Initiated by the release of Apple’s Aperture back in late 2005, every couple of months I reevaluate my strategy in managing my digital assets i.e. photos. I’ve played around with Aperture and its direct rival, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, and found the overall concept of these applications to suit my needs best. I already mentioned my dislikes on Lightroom and I’m pretty sure I will use Aperture once I have a suitable Intel-Mac. Unfortunately I can’t install it on my old G4 machine. So right now I’m using iView Media Pro which got sold to Microsoft lately. That’s a reason why I’m willing to give up using it as I expect MS to totally ruin the software.
At my office over at AO Foundation, we use Canto Cumulus since a year. I spent a lot of time setting it up and we had to program some add-ons to suit our needs. Now it works quite well and in fact it’s probably the best enterprice solution. I have to admit the GUI looks really ugly and Windows-like, though. Right now we have about 25.000 images in the database and that’s just the beginning.
Now for me and my personal needs this program is quite over-dimensioned, so I googled around again the other day to find solutions running on Mac OSX. As a result, I found a couple of applications and downloaded a bunch of Trials, but I’m not quite convinced I will find the time to test them all. Probably you’ll find the list useful as a starting point for your own seek, so here are my results:
– Apple iPhoto (which unfortunately uses proprietary keywording)
– iView Media Pro 3 (which unfortunately is owned by Microsoft now)
– MediaDex (which is a single-user spin-off from Cumulus)
– Extensis Portfolio (well-known, I guess)
– AlbumShaper (Open-source, but forget it)
– Retrieva (the Trial is limited to 30 minutes, so better hurry up)
– Shoebox (and it’s nothing more)
– MediaboardONE (looks good, will give it a try)
– QPict (promising shareware)
Well, if you have any good alternatives as an image database or even as a competitor to Aperture and Lightroom, please feel free to leave a comment.