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Announcing ImageIngesterPro -- preview available for Mac
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Author Topic: Announcing ImageIngesterPro -- preview available for Mac  (Read 12281 times)
Marc Rochkind
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« on: July 12, 2006, 02:59:20 PM »

What's ImageIngesterPro?

Starting in July 2006, ImageIngester development will be split into two products: ImageIngester, which will continue to be free, and ImageIngesterPro which will have more features and will be licensed for a fee, probably something like $50 for individual use and $100 for small workgroups of 3 or fewer people. Updates within a major release number will be free, and there will be an upgrade fee for new major releases.

During the ImageIngesterPro beta period, which will last several months, it will be entirely free. At some point the betas will be programmed to expire.

The ImageIngesterPro betas will be available only for the Mac.

Database Features

ImageIngester and most other ingestion apps treat each ingestion as an isolated event. By contrast, ImageIngesterPro knows that ingestions occur from a card (usually) and are part of a project on behalf of a client. There's a Database panel that you can use to add descriptions of clients, projects, and cards. Corresponding drop-down menus on the main window let you pick the client, project, and card prior to starting an ingestion. Then data about the ingestion is recorded and is associated with the project (and hence client) and the card. You can view the ingestion data on the Database panel.

Eventually, there will be various reports on client activity, ingestions, etc.

All database data, including checklist data (see next section), is kept in an SQLite database.

Checklist Features

The DAM Book suggests using a Workflow Checklist to record what's been done and any anomalies that were noticed. ImageIngesterPro has a built-in Worksheet panel that lists each ingestion for a project and has checkboxes for each of the checklist steps.

You can set up your own checklists on the Preferences panel; three default checklists come pre-loaded (one from the book and two that are posted elsewhere on this site).

Ingestion Notes

Prior to ingesting, you can enter notes on the main window that are recorded with the other ingestion data. You can view or edit ingestion notes on the Database panel.

Other Features

As development proceeds, ImageIngesterPro will get additional features that have been requested, including more flexibility with backups, folder naming and arrangements, and file naming. There will be a way to specify file extensions to be skipped, so that unwanted files like THM and CTG files can be ignored.

The ImageIngesterPro Preferences panel has various notes on it that briefly describe features to be added.

Downloading the Preview

You can download the preview beta for the Mac from http://basepath.com/ImageIngester/dev/ImageIngesterPro-Beta.dmg. Please remember that it's an early preview, and use it with caution!.

You can run ImageIngesterPro and ImageIngester on the same machine. Their preferences are distinct and should not interfere with one another.

Please do post feedback on ImageIngesterPro! I already have a long list of potential features, so what I'm mostly interested in is whether the new features in the preview are practical for your workflow.

--Marc
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2006, 07:36:56 PM »

I like it Marc!  I'll get a chance tomorrow to actually use it, but so far I like what I see.  Can you give me an example though on how the Client, Project and Card are supposed to be used?  I'm a little unclear on that part of it.

I'm wondering, and as usual don't know if it can or should be done, but when you're working on the part to choose the "Primary' folder for ingestion (like  choosing the card), if you can select the folder you want to ingest to, but through preferences, have it create more than one folder.  This probably doesn't sound right, but here's my thinking:

When I shoot a job for a new client, I use the client name as my Primary folder and it is under the type of photography I'm doing.  For example, I have a top-level folder for Commercial, Corporate, Portrait and Wedding photography.  Lets say I'm doing a Corporate job.  Currently I create the folder with the Client name within the Corporate folder.  Then within the ClientName folder, I create folders for RAW (or Originals), Proofs, Processed, To Lab and Delivered.  The Processed folder is for images processed from RAW, retouched and ready to either be made into jpg to send to the lab for printing, or sized according to the Client for the Delivered folder.  This set of folders is constant for each and every corporate job.  They are similar for the other categories, but some have less and some have more or are worded differently. 

To make MY workflow easier, I would like to be able to mount a CF card, navigate to/select the Primary Folder for download, ie. Corporate, then select 'New Folder' to create a new ClientName folder, and then, maybe depending on my preference selection, have it create the above mentioned set of folders automatically, and download to the RAW folder.  Bridge opens to the RAW folder and I'm ready to start selecting/editing.  WOW, would that be great!

