UKH

Simple Mac OS picture manager (catalogue)?

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 Frank R. 21 Feb 2021

Could you please recommend a simple to use picture cataloguing app for an octogenarian artist family friend? Something that he could add keywords in and organise into virtual albums based on that, no photo editing needed (he's an illustrator and all the drawings are either already scanned or drawn digitally on wacom last two decades).

Should support IPTC metadata, existing folder structure and embedding any added metadata back into the files, not storing data in some proprietary database only - he got burned enough when the apps he used before got discontinued (Picasa, iPhoto).

My experience is mostly only with the professional apps like Photomechanic. And while he is still quite computer savvy in his age, he'd prefer something simpler. Primarily a catalog, not a photo editor with bolted-on DAM.

Thanks for any tips!

Post edited at 16:40
 Doug 21 Feb 2021
In reply to Frank R.:

I don't use it but does the 'Photos' application which comes as  part of OS X not allow simple catalogueing ? (its the replacement for iPhoto in more recent versions of OS X)

 SouthernSteve 21 Feb 2021
In reply to Frank R.:

If your friend is organised - he can have a folder system by date or whatever in finder and then apply TAGS to both folders or photos. This is the cheapest way. Photomechanic (catalogue only) through to  Lightroom (Catalogue and processing) are available at a cost.

Digikam, Lynapp and ACDSee are recommended by some, based on a recent conversation in another place

 Jim Lancs 21 Feb 2021
In reply to Frank R.:

If he was a users of iPhotos, then it should have migrated seamlessly to Apple Photos.

However you say he wants to keep his existing file structure, so that would rule out either of those.

I used to use Adobe Bridge and I see that it's still available for free (and a trial). It's purely a digital asset management program so could be exactly what is needed. 

Being dumped by abandoned software programs / licensing agreements I'm afraid is a fact of life and it's hard to predict longevity of any package. 

 BStar 21 Feb 2021
In reply to Frank R.:

I'm still using Picasa, the last version before it was discontinued. Still works fine, I haven't found a suitable replacement yet.  Can you not download that again? 

 SouthernSteve 21 Feb 2021
In reply to Jim Lancs:

I didn't realise Bridge was free without any CC apps. Good info. Thanks.

 HeMa 21 Feb 2021
In reply to Frank R.:

Darktable should tick the boxes. Free opensource. 

 Mike-W-99 21 Feb 2021
In reply to HeMa:

Not desperately simple though? Feels like a linux app thats been ported at a guess.

 HeMa 21 Feb 2021
In reply to Mike-W-99:

> Not desperately simple though? Feels like a linux app thats been ported at a guess.

Nope. Not as slick as say LR. But If no need to tweak the photos, only keywording and support of existing folder structure it works. 

 Frank R. 25 Feb 2021
In reply to Doug:

Sorry for the late reply. I feel that modern Photos is even more dumbed down than iPhoto was, and doesn't really work with a big catalog of old pictures if you want to keep the cloud functionality (which is nice for snaps and such). The iPhoto was more of an episode before the iCloud, when the app had more functionality and was more capable. But I had suggested to him that a simple file/folder structure and IPTC/XMP data in the files are the best in the long run anyway.

Post edited at 20:16
 Frank R. 25 Feb 2021
In reply to Jim Lancs:

Sorry for the late reply! I almost forgot about Bridge - while I have used PS and ACR for like two decades, I never used Bridge much as Photomechanic was just so much better for most of the stuff I needed it for. But it is free, it has proper IPTC/XMP and file folder structure support (not sure how it does search and organisation), I will have a look at it again, thanks!

 Frank R. 25 Feb 2021
In reply to SouthernSteve:

Sorry for the late reply! Yes, he's pretty organised, keywording into IPTC/XMP metadata, which is fortunately searchable with Mac OS Spotlight. But even Spotlight's Smart Folders aren't entirely adequate for categories and the interface isn't like a good DAM, since it's just Finder.

I thought about Photomechanic Plus (I have been using PM for a very long time - probably since early version 4 - it's frankly the best app for PJs and anybody with a lot of photos to cull and caption quickly), but I feel even with customisation, it might still be a bit overwhelming in its learning curve, especially with the new DAM in PM Plus. Although even basic PM can search the Spotlight database instantly, which is definitely nice.

I will have a look at the others you mentioned, thanks!


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