39 Responses to “How I found my best Digital Asset Management (DAM) system” | Guest Post

  1. Peter Russell October 28, 2014 at 14:52 #


    I am interested in your journey and results with DAM software, but your approach demonstrates just how many ways there are to skin a cat.

    I have run a stock library since 1971 when everything was totally ‘handraulic’ and physical images, in the form of prints or colour transparencies, were sent out to clients with typewritten delivery notes. Up until the early 90s everything was filed (if that’s the right word) using the ‘Shoe Box’ system and card indexes, allied to just knowing where everything was – in other words using the key man principle!

    During the first Gulf War demand for military images ramped up frighteningly fast and we invested in a DOS-based library package that was part delivery and invoice system, and part DAM for the sum of over £3500 – a great deal of money in those days. However all this did was allow data for images to be linked to bar codes that enabled physical ‘File Info’ descriptions to be printed for the images being sent out and cross-referenced with both the image database and the billing side. In fact up until starting to scan images in the mid-90s this remained our primary DAM tool and was only finally dropped in 2004 when support ceased.

    However, as soon as we had digitised files – long before I first starting shooting with digital – we needed a DAM program. SCC PhotoGrid was the first one, running from a single floppy disk on Windows, but it was only a matter of time before Portfolio appeared on the scene – firstly on Windows before we changed to using Macs in 1999.

    However, the one key factor in all this, that seems to differ from many of the other correspondents in the DAM issue, is that ALL the metadata that we added to image files was ALWAYS done using firstly File Info in Photoshop and latterly with Adobe Bridge. This applies to all the RAW files that we shoot. Thus the DAM programs that we needed ONLY had to extract metadata – NEVER add any. That is what made my hunt much easier – apart from needing a cross-platform browser for clients as well.

    All the hard work is accomplished in Adobe Bridge using a wide range of File Info templates that can be modified on the fly if required or used again and again with minor revisions. We use a standard range of Keywords that we have developed and find that it works extremely well. Sure, it takes a great deal of effort and time to add the metadata to the RAW files, but this is time and effort that have to be spent somewhere in the life cycle of the images to be documented.

    All the critical exposure adjustments etc are also carried out in Bridge at this time, meaning that Media Pro (for example) can read the edits and display RAW WITH the corrections, allied to searching after extracting all the metadata, which is a brilliant bonus. Portfolio could read RAW files but not extract any exposure adjustments nor metadata. Of course the latest generation of RAW files are not supported by Portfolio, making it useless for this task now.

    All output is accomplished by importing the adjusted RAW files, with their sidecar xmp files, into Adobe Lightroom where nothing else, apart from cropping and adding GPS coordinates if necessary, is done before the files are output using a wide range of presets that we have developed. This ranges from outputting to high resolution TIFFs or JPEGs, through producing newspaper-sized files, right down to web media sized files.

    This approach still allows us to output files through Photoshop where critical retouching or other image manipulation is required.

    However, the big deal for me is that ALL the metadata is already in the file when it’s output from Lightroom or opened in Photoshop. My DAM program never has to add anything.

    From what I read of others using DAM programs I believe that many are making life harder for themselves than they need. For example, if I do subsequently need to alter the metadata in a file I prefer to add it through Adobe Bridge and document the changes through an update in Portfolio or Media Pro, without ever physically opening the image file in any program.

    Even today Extensis offer some brilliant documentation on DAM, whilst a great deal more information can be gleaned from IPTC.

    Keep up the good work – there seem to be very few people actively using small/single user DAM solutions – and not enough are talking to each other or developers about the requirements. Having read you excellent article I can see why so many people – both users and developers – are confused!

