IDimager Cataloging Software for Windows

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Mike Buckley, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. EDIT: The purpose of this top section of the post is to provide IDimager reference materials. As people make me aware of new resources, I will add them to the post.

    IDimager Home Page
    This is your link to the IDimager home page.

    Review at DAMRoundup.com
    The review at DAMRoundup.com is so highly detailed that I have bookmarked it as wonderful "how to" resource material. It was written by Pesto126, who participates in this thread. He is more commonly known as Andy at DAMRoundup.com.

    IDimager Support Forum
    The moderated support forum at IDimager.com is chock full of great information. The developer of the product regularly hangs out there. More precisely, he apparently has a reputation for quickly responding to users' questions. His screen name is Hert/IDimager.

    Getting Started
    The information about getting started is ideal for new users and for people who haven't downloaded the software but want to grasp a partial overview.

    Questions to Ask When Applying Keywords to an Image
    This document prepared by David Rieck is very helpful. Notice that the one "W" that is not discussed in the document is "With."


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The information shown below is the first post as it initially appeared in this thread before the resources shown above were added.

    Thanks to Tomas, I am using a trial version of IDimager. I encourage everyone to contribute questions, ideas, tips and comparisons with competing software in this thread.

    Initial Success and Failures
    After browsing the entire documentation and using the progam just once when I was very tired and possibly missed something, I am very impressed with the program. My initial success wasn't quite as strong as Tomas's, so I look forward to learning from him.

    Tomas successfully viewed keywords, certain other metadata, stars and labels created in Nikon's NX software. He also viewed them in NX when created in IDimager.

    I wasn't able to get IDimager to readEXIF data. Instead, I get funky two- and three-digit numbers in those fields when viewed in IDimager. It also didn't read the basic metadata such as my name, contact information and copyright.

    I also wasn't able to get IDimager to properly read the labels, though that's no surprise considering that IDimager only has 5 labels and NX has 10.

    I was very pleased that IDimager properly read all the keywords and stars that were created using NX software.

    Strengths of IDimager
    One of the real strengths of IDimager over Digital Pro and NX is the very high quality of its documentation. The PDF User Guides are really terrific as is the initial "getting started" information in the screen that pops up when you click on the "i".

    A huge competitive advantage, at least for me, of IDimager over Digital Pro is that it conducts searches on multiple criteria using OR or AND. As an example, you can search for images containing any or all of three keywords. Digital Pro searches only on all of them.

    Help, please
    Tomas, I would appreciate any ideas you have as to why I wasn't able to read the EXIF data and other metadata. I'm also curious about how you got it to read the labels properly, wondering if the solution is that you used only 5 labels in NX.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2008
  2. mphillips

    mphillips

    32
    Jul 8, 2008
    South Africa
    Hi Mike

    May I ask how you "imported" the images into IDImager ?
    There is also an EXIF Viewer (My Words) on the left Bar - (e in a circle).

    If you "browsed" the images using Media Explorer then you may not have ingested all the data from the images into the database.

    If this is the case then highlight the images and run a script called Import Meta Data and it should gather all the info into the database.

    I find that the best way to get all my images into IDimager is either to use the downloader (which can grab from a folder and refile into your structure) or use the Import function to leave the images in their structure and "import" the data into the database.

    I hope that I am helping here ?

    Regards

    MikeP

    PS - Another great positive about IDimager is the INCREDIBLE support that Hert, the developer, will give in the forum. No question seems to try his patience :)
     
  3. mphillips

    mphillips

    32
    Jul 8, 2008
    South Africa
    Mike

    I have just noticed that the thread is titled " IDimage Cataloging Software for Windows ".

    Should it not read IDImager ?

    Regards

    MikeP
     

  4. Mike, thanks for the helpful response.

    It would be embarrassing to publicly admit the wee hours of the morning that I was attempting my one and only use of the product :smile:, so I'm not sure my memory is entirely correct. I am positive that I "imported" the files and that I intentionally left that process remain in the foreground so I could watch the progress bars. Once that was successfully completed, I am almost positive that I viewed the information using the Media Explorer, not one of the other tools arranged vertically on the left side of the window.

