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Several questions about Daminion


polarbeer
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Hi,

 

I'm just a home user who just installed your Daminion Standalone 0.8.9. (build 477). During last months I have been trying to increase my knowledge on Digital Asset Management (DAM) software available for home users. I personally would need a software to manage mostly photos (*.rw2 and *.jpg) and videos (*.m2ts and *.mts) shot with Panasonic GH2 camera. So far my findings haven't been very good as all software tools seem to have some major drawbacks.

 

Here are some questions I would gladly have an answer to.

 

1. Will the final/official/non-beta version of Daminion Standalone be freeware or commercial? If it will need purchase can you say any price range for it currently?

 

2. Is "database" called "catalog" in Daminion? (I personally would prefer term "database" as it seems more clear and broadly used.)

 

3. Will Daminion support XMP sidecar files in the near future? I have understood, that altering camera RAW-files and other proprietary and undocumented file types by embedding metadata directly inside these files, is a bit risky business. Also backup will run faster if you have to backup only small XMP files.

 

4. If you don't support sidecar files, is metadata written only in Daminion's database for file types that are marked read-only in your "supported file types" -list?

 

https://daminion.net/feature-tour/daminion/broad-format-support

 

For example AVCHD videos (BDAV, .mts, .m2ts, .m2t) are marked read-only and XMP column is marked "-". Does this mean that, if Daminion dadatabase gets corrupted/deleted for some reason, all metadata added to AVCHD videos is lost?

 

5. Can user check where metadata for any specific file is actually stored?

 

6. Is your database/catalog stored in some "standard" format, so that user can move to another DAM-tool if he/she wants to?

 

7. Will you support Panasonic RAW photos (.rw2) in near future?

 

I like the idea of Daminion being able to manage all file types (not just photos and videos). I also don't think DAM needs to be combined "RAW-developer-and-DAM-tool-in-one-package" like Lightroom for example tries to be.

 

Cheers and thanks for your help!

 

-pb

 

 

PS. Your FAQ page functions weirdly. (Tested on Opera and Internet Explorer.)

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1. Will the final/official/non-beta version of Daminion Standalone be freeware or commercial? If it will need purchase can you say any price range for it currently?

 

All Daminion Standalone 0.xx versions will be free. Starting from 1.0 version we'll issue two Daminion Standalone versions: Free and Pro ($149)

 

2. Is "database" called "catalog" in Daminion? (I personally would prefer term "database" as it seems more clear and broadly used.)

6. Is your database/catalog stored in some "standard" format, so that user can move to another DAM-tool if he/she wants to?

 

Yes. Each Daminion Standalone catalog is the SQLite database with *.dmc extension.

For shared catalog PostgreSQL is used. Both databases are widely adopted, stable and

opensource.

 

3. Will Daminion support XMP sidecar files in the near future? I have understood, that altering camera RAW-files and other proprietary and undocumented file types by embedding metadata directly inside these files, is a bit risky business. Also backup will run faster if you have to backup only small XMP files.

 

Although RAW files are non-documented most of the them based on TIFF format that is well documented, so I guess the risk is minimal. We use ExifTool to write the metadata into the Camera RAW files, I believe that Phil Harvey (ExifTool author) is the most respected metadata expert. I guess the performance is the major drawback here, but it can be partially solved if you switch off Auto-Sync feature during tag assignment.

 

We implement the functionality based on a number of user requests and their priorities in our feature list. It's possible to support sidecar files in the future optionally, although storing information outside of the file. BTW Daminion supports reading from sidecar *.xmp files.

 

4. If you don't support sidecar files, is metadata written only in Daminion's database for file types that are marked read-only in your "supported file types" -list?

 

https://daminion.net/feature-tour/daminion/broad-format-support

 

For example AVCHD videos (BDAV, .mts, .m2ts, .m2t) are marked read-only and XMP column is marked "-". Does this mean that, if Daminion dadatabase gets corrupted/deleted for some reason, all metadata added to AVCHD videos is lost?

 

Yes. At the moment Tags are not written to video formats. We use a bit outdated version of Adobe XMPToolkit to write XMP into the appropriate file formats. Once we'll add support for new toolkit version it will be possible to store some XMP on some video formats.

 

It's recommended to add Daminion catalogs to the backup list of your backup tool.