  2. Mark January 10, 2015 at 20:49 #

    Hi! Thanks for your article. I’ve never heard about Photo Supreme before. It’s really simple to use, especially their interface for keyword tagging! Daminion has similar functions too. However I understand why you possibly didn’t find them. For ‘recently used’ you should have opened ‘Window– Recently Assigned Tags’ and choose any of them. Instead of ‘Favorites’ and ‘Suggested’ (honestly I didn’t understand the principal difference between them) Daminion suggests tags after typing some first letters. For tag presets – ‘Window – Assign Tag Preset’.
    But I wasn’t satisfied with Photo Supreme’s server version (we are using the server version of Daminion that’s why I wanted to compare). It’s funny but the installation as super-difficult as their interface is super-simple =) With Daminion it just took some seconds to install. And there are some more drawbacks in their server version which we noticed.
    Nevertheless, I liked some of the Photo Supreme options so much that I’m going to vote to have them in Daminion (like Info, geo-tagging by the file name and Nearby tag).

  3. Jeff C. September 4, 2015 at 20:32 #

    Thanks for wonderful article. Was curious as to why ACDSee Pro did not make the cut into the final 3 and what version did you evaluate?

    I have also been doing recent research on this topic. My short list came down to Daminion, ACDSee Pro, and Photo Supreme. I am still evaluating.

    One thing that is surprising about some of this vendors is why they don’t also add PDF support as that would give users one tool for both DAM for photos and DAM for documents.

    Daminion is the only one that has taken that approach and is along the lines of a full DAM as opposed to primarily Photo management and I like that they still provide a home user desktop solution.

    • Mike Briggs September 8, 2015 at 22:29 #

      Hi Jeff

      I’m pleased that you (and the others above too) found the article helpful.

      In reply to your questions about ACDSee Pro, I was evaluating version 7, and I quickly found a number of mismatches with my criteria. Unlike the three that made it to my shortlist, ACDSee’s DAM capability was an addition (albeit some years ago) to what started out as a RAW processing and image editing program. My research suggested that it is these ‘original’ areas of the program that get most of the attention. I see that version 8 is now being marketed as “the first digital asset management software with layers” – again putting the emphasis on improvements to image editing, not to its DAM.

      While I didn’t do a full software test, ACDSee’s DAM capabilities seemed to be rather limited. I wasn’t able to find a way of importing my existing catalog of hierarchical keywords – which, along with exporting them again was one of my key screening criteria – and it didn’t appear to allow the automatic assignment or writing of keywords to industry-standard fields. As a result, my research into the product didn’t need to progress much further.

      My overall impression was that, despite its undoubted strengths in other areas, ACDSee’s DAM functionality didn’t challenge the capability and sophistication of the shortlisted contenders, and that major improvements in this area were perhaps not likely to be a priority. Having taken a quick look at version 8, I haven’t seen anything to change this impression. It’s probably fairer to think of ACDSee as strong challenger to Lightroom, rather than to Photo Supreme or Daminion.

      Regarding the use of photography DAMs for more general purposes, Photo Supreme can be used to manage PDFs (and any other kinds of file, if you register them in the program options) by using sidecar files, though without previews – something that I do make use of from time-to-time. I believe that Daminion can indeed also handle PDFs and various other files, including providing previews for some file types.

      Both Photo Supreme and Daminion have both made significant enhancements since I wrote the article, by the way.

      Good luck with the continuation of your own research.

  4. Rogan Coles December 30, 2015 at 07:28 #

    Hi Mike,

    Another vote for Photo Supreme. Like Peter Russell, my DAM efforts harken back to the pre-digital age, to the computer era of DOS and back to handwritten 4×5 index cards, etc.

    First off, my hard drive filing system is sacrosanct to DAM set up. Software-wise, if all else fails, that filing system is always going to be there. Also essential for any backup and archiving operations,

    This filing system is strictly date based – year, month, day. Elsewhere, others have suggested place and other sorts of filing and naming taxonomies. Too long as I see it. Way back then, there was this thing of database “normalisation” – as in the least redundant way to refer to any item of data. In days of DOS, there was that 8.3 file naming convention. Today, things are little better, but the habits from that time still stick.

    Back to DAM and workflow. Like Peter, I still rely on Adobe’s Bridge as my first port of call. Use Bridge to rename my images and to apply basic metadata – as per various templates made for the propose. In Bridge may also do some image rating. Why Bridge? Bridge is one of the few applications that store’s the original file name in the metadata. Why’s this important. A few years back used to label and number my selects sequentially. Big mistake. All I was doing here was creating a huge disconnect between the selected images and those in the RAW archive. Now, I use the original file number in the renamed image file. Now, its easier to get back to the original RAW file which I never rename.

