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DNG Codecs and EM 2 problem
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Author Topic: DNG Codecs and EM 2 problem  (Read 5109 times)
ralphpaonessa
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« on: June 13, 2008, 02:03:56 PM »

*** NOTE: After posting, I discovered that this problem with "lost" DNG files was present in my original IVMP catalog which was then opened in EM 2. Not sure how it happened in IVMP; but it's not an EM 2 problem. Here's my orignal post ...

I thought this problem might be related to the Adobe DNG Codec Release Candidate, which I installed and then uninstalled to troubleshoot this. Now, I have no DNG codecs installed (I previoulsy installed and uninstalled the Ardfry DNG codec), and see the following problem, so perhaps it has nothing to do with codecs:

If I check "Use embedded preview when available" in Preferences, EM 2 will show me full-size previews of some of my DNG files, and correctly rotates verticals -- although this seems to be slower than in IVMP. But on other DNGs, it can't display a full-size preview, but instead displays the thumbnail that was generated when I imported the DNG.

EM 2 has further difficulties with these "problem" DNGs. It appears to no longer point to that file (the file name doesn't appear in the path). If I right-click and select "Open with Photoshop," Photoshop launches but says "Could not complete your request because it is not the right kind of file." If I try to rebuild that DNG in EM 2, the thumbnail disappears.

This DNG behaves normally if I go back to IVMP: I can still see full-size previews and open it in PS from IVMP.

If I re-import that DNG into EM 2 (by dragging it from its Windows folder to EM 2), it seems to import and behave normally, I can see full-size previews, etc. I thought I needed a DNG codec to do this, but apparently not??

Any idea what is causing this problem?

I would go back and try the Ardfry codec, but my free trial expired. And I'm confused, because I thought I wouldn't even be able to see full-size DNGs in EM 2 without a DNG codec. I believe that was the case in the EM 2 Beta -- did they change it in the final EM 2 release? Why would I even need a DNG codcec now?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 06:57:44 PM by ralphpaonessa » Logged

Ralph Paonessa
RPPhoto.com
roberte
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2008, 07:13:16 PM »

Hi Ralph,

On Windows the current version of Expression Media uses QuickTime not the DNG codec to support DNG. The lost connection to the original files may relate to the QuickTime 7.4+ bug which truncated filenames. I'm still on QT 7.3.1.

-- Robert.
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ralphpaonessa
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008, 11:21:10 PM »

On Windows the current version of Expression Media uses QuickTime not the DNG codec to support DNG.

Here's what I've experienced so far with EM2 on Windows Vista:

1. No DNG codec installed:
- EM2 displays full-size DNG previews when "Use embedded previews" is checked.
- Previews are correctly rotated.

2. Install Adobe DNG Codec Release Candidate:
- EM2 displays full-sized DNG previews when "Use embedded previews" is NOT checked (otherwise only thumbnails)
- Previews are NOT correctly rotated: verticals display as horizontals.

3. No obvious different in DNG preview rendering speed with no codec vs. Adobe codec.

So it looks like EM2 does respond to the DNG codec -- but not in an altogether good way.

Does anyone know how EM2/Vista behaves with the Ardfry DNG codec? My free trial ran out, and I'm loathe to spend $30 to test it, on top of the $99 that for now feels kind of wasted on EM2. The slower rendering of full-size DNG and PSD previews in EM2 is very disappointing and will probably push me back to IVMP for now.
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Ralph Paonessa
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roberte
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2008, 03:34:19 AM »

Hi,

Expression Media 2 was originally shipping solely with DNG support reliant on Adobe's codec which is as you experienced, not that great. It is slow, ignores rotation tag, etc. With some encouragement legacy DNG support was reinstated in v2 as in iView. i.e. using QT.

Two years ago when Microsoft purchased iView they said WIC would be added to MediaPro for Windows, and this immediately gave me reason to be concerned. In theory this puts the onus on the camera manufacturers to support their RAW file formats. Like many other third party apps that support RAW formats iView spent valuable time "reverse engineering" these files, using manufacturer SDKs or using other methods. Microsoft have a different philosophy based on the fact that manufacturers would be crazy not to support Windows, and consequently Expression Media. In practice camera manufacturers are arrogant and ignorant about DAM.

Now all this is rather ironic because we aren't discussing proprietary RAW files here but Adobe's documented DNG format!

-- Robert.
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ralphpaonessa
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2008, 07:12:45 AM »

G'day Robert,

What you said makes a lot of sense.

On the one hand, the WIC seems like a great idea: if manufacturers buy in, they can provide a lot of functionality for their formats at the OS level. Good for the end user.

Of course, Microsoft wants to make the entire planet and every living organism in it dependent on their operating system. A company like Adobe must be very leery of this trap. Adobe must want to provide functionality for customers that requires them to buy into the Adobe ecosystem, not Microsoft's. After all this time we still can't view a PSD thumbnail in a Windows folder! How hard could it be to make this happen? But if Adobe enables this, it seems to me a "victory" for Microsoft, and a "loss" for Adobe -- because now you can bypass Adobe Bridge and have another need fulfilled by Microsoft.

No doubt there are other strategic factors at work between software giants that I haven't considered.

The beauty of iView Media, in some ways, was that they weren't a giant. Their success depended upon providing a product that consumers would judge to be the best damn DAM product out there. (They also had limited resources and produced a lot of bugs, it would seem.) Their success depended on providing as much compatibility -- with raw formats and popular digital imaging software -- as possible. But Microsoft must be constantly calculating how each of their products will force consumers to use all their other products -- and to prefer these over everyone else's.

Adobe must be saying, "No way in hell do we want our customers to find image browsing through Windows to be preferable to browsing using our product, Bridge. If people need Bridge, then they will need Adobe all the more. We want Microsoft to have less power, not more"

I suppose I'm counting on Adobe to be a "white knight" here. Yes, they no doubt want everyone doing digital imaging to be dependent on the Adobe ecosystem. The thing is, Photoshop has clearly dominated digital imaging, so I'm happy to live in an Adobe-centric software world, because I've been pretty happy with their software, so I'm willing to throw my lit in with them and make everyone else play by their rules. They do seem to strive to provide valuable features.

It's too bad Adobe didn't buy iIvew. I would love it if Adobe were to provid equivalent, full-featured DAM software that integrated well with Photoshop and Lightroom.

Any indications that Adobe will do this? Lightroom is a powerful raw converter with limited DAM built in. Bridge is just a file browser. It seems to me that Adobe could blow Expressions Media out of the water if they tried. Will they provide the Next Great DAM Solution?
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Ralph Paonessa
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roberte
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2008, 05:54:17 PM »

Hi Ralph,

Adobe certainly have the engineering skills, funds and as you've mentioned the trust of consumers to build a better mouse trap. What they lack is a percieved need for them to be in the DAM market. FWIW Bridge would be the most likely vehicle for an Adobe DAM app. Certainly Lightroom 1 and 2 were not intended to be proper DAM apps. Version 3, hmmm.

At the moment I don't think Adobe care what you use to manage your files, be it Expression Media, Portfolio, or even Windows Explorer and Mac Finder. All their apps play nicely with others. Of course that may change if when Adobe enter the DAM market!

-- Robert.
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