    I'm writing to you from a computer that doesn't have the software installed on it, so I'll make a point of reading your post again when I'm at the proper computer.

    It's good to know that the developer provides such good support. I was impressed with the long list of folders in the users' forum but haven't had a chance to peek inside them yet.

    Considering the quality of the documentation, I'm not surprised that he provides such good support. I am very disciminating about the quality of software documentation, perhaps to a fault, and I've gotta tell you that I was really impressed with the clarity and apparent accuracy of the documentation. Contrast that with Digital Pro which is poorly written, contains screen shots that are illegible, and provides blatantly incorrect information about a couple basic facts that even I as a brand new user immediately spotted. That's despite that it's already in version 4.
     
  5. Thanks for that! I changed the title. I don't suppose you wanna know how long it took me to find the software site Googling IDimage (without the "r") or how many companies that are out there using the term without the "r." That definitely was not my finest moment on a computer. :biggrin:
     
  6. mphillips

    mphillips

    32
    Jul 8, 2008
    South Africa
    Hi Mike

    I don't want to be presumptuous but if I may "offer"some tips about IDimager.

    The Media Explorer is similar to a windows explorer - and I hardly ever use it.
    BUT
    The catalog Explorer is where all the action is. If you want to explore the HDD use the Catalog Folders Section, to view metadata (Incl EXIF) use the METADATA tree.

    And its in Catalog Explorer where you interrogate and assign keywords, do your searches, assign a People, Places, etc...

    If you are viewing Thumbs then while one or some are highlighted press CTRL F6 ànd watch the Quick Assign box pop up. Its so fast to assign / add and assign keywords and labels..

    Anyway enough waxing lyrical about it - there is a very good review on the dam roundup
    http://www.damroundup.com/2008/05/12/review-idimager-v40/

    Oh and did I mention that the thumbs database can grow bigger then 2G :)

    Mike, in all seriousness the reason that I am sold on the product is that my wife finds it extremely easy to use to rate, label, catalog, keyword - pop in a collection and publish to our web site - and that takes bucket loads of pressure off me!

    And it is still so powerful - and any suggestion that warrants it WILL be included in the next version.

    Kindest Regards

    MikeP
     
  7. TomaS

    TomaS

    497
    Aug 3, 2006
    Corrales, NM
    Hi Mike,
    Sorry you had problems with EXIF data. I did not do anything special. Much of my basic info is put into the NEF by Nikon Transfer. Other IPTC stuff such as keywords, stars, etc. I put in there using NX. I do use NX2 so maybe that is the difference?:confused:

    Also, if i said that 'labels' are compatible between the two, I misspoke. :eek: I am not able to get the two programs to synch on labels. But then I have no intention of using labels so I really do not care.:rolleyes:

    BTW - my eval is VERY preliminary. I have been too busy to really check it out yet. Now if I could just find that picture of the mountain with the full moon rising and river in the foreground....:biggrin:
     
  8. Pesto126

    Pesto126

    566
    Apr 13, 2006
    Northeast USA
    Hi all.. I use Idimager daily as my DAM of choice and would be happy to help out in anyway I can. you can read a very detailed review of Idimager over here: http://www.damroundup.com/2008/05/12/review-idimager-v40/

    I used the software for 60 day in order to write that review and can't tell you all the great things about it. Enjoy!
     
  9. Mike, I feel bad that I might be wasting your time by communicating about this stuff while I'm away from the proper computer. I might have gotten the Media Explorer and Catalog Explorer mixed up. Let's put this on hold until I get back to the computer that has IDimager on it so I can ensure that my posts are accurate.

    By the way, I just noticed that you're brand new to the Cafe. Welcome and thanks for jumping into the discussion!
     
