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(1006) metadata sync, collisions and offline file handling


lf1
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Metadata syncing

 

Hi!

 

I'm trying to use Daminion alongside Adobe Bridge CS4 and Daminion seems to handle metadata sync in a strange way.

 

When I edit metadata in Daminion (auto-syncing is on), I can see all the changes reflected in Bridge metadata panel on the fly, which is expected and correct behaviour.

But if I perform the changes in Bridge metadata panel, Daminion does not reflect them in it's metadata fields until I force it to re-read metadata from the file. No other way to sync works and Daminion thinks all files are synced. Refreshing, turning auto-syncing off and then on again and even rescanning the folder has no effect.

 

 

Metadata collisions

 

Daminion seem to lack any mechanics for handling metadata collisions. Unfortunately, it creates possibilities of losing valuable metadata. As an example, try performing next steps:

1. turn Daminion auto-sync off

2. add metadata to file

3. add differing metadata in the same field in Adobe Bridge (or similar program, whitch saves the data right away)

4. turn Daminion auto-sync on and sync files

 

As a result, all the metadata added through Bridge is lost forever and rewritten with metadata from Daminion!

 

 

Offline files handling

 

While Daminion handles offline files to some extent, it's, unfortunately, not enough to consider it for cataloging backed up files or files residing on removable or remote (network) storage.

As far as I understand, in viewing mode, if the file couldn't be found, Daminion shows, "The file 'ABCD.xyz' is offline or missing" message while displaying the 385x385px thumbnail upscaled to fullscreen. While this approach undoubtfully lowers disk space usage, it has several very serious shortcomings which, I suppose, could be addressed relatevely easy.

 

Here are my suggestions:

 

1. This is the most essential one: Add the ability to generate web-sized or even fullsize hi-res cached previews.

 

It's impossible to evaluate an offline image even approximately with 385x385 preview. And having your laptop with the catalog on it in the field and all the cataloged files stored at home or office on external drive is very real scenario, as is the one, where all the files are stored on removable media (DVD, Blue-Ray etc.).

Oftentimes you have to evaluate these files without having them online (for example, while being on a plane). While web-sized preview couldn't be used to check critical sharpness, it is still, unlike a thumbnail, gives the ability to evaluate images for minor differences (e.g. in facial expressions) and overall image quality.

 

The generation of such previews could be done globally via option in preferences, or/and locally as a menu option for selected file. The second way could be used to generate web-sized or fullsize previews for offline portfolio or high-ranking images, or any particular image selection which should be evaluated thoroughly on the go or while offline.

The avalible sizing of web-sized previews could be somewere between 600x600 to 1200x1200.

 

2. Add the ability to export (via "Copy to folder") such cached preview for offline files.

Sometimes you just need a rough web-sized copy of an offline image (e.g. to send as a preview to a client, while you are in field or on location).

 

3. Add ability for Daminion to detect if the files are back online, without program restart.

At the moment, Daminion doesn't respond to files going back online (e.g. on connecting external drive), and while it loads the actual file on fullscreen view, it still shows the "offline or missing" message and the question mark along the thumbnail. To reset this offline state Daminion requires restart.

This could be fixed by automatic or manual online/offline check of catalog files, or, to minimize processing time, by forced check on view/folder refresh (F5).

 

4. Fix offline thumbnail orientation bug.

At the moment, Daminion incorrectly displays portrait-oriented thumbnails and previews for offline files. This bug should presumably go away if hi-res cached previews are implemented.

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Metadata collisions

 

Daminion seem to lack any mechanics for handling metadata collisions. Unfortunately, it creates possibilities of losing valuable metadata. As an example, try performing next steps:

1. turn Daminion auto-sync off

2. add metadata to file

3. add differing metadata in the same field in Adobe Bridge (or similar program, whitch saves the data right away)

4. turn Daminion auto-sync on and sync files

 

As a result, all the metadata added through Bridge is lost forever and rewritten with metadata from Daminion!

 

 

Hi Lev,

 

from my point of view, it's not a collision. Daminion is working based on a database and Adobe Bridge is working on the file system. That means all changes in Bridge are immediately and directly written in the file. Daminion writes first in the database and then in the file to keep both database and file synchronized. If you stop the synch process in Daminion the database has the information but not the file itself. If you change metadata in Bridge as long as the synch is off it is logical that the changes made by Bridge will be overwritten by the start of the synch process. The last one is the winner.

 

Regards, Uwe

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Hi Uwe,

 

The difference between Daminion and Bridge is not a collision itself, but, as you correctly stated, just difference in file handling approach (i.e. file system vs database).

 

Metadata collision (as any data collision in general) is a scenario when you encounter two seemingly identical data entities that may in reality have different properties. The most common and basic example being two files with the same filenames but different content inside. The moment you try to copy one such file to the folder where another one already exists the data collides and you get a message asking what to do: overwrite, abort or change filename. This message is the example of data collision handling — a process which lets you take control of ambiguous situation. The absence of data collision handling, on the other hand, is when the original action (copying in our case) is performed no questions asked, possibly overwriting valuable data.

 

With metadata collision happens when you have two (or more) sources of differing metadata which relates to the same file. Unfortunately, there are many situations in real world workflow where metadata collisions happen and omitting collision handling alltogether is not the best choice for a DAM software.

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