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Author Topic: Database or CMS for digital media  (Read 9168 times)
jillix
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« on: April 06, 2009, 08:17:25 AM »

I'm researching some databases and software for organizing digital media for about 10 dedicated users, but other people within the institution will also need to access it.  Currently, there are about 10,000 images and far less video, but both are growing. Media will need to have tagging, labeling, and rich metadata capabilities. Any ideas for a good open source DAM system? Someone recommended Plone.  Any other suggestions?

Thank you!
Jill Hardy
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theorysavage
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2009, 08:41:30 AM »

Have you considered ResourceSpace?

Tom
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 05:06:39 AM by theorysavage » Logged
jillix
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2009, 04:30:53 PM »

I just checked out ResourceSpace.  This is definitely a contender.   Particurlar useful  features are:  setting different permissions, a central resource manager, and organization and keywording capabilities.  One concern is that it’s fairly recent and I’m wondering if enough people are using it to provide good support and feedback.  Have you used it?

-Jill
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theorysavage
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2009, 04:48:58 PM »

I am a developer on ResourceSpace. I've used it to solve various asset management problems of my own for the past year and a half. Check out the google forum; you'll see it's pretty active and the software is pretty well-documented. It's growing fast, and for many uses it has proven to be highly capable.

Tom
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 05:06:27 AM by theorysavage » Logged
jillix
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2009, 01:23:58 PM »

Thanks Tom,

I'm downloading Resource Space and will try it out along with Drupal and Expression Engine. I'll let you know how it goes. Any one else have other suggestions, preferences for open source DAM?
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rogerhoward
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009, 09:23:22 AM »

Plone and Drupal are most definitely not *DAMs*, though that's not to say they don't offer key DAM functionality in some form... but DAM is about more than just individual features - otherwise, we would include a lot of applications in any discussion about DAM, simply because they manage files, offer some form of organization, etc.

Plone and Drupal - my advice here, as a big fan of Drupal, and being somewhat knowledgable about Plone, is be very certain what you expect in terms of functionality, both as a DAM administrator/librarian, and on behalf of your users. You may well have a set of needs that can be served very well by these platforms - and they do a heck of a lot in many respects, so you may also end up solving many other problems for your community. One thing that can make or break use of either of those platforms is your technical resourcefulness - do you have someone on staff that is a Drupal wizard? If so, then you're in good hands; same for Plone. If not, you'll be at the mercy of consultants (who will do whatever you want with the platform, at a cost) or the community (who very likely are NOT going to be as focused on the use of their platforms in the way you are trying to take it, but rather will tend towards the more conventional uses, with DAM functionality treated as exotica).

ResourceSpace has the major benefit that it is focused, at least on the surface, on the same things you're interested in - though, to be sure, there are many blurry lines between different knowledge management disciplines - ECM, WCMS, DAM, MOM, etc - enough that, often, people think they, for instance, have a DAM problem and actually have a CMS problem.

So be very clear about exactly what you're trying to do - what tools you expect to have, how they should work, and what your users expect and will benefit from. Then find a way to evaluate the platforms/products you've mentioned on that basis - it may take bringing in an expert to help you walk through the evals.

Best,

Roger Howard
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Roger Howard
jillix
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2009, 04:52:37 PM »

Thanks Howard,

The search continues...  We have narrowed down our focus to just look for a DAM system, although, I was hoping to use a CMS for some DAM in hopes of preparing for future information management issues. ResourceSpace looks great, but we downloaded it and our IT specialist determined it requires a good deal of upfront programming in order to get it running.  We just don't have the resources, another reason not to go with Drupal.

My next step is abandoning hopes of an open source DAM and I've now downloaded a trial version of Canto Cumulus (I read your critique, Excel with thumbnails).  It may be fine for our needs, however, I get the sense that there may be something better suited for our small-medium sized institution (read, non-profit museum, very low budget) with a growing collection of media generated in house through the communications department.  It is important to have rich metadata in order to keep track of publication of images and podcasts, tag individuals within images, organize blogging media in collections/catalogues, generate controlled vocabulary, multiple users and multiple permissions, customization, and have a web component. Our DAM will not be used for production; we have a graphic design team that controls their own production, however it would be great if this new system was XMP compatible. 

I was reading your suggestions re Software to consider at this point in time?:  Extensis Portfolio, MediaBeacon, PhotoShelter, NetXPosure, ADAM, xMedia, iView.  You sound supportive of MediaBeacon.  Would you recommend it over Cumulus or Extensis?

Thanks,
Jill


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rogerhoward
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2009, 10:24:33 AM »

I don't agree that ResourceSpace takes a lot of programming, though it could be there is functionality you desire which it does not offer out of the box; this is the case with many products. That said, ResourceSpace could be up and running, and quite useful - with no programming, just a little configuration - in less than an hour.

Portfolio and Cumulus are somewhat direct competitors; they both have demos so it's worth evaluating them. I don't know your exact requirements, but both are capable, though both are fairly crusty and will not be particularly cheap if you need multiple users. You list a few requirements here, so let's take those at face value:

1. Rich metadata - all have flexible metadata models
2. Blogging media - frankly, I think RS lends itself better to integration with common blogging/social media packages like WordPress than either Extensis or Cumulus will.
3. Collections/catalogues - each system has its own approach to creating collections. For a small cultural institution wanting to provide access to curated collections of media through a Web browser, I think RS will get you there faster.
4. Tagging individuals - I assume you want to identifying individual people within an image? Would you want to use a region-of-interest (for instance, draw a box around a face)? Something like tagging people in pictures on Facebook? This is not an out of the box feature of any of the systems mentioned here; but each system could, at very least, provide a "People" field which could hold a list of names appearing in an image.
5. Controlled Vocab - each system here has at least some notion of controlled vocabularies; but the devil is in the details.
6. Multi-user - Extensis and Cumulus both have multi-user options, but that adds to the cost both for licensing and infrastructure. RS is multiuser from the start - the only cost for scaling is infrastructure.
7. Permissions - Cumulus and RS are both stronger in this regard than Extensis
8. Customization - well, you mentioned not wanting to do development... customization=development. Frankly, RS will be easier to develop on than the others for many - it's much more in line with Web app development than either Cumulus or Portfolio.
9. Web component - RS is web from the start; Extensis and Cumulus both offer add-ons for Web front-ends... both have limitations - in particular, Extensis has no Web-based edit interface (it's read only) and with Cumulus the best Web options are third-party.
10. XMP - define "XMP support" - every vendor will claim this, but the support ranges from extremely simplistic to almost obsessively devoted. XMP extraction (pulling values from XMP and mapping them to fields in the DAMs database) is generally supported by most vendors; XMP embedding (pushing data from the database into XMP) is far less well implemented in general.

Anyway, I'm just speaking in generalities - this is a tough evaluation and decision to make... you need to be really clear about your applications - how you envision your environment working when the project is complete and let your IT, vendors or consultants pitch you on how to get there.

I can't really recommend one system over the other based on what I know from this thread - I'm just providing some impressions here.. it would need a much deeper conversation about everything from budgets to resources to your vision for the systems environment (in 2 years, what types of activities do you expect will be happening thanks to your work on this project?).

For what it's worth, the systems mentioned run the gamut from $100 to $100,000+ to implement.

I'd still recommend ResourceSpace as from what you said, either IT is missing something, or I am, or we all are.

-R
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Roger Howard
jillix
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2009, 03:58:27 PM »

Thanks Howard,

I've passed your comments along to our IT specialist and hopefully we can set up ResourceSpace. I'll let you know how it goes.

-Jill
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