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Importing versus cataloging

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  • Importing versus cataloging

    Is there a material difference or is it the same technology under different branding? I have 1.4M photos (572GB) on a single drive, and during the Ultimate 2020 update, somehow the counter for metadata embedding got 'stuck' at 1458, (versus 0) and despite various attempts to optimize the database, the problem persists. So, resignedly, I started the process of creating a new database. Creating the new file, is no issue, of course, but then in reading the various help files, it seemed that there are two ways to populate the database, cataloging off of the Tools/Database menu item, or importing off of the File menu. Both are infernally slow: on a I7 running at 4.0 Ghz with 32GB of DRAM, running in High Performance mode, with files on a hard disk but the index being built on a SSD drive, 36 hours later, only 159088 files have been read and cataloged. Another attempt via importing was similarly slow. Maybe this is high performance? But other software digests faster, albeit not importing face and other metadata. Current speed is ~70 files per minute, or ~321.5 hours to complete, just short of two weeks.

    Is this a 2020 behavior or has this always been an issue? Isn't this an issue for anyone with a substantial set of files? I can remember how long it took to build the first database when I adopted ACDSee several versions ago, but this seem vastly slower, though the number of files has increased by a significant percentage. Is there a recommended workflow to reduce this pain? It seems it will take almost 2 weeks (13+ days) of 24/7/365 operation to build the new database.

    Should I stop the current operation and build the new database without importing the embedded metadata and then import the metadata later? Am I missing a bast practice to build database files faster?
    Last edited by AWH; 01-22-2020, 11:15 AM.

  • #2
    Since I have never used the import function I can't speak to that. I have used the catalog function more than once.

    I have a total of 160,000 files, but am closer to 4TB of data on a NAS. It seems I have fewer but larger files in comparison. So my experiences may not directly apply.

    I can say that I have tried to catalog the entire NAS at once without success. Instead, since I have folders created per year, I would basically set up one or two years worth of images to catalog over night while I slept. This did mean it took a few days, but it did not slow my day-to-day operations down. I started by cataloging my newest images as these were probably the ones I would most likely use.

    I see it took 36 hours for 160k files in your example using local storage. To me this seems consistent with my experience using local NVMe for the index and wireless connection to a NAS filled with spinning disks.

    I've tried a couple other cataloging tools and have had mixed results. Some the same speed. Others faster, but grabbing less data.

    Sorry, I can't be much more help other than confirming a similar rate of ingest.


    • #3
      ACDSee doesn't import files into the application to work on them, but it does catalog them in the database. The import feature is to move files from one medium to another (like, say, from your camera to your computer's photo storage drive). When you import through ACDSee instead of moving the files through Windows Explorer they get catalogued in the database as you do the import. So, long story short, if you already have your files in the medium you plan to work from, then you just need to catalog them in the database--which does take a while if you are starting fresh.
      Last edited by dragus359; 02-13-2020, 10:15 AM. Reason: edited to add close parenthesis


      • #4
        I got the same question. What is the difference between Catalog Files and Import of pictures? When should you use Catalog files, when should you use Import? The help files are not clear.

        I got a massive external drive holding most of my pictures in format year/month/date/. There is, therefore, no need to restructure this. I just need ACDSee Ultimate to grant access to my files. Reading and testing on a smaller amount of data. Catalogue Files - sounds like what I need. It took 48 hours.

        Before I started I created a new database. But no. The result is not what I want. I can see the pictures in Photo Mode, View Mode, but they are not present in Manage Mode.

        I would think Catalog Files is the right function for me to use. From a data management point of view, I would think the only difference between catalogue files and import is that you "move data" and/or restructure how the pictures are saved. The rest should be the same? Is this a correct way of looking at it?


        • #5
          Regardless of whether my files were cataloged, I have never had trouble with ACDSee seeing files in manage mode unless the folder I was trying to access was "hidden". Have had the same basic folders copied over from drive to drive as I have upgraded external hard drives since Windows XP--yikes, I know. So, some of those folders are hidden with a dollar sign ($) written into the name of the folder. Nowadays, these folders have become generally visible to most applications in more recent versions of Windows, however ACDSee does honor the hidden folder restriction. This is all to say that if a folder is hidden, you will not be able to directly access its contents by navigating with ACDSee manage mode. To fix this, remove the dollar sign from the folder's name. I don't know if Manage mode honors the hidden folder restriction for folders that are simply designated as hidden without the dollar sign, but if it does, then try removing the hidden designation.


          • #6
            Originally posted by dragus359 View Post
            I have never had trouble with ACDSee seeing files in manage mode unless the folder I was trying to access was "hidden".
            Good thinking. That is not the issue I am having. I can see the picture in File Explorer, therefore I don't think this is the case. It will also not explain why I can see the picture in Photos and View Mode? I got full ownership of files. Making a copy of some of them to a new local folder structure is not solving the issue.


            • #7
              Hmm, strange. Have you tried moving a small sample of your images to your boot drive to see if they can be accessed with manage mode? For example, if you drop one or two files on the desktop, can they be accessed there from manage mode?


              • #8
                To my mind, import is used when I have a memory card from a camera that I connect to the computer and I want to transfer the images to the folders I usually have my images in.



                • #9
                  Originally posted by njlarsen View Post
                  To my mind, import is used when I have a memory card from a camera that I connect to the computer and I want to transfer the images to the folders I usually have my images in.

                  I agree. This is a good example of when you should use the import function.


                  • #10
                    Just a thought: Do you by any chance have ACDSee build the thumbnails during the catalog process? There's a little checkmark in the Catalog dialog to disable this function. I can just imagine that for building the thumbnail, not only much more data has to be read from the slow hard disk, but also would take quite some CPU cycles. I'm unsure whether ACDSee makes full use of multithreading (i.e. use more than one of your i7's cores to parallelize operations) for Cataloging.