  10. mphillips

    mphillips

    32
    Jul 8, 2008
    South Africa
    Hi Tomas

    Hert has discovered why the Colour labels do not sync.

    Has something to do with if a colour label is "blank"from another DAM application then when CNX2 opens the image it skips the colour label and the rest of the XMP. (Thats my laymans explanation and I hope fair representation).

    I quote:
    "After almost an hour of trial and error I had nailed it down. Basically NX2 *does* read your XMP changes as written with IDimager. But there seems to be an oddity in how NX2 handles the XMP. When there is no color label written to the file (xap:Label) then NX2 can not read your metadata written with IDI. I noticed this by accident. Once there is a color label, NX2 will read the data. Then I traced back why that is; when no color label is written, IDimager writes an empty property in XMP like xap:Label="". While no other tool has problems with this (and they shouldn't), NX2 does. It seems to fail on reading this empty tag and then it simply stops reading the rest of the XMP. For the next update I now added a small change so that no color label tag is written if it's empty."


    Anyway thats a small problem compared to what CNX2 does to the orientation flag when you save an edited NEF!

    Regards
    MikeP
     
  11. Sure you can, Pesto! Simply get crackin' at your keyboard and follow up by clicking that little thingy that says, "submit reply." :biggrin:
     
  12. mphillips

    mphillips

    32
    Jul 8, 2008
    South Africa
    Hi Andy

    Thought that Pesto126 was you :)

    Regards

    MikeP

    (From the IDimager forum)
     
  13. I input that stuff using mostly if not entirely Transfer and View NX. I may have used Capture NX2 a little bit.


    That's my take too. I was just so impressed with the possibility of achieving Nirvana that I had to ask about it.
     
  14. Pesto126

    Pesto126

    566
    Apr 13, 2006
    Northeast USA
    :) Hey Mike - yup.. that's me. Just didn't have the heart to change my profile over to [email protected] since I've been Pesto126 here for so long... but it is I!
     
  15. Whew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Notice the title of this thread. It expresses my emotions about my supposed issues. That's because they were only supposed, not real.

    All of my metadata is being read as far as I can tell. I'd even go so far as to bet that Tomas's labels (if he is actually using them in View NX or Capture NX2) are also being read. More about that at the end of the post.

    Huh? How could that be?

    The explanation is that I was so beat late last night (actually early this morning) that I stopped my initial evaluation of the program just 15 minutes too soon. My first 15 minutes at the computer this evening revealed that everything is working just fine now that I've learned where to look.

    The place NOT to look for metadata is in the Catalog Explorer, which is where I was looking. I don't feel too bad about that considering that there IS a big thingie begging the user's attention that says, "metadata." I'm sure there is an explanation for the gobbledygook that appears there, but heck if I know what the explanation might be.

    There are two other ways to view metadata. One of them is the icon that Mike Phillips pointed out, the lowercase "e" in the middle of a circle, which amazingly is an abbreviation for EXIF Info, almost exactly as he remembered. (By the way, if the few of you who aren't named Mike are getting the the impression that maybe there are about three too many Mikes hanging out around here, I agree. :biggrin:) That displays SO much data that I've never previously seen displayed. It even tells me whether I processed the image in NX or NX2. Very, very cool, if only I could figure out why I would ever want to know. :biggrin:

    The other method is to click the pencil icon, which displays "image details." The EXIF data appears in the "technical" tab. Lots of other detail other than EXIF data appears in the other tabs.

    The only thing I notice as unusual is that some, not all, of the shutter speeds are daunting, such as 1,111,111/20,000,000. The commas actually aren't displayed. I added them for your convenience. But I can live with that.

    Now about Tomas's color labels. I double checked and he did indeed write in the Digital Pro thread that IDimager was reading the labels that he applied within NX. I would be willing to bet that the reason he wrote that is because he actually did see them and later forgot about having seen them. They don't appear on the bar beneath the thumbnails that shows the stars, which made me and possibly him think they aren't being read. But the text label that the color label represents DOES appear if you click on the pencil icon and then click on the "Image Content" tab. Even though NX has ten labels and IDimager only has five, all of the eight labels that I applied within View NX or Capture NX or Capture NX2 were properly displayed in IDimager.

