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Content Organization (modified-DAM-book) and ImageIngesterPro folders
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Author Topic: Content Organization (modified-DAM-book) and ImageIngesterPro folders  (Read 15494 times)
Marc Rochkind
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« on: July 13, 2006, 05:22:23 PM »

There seem to be two approaches used by users and potential users of ImageIngester, and these are the same two approaches that Peter discusses starting on p. 62 of The DAM Book: organizing by content vs. organizing for physical convenience, the most important elements of which are (1) separating working from archived, (2) separating original from derivative in the archive, and (3) organizing by buckets, with the bucket sizes dependent on the size of the write-once media.

Peter's position is very clear: "Don't Organize Your Directory Structure Around Content" (p. 67).

For those who adhere to Peter's scheme closely, what ImageIngester does doesn't matter too much, because raws are converted to DNG later, outside of ImageIngester, and they are placed in the archive only when they're converted to DNG. With this approach, ImageIngester is ingesting to the working area, not the archive area, and beyond using number-range folders, it doesn't matter too much how the working area is organized, since it's very temporary.

However, those who want to organize by content do care, because it seems that many of them expect ImageIngester to ingest directly into their preferred organizing scheme. The problem for me, as a software designer, is that, while Peter suggests a single scheme (with just a little flexibility), the organize-by-content schemes vary a lot from one to another.

(I hope I don't sound judgmental. I organize by content myself but, as I've mentioned before, I shoot as many images in a month as Peter shoots in an hour. So I could get away with almost anything.)

As ImageIngester has progressed, I've attempted to add more and more organizing options, but feedback tells me that I'm not even close to having enough, and I may never be, short of adding a scripting capability and letting users have at it.

So... I'm strongly inclined to throw up my hands and just put in a very flexible, but minimalist, feature that's been suggested by a few users: Move the Primary Folder "choose" button to the main window, keep a drop-down of the last 10 or so most-recently-used paths, and let the users build whatever folder structure they like. The current features (date, user-named, and number-range folders) would remain, and some new ImageIngesterPro features for client and project folders would be added.

(The backup folder, still set on the Preferences panel, would set the root of the backup tree, but the backup would otherwise mirror the structure of the Primary Folder. I haven't yet figured out exactly how to do this, but I'll come up with something.)

Am I on the right track?

Out of curiosity, have any of you (other) organize-by-content people decided to "take the plunge" (Peter's words, p. 62) by reorganizing physically into buckets and letting the cataloging app do the content organizing?

--Marc
« Last Edit: July 23, 2006, 07:46:05 AM by peterkrogh » Logged

ScottBuckel
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2006, 06:48:40 PM »

Marc - for a number of reasons I am switching from subject based filing to the bucket system.  I see many advantages, like Peter has stated.  I really like the fact recovering after a severe crash will be easier.  I recovered from a crash just befoer Christmas this year and it took lots of time to fully recover.

Scott
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Scott Buckel
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2006, 07:43:31 PM »

Marc.. I wrote a long-winded reply to your post in the Naming Issues forum that kinda relates to this:

http://thedambook.com/smf/index.php?topic=893.0

With that said, I would say yes, you are on the right track.  I believe the only flexibility we need is to be able to point to the folder we want to download to and possibly create a new subfolder.  Currently I create the folders in Finder and drag a pre-defined set of folders into the new folder.  Then go to II(P) and use the Choose Primary Folder to navigate to the folder I need to send the images to.  If this could be created from within II or IIP, it's one less step I would have to use a different program for.  Rather than it saying 'Choose Primary Folder', I would just say 'Choose Download Folder', or 'Choose Folder to Download to'.  

I appreciate your efforts in the Pro version as well - I'm liking it a lot.  I like the Folder Arrangements you use, I like the naming options (although as mentioned in the thread linked above, I would like the choice of 2, 3 or 4 digit auto-numbers).  I'm not sure that I'll use/need the checklist, and as long as I see that the images have been downloaded, I don't know that I'd use the database feature much either.  I'm expecting the Client - Project - Card area will be useful, but then again, if I can have the Choose Download Folder option, it may be all I need.  Maybe I won't even need the Pro version if this happens, but I'll certainly keep my eye on it. I guess it depends on how much you update the original version.  I'll use whichever version lets me choose my download folder.

As I mentioned in the other thread above, I do use Peter's bucket method for some of my work.  It depends on the job.  Since I archive everything to CD/DVD, and my work in progress is backed up to an external firewire drive (that's disconnected when I'm done), I don't have to worry too much about crashes.  I will use the bucket method for my own personal work (which is what most likely would be used for stock), my family photos, and small jobs that don't warrant a CD burned on their own (real estate agent head-shots for example).  I've already been using this method for years (just didn't know it had a DAM name!) and it does work well.

Cheers,

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David Arnold
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2006, 08:22:35 PM »

I think you're on the right track, Marc. For a few years I tried to organize (35mm slides) by content, and it was a nightmare. Does a slide of children playing on a bridge in Venice go in "children," "bridges," or "Italy." Or do I put some in each?

