After Phase One's less-than-auspicious launch of Media Pro (replacing EM2), I am considering another DAM software for Mac but can't seem to find anything that matches EM2's Web gallery capabilities. My custom iView/EM2 template uses several custom fields (print size, price, model/property release status, etc.) some of which are integrated into a PayPal form. It took me days to construct the template and months to perfect it, and it wouldn't have been possible without iView's excellent XML/iView tag documentation.
I've spend the last couple days playing with Aperture 3 and Lightroom 3 trial versions on my new MacBook Pro (Snow Leopard), and here are my observations:
- Aperture allows the creation of custom fields, but has no ability to utilize them for Web galleries as it apparently doesn't allow user-customized themes/templates. It seems half-baked. So I am dismissing Aperture. Too bad, as I do like the interface.
- Lightroom does not
allow creation of custom fields but does
allow custom/user-created Web gallery themes/templates. But Lightroom provides no XML/tag documentation to help figure out how to modify an existing template in HTML. Perhaps this is moot becaue it seems as though Lightroom forces you to generate a version of your template for each use. For example, in EM2 I use my single template named "Images" to build 100s of Web galleries (e.g., Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, etc.) from my 100s of Catalog Sets. In Lightroom, it appears as though I would have to create a "Birds" template, a "Mammals" template, and a "Reptiles" template, ad nauseum, since it doesn't give you the ability to code the template generically. If I'm right, then this defeats the purpose of a template. Also, the process is somewhat confusing; do I need to create both a "Birds" Collection and a "Birds" Web Gallery to use for my "Birds" template/theme? If I am misunderstanding something, please correct me.
I think John B's plug-in
is intended to address custom field issue, but with caveats regarding the wisdom of relying on custom fields in the first place. But without them I couldn't have created my PayPal e-commerce solution.
So, assuming Phase One can fix the damage they did to EM2 with the first release of Media Pro, it looks like I will have to use Media Pro. I wouldn't mind so much (since I've been very happy with iView/EM2) but Media Pro on a Mac (only a Mac?) doesn't display Nikon NEF edits made by another manufacturer's software (Nikon Capture NX 2). To see the previews you have to pay a ransom, er, purchase Phase One's Capture One raw editing software. Alternately I could save all of my edited NEFs as TIFs to sidestep the raw preview issue, but then my hard drive storage needs would be more than quintupled (a 13 MB NEF -> a 70 MB TIFF) and I would have to manage another set of files.
Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.