08 March 2009

Digital archiving - part 1

Back in the Film Era it was so easy to manage the digital images. There was no point in scanning anything but the real keepers, and so my archive didn't grow by more than say, 100-150 images per year. After all, the gelatine strips was the master archive anyway.
Not so since going digital. Now the PC harddrive is the master archive.
Archiving large numbers of images has become an issue for more than just dedicated geeks. It has become mainstream, to the degree that it has got it's own Three Letter Abbreviation; DAM. Digital Asset Management. A google search on that term will point you to both consultancies and software companies. Systems and services have evolved to cover every little sub-niche of the market, ranging from multi-national stock agencies, to freelance photographers, and to Mom with her compact camera.
I'm in the process of changing my archive software right now, and have spent a good deal of time with the search engines. Initially I thought it would be easy to find the best offerings now, with DAM becoming mainstream.
Boy, was I wrong. :-)
After finding a handful of programs, I have spent the better part of a month playing around with trial versions, reading manuals and skimming through online support forums. It isn't always easy to find out what functionality the variuos programs offer. Surprisingly few have bothered to test this kind of software, and many of the offerings are not tested at all.
So after gathering all this information for my own benefit, I thought maybe sharing it could save someone else a bit of time. Over a couple of posts, I will share with you my thoughts and my findings here. The next part will be about what I want from the software, and will be posted shortly.

1 comment:

Boris said...

I should be looking forward to the next articles in this series. Presently, my photo-collection is reasonably small and pretty manageable, but I realize that this is indeed a misconception that formed in my mind over time. Not to say that my profession contributes to that quite a lot. It is not uncommon for programmers to hold in their head complex designs and architectures only to miss the important detail or two at the cusp moment.

Anyway, your research appears potentially very valuable to me thus I should be awaiting its continuation with great anticipation.