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iView Media (now Expression Media?)

Discussion in 'Nikon Capture and View NX' started by Photobug207, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. Hi folks

    Recently I bought the book on DAM (Digital Asset Management) and it recommends using IView Media.

    I've been wondering if I should buy it. I just learned that Microsoft acquired iView and renamed the software program. Just how much of a change did MS make to it? Is it still easy to use like when it was iView?

    Any opinions from iView users would be greatly appreciated. Mind you, I'm not techy-savvy when it comes to analyzing how good a software program is or not.

    Opinions, anyone?

  2. Oh yes, is Expressions Media easy to work with Capture NX? I have this program as well as PS CS2, if that helps anybody to know this.

    Thanks again!

  3. Hi Laura,

    I've used Mediapro for a number of years, and the latest Microsoft release doesn't have many changes (I downloaded the trial version of it). For now, I'm sticking with the iView version as I think Microsoft is going to expend their efforts towards making the software integrate with the other Expressions software programs that they're developing. You can, of course, buy the iView version and wait to upgrade once Microsoft gets some better fixes into it.

    I think Mediapro is a fantastic application, but there are 2 things that I wish iView or Microsoft would have fixed by now:

    1. Catalogs have a size limit of about 2 gigs, and you can't add to a catalog once it reaches that size. You'll hit that limit sooner if you choose to have your files catalogued with large thumbnails, so it varies for each user.

    2. There's no "undo" functionality in the product, so if you make a change the only way to back out of it is to quit without saving changes. Since Mediapro is a database-driven program I can see where that would be more difficult to accomplish, but it's a needed feature nonetheless.

  4. Thanks for your comments, Sean.

    I went ahead and downloaded a 21 day trial version of iView Media 3. Have yet to figure out how to import to a catalog LOL. I think I'm doing something wrong.

    At least, I should be safe with experimenting with cataloging while using old photos (or should I use a duplicate set of originals?) and mess around with it.
    That way once the 21 day trial ends and I uninstall the program, my photos don't get lost or altered or something. (If there is such a thing like that happening with this program)

    I'll have more questions later on once I think of them.

    Thanks again, Sean.
  5. I drag and drop files into the Mediapro window to add them to a catalog. Mediapro doesn't touch the original files, unless you keyword them in Mediapro and then actively have it write that info back into the image files themselves. You can play around with it otherwise to get the hang of it and you won't endanger your images - Mediapro basically looks at your image files, creates a little thumbnail replica and makes note of the properties of the image and writes that stuff to its own database.

    It's a good idea to tinker a bit and read the documentation before you really try and catalog a lot of stuff. Folks on the Mediapro forum often talked about how they would start out building a catalog, then figure out something about the program that made them want to do things differently and then they'd start over once the learning curve had dropped, so just playing with it a bit is wise.
  6. Broyer


    Apr 26, 2006
    North Carolina
    I've been using Iview for several months. Loved it.

    Since I went to Lightroom 1.1 I see no reason to use Iview anymore as LR cataloging is now really good, plus the image tools, web design, ACR etc...
  7. Lightroom again...hmm, I heard from 2 other people who loved it and have chucked iView for Lightroom now. I should hope there is a trial version of Lightroom to try out, LOL. If not, I can always get my friend to show me the good stuff about Lightroom.

    Broyer...has Lightroom led you into using Capture NX less? Photoshop CS?


  8. Broyer


    Apr 26, 2006
    North Carolina
    I've never used NX but still see the need for CS2. LR is for workflow. Photoshop is for increased artistic effect. I'm still getting into the LR workflow, but YES, it has cut down my workflow time.

    I deal with software everyday at work (TV). LR is very intuitive and flows nicely. Some of the best software (in general) I've see in a long time. I didn't care for LR beta or even 1.0. - 1.1 has fixed some serious stuff IMO.

    LR 1.1 has a free 30 day trial. It's really feature packed.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2007
  9. FYI - You can no longer purchase iView Media Pro. You have to buy the Microsoft product.

    I have been using iVMP for well over a year and it is the best cataloging tool I have used. It does exactly what it is supposed to do, and it supports numerous file formats and media types - not just image files. Peter Krogh (author of The DAM Book) uses it to catalog all his files (movie files, image files, documents, etc).

    I have no experience with Capture NX, but iVMP integrates well with the CS2 and CS3 versions of Photoshop. If I update a DNG file, iView will update its internal preview image from the updated preview rendered in the DNG file automatically.
  10. Thanks for sharing your opinions, everyone.

    As I may have already said, I downloaded the demo of iView but haven't tried it out yet. Weirdly enough, as my mind was percolating as to what's a good and viable cataloging program to try out and use, I realized that I might be more comfortable with Lightroom for several reasons:

    1) For help with learning iView, there is Peter Krogh's DAM book and the iView forum by Microsoft. Maybe I'm wrong but I am under the impression that there isn't alot of resources devoted to understanding iView out there. What's more, even though Microsoft now owns the product and according to some of you, MS hasn't messed with it...yet! When you think about it, MS's specialty (ahem! cough cough) is operating browsers, not digital photography. This is just my opinion.

    2) Lightroom 1.1 is an Adobe product. Adobe has many years of experience in developing software focusing on at digital photography. I figure Photoshop users are better off using a product that Adobe has built and designed for digital photographers to use and be able to understand with confidence. Plus, LR works well with PS CS. Also, LR may be a new product but it's attracted quite a crowd of users who have moved away from iView and stayed with LR. And if I go to a local bookstore, there are a bunch of books devoted to Lightroom! iView only has the DAM book to help the photographer.

    Does anyone follow my rationale? Agree or disagree with my thinking?

  11. I think you are correct about Adobe's position in the graphic art/photography sector and the availability of resources for Lightroom. I think Microsoft played it smart by acquiring iView rather than developing a DAM solution from scratch because it gave them a good foothold against Lightroom and Aperture. I am wondering how many books will be written for Mediapro now that it's part of the larger Expressions suite.

    I agree with Walter that Mediapro integrates very well with PS.

    More food for thought; Mediapro was designed solely for cataloguing, Lightroom was designed to catalog and edit photos, but it isn't as fully featured in terms of DAM as Mediapro is. If you are looking for one application to handle both of those tasks, then maybe Lightroom does a good enough job for you, and I'd bet that Adobe will improve the DAM side of Lightroom in the future.

    In my case, I already have PS to be the mother of all editing applications; I don't need Lightroom to do that for me, so I would lean towards Mediapro if I were just starting out today for cataloguing as it does the most complete job (and fastest) that I've found. Since I have been photographing a long time and my stuff has been catalogued with Mediapro, I'm going to stick with it since it would take a great deal of effort to migrate. I tried the beta/trial for Aperture and Lightroom, and Mediapro is still the fastest to work with.

    There are some features about Mediapro that Microsoft does need to update since Mediapro was designed to work for professional photographers in a film environment, and now the digital world has made high-level photography so much more accessible to a wider group of people who have different needs.
  12. i own most of the above. and some others. i probably have not given lightroom enough of a true test (ie not used enough) but it seems to try to do too many other thing besides catalog. iviewpro solves my needs very well, often i use it instead of bridge to open files in photoshop for correction.

    since i usually use a new catalog each year (with some entrys from previous years) i have not had any issues with size. I expect microsoft will offer a version in the near future with their database that will not have size limitations.
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