Digital photo storage management tools?
April 26, 2006 8:30 AM   Subscribe

My company has ~6 departments. Each department takes photos, and then stashes them all over the available network shares, such that they know where any given photo is. What we need is some company-wide means of organizing these assets in an intuitively searchable way. Suggestions?

I'm aware of Extensis Portfolio, so I'd love to hear whether people like it or not. I am also curious about other solutions.
posted by everichon to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Network drive\DepartmentX\ProjectY\PhotoZ

Or by searchable, do you meaning using metadata?
posted by Orange Goblin at 8:38 AM on April 26, 2006

Response by poster: Network drive\DepartmentX\ProjectY\PhotoZ

This is the current setup; I'm thinking tags and/or other metadata. We are needing to account for the fact that a lot of pics are mis-placed due to dept overlap or simple poor judgement.
posted by everichon at 8:47 AM on April 26, 2006

Oh ok, from "all over the available network shares" it sounded like people were just dumping things anywhere on the share. Perhaps train people to properly use the existing system? To use metadata, someone is going to have to input it, and poor judgement will once again be a factor. To be honest I don't know anything about a business situation, I'm just going off how we organise photos on my home network - when we all take our cameras out, photos get uploaded to Network drive\EventX\PersonY\PhotoZ - a slight reversal from what I suggested for you, but it works.
posted by Orange Goblin at 8:54 AM on April 26, 2006

I've heard AlienBrain is pretty damn good for asset management, despite people bitching about it in terms of speed/usage.
posted by devilsbrigade at 9:00 AM on April 26, 2006

Network drive\Photos\Date - ProjectY\ProjectY_001.jpg

Get everyone to format the Date portion as YY-MM-DD, and then everything will list chronologically. Organize by project or event, and have all departments dump their photos in. Get a program to rename all the files with a serial number after the project/event name. Then get someone to actually do that.

This way, you open up the Photos folder, everything is listed chronologically but also gives the project or event name. This is what I use for my personal photos and it is quite handy. I use a little program called File Renamer - Basic for the renaming part, which is free.

As for metadata, I dunno.
posted by MrZero at 9:03 AM on April 26, 2006

If you're on Windows have a look at Thumbsplus. It's a file graphics file viewer/manager with an internal database that supprts metadata and can tie into external databases. It' very easy to use and well priced. It may be too 'light' for your needs but have a look and download the trial version.
posted by HK10036 at 10:04 AM on April 26, 2006

I'm evaluating Portfolio right now. You can download a 30-day trial from Seems great with searchability and organization, but the interface for adding keywords is a bit cumbersome. I can't imagine why there's no keyword autocompletion...

But, it's the best (and most professional-looking) photo album/digital asset management software I've tried.

Others include: (developed for Mac, very polished-looking but needs lots of clicks to add keywords)

Here's a comparison page:

(I'm just using the standalone version. There's also a client/server package available for lots of money)
posted by lalas at 1:40 PM on April 26, 2006

We use Photoshop Elements for this, it works pretty well.
posted by fshgrl at 2:37 PM on April 26, 2006

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