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Image management software

Posted on 2014-03-09
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Last Modified: 2014-03-18
Hi,

I have a client that has a few thousand photos stored on about a dozen workstations.
The problem is that it's next to impossible to find any older photo, especially if the person that took it is no longer in the organization.

I ordered a Synology DS213j with 2TB of storage to move the photos all in one location. I'm looking for a solution that:
- will allow uploading of images via FTP or web interface
- auto-generates thumbnails
- supports adding tags to images
- supports searches using tags
- supports searches using the date the picture was taken
- can be queried using a web interface
- runs on Linux (I have a CentOS VM that I can use for this) and supports using a NAS as storage or
- (optional) can be installed directly on the Synology NAS
- (optional) supports de-duplication
- (optional) supports pdf preview
- (optional) reads info from IPTC data
- (optional) can automatically add tags like "night", "portrait", "outdoor" etc
- (optional) supports users rights assignment.
- free or low cost (under $200)

I've looked at several asset management software and Resource Space seemed to be close to what I want. I've read that it works OK once you get it working, but setup is not for the faint of heart.

Anyone has recommendations or experience with this type of projects?

I appreciate any pointers.
Thank you.

Dan
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Question by:Dan Craciun
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 39917378
Dan,

Questions for you:

1) Do you need the system to manage other digital assets than photos (and perhaps videos)?
2) Do you need multi-user support (who needs to be on at the same time)?
3) As long as the data storage is on your NAS, does the workstation side need to be Linux?
4) Do you need web-enabled, or is it local access only?

Also, you recognize that for photos, it will take a considerable effort to create the keywords and catalog the images, right? It's not like documents where the DAM software can read keywords in the document.

Cheers,
LHerrou
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Author Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39917403
1. Not necessary. Definitely not videos, perhaps scanned pdfs
2. Anyone in the company has access to the pictures now, but for future proofing some access control would be nice to have. Not a deal breaker if not.
3. The stations are all Windows, that's why I'm looking for a web interface (maybe something like the gallery plugins for Joomla, Wordpress etc)
4. Local access only

Yes, I know they will have to manually tag the photos. But as long as they don't need to do it all at once, in time the database will improve.
I imagine that on upload they will tag a whole batch of pictures using general tags (like "summer" "flowers" "location1") and then add more tags as needed.

Thanks,
Dan
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Accepted Solution

by:
lherrou earned 400 total points
ID: 39917877
As well as Resource Space (which may be a bit of overkill for your needs, one option I like is Daminion (http://www.daminion.net/). Not Linux, though. The server runs on any Windows platform (so could run it on an existing Windows server or just set up a Win7 box somewhere), and then access your NAS or other storage.

Another option is Extensis Portfolio Server (https://www.extensis.com/store/portfolio-server-studio/). Again, not Linux based, but a quality product that's been around for a while.

Last, and a little on the light weight side, look at The Open Photo Project (http://theopenphotoproject.org/overview) - there's a hosted solution, but also you can install and host it yourself.

Hope that helps :)
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LVL 34

Author Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39921644
Thanks for the suggestions LHerrou.

Tried Daminion. Looks nice and fills most of the requirements, but it's $1000.
Had the talk with the management, no go. It's a non-for-profit, so budget is tight.

Portfolio is $2300...

I'm going to try Open Photo over the weekend. Saw install guides for Ubuntu and SUSE, probably will work for CentOS too.
Maybe even try Resource Space and see how it goes.

I'll leave this open for a few days, to see if someone else has other suggestions/ideas.

Dan
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 39921683
Sounds good, let me know how your trial of Open Photo goes - I haven't used it at work yet (also a non-profit, so I understand the constraints), but thinking of switching. I've tried single work-station software, but for now we mostly rely on a shared NAS with well-labeled and organized folders.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 39923498
Hi Dan
just a side idea Daminion Client Workspace, I can't get to the pricing sorry.
Seeing your question it was an idea suggested to me from son who works in this industry.
http://www.daminion.net/
http://www.daminion.net/home/whats-new
SELECTING THE RIGHT FILE STORAGE FOR DAMINION SERVER
http://daminion.net/tutor/daminion-server-file-storage-schemes/Selecting%20the%20right%20file%20storage%20scheme%20for%20Daminion%20Server.pdf
GETTING STARTED WITH DAMINION SERVER
http://daminion.net/tutor/getting-started-with-daminion-server/Getting%20Started%20with%20Daminion%20Server.pdf
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LVL 34

Author Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39923815
Hi Merete,

Thank you for the suggestion. If you read a bit upward, you'll see that I already tried Daminion (recommended by LHerrou). It's good, but too expensive.

Thanks,
Dan
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LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:Merete
Merete earned 100 total points
ID: 39925465
Dan,
Sorry no I did not see that already mentioned.
Should have read more carefully :)
I can't really add much more to the light of lherrou suggestions
If you have the ability to run a webserver with php on Linux, then Gallery is a good option.
For your consideration
Synology Photo Station DSM
Step by Step Guide on how to set-up Synology Photo Station:
http://www.andrewsreviews.co.uk/Software/Synology%20Photo%20Station%20Setup.htm
https://www.synology.com/en-us/dsm/index
https://www.synology.com/en-us/events/2013_us_photographer
Regards Merete
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LVL 34

Author Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39932818
Updated DSM to 5.0-4458.
The main improvements I saw
- a nicer login image
- increased processor usage and temperatures :)

Photo Station is OK for a few images and a single user. Throw 1000 images at it and the thumbnail creation date jumps to over a week...

Will try Open Photo tonight, if I can kill the fatigue (it was a long weekend).

Dan
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Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 39932828
Thanks for the update.

Long weekend? Did it involve green beer? LOL
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LVL 34

Author Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39932838
It's Saint Patrick's already?
Nah, dark beer is my favorite :)
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Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 39932950
Mine too. But worked most of the weekend at a St Patrick's day event including St Baldrick's fundraiser...
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LVL 34

Author Closing Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39938305
Did not had time to test Open Photo, but since I don't think I'm getting other suggestions, I'm closing the question.
Will go for either Open Photo or Resource Space, when I have the time to install and test.

Thank you all for your help!

Dan
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