 

5. Can user check where metadata for any specific file is actually stored?

 

Did you mean where the metadata stored inside the file? It's not possible within Daminion but probably ExifTool from Daminion\MediaProcessors\ImageProcessor folder can helps yo.

 

You can find a list of the media files that where not synced with their metadata yet in Saved Searches\Unsynced?

 

7. Will you support Panasonic RAW photos (.rw2) in near future?

Yes. Could you please send me a few rw2 files to support at daminion-net?

 

 

PS. Your FAQ page functions weirdly. (Tested on Opera and Internet Explorer.)

 

Thanks. Will be fixed.

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Thanks for quick and detailed reply. Thumbs up for this. :dance2:

 

All Daminion Standalone 0.xx versions will be free. Starting from 1.0 version we'll issue two Daminion Standalone versions: Free and Pro ($149)

 

Any details yet what will be differences between free/pro?

 

Although RAW files are non-documented most of the them based on TIFF format that is well documented, so I guess the risk is minimal. We use ExifTool to write the metadata into the Camera RAW files, I believe that Phil Harvey (ExifTool author) is the most respected metadata expert. I guess the performance is the major drawback here, but it can be partially solved if you switch off Auto-Sync feature during tag assignment.

 

We implement the functionality based on a number of user requests and their priorities in our feature list. It's possible to support sidecar files in the future optionally, although storing information outside of the file. BTW Daminion supports reading from sidecar *.xmp files.

 

Yep corruption is probably not a problem as long as the software making metadata edits inside proprietaty files is well tested. For a home user main advantage of separate XMP files would be fast backups. When sending photos via email you could also be sure that no metadata will be sent if you don't send sidecars also. This could be advantage/disadvantage depending on the user.

 

 

Did you mean where the metadata stored inside the file? It's not possible within Daminion but probably ExifTool from Daminion\MediaProcessors\ImageProcessor folder can helps yo.

 

You can find a list of the media files that where not synced with their metadata yet in Saved Searches\Unsynced?

 

Sorry I wasn't clear enough with my question. I'm not interested in what bytes of media file are used to store the actual metadata information. I meant, if user can see if any specific metadata item is stored inside media file, inside Daminion database or inside both (media file + database)?

 

Yes. Could you please send me a few rw2 files to support at daminion-net?

 

I will send you a couple of sample pictures.

 

-pb

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Any details yet what will be differences between free/pro?

 

Not decided yet. Because we didn't implement yet most of the Pro functionality.

 

Yep corruption is probably not a problem as long as the software making metadata edits inside proprietaty files is well tested. For a home user main advantage of separate XMP files would be fast backups. When sending photos via email you could also be sure that no metadata will be sent if you don't send sidecars also. This could be advantage/disadvantage depending on the user.

 

I'll advocate a bit for avoiding xmp sidecars :) :wink: Although this can be incorporated as a feature.

- Truncating the metadata will be an option on the Export/Email feature. You can optionally leave only your copyrights.

- If you would like to email an image With metadata it will be very inconvenient to do with sidecar files

However using sidecar files has some advantages:

- Support for more formats: This will add an ability to write metadata to virtually any format

- Performance: It's much faster to update small xmp files rather then large Raw files via command line ExifTool

 

 

Sorry I wasn't clear enough with my question. I'm not interested in what bytes of media file are used to store the actual metadata information. I meant, if user can see if any specific metadata item is stored inside media file, inside Daminion database or inside both (media file + database)?

 

It's possible to see Unsynced files as I mentioned above (the media items that weren't synced with the metadata).

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I'll advocate a bit for avoiding xmp sidecars :) :wink: Although this can be incorporated as a feature.

- Truncating the metadata will be an option on the Export/Email feature. You can optionally leave only your copyrights.

- If you would like to email an image With metadata it will be very inconvenient to do with sidecar files

However using sidecar files has some advantages:

- Support for more formats: This will add an ability to write metadata to virtually any format

- Performance: It's much faster to update small xmp files rather then large Raw files via command line ExifTool

 

Thanks for your reply Murat! (I didn't get email notification about your reply although I got it from your first reply. I don't know why..)

 

Yep, I surely hope you will add support for creating XMP sidecars in near future. Especially if that's not a major feature to implement for your programmers.