    Next stop, Photo Supreme (PSu). Need to add here that prior to the PSu, was using IDImager from about version 3.xx. Before this and in between have looked at various DAM and other filing type applications as they have come up and, keep on reverting back to PSu.

    While I have issues with PSu, there’s one area where it rules supreme (pardon the pun) and that’s with keywording. As someone once said, “keywords are king and they’re key to the door”. In the present day and age, images are found based on their appled keywords.

    Also, PSu works well with my hard drive based filing and archiving system. This is the tool with which I manage my image archive.

    To add to the complexity of my digital workflow – as opposed to my DAM system, Capture One (C1) is my preferred RAW processing tool and that’s all I use it for – RAW to TIFF master file conversion. Up until C1’s version 9, C1’s handling of metadata was not IPTC compliant. This now seems to be fixed in version 9.

    And then, use Lightroom CC (LR) to manage the distribution of my images and, that’s all – nothing else. Why? LR promises a lot but then, and that’s the problem. As a RAW processor, I get better results with C1, something that I’ll concede is subjective. Keywording in LR is lackluster. Again, a subjective view. As for the other LR modules – rarely use them. But, the export feature is great – this together with the file management system that I’ve brewed up for the purpose. And yes, its strictly based on what I can see on my hard drive. If LR disappears for whatever reason or something better comes along, I’ll have no issue in switching.

    As I see it, there’s no one DAM based or orientated application out there that can do it all. All in all and in the greater scheme of things, all this comes down to the lowest common denominator – as to what I have and can access on my hard drive – active working drive or archive hard drive. Nothing else matters. Each of the applications mentioned above handles an essential component in my digital workflow. If any of the applications heads south and disappears off the scene – read Apple’s Aperture – this is not likely to affect or have a negative impact on the way my images are stored on my hard drive. This image filing system is essentially my DAM system.

    Need to add here that this hard drive set up is not too far removed from the way I manage my pre-digital negative files and colour transparencies.

    Just another point of view in the greater scheme of things.

  5. Nilson Bazana June 1, 2016 at 21:09 #

    What a really inspiring, well-written article!

    From the moment I read your disclaimer that ‘one [which] is “best for you” is not necessarily “best for me”’, I knew I was bound to read something miles away from those usual, run-of-the-mill ‘best of the best’ lists.

    I also particular ennjoyed the way you cut to the chase by, delving straight into the only three that in your opinion mattered, instead of taking us through several pages of ‘why this or that title is no good’.

    I couldn’t help identifying myself with your narrowing down which DAM actually ticks your boxes regarding all your requirements and preferences

    I must say that seeing Digikam among the best was both a curse and a blessing, as I do intend to stick to Linux for operating system but, at the same time, I can’t even keep the bloody thing of refusing to work with other Linux distros other than the KDE-based ones it was innitially designed for – as it is the case with Linux Mint, which I currently happen to have on my brand-new machine.

    At least that settles my mind on trying to make it work with my OS and not giving up.

    Only time will tell whether I’ll succeed on keeping Mint or not, but your article’s definitely set my mind on getting Digikam working – whatever the Linux flavour it is on.

    So, thank you ever so much for a pleasant and informative read!

    • Mike Briggs June 10, 2016 at 17:41 #

      Thanks Nilson – good to know you enjoyed the article!

      I hope digiKam plays nicely this time around 😉

  6. Martin August 8, 2016 at 17:41 #

    Hi Per,

    Great article. I also use DXO Optics Pro for editing and I was curious to see how you handle the export from DXO back into Photo Supreme. I tried it but it opens a new PS software instance instead of going back to the original screen.



    • Per Karlsson August 9, 2016 at 10:13 #


      All honour goes to Mike Briggs who wrote the article!

      I have never used DXO so I know nothing of how to use it.

      Maybe someone else knows?

    • Mike Briggs October 15, 2016 at 22:04 #

      Hello Martin

      My reply is perhaps a little late to help, but my workflow involves using both programs separately.

