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Author Topic: Which Cataloging Software (database) is most appropriate for 50,000 files?  (Read 9026 times)
Carola
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« on: September 06, 2010, 03:22:55 PM »

Good evening, sure hope you can help me. I read through all the other threads but didn't quite find what I am seeking. I own the DAM book and have implemented many of the numbering conventions (with much gratitude) so I am hoping maybe to find some direction here.

I have a growing collection of over 50,000 nature photographs which I wish to catalog via a searchable database. I have a PC, use PS2.  Will be cataloging mainly jpegs. Have used LR2  for initial editing, sorting and numbering, but since I am not keeping all of my photos itís too time consuming to keyword them at the sorting stage.  Allso Lightroom runs very slow on my computer & I have had some catalog inconsistancies.

The catalog software  Iím seeking will have thumbnail capabilities and ideally be a relational database like Filmaker Pro, if such a thing existed for photography. I suppose I could adapt Filemaker but hoped there was something out there that would have me up & running sooner. Naturally I would like to keyword as I am cataloging. After that, I hope to sell and/or publish some of them(so will eventually need pricing software) but need to first get a handle on what I have.

I have read about Expressionview and have read descriptions of many other software pkgs but most seem to be browsers rather than catalogers.   

Any direction you could give (or even a place where these are reviewed) would be most gratefully appreciated!
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2010, 11:14:36 PM »

Carola? (please note)

You won't find anything that's a relational database like Filemaker or Access. Software developers think that people with cameras find such things too difficult, though it may well be that developers who do graphics apps aren't the most natural database guys.

As you're with Lightroom, I would stick with that and address why it's running slowly. Have you optimised your catalogue recently? You should do so every week or two. What Adobe Camera Raw cache size do you use, and is it on a fast disc? Lightroom stretches many aspects of a system, but these are the first things I would be examining, and then one would be looking at computer spec, and details such as where precisely you are experiencing slowness.

John
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alexo
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2010, 01:54:57 PM »

Just out of interest, what application(s) would be recommended for a collection that's an order of magnitude larger?
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2010, 02:05:00 PM »

How big? I know of Lightroom catalogues running fine with over 300k images. The main step changes would be multi-user requirements or the need to integrate other types of media asset.

John
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Carola
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2010, 06:36:33 AM »

Thank you very much John for your thoughtful answer re lack of database programs. IHow true. I'm just not happy with LR as a dependable database even without the slowness.  (The slowness BTW is in the Develop module and that's a whole other maybe fixable problem.)

But re databases, would portfolio or expression be a possibility?  Also, I have heard of Cradoc Software (the people who make Fotobiz incl software for price quotes & keywording.  I don't need the price quoting part yet but the rest may be a possibility. Is anyone familiar with that software?

Many thanks again, Carol
PS: My dream option would be a relational database where I can also fill in names of clients, info on the animals I am photographing, etc. info on the location, etc.   And of course keywords.  (I used these databases in my former corporate life)
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2010, 07:53:33 AM »

I wouldn't under-estimate Lightroom's database. As someone who used to work on SQL Server and Oracle systems, I approached its SQLite 3 back end with a degree of snobbishness, but I've been very surprised at its robustness and at how few reports I've heard of corruption. There is an open source ODBC driver, so you could bolt on extra relational tables if you want, accessing them through MS Access or something similar. While I played with such ideas early on, I now think the best route to expandability in Lightroom is through the SDK.

Portfolio's Server version is based on SQL Server, but check out the price. Expression Media offers custom fields but no database access. Fotostation might be a possibility, and take a look at IdImager too.

John
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Carola
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2010, 10:36:21 AM »

Thank you very much for your suggestions!  I checked out the reviews for Fotostation, Idimager and Portfolio and they are definitely worth investigating further via the demos.  Question:  Any experience whether there is a difference between them on speed once all the files are input? 

I also have heard of Stockview (through Hindsight) and Fotobiz (thru Cradoc). No demo for the latter. If anyone has epxerience with those, it would be nice to hear.

I'm very appreciative of the input.  Thanks again.

Carola
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2010, 12:52:09 AM »

With such applications any on a number of physical factors such as hard drive access speed could slow them down, and it would also depend on what you do with them. For example, once you've rendered thumbnails, you may  or may not want to look at larger size images. I have good experience of Portfolio scaling well, but do you really want to be a SQL Server admin? The only sure way is to install and test live. The other factor is you're going to have separate adjustment and management environments, and that'll provide lots of fun keeping the systems in sync....

John
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Carola
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2010, 10:55:43 AM »

Thank you again, John. To your point, I have limited hard drive space and limited funds right now to upgrade, so I will have to make some modifications to my wish list! Carola
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maxl
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2010, 04:46:49 PM »

Johnbeardy,you comment earlier as follows;

You won't find anything that's a relational database like Filemaker or Access. Software developers think that people with cameras find such things too difficult, though it may well be that developers who do graphics apps aren't the most natural database guys.

I'm investigating using EM2 and also FilemakerPro 11 for Mac for very similar purposes - it appears that fmp handles a variety of image types, including pdf, and that it uses thumbnails in the database, keeping original files in a separate folder accessed by a reference path - same as EM2 near as I can tell. Any reason you can think of that fmp would not be a decent cataloging app that will make use of extensive metadata tagging? One thought I have is that fmp might not do much in the image editing area, but that's ok with me since image editing, when needed, can be done with other programs for specific purposes.
Max LaCounte
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Roelof
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2010, 01:39:01 AM »

One important argument i'm missing so far is the option to 'push back' meta data into the images. A very important option for me and i don't think FMP can do it.
Lightroom and EM2 can and these DAM applications are suitable for over 100K images.

About keywording. I would suggest to do bulk keywording (copyrights, etc) in the ingestion proces (full auto). Do only extensive keywording the images you like most (from one star or above). In this way you only put efort in your most valuable images.

Roelof
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2010, 04:23:39 AM »

I'm investigating using EM2 and also FilemakerPro 11 for Mac for very similar purposes - it appears that fmp handles a variety of image types, including pdf, and that it uses thumbnails in the database, keeping original files in a separate folder accessed by a reference path - same as EM2 near as I can tell. Any reason you can think of that fmp would not be a decent cataloging app that will make use of extensive metadata tagging? One thought I have is that fmp might not do much in the image editing area, but that's ok with me since image editing, when needed, can be done with other programs for specific purposes.
It's a question of effort. Do you have database design experience or the desire to put the effort into learning. Wizards get you only so far - far enough perhaps to have committed so much time and input so much data when you see an inefficiency. Will you be able to get FMP to read and write EXIF and IPTC data? If it doesn't do so natively, then do you want to learn how to make it do so? And would you know how to map multi-entry fields between IPTC and the database, or just little things like how to map star ratings and labels so they are read by different apps. Image editing isn't relevant, but you've also got to consider other ways of viewing images - eg generating contact sheets, web galleries. By the time you've finished coding these...

So it can be done, and before going digital I did it myself with MS Access and with 15 years of Access and database-driven apps behind me, but ultimately I judged it wasn't worth the effort creating my own Frankenstein.

John
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