 

I just like the whole idea of small XMP sidecars. I think the main disadvantage is, that all users working with media files have to know, what are these small XMP files and that they usually have to be moved, copied and deleted with their parent files. However if a user is installing and using DAM software, he will probably be more interested in metadata than "avarage-joe" - so it will be easy for him to adopt philosophy of using them.

 

Metadata management seems to be a really messy topic - especially because many widely used viewing/browsing/cataloging programs can't efficiently and safely manage this data inside files. Several standards (EXIF, IPTC, XMP) and not-so-well-thought-out-and-tested features of many programs don't make your life any easier.

 

So XMP sidecars seem like a clean and fresh start. Why not use them, if they can be used for ANY file type SAFELY? User can easily check their XMP sidecars by just opening them with Notepad. No need to use special software to cross check, if some program in your pipeline has corrupted or deleted vital data?

 

DigiKam (free/opensource) has enabled XMP sidecars for photos. DigiKam has a "Metatadata Writing Mode" setting in it's preferences, that has these 4 possible values:

- Write to image only

- Write to XMP sidecar only

- Write to image and XMP sidecar

- Write to XMP sidecar for read-only image only

 

I think this is quite nice way to approach this problem, because user can choose the method he thinks suits his needs best. DigiKam also names the sidecars like this:

- image001.jpg

- image001.jpg.xmp

- image001.raw

- image001.raw.xmp

 

when some programs (like Adobe Lightroom?!) replace extension of parent file with xmp like this:

- image001.jpg

- image001.xmp

- image001.raw

 

so you can't have separate XMP files for each file type if the base name is identical. This is problematic, if you shoot in JPG+RAW mode with your dSLR.

 

 

- just my two cents and feature request :whistle3:

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Thanks for the suggestion! The benefit of LR over DigiCam here is - you can have 1 xmp sidecar file for two versions of the same file, without possible sync issues. Because if you shoot RAW+JPEG, it's exactly the same image but in two different formats.

 

Although this might not works if files with different base names are differ by content.

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Thanks for the suggestion! The benefit of LR over DigiCam here is - you can have 1 xmp sidecar file for two versions of the same file, without possible sync issues. Because if you shoot RAW+JPEG, it's exactly the same image but in two different formats.

 

Although this might not works if files with different base names are differ by content.

 

Yes, I think the best solution is to give user the option to select sidecar extension name (IDimager probably can do this at the moment) and the way the extension is added.

- basename.JPG.XMP or basename.XMP (where XMP could be also another letter combination like XML)

 

I think the "DigiKam way" is however more idiot proof. Your DAM software should take care of synchronization - isn't that, what their are created for in the first place?

 

It would be even better if the user can choose for every file type, where she wants the metadata to be added. Ie. for .MTS and .JPG she could want the metadata to be embedded inside the video and photo file, but for .RAW images she could choose to create XMP sidecar.

 

There's as many work flows as there's different users, so if you want to create a true DAM software to manage all file types, it's vital to offer enough customization options for users.

 

One more advantage of sidecars would be that user wouldn't have to wait official support for any file type to appear in Daminion. She could just start adding metadata into her files of any type. Then later when thumbnail view and embedding metadata inside main file would be supported, she could just move metadata inside parent files - if she wanted to.

 

But enough on sidecars now. You are probably hands full with other features already. Just let us know if you plan to add this feature at some stage. It certainly would be nice to know how much work it would be to implement...

 

:whistle3:

 

Cheers!

 

-pb

 

PS. After dpreview.com publicity on your product (Daminion Server) more CLEAR price and comparison info on your products (standalone (free vs. professional) vs. server) could be placed, so it's EASY to find on your site for possible new customers. Just a thought! ;)

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Added to the feature list. However there are a lot of features there.

 

PS. After dpreview.com publicity on your product (Daminion Server) more CLEAR price and comparison info on your products (standalone (free vs. professional) vs. server) could be placed, so it's EASY to find on your site for possible new customers. Just a thought! ;)

 

Pro version is not available so it's a bit early to provide such information. But once it will be ready we'll add a comparison chart.

 

Standalone vs Server: will think about this. Although it will be more correct to write about Shared and Local catalog differences, because Daminion Standalone (Client) is used to access to Daminion Server and shared catalogs. Thanks for the suggestion.

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