I'm kinda hoping that your Client/Project part in the new IIP will let me select an existing client to add images to, maybe only changing the 2nd level folder to distinguish it from a previous shoot (or have that selectable as well).  Is that what it's planned for?

I don't know about others (and please comment), but this is my workflow for ingesting just about any job I do.  I'd really like to hear everyone's thoughts.



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Marc Rochkind
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2006, 07:44:59 PM »

Mike--

Indeed, that's where I'm going with client and project names. In the current preview, they're there just to show up in the ingestion data, but soon they will also determine (depending on the preferences) where the images go.

As for the higher level folder, rather than you having to choose "corporate," it would make more sense to make that an attribute of the client. Then, choosing the client would also choose where that client's imaging goes. Or, to say it another way, the primary folder for a client's images will be a attribute of the client. The current primary folder should probably just be called the root folder.

(Remember that, even with the current ImageIngester, things like primary folder can go into Preference Sets.)

Then the project name will, optionally, determine the subfolder of the client's primary folder. Number-ranges, etc., will optionally come next.

This isn't exactly the way it will be, but it at least suggests how I'm planning to put it all together.

The idea is that, prior to ingestion, all you should need to do is choose the client, project, and card. And, for a single project, the client and project will stay set to what they were last time.

Lots of details to work out...

--Marc
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2006, 07:53:05 PM »

I think we're headin' in the same direction.

So... How will I set up a particular client and assign it the proper attribute?  I'm not asking for specifics within the program, but just your thinking on how this will be accomplished.  ie. when and how do I create the client's 'primary' folder.  Am I correct in thinking that for recurring clients and their projects, the 'preference' will already be there (once they're initially created of course)?  And that for new clients, you create it with the Client/Project/Card before ingesting?  I'm just trying to get my head wrapped around this workflow.
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Marc Rochkind
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2006, 08:26:01 PM »

Mike--

My thinking... very preliminary... is that there will be a panel where you can define "storage groups," which are essentially named paths. These are high up in the hierarchy of folders. I think the Primary Folder and Backup Folder that I have now will go into a storage group. In effect, there is only one storage group now.

Then, when defining a client, you can assign that client to a storage group. Also, perhaps a project can have its own storage group, which would then be an exception to the overall client storage group.

This would allow for corporate clients, wedding clients, etc., as well as a lot of other things.

There is a client folder underneath each storage-group's primary folder, and then the project folders go under the client. Next come date and number-range folders. I suppose I'll keep user-named folders, although they may be redundant.

I'm also thinking of a feature that would let you choose the primary folder from a list at ingestion time, without going to the trouble of creating a storage group. Perhaps there will be a drop-down of the most recently used primary folders.

None of the above is a commitment... I'm just thinking aloud. It's actually easy to load up ImageIngesterPro with enough options to suit everyone. The hard part is keeping it straightforward and simple, so that the program remains usable. (A simple ingestion program that dumps the images onto your desktop may not be what any of us want, but we would have to agree that its options--of which there are none--are easy to learn, and that one knows where to find the images.)

--Marc
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2006, 08:38:53 PM »

Marc...

Sounds good to me.  Will it be ready by morning?  Grin

Just kidding.  I like the direction this is going in.  I would keep the user-named folders for those odd times when you just need to dump some images somewhere.  For example, I had a few photographer-buddies over today for a Bridge/ACR workshop.  We were downloading some images off of one of their cards and I just wanted to dump them into a new folder on the desktop.  Since this function is already there, and I can see some uses for it, I would leave it in.

I think this would also work well with the proposed list of primary folders at ingestion time.  Like you said, a drop down of the most recent folders, but also the ability as above to create a new folder.

One other thing before I shut down for the night.  Is it possible to put a Preferences button in the main window so you don't always have to go up to File>Preferences?  The shortcut keys are great if your hand is on the keyboard, but not if it's on a mouse or pen.

Take care and good-night!

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Rob Boltman
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2006, 12:23:57 AM »

I see you're emulating Lightroom...

.. with your Mac-only beta releases at first!! Wink
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2006, 05:50:43 AM »

Marc, since we're going to  have different preference sets, which I'm trying to set up this  morning, I find the popup menu to start ingest when you first mount a card very annoying.  I have to hit 'Not Now' to close that window so I can select the preference set I need for the job.  Is it really necessary, and doesn't the Auto-Ingest option basically do the same thing for someone that always will be ingesting to the same folder?
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2006, 05:56:35 AM »

Hey Marc.. just a quick question this time... IIP is not auto-launching when I insert a CF card into the reader.  Should it?  II was doing it just fine and for the life of me I can't remember how to make it auto-launch.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2006, 06:02:57 AM »

Marc.. sorry for the many posts, but I'm writing you as I come across different things while I'm setting IIP up.

