DAM Recommendations

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I got fed up with the sluggishness and memory-hogginess of ON1, and installed the NeoFinder demo (Mac-only).

NeoFinder is interesting in that it doesn't pretend to be a photo editor, but it can hand-off images to things like Luminar or Affinity that don't have a proper DAM.

On the other hand, NeoFinder handles more than just images, cataloging and indexing things like PDFs, audio, video, and even fonts! It seems to be lightening-quick to search by keyword on my 300,000+ images, whereas ON1 was a "coffee-break" search.

So I cancelled my ON1 subscription. We'll see how well it works to separate DAM and image editor.
 

pondball

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I got fed up with the sluggishness and memory-hogginess of ON1, and installed the NeoFinder demo (Mac-only).

NeoFinder is interesting in that it doesn't pretend to be a photo editor, but it can hand-off images to things like Luminar or Affinity that don't have a proper DAM.

On the other hand, NeoFinder handles more than just images, cataloging and indexing things like PDFs, audio, video, and even fonts! It seems to be lightening-quick to search by keyword on my 300,000+ images, whereas ON1 was a "coffee-break" search.

So I cancelled my ON1 subscription. We'll see how well it works to separate DAM and image editor.
Very interesting! I stopped using ON1 several years ago for those reasons and the fact it always seemed to be pre-release beta... buggy. Had potential but just didn’t cut it, for me anyway. I love Affinity products but their lack of file organization made me look for a complimentary editor and that’s where Exposure came into play for me. Still a fan of Exposure, although I liked their original name of Alien Skin better.

Dug around the link you just posted and NeoFinder does look very interesting. Dug a little more and I found that there is an iOS NeoFinder app available in the App Store for $6.99 and now it looks really interesting! Using Dropbox and/or some other methods of transfer you can keep your catalogs on your iOS device tracking Syncing and tracking where your files are... beauty, eh!
 

Zeus1

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Been experimenting with Neofinder rather heavily. Conclusion: very good Media Pro alternative! Developer responded to several emails within 24 hrs. Importing pictures is slower than MP but catalogs are noticeably smaller. There is a possibility to sort the pictures withing the catalogs. Pictures can be opened directly from Neofinder into the designated application. Preview uses the Mac preview (spacebar). Only thing missing is saving the catalogs (called libraries in Neofinder) in a user-designated folder (NF saves all catalogs in Library/ApplicationSuport/Neofinder).
 
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Only thing missing is saving the catalogs (called libraries in Neofinder) in a user-designated folder
Mine does this! Look at Preferences:
Screen Shot 2020-06-04 at 12.08.16.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

After playing with the economical personal edition for a few days, I splurged on the 2-person business edition, which allows you to keep your catalog on a file server and access it from multiple computers — even over the Internet, if your main machine can be mounted (smb or afp) over the Internet.

Although I don't have an IOS device, there is an iPhone/iPad version available, too.

One thing I really love: you can choose what metadata to display in list view, including exposure info, lens/camera data, keywords, etc. But it is a select list; would be better if you could show any EXIF/IPTC data.
 
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Zeus1

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@Bytesmiths
Probably not what I ment....I would like to save a specific "library" (e.g. Krakow2019) inside the folder "KrakowTrip", while another library (e.g. "France2018") sits in another folder ("France2018Holiday"). As far as I understand, Neofinder keeps ALL its libraries in one folder (location of which can indeed be chosen in the Preferences).

Please correct me if I am wrong.
 
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@Bytesmiths
I would like to save a specific "library" (e.g. Krakow2019) inside the folder "KrakowTrip", while another library (e.g. "France2018") sits in another folder ("France2018Holiday"). As far as I understand, Neofinder keeps ALL its libraries in one folder (location of which can indeed be chosen in the Preferences).
Yea, that would be nice… and make them double-clickable.

Let Norbert know you'd like this. I'll put in a similar request. I have a number of other enhancement requests to add.
 

threeOh

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@Bytesmiths
Probably not what I ment....I would like to save a specific "library" (e.g. Krakow2019) inside the folder "KrakowTrip", while another library (e.g. "France2018") sits in another folder ("France2018Holiday"). As far as I understand, Neofinder keeps ALL its libraries in one folder (location of which can indeed be chosen in the Preferences).

Please correct me if I am wrong.
I'm not around a Mac for a while so I can’t confirm. But a shortcut wherever you want it should provide that functionality.
 

PakkyT

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Thanks for the tip @Bytesmiths I will have to check out Neofinder. At first blush it looks like a good way to get a DAM without locking yourself into one or losing all your carefully entered data if you decide to stop using it if I am reading their page correctly. But that does bring up one question.

They talk about embedding data into the file types that support it or using XMP sidecars for the file types that do not (like raw files). So what does the database file do? It is simply to present a catalog of everything, but the actual data it contains are with the files themselves?
 
