Emulsion, will it?

Sherwood Botsford's Avatar

Sherwood Botsford

05 Jan, 2018 02:30 AM

Looking for a DAM to replace that part of Aperture. But looking for more than that.


is an attempt elsewhere to find the right app.

Runs on Mac or on local apache web server.
Fast keywording
Full access to standard metadata, subject to limits of the file format. (Additional fields are written to sidecars)
Controlled vocabulary
Hierarchial vocabulary. E.g. Separate entries for Birds -> raptors -> falcon and Planes -> fighters -> falcon. Parents are stored with keywords.
Parent items are automatically entered as keywords. (With the correct database link, this comes free as a side effect of the point above.
Synonyms -- I can define "Picea glauca" as a synonmym for "White Spruce" entering one, enters the other.
Version tracking If a lower resolution or a black and white image is produced from a master, the system should show that it's a derived image, and allow access to the master. A master should be able to list derived images. Derived images are not linear but form a multi-branched tree.
Metadata applied to a master should propagate down to derived images.
Ability to track through external editing programs. E.g. If I edit a program in photoshop, it will mark the PSD file as being derived, restore as much of the metadata as the PSD format allows. If Photoshop is used to create a jpeg image, that too is tracked.
All metadata is indexed.
Metadata is also written to sidecar files.
Through file system watching, name changes and directory reorganization are caught. Relevant sidecars are also renamed, and the database updated with new file location/name.
Support for previews of all common image formats and most raw formats.
Reasonable speed with catalogs of more than 100,000 images.
Ability to rebuild corrupt database from sidecars.
Nice to have:

Simple non-destructive editing -- crop, brightness, contrast.
Rating system
Smart albums

So far:

Nothing I've found supports version tracking.
Lightroom: Doesn't support PNG, very clunky interface, slow on large catalogs;
Photomechanic is fast for keywording and culling, but has very limited search capability.
Photo supreme: Erratic quirks. Crashes. One man shop.
Fotostation: AFAIK no underlying database. Has to read metadata from images/sidecar files on startup. Slow after 10K images. (They have server based software too that is big bucks.)
Similar question: Advanced software to organize and manage a life of photos

That question has a more general set of requirements and received no answers.

To budnip answers of the form "This is impossible" here's how it could be implemented:

For each master image generate a unique ID based on the content of the file. This could be a checksum of the file preview image, or Camera model+serial number + shutter count.

This ID is written to a set of fields in meta data that most editors will leave at least one intact. If the master is unwritable, it's written to a sidecar file.

I addition all metadata in the file is slurped into a database.

When a file is edited, a file system watcher notes that the file was opened. The file goes onto the 'watch' list.

When a file is closed, this is also noted. If there has been a new file created it is checked for metadata. If the new file's metadata has a match for an existing file, then existing file metadata is used to repopulate missing data in the file. (Photoshop is notorious for not respecting all metadata.)

Database is updated with the new file being derivative of the original file.

optionally a suffix may be added to the new file's image number, showing whether it derives directly from the original or from another derivative.

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