I finally gave up and went to a straight date-based numerical sequence: MMYYAXX, using a setable rubber stamp. 0683E36 would be June ("06"), 1983 ("83"), 5th roll of film processed in that month ("E"), last shot on that roll ("36"). All went moderately OK until the millenium. At that point I went to a 2-digit year designator, followed by a straight numerical sequence (00001...99999). I tried using a DAM program around then, but quickly became dissatisfied with that particular program. Finally I started using iView, and there was light at the end of the tunnel. Of course I then discovered that the tunnel was much longer than I expected, and I wondered if I'd ever dig out from under.

Then, like so many on this forum, I read Peter's book, and it filled in all the missing sections of track in that tunnel. I'm not out of the dark yet, but there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. With iView and keywording, that slide I mentioned earlier will now be findable by simply opening iVew and typing in some combination of "children," "bridge," and "Italy" (or will be, once I get get my 20,000+ slides scanned <g>).

In my opinion, organizing by content might work for a very focused specialist (a bird photographer who can organize by species, a car photographer who can organize by make, etc.), though even there it's not ideal. What if, for a 4th of July layout, a client wants to see a selection of red cars, white cars, and blue cars? Oh yes, and all horizontal?

Content-free DAM organization allows each photographer the maximum flexibility for organizing images, and the maximum efficiency for locating them, albeit at the cost of additional planning and work up front. For a relatively specialized photographer who shoots a relatively small number of images, content organization might make sense. For the rest of us, Peter's system of separating physical organization (buckets, etc.) for content organization (in keywords) is the way to go.

You're doing a great job so far with ImageIngester, Marc. If you start trying to integrate content organization, I fear that what is now a very powerful yet easy to understand and use utility will trip over its own feet.

David
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Marc Rochkind
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2006, 08:46:51 PM »

David--

When you said:

Quote
If you start trying to integrate content organization, I fear that what is now a very powerful yet easy to understand and use utility will trip over its own feet.

You sounded exactly like me talking to myself. I couldn't agree more.

--Marc
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2006, 10:06:41 PM »

David - I like your reference to the slide file. I remember those days - not that long ago.  Of course it's impossible to store a slide into different sleeves or whatever the storage medium is (unless you have duplicates made - but they're never as good as the original).  Now with digital, the DAM system works beautifully and naming your files in sequence, using keywords, etc. is very easy and straight forward.  I've used it for years for a lot of my work... but not all.

But who says you have to use only one system?  Trying to stuff everything I do into one system would not work.  Peter's DAM works for images that need to be placed in different categories and for that I use it.  However, for Mr. & Mrs. Wedding client - there's only one category - their wedding.  For the Smith's family portrait - there's only one category - the Smith's family portrait of 2006.  If I file their image CD alphabetically by year, I don't even need a computer to find it.  I don't know why people are making 'content' so complicated.

As far as ImageIngester goes, Marc is on the right track.  By adding the function to point to a folder for downloading takes care of the 'content management' model. That's all we need.  It's a way to download your images, rename them, add MetaData AND be able to put the images where you want them.  In fact, II can do this now simply by changing the preference each time for the Primary Folder.  If Marc puts this function on the main window and allows the user to choose the folder (and possibly create a new one as it does now) it would just make things a lot simpler.  I don't see how this is going to make the utility 'trip over its own feet'. 

Marc.. I hope you're not getting frustrated because I like what you're doing.  Like David implies though, don't try to make II or even IIP a do everything package (like the checklist and such I mentioned before).  It's the DAM best downloader I've seen or used.  But by adding a user selectable 'download to named folder' function like we've been discussing, you'll open II(P) to many more photographers that don't know or want to use DAM and just want to get their images onto their computer and save a few steps.

My 2 cents.
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ScottBuckel
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2006, 06:50:27 AM »

Yes - I organized my slides by a broad subject and when there was a situation that had a bird and a mammal in the photo and it was an environmental photo - where did it go.  Then I started organizing my digital files the same way with the same issues.  Now I feel this bucket system with a DAM program makes everything easier to organize.  In a way you file the same image in mammals, birds and scenics since the DAM prgram will point to the files wtihin any bucket you may have.

Most of the things that I shoot have stock or other resale possibilitites so I need to be able to find everything easily for submissions, that is when my day job allows me to get time.

So right now I do ot see a reason to file byanyonther methodology.

Scott
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Scott Buckel
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2006, 08:28:51 AM »

. . . Am I on the right track?

Out of curiosity, have any of you (other) organize-by-content people decided to "take the plunge" (Peter's words, p. 62) by reorganizing physically into buckets and letting the cataloging app do the content organizing?

--Marc

I am one of those "ex" "organize-by-content" people, who is now "taking the plungs" and changing religions.  After reading Peter's book, thousands of forum posts at Iview and elsewhere, and studying various schemas, I have adopted a "bucket mentality".