    This is one VERY powerful and easy-to-use program. Thanks again to Tomas for bringing it to my attention. On the other hand, Tomas, the reason I didn't get any sleep last night is because I was having my first go at this program, which is ALL YOUR FAULT. :biggrin:

    Next: the final test is the search function, which I barely got into last night.
     
  16. Now that I've tested it, there's not much to say except ... WWWWWWWWOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Searching on apparently any metadata field such as the keyword field using any of 15 qualifiers (such as equals, sounds like, contains) and typing in the keyword can then be joined using AND or OR with the next set of criteria determined the same way. You can SO easily build a continuous string of seemingly endless parameters because of an intuitive (even for me!) GUI that needs no explanation.

    Just for kicks, I searched all of my NEFs on the criterion that the f-stop field must contain a "2." Sure enough, it quickly found all the photos taken at f/2, f/2.4, f/2.8 and f/22. For a guy like me who until recently only used to shoot slide film for 25 years, that was fun! :biggrin:

    Seriously the search function in IDimager kicks the butt of the search function of Digital Pro. There's absolutely no comparison between the two from what I can tell.

    And oh by the way, IDimager's most expensive version costs less than Digital Pro's least expensive version.

    Are ya getting the impression that I'm sold? :biggrin:
     
  17. mphillips

    mphillips

    32
    Jul 8, 2008
    South Africa
    Hi Mike

    Sorry I seem to have misunderstood your "can't read EXIF" question - way back when.

    When I referred to Seeing and exploring Metadata using the catalog Explorer I was meaning to quickly and easily see images containing "x" metadata.

    Okay - A picture is worth a thousand words so I am popping up a picture showing what I meant. The expanded catalog tree under metadata. In order to see all images with x F Stop and Y shutter and Z ISO all you do it tick the little boxes to the left and hit either the Green or Orange "arrow" at the top (depending if you want AND or OR).

    I hope that explains it.
    [​IMG]

    Regards

    MikeP
     
  18. Perfectly! Thanks a lot!

    Now I realize that the Catalog Explorer's numbers within the grey rectangles are simply a count of the number of images that meet each particular criterion. Got it!

    One question: I conducted a search on all images at f/8 and ISO 100. Two of the resulting images were at ISO 110. Is there a certain degree of lattitude that is built into that query, such as finding any ISO that rounds up or down to ISO 100?

    EDIT: Second question: The count within the grey rectangles never seems to change even though I change the root folder. It seems as if those numbers always count the total images that have been cataloged. Is that right? Is there any way to change that?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2008
  19. mphillips

    mphillips

    32
    Jul 8, 2008
    South Africa
    Second Question: AFAIK the count (grey rect) is the total number of images that are stored in the database that have that catalog label.

    They should never change until you add an image to that catalog label. I am deliberately "moving away" from the metadata (because you cant 'add' an image to ISO for example) to illustrate the point. Say you have a keyword "lion' - you will see 50 in the grey box - thus you have 50 images wit the keyword 'lion'. Now add 'lion' to another 3 images and that count will increase to 53.

    BTW - the generation of that count can really slow up IDimager unless you have a POWER machine, so I have switched it off in my Options for Day to Day use.

    Another point - you can decide to 'add' more items to the metadata you are storing in the database. In Options - XMP Settings - All Metadata. Or if you prefer, in the same Options place, you can select (box with three ...) which metadata you would like IDimager to store in the database.

    Info Overload ?

    Regards

    MikeP
     
  20. Nope. I got all of that. Thanks!

    There are two metadata fields within Nikon's NX software that don't seem to be available from within IDimager -- categories and subcategories. Those two fields are vital to the use of Digital Pro and it seems that they could be very powerful criteria to use when searching within IDimage. Do you have any idea about that?