      Photo Supreme is normally used to catalogue the RAW files first, then – often some time later – I swap software to process them in DxO. After files are exported from DxO I swap software again and import them into Photo Supreme – so I’ve not experienced your issue…


  7. John Harmon August 17, 2016 at 23:35 #

    This thread is somewhat old, but I thought I’d chip in anyway.

    I think IMatch 5 http://www.photools.com/im5/ could be an excellent match for your preconditions. First, it’s designed from the ground up to use open standards and not lock you in to a proprietary solution. And it meets all of the items in your functionality checklist. It’s highly flexible, allowing it to be adapted to your workflow. For example, I’m also a DxO user, and IMatch integrates very well with DxO. It will even allow you to add metadata to your CR2 files, though I’d never do that; in any event, it transparently handles ‘buddy files, including ,xmp and .dop (DxO) sidecars. And, coming soon, a new product, IMatch Anywhere, will allow you to share an image database over a network and even the internet if desired. Fabulous software!

  8. Fred Thompson September 12, 2016 at 23:13 #

    digiKam is now at version 5.10, Daminion is at version 4.6, and Photo Supreme is at version 3. This article is rather dated. Has anyone found/created a current comparison, possibly with IMatch as well?

    • Mike Briggs October 16, 2016 at 01:09 #

      Hi Fred

      I can’t help with an alternative comparison, but as the author of the original article I thought you might appreciate a mini-update.

      Since choosing Photo Supreme I’ve not revisited digiKam properly, but it would still remain on my shortlist, and it seems that the authors have been doing a lot of backroom work to update the code. However the download page does mention that the Windows and Mac versions are not as stable under Windows (although, as mentioned above, I didn’t hit stability problems when I tested the earlier version).

      Based on my suggestion I now have a friend who uses the latest version of Daminion for light-weight DAM work, and hasn’t mentioned any problems so far – but personally I wouldn’t want to swap to it for my heavier usage.

      Photo Supreme has indeed been updated, the most obvious change being the addition (in version 3) of a very useful browser-like multiple tabbed layout, as well as various minor improvements and bug fixes. At the present time it’s on version 3.3 and continues to suit me well.

      As for iMatch, I’ve seen some good reports about the latest version, and I’ve taken a quick look around it too. My initial impressions are that it seems capable, is aimed at the wider DAM market as well as photographers, but for keywording and geotagging (the two areas I particularly looked at, as a heavy user of both) I prefer Photo Supreme’s approach. However it would take a lot more research to see if enough has changed – in relation to my wider evaluation mentioned in the article, not just the functionality and usability of the software – to make it through to the shortlist.


  9. Martin October 18, 2016 at 05:26 #

    I am also in the process of evaluating various DAM software packages. First tried iMatch and while the UI is nic,e I was having issues with it displaying some imported images. The importer said it was done but I was just seeing a small icon in the main window. Interesting that the Quick View window was displaying them correctly. Removing and re-importing seemed to resolve most of the issues except for one larger folder with over 12,000 files that seemed to choke the importer. It sat at about 98% complete all day and never finished.I guess it didn’t like my system.

    That is when I saw your review of Photo Supreme. I too am mainly looking for a keyworder so I can find my images. I use Downloader Pro to get they off the memory card and give them standard names and DxO to process the raw images. So far in my testing, it is looking good.

  10. Vurdilla August 24, 2017 at 17:01 #

    Hi Mike,
    thank you for wonderful article.
    I am choosing now between digiKam and Photo Supreme. So can you tell please, (1) how does it go on a long run, and (2) what advantages has Photo Supreme over digiKam, from your point of view?

  11. Thibault November 6, 2017 at 19:07 #

    Hello Mike,Thank you for your work, it’s really helpful.

    I am French, and from here I knew 2 other DAM applications that looks great, and one is special for photographer and very affordable, I juste wanted to share that to your list.
    Phrasea : https://www.phraseanet.com/en/
    Fotostation : https://www.fotostation.com
    I let you make your opinion.

    • Per Karlsson November 6, 2017 at 19:16 #


      Thanks for your comments!

