DAM Book - Digital Asset Management for Photographers and completed the companion training videos.  Peter Krogh’s suggestions and workflow concepts have really made a big difference in my day to day workflow.  Great stuff, anyone using a digital camera should take the time to study his works.

I have been using Extensis Portfolio 7.0 and 8.0 before taking on his workflow concepts.  Currently I have been giving the option to upgrade from Portfolio 8.0 to 8.5 or switch software.  Because of a corrupted database in Portfolio, I have to build a new image database from scratch, not so bad at least most of my files have my metadata applied.

Even before reading Peter Krogh’s book I have struggled with Portfolio and applying it to my workflow style. With my job I provide the photography and design concepts for various marketing and promotional materials. So I have decided it might be time to change my Digital Asset Management software. To be honest I was going to forget Portfolio and switch over to iView but I did not realize they have changed their product line to Expression Media.  After reading the forums and looking at reviews, I am a little concerned as I need a working platform in my workplace.

So I am in a bit of a stand still.  I use CS3 suite, Lightroom 1.2 and work in RAW but now I am left without my Digital Asset Management software, it can be a scary place. Smiley  So the question I ask, if you had to buy a new and invest the time into a new digital asset management software would you choose Expression Media or should I just live with the hurtles of Portfolio 8.5 as it seems I can’t buy a copy of iView 3.0 in Canada?

Cheers and thanks for any advice.
Mike
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billseymour
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2007, 06:06:50 PM »

Mike-
I just checked Amazon.com, and looks like you can get iView there.

Hope that is of help.
Bill
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thomas
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2007, 09:48:59 PM »

I'd love to here some other reply's on this....being im in the exact same position. minus the canada part.
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frankgindc
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2007, 10:13:37 PM »

Regarding iView, I'm hesitant to recommend it.  Although it is quite robust, with a particular strength in moving files around, I find it to be rather buggy and about a year or two behind the bells and whistles of other programs.  I'm on a mac so my options are limited, but LR might be a suitable option and I think I'm going to transition in that direction.   If you're on the PC you have many more options and I would recommend checking out iMatch and IDimager. 

That said, for my needs, I'm looking to streamline the software aspect of this so I'm hoping to avoid unnecessary separation and additional care and feeding of a DAM program if a good RAW converter/DAM combo can get me most of the way there.  That and the much more nimble and dynamic development are the reasons I'm slouching toward LR as my DAM tool too.

Hope this helps.
Frank
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jimHere
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2007, 08:44:05 AM »

I believe iView will be workable and relevant for at least another whole year -- enough time to guage if the next versions of Lightroom, Aperture or iView's estranged child "expression mediar" will be finished enough to take over.

I have the others and mess around in them, but only use iView for stuff related to paying work (and family photos).

-- Jim
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2007, 07:30:04 AM »

If your collection is not too big, and does not need to be sorted out from prior poor practice (lots of duplicate files, poor naming, no metadata, scattered on multiple media, iPhoto) then LR is a great way to go.  If you have a lot of older stuff to sort out, then LR will be a poor tool.

On Mac, for sorting and managing files, there is nothing that can do what it can. This is quite surprising to me, given the age of iView.

LR is a very good collection management tool for a new library of relatively modest size that is only now being created.

Peter
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annbrooks
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2007, 07:16:46 PM »

Peter,

In the previous post, you refer to a relatively new library of "modest" size. What do you consider "modest"? And what about future growth of such a library? How large a library can Lightroom manage?

Ann
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frankgindc
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2007, 08:16:00 PM »

I'm on a Mac so I don't have the option, but I can't imagine why anyone would want to start out now with Expression Media rather than IDimager.  EM is a real disappointment while IDimage looks through the roof good, it's being updated more frequently, has unique features (versioning for example), and is far LESS expensive.    I can see why someone who is heavily invested in time and effort might stay with EM but I can't see why anyone would want to jump into EM now.  I have a library of less than 15k images and I'm backing out of EM and going into Lightroom -- not ideal but a better train to be on, me things.

Thoughts?
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2007, 08:27:59 AM »

Frank,
In many ways, the sticking points are going to be ones of implementation and performance.  So Expression may end up being, to borrow a phrase, the worst program to do this work in, except for all the others. 

That said, you may have some particular anomalies with your Expression experience that make it not workable.  This seems to be something I see with *all* programs - some users just have terrible trouble with the program on a certain machine, while others with systems that seem identical run with no trouble.  This even happens with very mature and well-tested programs like Photoshop.

That said, I think it would be better to speak from experience here.  Load all 15,000 images into Lightroom, and let us know how it works for you.

Peter
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2007, 08:34:23 AM »

Ann,
WHat is modest?  Well, that depends.

It turns out that Lightroom performance depends to a degree on the amount of metadata you have in the files.  Lots of keywords (particularly nested ones, I think) can really slow it down.  This may show up a t a few thousand images, or it may not show up for you until  tens of thousands.

Also, keep in mind that this is a moving target.  We'll see a new dot release of Lightroom *very* soon, and they have been working on the database.  So performance today may not be the same as performance in the very near future.

The best way to tell how it will work on your machine, with your collection, is to dump the images in and see.  THe demo is fully featured, so what you see is what you will get.

Peter
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frankgindc
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2007, 10:04:25 AM »

Actually, I haven't had a bad, er, performance problem with Expression Media: that is, it seems to be working fine execpt for the -1310 error situation.   My point is that IDimager seems to be far more feature rich than EM and is -- perhaps -- the only DAM program with full versioning.  It seems to be going 80mph in development while EM, which is several years old, is going much more slowly.  It's also about 1/3 the price.

Again, I'm not looking to ping pong over to Idimager (although I would love it if they ported it to Mac) but I'm wondering why any PC user, when given a choice between, say, Idimager and EM -- or iMatch for that matter -- would be well advised to invest more $ in EM, for what seems to be a lesser program.

Frank

p.s.  As an aside -- since I'm always trying to see the logic in something, even when I don't like the outcome -- I wouldn't be surprised if MS views EM primarily as the DAM component of its Expression suite down the road and feels no need now to speed up EM development or correct long standing problems for current/long time users who may already have their "creative suite" needs spoken for.
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joejjc
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2007, 12:38:36 PM »

I've bought EM, although my feeling was that it was over-priced given other tools on the market.  The main tipping point for me was the ability to do scripting to automate some metadata issues that none of the software I've seen does well, like looking up unique IDs and pulling in related records; I'm hoping to give it some mash-up potential. However, I tend to be one of those early adopters who don't mind "rolling my own" when there's nothing on the menu that does what I want.  I will say that it's buggier than one would expect, considering it went thru several rounds as iView first.
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