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Old April 20th, 2006, 09:49 AM   #1
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DAM (digital asset managment)

I need to collect and create an archive of our in-house media/video for repurpose, etc. I don't plan on selling the media, as it's for internal company use only. Something that allows access via a web portal.

I've read up on specific hosting and know there's software for this. I know we could hire a consultant or programmer, but I feel that's too expensive (although a dedicated server to hold the stuff seems feasible), and that canned software solution may be all we need to handle the backend. However, I need some advice from the front lines. Anyone care to share an experience in this?

Thanks.

Pete Ferling
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Old April 20th, 2006, 07:46 PM   #2
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I'll rephrase:

What are you folks using for online archive/retrieval of digital media (specifically video files)? Alienbrain, iView, Portfolio, what?

Thanks
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Old April 21st, 2006, 07:01 AM   #3
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I set up Cumulus at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin back in the late 1990's and it was fast and efficient. I believe that might have been Cumulus version 5, running on Mac OS9. It was nearly bulletproof. In two years I had to restart the server -- maybe -- twice.

However when we moved to a new location in 2001, and it was set up by inexperienced IT techs, it became very unstable. It stayed that way until I left in 2004. Chronic crashes and lockups. Making backups of the catalog was a religious routine.

The single-user version of Cumulus, v6, is still unstable. Any attempt to catalog a large number of images will cause a crash -- the very purpose of having a good digital asset management system.

I've started to look for other options. iView Media Pro looked promising, but all the emails I sent to them, in an attempt to actually purchase the product, keeps getting bounced back.

So now I'm looking at the demo version of Extensis Portfolio. From my preliminary tests, to catalog a hard drive containing more than 60,000 photos, it seems to get bogged down after 20,000. It crawled to a halt at that point. I'm going to do further tests to see how it does.

From a purely operational standpoint, a good DAM will let you find an asset within a matter of seconds, then literally drag-and-drop that media from you catalog onto your desktop or even into your application.

The media will take up tons of space, and the catalog itself can become quite large, depending on the size of the preview files.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 07:58 AM   #4
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Interesting. I was looking at both cumulus and portfolio. It will involve a very large dataset since there will be five designers contributing, and about a dozen others with read only access.

I would emagine that an initial logging effort would be tedious and slow. But would hope that updates or daily changes be much quicker as they should happen on the fly, on a per-file basis.

There's a review for iView3 by Michael Reichmann (Luminous-Landscape.com). He has several hard drives of stuff and keeps the catalog on the system drive for searching, only enabling the storage drives when needed for the original content. My only guess is that he only writes updates to the catalog, and having the media offline keeps things from slowing down. It could be your settings, too many watch folders, etc? Not sure. Please keep me posted.

When my new PC is installed, I'm going to demo iview, portfolio and ImageFolio (a server-side solution). I sure hope we don't have to turn to a dedicated service over this.
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