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ACDSee Ultimate 10 - Switching Computers - How to preserve keywords, categories

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  • ACDSee Ultimate 10 - Switching Computers - How to preserve keywords, categories

    Greetings! Newbie here - but I have done some reading on the forum and have a few questions related to my situation.

    SET UP:

    Photos (assortment of RAW and .jpeg mostly) that I apply keyword/categories to are stored on a NAS box (connected via ethernet). The laptop I used to apply the categories/keywords has a faulty display, so it's still kicking, but is used with a desktop monitor and the categories/keywords still function on that device. I am not too concerned about having the file information stick if I copy the file elsewhere as I only need the files in this directory to be labelled. All photos are stored here and if copied elsewhere, the metadata isn't necessary. I know that if I use another program (file explorer) to move/copy files within the directory that the labelling will not "stick" unless I use ACDSee to do the changes. I understand that if I embed ACDSee's metadata (keywords/categories), these will only apply to .jpeg (not RAW) files and if I want metadata to stick I need to use IPTC. Please correct any misunderstandings I have thus far...

    QUESTIONS:
    1. I DO want RAW files to have keyword/category information. ACDSee does this via the database, it just isn't embedded information, correct? I can make it "stick" by using IPTC, correct?

    2. How does ACDSee track everything? Please let me know if my understanding is correct or if I am missing something:
    • Database tracks all of this information, but it is not attached (sidecar) with the file.
    • Embedding attaching metadata information to the file, but not for RAW format.
    • Cataloging? This I am a bit more confused about. I would appreciate an explanation about this. I haven't quite sorted out how this is different than the database.
    3. Is there anyway for me to get my new laptop to "SEE" the labelling I have applied to all files (RAW, .jpg) from the old computer that did the initial labelling? If so, please explain! It seems that storing the database on the NAS would be the logical option (and each computer would use the same file), it would be slower, and it seems ACDsee places the database file on the computer and I can't figure out how to change this. While it would be lovely to have "syncing" system that would allow for use on both computers, I would be satisfied with having my new computer have access to the labels. Please advise of how I might do this.

    Many thanks for giving some thought to this dilemma I am having!

  • #2
    Originally posted by sanndennis View Post
    I understand that if I embed ACDSee's metadata (keywords/categories), these will only apply to .jpeg (not RAW) files and if I want metadata to stick I need to use IPTC. Please correct any misunderstandings I have thus far...
    The two types of metadata that ACDSee can embed in images are its own proprietary ACDSee metadata, and IPTC metadata
    With RAW images, ACDSee creates a "Sidecar" XMP file (same filename as the RAW but with a .xmp extension) and that contains the metadata.

    Within ACDSee, the sidecar file is kept paired with its associated RAW file, so if you move the RAW file, the sidecar file moves with it. If you copy the RAW file, the sidecar file is also copied. Outside of ACDSee, it is your responsibility to keep them paired. Windows File explorer won't.

    You can use ACDSee's Metadata presets to copy fields (Keywords, Captions etc) to applicable IPTC fields

    IPTC metadata is automatically embedded in the images (or sidecar files when you apply it. You need to use Tools->Metadata->Embed ACDSee Metadata to to have it embed the ACDSee metadata into selected images. You can set an option in ACDSee to remind you when you shut down a session if there are images with metadata to be embedded pending.

    If you have embedded the ACDSee metadata in your images (or in the sidecar files), then you can always build a new database using ACDSee's Catalog function, so I would recommend embedding the ACDSee metadata in all your images, but because this is proprietary metadata, I would recommend also using IPTC for best transportability.

    Is there anyway for me to get my new laptop to "SEE" the labelling I have applied to all files (RAW, .jpg) from the old computer that did the initial labelling?
    If the metadata is embedded, then it will show when an image is selected (and will be added into the database if there is no record in the database for that image)

    You could copy the whole database files from the old computer onto the new computer (if the ACDSee application is a newer version on the new computer, then you would also have to do a conversion). If you are going to do that, then I would make sure you run an Optimize Database on the old computer first to remove orphans etc.

    The alternative is to make sure you have embedded the ACDSee metadata (and IPTC) in all of your images, then start a completely new database on the new computer, and read the metadata from the images back into it using the Catalog function. This can be advantageous if there are any problems with the old database, in that with this method the problems don't transfer to the new database.

    As far as I know (but I haven't personally tried it) you could have a single database on your NAS, as long as only one computer tries to access it at a time (ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate does not support full multiuser access), but the performance trade off might not be acceptable. I personally maintain a independent database on each PC.

    With a database on each PC, images deleted using one PC become orphans in the other PC's database, but that is controllable by frequent database optimization (which is good housekeeping anyhow). I use the Catalog function to update the database on the "secondary" PC from the embedded metadata when new images have been added to the archive. Perhaps not ideal but it as worked OK for me.

    Hope that helps.

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    • #3
      Thank you, Greyfox, for the thoughtful, detailed response. I appreciate the insight. I am going to give this a very thorough read through and consider my options. I do have a few immediate questions, if you have a moment to respond.

      To do this:
      Originally posted by Greyfox View Post
      If you have embedded the ACDSee metadata in your images (or in the sidecar files), then you can always build a new database using ACDSee's Catalog function.
      • I would first embed the files from the Old Computer (where I had done my keyword, categories) - this I can do!
      then you can always build a new database using ACDSee's Catalog function
      Apologies for not fully understanding how cataloging relates to the database. AND, under what circumstances I would want to create a new database and how do I get the "data" as I want it when I create the new database. I want to get my order of operations correct before attempting this (this is likely how I would approach as I have attempted to do something like this, but I think I catalogged prior to embedding the metadata).