      I am familiar with Fotostation although I have never used it. It used to be terribly expensive, if I remember right, but now I see that it is much more affordable!

      Phraseanet even more so since it is open source and free, if I understand it right.

      Have you used any of them? Do you have any opinions or comments?

  12. wolf max January 13, 2018 at 01:38 #

    great article, even in 2018. but if we assume the top 3 list are still mostly the same, i wonder if some of the shortcomings of the first two are no longer an issue thus am interested in a top 3 showdown update (leaving the rest aside minus perhaps some bonus entry). as of now, photo supreme seems a safe bet re metadata/keywords, import/export exit plan, DAM, etc.

  13. Lodewijk Bonebakker January 22, 2018 at 21:16 #

    This article helped me decide to buy Photo Supreme end of 2015. Currently I’m managing my 110k images quite happily and integrating Affinity Photo into my Workflow.

    As to the point of detecting for file corruption – I’ve solved it by running on OpenZFS (on Mac). The rest of my challenges are personal – how to select photos to keep vs to trash….

  14. Martin January 23, 2018 at 00:47 #

    As an adjunct to DAM software, I would also need some way to categorize all of my thousands of images by their contents. Instead of me viewing and applying keywords one image at a time, having an app scan and sort images by what they contain would be really useful. I could then approve or reject the classifications bu at least the first step would be done. Anyone know of such an app that runs locally without an Internet connection for a reasonable price? Being able to be integrated into a DAM like PhotoSupreme would be a big plus but even not, it would still be great.

  15. Henry May 1, 2018 at 14:26 #

    Thanks for the review of these applications. I like a complete feature-set in this type of product with, at a minimum, basic functionality for ingest, organization, management, processing, output (to JPEG). You didn’t cover those capabilities and chose to spend all the review on ingest and file management. Sadly, your top pick was very poor at processing. Also they had just released the 64 bit version (several years after MacOS had 64 bit) and the results were less than ideal. You can have a look at my forum posting on this subject after a ten day trial. It does offer a thirty day full version trial, which was a good thing as the documentation and help menus are pretty poor as well.

    • Mike Briggs May 2, 2018 at 23:42 #

      Hi Henry

      From your link you seem to be looking for a replacement for Lightroom – which isn’t a DAM (though it has some very basic DAM functionality). DAMs tend to be the other way around – good DAM functionality and maybe some basic editing capability, so you’re probably looking at the wrong product for your needs.

      I’m not a Mac user, so can’t comment on how well it works under that OS.

      I didn’t have much trouble learning the software myself, but if a manual’s a priority then digiKam has the fattest with over 300 pages. Daminion shares Photo Supreme’s light-weight approach.

      • Henry Seiden May 13, 2018 at 14:00 #

        Yes, Mike. Most of the posting to my initial review point out that I am looking either for nirvana or at the tail end of the donkey… In my perfect world, I’d have the best DAM and the best basic editor all in one!

        I think my other general comments were recognized and to what ever point of view (good or bad aspects), shared. Those being documentation (none), ingest features (many, learnable by trial and error), multi-platform differences (Mac being poorer of the two options) and output control (less than ideal or currently available in LR).

        A manual, straightforward workflow for my use as a DAM- ingest filing and output and decent pricing would be my unmet features of any primarily DAM requirement. I’m beginning to back off the editing as long as the library is accessible for editing through the DAM somehow. It sounds like some users haven’t gotten the hang of that, so I don’t feel that I am alone in that.