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<blockquote>what does the database file do? It is simply to present a catalog of everything, but the actual data it contains are with the files themselves?</blockquote>I'm guessing that the "database" is just a cache of all the information stored in files.

Otherwise, it would be unbearably slow, if it had to go out and look at all the files every time you did a search or displayed a list.
 

PakkyT

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Right, but what I mean is, if one day you simply decided to stop using it or it stopped working for whatever reason, is the data you entered with the individual files and moving those files elsewhere (including sidecar XMPs of course) to other computers and such, does that data go along for the ride without having to go through extra steps such as exporting everything out of the DAM?

I looked at their web site and they make a big deal about apps that hide or lock up files away from the user. But anytime you talk about a database type application you are often at the mercy of some custom or proprietary format that makes leaving it hard to do or impossible without giving up something.

I will have to look through the user guide and see what I can find out.
 
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PakkyT

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They talk about embedding data into the file types that support it or using XMP sidecars for the file types that do not (like raw files). So what does the database file do? It is simply to present a catalog of everything, but the actual data it contains are with the files themselves?

OK downloaded NeoFinder and checking it out. So the good news is that it is fairly straight forward to either write out new metadata you entered with NeoFinder or to pull in any new metadata updated by another application. When you right click on a photo, pick Metadata then from that submenu pick Update Metadata. NeoFinder will update its own database with any new metadata in the file or sidecar as well as writing anything new from its database into the file or the XMP sidecar. I use GraphicConverter (Mac only) for a lot of my front end photo work and it is nice to see if I edit, say, IPTC in GC it will show up in NeoFinder on addition or if you update metadata. Likewise anything added by Neo is seen by GC. No need to export a new copy to get that data embedded.

Also the Finder integration I found I kept getting an error in Neo of "Not Authorized to send Apple Events to Finder" which with a quick search meant when Neo tried to update the Finder fields it was blocked and I only needed to go into my System Settings an authorize it to do so in the Privacy setting for Automation (in case anyone is struggling with that error).

Previously added Geotagging was read no problem with Neo. I haven't tried Geocoding from within Neo yet though.
 

PakkyT

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^ @PakkyT How fast is it, mate? Say dealing with 1500 images or thereabouts.

I added a test folder of a bit over 1600 JPG image, all small (not sure if the size of the JPG matters since it works off thumbnails). I haven't done much more but it does seem a bit sluggish just scrolling the window of thumbs. My iMac is the latest model however I haven't gotten around to adding more RAM yet so I am running a little RAM-starved. However I would expect it to be a bit quicker all the same.

A quick search of keywords brought up about 18 results in just a half second or so and another search turned up about 50 in roughly a second. I wouldn't say it is a speed demon but I am not drumming my fingers waiting either.
 

John King

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Thanks, @PakkyT . My computer MB and CPU is about 10 y.o, but with an SSD, fast enterprise class HDDs with big caches and 16 GB RAM. Bridge is tragic to build thumbnails initially, but will search about a TB of images for keywords in around 60 seconds (AFTER the very painful 36 hours to index everything!).
 

PakkyT

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A further deficiency I think for you Lightroom (et al.) users who I think benefit from this feature that is missing from Neo. Since this app was originally made for cataloging CDs then later expanded to be a general purpose cataloger for any files you want, it has some camera specific search fields but you get either generic choices or a blank field to free type anything you want. It does not offer you any choices based on the content of your catalog.

As an example, if I want to search for lenses I can use the search to pick EXIF then pick "'lens' contains" and then type anything I want in the search box but it is just a blank search field so you have to kind of know what to look for. Doesn't Lightroom and other such DAMs allow you to pick from a bunch of choices based on what is already in your catalog?

So what would be useful is when you add photos is for Neo to read in those EXIF fields and built a database of what you have actually used to assist your searches, then you could either type in free style like now, but also just see a list of your lenses allowing you to pick the one you want. Of course if your lenses are all fairly unique you can type in the base focal range and probably only get one lens like "12-100" however for some people typing "12-60" could yield results from 2 or 3 different lenses.
 

GBarrington

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Is anyone using acdsee? I'm testing the mac version, and from video tutorials it feels a bit behind the windows one...

I'm a big proponent of ACDSee Ultimate 2020. I'm a Windows guy but from what I've read, the Mac version (which is roughly similar to the Win ACDSee Pro 2020 version) is not quite as good as WIN ACDSee Pro. On the ACDSee forum, the Mac users seem to either like it, or hate it. but few L O O V V E E it. :whistling:

But the Windows versions outperform Lightroom in just about every category except printing. I've never liked the printing from ACDSee. Don't get me wrong, the output prints are fine, but it just lacks the ease and sophistication that many other applications have. It's like they have this blind spot about printing. Otherwise I personally L O O V V E E it.
 

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