I am currently in the process of converting about 60,000 raw files to DNG, keywording and rating them, and placing them into a folder structure by year/date taken.  As these images land in their "final restng place" in the new folder structure, I am cataloging them with IVMP. 

I am now using ImageIngester to move & rename files en-masse and assign a bacic metadata template.  I will then tackle the derivative files folders, which is far more challenging than the raws, since they were all previously filed in content-based folders.  At least that will facilitate easy mass keywording.  I have looked at all possible permutations, and am strongly leaning toward the bucket methodology there as well, with folders sized by media type for optical backup as in Peter's system.  I think that having everything cataloged with IVMP makes this all very do-able, since I don't really care what folder a file is in anymore, because I don't have to scan folders to find them anymore.

I think I will continue to maintain a few "content specific" folders for custom output files.  I have several special printer output formats that I use for various labs and systems, and keeping these separate makes it easier for me to know where to save the final output file.  I will then make a catalog that contains just these "print-ready" output files, which will be keyworded with the lab name, printer profile name, etc.
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David Arnold
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2006, 10:06:18 AM »

Mike, your point about single-category situations "(Mr. & Mrs. Wedding client") is a good one, and if Marc's adding the change you suggest would solve your problem, I don't see it interfering with what the rest of us are doing. Sounds like a win-win alternative. What would cause the 'trip over its own feet' mish-mash would be Marc trying to build in a multi-category-content structure. On the other hand, using the power of keywording, it seems to me, could give you the best of both worlds, without Marc having to change the present features. (Keywording may not be magic, but it sure comes close.)

David
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2006, 10:30:15 AM »

David, the new IIPro that Marc just finished is great.  Handles everything I need and then some.  I'm sure other's in my 'boat' will agree.  Well done Marc!
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David Anderson
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2006, 03:49:41 PM »

Marc,
First of all, let me thank you for creating ImageIngester, which I only downloaded a few hours ago. I'm appending to this thread as it seems partially relevant to a limitation in ImageIngester for my own purposes.

I need no persuasion to avoid the organise-by-content method. That seems doomed to fail, with DAM software such as Portfolio and iView being much the better solution for content organisation. However, I find the current automatic target folder naming options in ImageIngester very limited. As a minimum, I would like the option to file by month folder within year folder. Filing by day is overkill for my needs. That seems to my simple mind like a relatively minor change  Grin

Ideally, however, I would love to see ImageIngester offering the flexibility of target folder naming that is available in another similar program called Digital Image Mover (DIM) from www.alanlight.com/dim/Dim.htm. With DIM, I can automatically create target folders for camera model (from EXIF metadata) within month folder within year folder. That suits my particular needs perfectly - except, unlike ImageIngester, DIM cannot rename using the original unique numeric identifer nor can it invoke DNG conversion.

The ideal software solution always seems to be a mixture of several programs.......
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David Anderson
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2006, 12:58:31 AM »

I should also have made it clear that I want to store my images in automatically created folders that relate to the EXIF Date Digitised. If ImageIngester can only create folders relating to the date of ingestion, then (unfortunately) it would appear to be even further removed from my needs. The reorganisation of thousands of existing images will be done on the basis of EXIF Date Digitised, so I don't want new ingestions to follow a different path.

Incidentally, I can see very little difference between the needs of an ingestion program and the needs of a program intended to reorganise an existing stock of images. Both would benefit hugely IMHO from the ability to automatically create target folders according to a set of flexible rules, including (crucially) the ability to create folders based on EXIF metadata.  
« Last Edit: July 23, 2006, 01:25:10 AM by David Anderson » Logged
peterkrogh
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2006, 05:59:53 AM »

One difference is that it's much simpler for Marc to use creation date for images that come straight from camera - and to keep it fast.  He doesn't have to open files and search for EXIF, just use the media information.

Additionally, once the images have been cataloged (which is what you would expect for existing work) you have robust options for working with the files. iView could easily be scripted (I think) to create these folders for you, for instance.
Peter
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David Anderson
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2006, 07:32:31 AM »

......once the images have been cataloged (which is what you would expect for existing work) you have robust options for working with the files. iView could easily be scripted (I think) to create these folders for you, for instance.
Peter

Peter,
I bought Portfolio several months ago but have postponed serious cataloguing work pending getting my files into a DAM-compatible structure. In particular, I wanted to delay cataloguing until I've sorted out file renaming and DNG conversion workflow issues. I think that there would be quite a few difficulties in migrating Portfolio database info from my current anarchic situation into my intended post-Krogh nirvana!

However, you have prompted the thought that Portfolio might be able to create my desired folders via scripting, although I suspect that I will struggle to find the time to learn how to write scripts. I'm already drowning in all this DAM stuff....
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2006, 07:48:13 AM »

Before you put a lot of work into portfolio, understand that it cannot sync to DNG files.  Information you create about your DNGs in Portfolio is stuck there, unless you jump through some complicated hoops.

This makes it unworkable for me.
Peter
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