    • Endre May 11, 2018 at 19:11 #

      Photo Supreme (4.1 64bit):
      I am on day 20 of my trial and it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride. I love the minimalistic GUI, pleasing to my eyes and keeps focus on the important information, the IMAGE. Very big plus.
      It has a full featured ingest tool that can be fully customized if you want move or import, change file or subfolder name, gpx waypoint addition, delete source file, rotate, etc all on the fly. IPTC information can also be added to files during ingest using similar complexity of macro variables as in Photo Mechanic. Import and export of structured keywords are also available in PSU. Location, event and people keywords are automatically added to metadata once it is tagged to the image. PSU follows a different approach for tagging. Instead of the traditional Metadata -> Catalogue path it’s generating IPTC / XMP information from the software and writing out to the metadata making it easier.
      Keywording is really made easy with PSU. You need to do a bit of setting up, let say first 500 – 1000 images, then for the rest it will be done with ease. During this setup period I advise save as many templates as possible, later you can eliminate the redundant ones.
      Through numerous levels of customization you can simplify and automate keywording.
      Sharing is also quite powerful, from your master image the software can generate lower resolution jpeg copy, strip off or add certain meta data, watermark and email or upload.
      You may wonder what are the flaws then? It has one file menu and a hamburger menu but I only found out from tool tip help after trialing the product for 20 days. As already mentioned help is the weak point of the application, especially for powerful under the hood services, such as scripting. Menu structure needs a bit of getting used to. Easier to print the shortcut reference and use that instead of the menus.
      There is a user to user forum where you can search for help and ask. It’s fairly active. There is also a bug report page, where you can contribute to make PSU better.

      At the beginning when I was trying to follow a similar route as in Photo Mechanic I encountered a lot of small bugs in creating various profiles and Details (IPTC) profile. Clipboard is limited for PSU only and won’t interact with text copied from other applications. RAM usage is also relatively high, that I found a problem on a 4GB only MacBook Air. Clipboard limitation is cumbersome eg when you Google up the scientific name of species and want to create a new tag. You have to type manually.
      This DAM was clearly not designed for manual data import of typist maniacs.

      The file sync settings of the preference menu customisable, but not fool proof. I messed up my test catalogue several times using wrong settings, not understanding what option meant what. Many ‘access violation’ error messages or photos out of sync that would never sync again and loosing already set information is gone since I discovered the tool tip menu and understand what option is doing what and how to configure them. One time I deleted all the photos and compacted the database still resulted a 10GB thumbnail database file.
      Import is also relatively slow, because PSU is generating mid res (2560px or of your choice) thumbnails and no option to defer them other than at import.
      Sorting and dynamic search is very powerful and you could not wish for anything more.

      Will I purchase it after 10 days? I am not sure yet. I need to find good working stability in database operations for me to confidently invest time into processing all my images into PSU. It has everything I would need from a DAM, just that stability was not there yet. I discovered the settings and functions by now and for the remaining 10 days will be running stability tests and I will see.

      • Martin May 15, 2018 at 04:01 #

        I bit the bullet and bought PSU last fall and have added it to my workflow. All-in-one programs might be simpler to use with all the parts well integrated but I have usually found that not all parts are created equal or that I don’t appreciate them as much as the designers do.

        I start by using Downloader Pro to get the images off of my card, rename them and save them to date labeled subfolders. Then I use DxO to make non-destructive adjustments to the RAW files and create various JPG versions for general viewing and distribution. If more extensive adjustment are needed, I now use Affinity. especially if various types of stacking are needed. Since I work locally and only later transfer the files to a network drive, I save PSU for when the images are on the network. I could do it earlier but I would have to constantly have to re-point the database to changed locations. As well, until the adjustments are finalized, PSU would be constantly resynching as the images change. So far I find the DAM in PSU to be easy to use and have not had a problem with it. Probably only using a few of its many features which is where a better user manual might come in handy. The online user forum is a great place to ask and learn when I get stuck.

        So for each step in my workflow, I use the application I find the most convenient and easiest to use. YMMV

  16. Sherwood Botsford July 31, 2018 at 20:38 #

    Interesting that you wanted one that would write to raw files. The problem with this: If you change a keyword, and want that new keyword to replace all occurences of the old keyword, it takes a long time. If you add a keyword to 2000 images then 2000 large files have to be opened, modified, and closed.

    My current preference is to have a program that writes a unique identifier to raw files — my preference is Camera make+model+timedate+shuttercount. This sorts in shooting order even if you use multiple cameras (assuming the cameras have the right time set.)

    Beyond that I want a program that maintains metadata in a database for speed, AND in sidecar files for backup. The unique ID allows good recovery for renames and external editing.

