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Digital asset managers allow you to take your photo organization to a new level. And there are a couple of reasons why I think they are a little bit better than some of the tools we talked about previously, and I'm going to go over those right now. The first one is that they have databases underneath the hood, unlike more simple tools. And what does that mean to you? That means that when you enter a photo into an application, such as Aperture here, or Lightroom that we're going to be talking about, that a record is created where the image, and the information that goes along with it, is all in one nice neat spot.
Now, once a record is created that means then you can organize these images, and the information that go with them, in a variety of ways. For example, I have star ratings here, and I have labels, and then I have timestamps. They are all timestamped with the date. So in Aperture I could look at things organized by date, or by rating, or by label, and any number of different ways, and this is a real power of a database.
The other thing that Aperture and Lightroom do that I like is that they create previews -- and you have control over how big these previews are -- that are independent of the master files. And this is particularly important for RAW shooters that have very big master files. So, for example, if these images are living on an external drive -- big master images -- and I want to carry this around on my laptop, I can disconnect that master drive and still have all of my images with me, because I have the previews that are in the database, and that's a really cool feature.
Lightroom and Aperture; they are also full service environments. So if I want to do some image adjustment I have a full set of tools here. If I want to make a slideshow, if I want to do some printing, it's all right here in one environment, and that's a very handy. And for a lot of photographers this is all they will need. They also connect well to your existing system of file management. In other words, if you've already created folders, and our virtual file cabinet as I talked about it earlier movies, all you have to do is point Aperture or Lightroom to those virtual file cabinets, and it will read those images and bring them into the database here.
So it's very handy so when you're ready to move up to a digital asset manager, you don't have to reinvent your whole system. This locks into it very nicely. So I'm going to look at some of the features of digital asset managers more closely, but I wanted to give you an overview before we get into that.
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