Thanks for the reply and discussion.
I have been using iView since the 1.x versions and have paid for the upgrade twice now. I like the software and am quite familiar with its functionality.
iView may be fine in a professional environment where all the users have iView, but I live in what I like to call a professional Home environment. I have a school-teacher wife and three older kids. I've become the default photographer for all of them and they all have Macs - powerbooks, ibooks etc. and I think you might have underestimated iPhoto's integration. iMovie and iDVD have automatic links to iPhoto's library AND you can share libraries easily across my whole home network (not to mention desktop integration) I find iView catalogues limited because potentially all my firewire storage devices need to be on to have access to the object. I use iPhoto to house just the best photos so they are a very small subset of objects (which the DAM book also recommends).
Lastly I can't afford a site license for iView for my home. And (to reiterate) the catalogues - even rebuilt with large thumbnails - are hampered by the fact that the source storage device has to be on ( I use several FW drives). iPhoto just works for the common user.
As for DNG, I guess my biggest problem is that I have such a mixed environment of master jpeg (large) and raw files. If I understand your workflow, I might do the following:
1) Download from Camera to a Location (let's call it the Originals location)
2) Copy to Backup Media device
3) Apply metadata
4) Convert the raw files in the Original location to DNG.
5) Delete the Original Location raw files (because you have them backed up)
6) Use the Pretty Good Picture in the DNG to export to iPhoto.
Now I have tried this - to varying degrees - but I still can't get the metadata into iPhoto. Perhaps it's when I apply the metadata. Should I apply it before conversion to DNG or After? In other words, should my (in this case) yearly iView catalogue contain only converted DNG and my Original jpegs? I usually make my iView catalogues of my RAW files. I find it much easier than Bridge to do my initial viewing - which I realize deviates from the DAM workflow.
And to answer your question - I am using Camera Raw to convert. What is Image Processor? Is that in Bridge?
Thanks - RFord
Hmm, iView as a front end to iPhoto... I would not have considered this.
I think you have not explored iView's capabilities.
As to the metadata not coming along through Bridge, how are you making the conversions (through Camera Raw, by any chance)? Does this still happen if you use the image processor?
Your reasons for not using DNG are new ones to me also. There are some good reasons (want to use non-DNG-aware software, for instance), but yours are less compelling. DNG actually unifies the workflow, enabling you to skip the step of creating the JPEGs from RAW.