    My full rant about what a photo manager should do is here:


    I tried PSu, and dropped it within about 2 hours. This was some time ago — last spring, but the first hint that it wasn’t for me was that I was unable to search exif data. I actual *do* searches “Focus distance < 2 meters" or "Lens=18-140mm" or "Camera=iPhone" I am also wary of any product that is a 1 man shop. What happens if he gets hit by a bus?

    I've used IMatch when I was on windows. Almost 20 years ago. Good product worth checking out if you are on a windows box. I may try it and try Damion in a windows virtual machine.

    Like Mike I gave up on Digikam due to interface issues on Mac. i would say that it's probably best of breed right now for *nix.

    Since I'm a Mac user Damian hasn't had a trial.

    Lightroom's interface is clunky.

    Fotostation may be worth investigating. It's on my list for next fall when the tree farm is put to bed. They have two versions, and stand alone and a server version.

    • Hert August 30, 2018 at 02:15 #

      Photo Supreme can search on exif and any other metadata.
      Please check the Searching Quick Start manual (Help menu in the hamburger menu) and look for Dynamic Searches.

  17. Henry Seiden August 1, 2018 at 15:13 #

    So, Sherwood… I guess you haven’t found something to use? I assume you are using something though. What is that and how does it meet with your requirements?

    • Sherwood Botsford August 1, 2018 at 20:35 #

      I’m still using Apple Aperture. It has a reasonable keywording interface, some support for heirarchical keywords, indexes a lot of exif data, and allows complex searches. So far head and shoulders above anything else I’ve tried.

      • Henry.Seiden August 1, 2018 at 21:47 #

        Is it still available?

      • Henry Seiden August 1, 2018 at 21:49 #

        Still available?

        • Sherwood Botsford August 1, 2018 at 22:27 #

          There are various versions floating about. Apple won’t sell it. I think El Capitan is the highest MacOS it runs on. I’m on Yosemite for that reason.

          Email me: sgb@sherwoods-forests.com

          • lenslens007 January 13, 2019 at 05:32 #

            I am using Aperture on latest OS X Mojave.

  18. Peter Russell August 31, 2018 at 05:51 #

    With the announcement that MediaPro SE is to be discontinued, what are the sensible options for a 64bit app that can run on macOS High Sierra or macOS Mojave? As I’ve just spent a couple of years refining my use of MediaPro, having spent years refining Extensis Portfolio, I’m worried that there might not be anything that fits the bill. What are everyone’s thoughts?

    • Per Karlsson August 31, 2018 at 09:35 #

      Yes, saw that announcement. Not entirely surprising given that Phase One has not done anything with it since they bought the SW a few years back.

      Glad to see that they keep developing Capture One though, that I find is fantastic.

      I don’t have any answer to your question Peter.

      But I think that this underlines the importance of making sure that whatever DAM you choose to use, you have to make sure that the information you put in there is exportable in some useful way. And that the metadata is embedded in the image files (or maybe sidecars?) as much as possible.

      • Hert August 31, 2018 at 10:24 #

        Spot on Per. Making sure that your data can always be extracted has always been my number one goal: Your data is Your data.
        As a result, Photo Supreme uses industry standard database formats, can export (meta)data to CSV, and Photo Supreme even writes its catalog data to XMP in an open and readable format. With this you can reconstruct catalog hierarchies, and Portfolio/collection structures.

        As all is written in open formats, this Photo Supreme catalog information can also be extracted with ExifTool :

        Search for IDimager on this page:

  19. Jeremy Cherfas November 17, 2018 at 19:04 #

    Very useful article, for all the reasons other people have mentioned. I’m looking to leave Aperture behind myself, and this is helping me to narrow the choice.


  1. I read this article because DAM was in the title :) | MetaWhat! Data! - March 31, 2015

    […] http://www.bkwinephotography.com/technology/found-best-digital-asset-management-dam-system/ (his website lists some DAMs) […]

  2. Photography: Organising your photo collection for travel photographers | Sibeal Turraoin - travel photographer - October 15, 2016

    […] of programs you can use and Andrew Childress has written a great article on this and check out Mike Briggs’ article on DAM features. Apple iPhoto, Picasa and Aperture are quite popular and which I’ve all tried but I much […]

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