Download files are not created by LightBoxPhoto (or ImageFolio).Â If you place fully annotated, color managed files for download, that's what your users are going to get.Â In LightBoxPhoto gallery files and download files are kept in two separate directory trees on the server.Â A nice feature is that optionally they can be on separate servers.Â The gallery can be on your usual web server while downloads reside on a different server possibly better suited to handle large data capacity and the bandwidth of large downloads.Â The download directory tree structure is a duplicate of the gallery directory.Â You add a prefix to file name of different versions of a file that you place for download.Â For instance 091009-1234.jpg might be the gallery image.Â In the same directory structure under downloads I might place full_091009-1234.tif and web_091009-1234.jpg for giving the user the ability to optionally select a full res tiff versus a web res jpeg to purchase/download.Â The user never sees the file prefixes until they download a file.Â If you leave one of these versions out of the download directory then that version won't be shown as available to the user.Â You can have as many different versions (size, file format, color space... pretty much whatever) as you care to create.Â I use Photoshop actions and ABetterFinderRenamer droplets to batch create the various versions of images for upload to the server.Â
Support for IPTC is pretty good.Â Adobe XMP support has improved but it's still fairly lame.Â Basically it means it won't choke when it encounters it.Â For example, IPTC limits the length of some fields more than the corresponding Adobe field.Â For creator I enter "Bob Smith / Accurate Image" in Bridge.Â That's one character too long for IPTC and LightBox would shorten it.Â Not any more.Â This is an area that was improving and I may not have the absolute latest version installed.Â Upgrading ANY server software is not like hitting the upgrade button on your desktop.Â You don't do it until there's a very compelling reason to do so.Â If you've done much customization that can often break in any upgrade.
Here's a screenshot of the IPTC configuration pane in the admin area on my site:http://www.accurateimage.org/temp/lboxIPTC.jpg
LightBoxPhoto comes with excellent "help" documentation compared to similar programs.Â That will probably answer many of your questions.Â Here's a link that will show you the admin's help documents on my system:http://www.accurateimage.org/box4/help.htm
If you contact LightBoxPhoto, they'll give you access to a demo admin area where you can poke around and try the various controls.
While you can edit/apply metadata within the LightboxPhoto admin interface, to me it's far easier to use a "real" DAM program for that task while accessing files on the server.Â Issues like this are why I like having the server sitting in my office where files can be easily maintained.
The directory tree displayed is a strict folder structure.Â This is a bone of contention for me as all of my pages are "private".Â Password protected areas are handled differently and the directory tree is not displayed as thoroughly.Â I don't think there's an option to have "virtual" copies where an image appears in more than one folder while it exists on the server in only one real instance.Â I believe ImageFolio did have this feature but I never used it as the implementation was too impractical to maintain on a large database of images.
One point worth noting about a key difference between ImageFolio and LightBoxPhoto... with ImageFolio you could go in and edit any code you wanted in the program (maybe that's changed in more recent versions).Â That was great for someone with the skills to modify the inner workings of the program.Â It's a support nightmare.Â When a problem arises it may well have been caused by someone accidently deleting one comma amongst thousands of lines of code.Â LightBoxPhoto is highly user customizable.Â You can edit all sorts of templates and CSS files to alter what it looks like, but the core PHP code is locked with Zend Optimizer such that only LightBoxPhoto staff can access and alter that code.
hope that helps...