From the main screen, when I select a different Preference Set, the options are not changing from the last ingest.  I'm being careful with the Beta as you've suggested, so I'm checking the preferences before I ingest.  I changed to a different set, but nothing changed on the main screen so I went into Preferences and sure enough, nothing had changed.  

I don't think the Preference Sets are saving.  Maybe I'm not saving them properly?  I make the changes to the options in Pref's and then hit 'New' and save it to a new named Pref Set.  Is that the correct way?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2006, 06:06:19 AM by mikeguil » Logged

Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2006, 07:00:56 AM »

I'm sure you're sick of seeing my face by now!  Undecided

A little bug... when I grab the corner of the main window and drag it down to expand the window (to see the entire progress report), the fields from Preference Sets down in the upper part of the window, move down into the progress report area.

Also, I just tried the Number Range folder option - I think I'm going to really like this for certain clients - but for some reason the folder is adding an 'a' to the end of the folder name, ie. 6255-6298a.  Any reason for this?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2006, 07:12:54 AM by mikeguil » Logged

Marc Rochkind
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2006, 10:27:28 AM »

Mike--

Thanks for the reports... I'll check these out.

As for the moving of the controls when you resize: Parts of the UI are still underdeveloped. The main window will undergo a lot more change, and I'll fix the "gravity" later.

--Marc
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2006, 11:05:03 AM »

Thanks Marc. 

I think the Preference Sets are ok now.  After I closed IIP and reopened a couple of times they worked.  I think this is going to be a great ingester.

If you select one of the Pref Sets and make some changes in preferences, how do you resave the new set?  The only saving option I see is "New".  It would be nice to have a 'Save' and 'Save As' option.
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ScottBuckel
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2006, 11:57:36 AM »

Marc - only one request (well, at this time!) please do nto emulate Adobe.  Make betas available for those of us that use the oterher operating system . . .  Many of us are just waiting to see lightroom for ourselves, and I am sure you can do better with image ingester pro!

Scott
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Scott Buckel
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Marc Rochkind
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2006, 12:11:49 PM »

Mike--

Some answers to the issues you raised about the preview (Beta 1):

1. Changing the Preference Set: I see it working on the main window for Starting Number, User-Named Folder, and Metadata Template. It doesn't work for Client, Project, Card, or Notes, nor did I intend it to. Are you seeing some other behavior? [Just saw your latest email after I typed the above.]

2. Dialog when there is a card mounted: I'l look into whether this is needed.

3. Auto launch: You configure this with the Image Capture application. It should work OK with ImageIngesterPro. Let me know if it doesn't.

4. Saving Preference Sets. There is no Save button anywhere in ImageIngester[Pro], and I hope there will never be one, just as there isn't one in, say, iCal. Any change you make is automatically saved, although it is possible for a change to be lost if the app or computer crashes. However, I didn't think that possibility was worth the disadvantages of implementing a save button, since, after all, these are only preferences. For the new database operations (using SQLite), saves occur immediately, and no data is lost even if the app or computer does crash.

[Comment about Save buttons: Most apps with Save buttons put the onus on the user to Save, and the interval with unsaved data is arbitrarily long if the user doesn't Save. Just about all apps prompt when a document (or the app) is closed, but that still keeps the interval too long. Some apps implement an auto-save, which helps, but adds to the user interface complexity, and the default is often to not auto-save. In my opinion it is better to design the app to save whatever has to be saved itself. After all, when you take notes with a pen or paper, you don't have to save, right? I notice that some apps, such as Quicken, have always worked this way, as do almost all Mac Preferences panels. The problem is, as Mike has noted, that buggy apps or those with which the user isn't familiar still leave the user wondering whether data is saved, and, without a Save button, the user has nowhere to turn. However, I think that in the end I will get ImageIngester[Pro] to the point where the users never even think about saving.]

5. Suffix on number-range folder: Should happen only if there is already a folder there with the same range. If you are seeing it under other circumstances, please let me know.

--Marc
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