      Is this the way to approach this?
      Embedding the files on the Old Computer: Tools > Metadata > Embed ACDSee Metadata

      Build New Database with Catalog Function: TOOLS>Database>Catalog Files on the New Computer (where I would like to access these keywords, categories)

      Do I need to do anything with File>Database>New after doing this?

      Thank you, again for your assistance, it is very much appreciated.
      Last edited by sanndennis; 06-21-2021, 10:41 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sanndennis View Post

        Is this the way to approach this?

        Embedding the files on the Old Computer: Tools > Metadata > Embed ACDSee Metadata
        Build New Database with Catalog Function: TOOLS>Database>Catalog Files on the New Computer (where I would like to access these keywords, categories)

        Do I need to do anything with File>Database>New after doing this?
        .
        When you first install ACDSee on the new computer, it opens a new database (at the default location). You can either continue to use that initial database, or use File->Database-New to open a new database at your preferred location..

        If the database on your old PC is also an Ultimate 2021 version, then you could copy it to the new computer, and use File->Database->Open to open it, however you may need to change the binding because the new PC may not use the exact same pathing to the NAS as did the old computer. You can change the binding if necessary in Tools->Database->Database Maintenance.

        Alternatively, say you decide to keep with either the new default database, or a new one you start in a chosen location.
        When you use ACDSee to browse your images, ACDSee will automatically add entries for those images the database. If an image has embedded metadata then that will be added into its database entry..

        The Tools->Database->Catalog files function allows you to select a whole lot of folders, and and assuming you have ticked the relevant boxes ("EXIF and IPTC", "ACDSee Metadata including categories, keywords, tagged and collections" then when you click on start it will read that metadata and add it into the database for each of the files in the folders.

        If you are using ACDSee Face recognition then you should tick that box. If you are not using face recognition then I'd leave that un-ticked. The other items to set in the Catalog Files dialog are whether you want it to catalog just images, images and videos, or all files. I set that to "Catalog images and Videos". I also tick the option "Build and include thumbnails in the database", but leave the other two options un-ticked.

        You should note that the Catalog process reads the metadata into the database where there is no existing entry for that image. It does NOT fully update an existing entry if the image metadata has changed. For example, say you had a database on each PC, and you had previously cataloged an image "MyDog.jpg" with a keyword "Fido" into both databases. At some later time using PC #1 you add the keyword "German Shepherd", to both the embedded ACDSee Metadata and the IPTC metadata of that image. Re-cataloging that same image on PC #2 does not add that new keyword into its database, but selecting the image and using a Metadata Preset to copy the IPTC metadata to ACDSee metadata will..

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Greyfox View Post
          The Tools->Database->Catalog files function allows you to select a whole lot of folders, and and assuming you have ticked the relevant boxes ("EXIF and IPTC", "ACDSee Metadata including categories, keywords, tagged and collections" then when you click on start it will read that metadata and add it into the database for each of the files in the folders.
          That is what I needed to know. THANK YOU!! What I did:
          1. On Old Computer - made sure to embed metadata.
          2. On New Computer - opened a new database.
          3. On New Computer - Catalog files

          Worked great - my new computer has the Catalog information that was previously missing. As I expect to use my New Computer primarily for dealing with photos, I don't need to have the database synced on the old computer.

          I do have a final question - IF I do want to use my old computer for photos/etc (or just to ensure I have a second device with recently updated catalog) - I could just follow this procedure and it would mirror my new computer - is there anything else to consider if I choose to do this?

          Thank you for your detailed responses, Greyfox, I appreciate the time and expertise you are willing sharing with others!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sanndennis View Post

            I do have a final question - IF I do want to use my old computer for photos/etc (or just to ensure I have a second device with recently updated catalog) - I could just follow this procedure and it would mirror my new computer - is there anything else to consider if I choose to do this?
            Providing the folder range you specify for Catalog is the same, then the newly cataloged database will be up to date with the current image collection.
            In manage mode, you can open the Dashboard, then select the Database Tab. It will show the number of Image Files, Video Files and other files that have entries in the database, so you can do a check on each PC.

            It also shows under Orphan Assets the number of Orphaned files and folders. When you do a Tools->Database->Optimize, and you tick "Remove orphans from the database", then after the optimization and subsequent restart one could expect that the Dashboard should show zero for both Orphaned folders and files. but for some reason I've yet to fully understand, over time this is not always the case. For example, this morning after a database optimization with the "remove orphans from the database" ticked, and a restart, the dashboard on my primary PC still showed 258 files and 15 folder under Orphaned Assets, and continued to do so even after using the "Remove Orphan Folders" option in Database Maintenance.. So as I do every so often, I started a new database, and Cataloged the image collection into it. The number of images and video files now shown in the Dashboard is the same as before, but the number of other files has dropped, and the Orphan Assets count is now zero, as expected.

            So the point I'm making here is that creating a new database on the old PC and Cataloging the image collection into it will achieve what you want, but will probably not technically result in an exact miirror of the database on the current PC. Comparing the details from the database tab in the Dashboard is in my view a worthwhile.exercise.

            I have one question for you. My understanding is you have all your images on your NAS, and you access them as required from each PC. Do you have a backup of the images elsewhere?

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