Digital asset management is important when you have a plethora of digital files that you need to keep organized. A way to keep them organized is by using catalogs or databases. What are some good examples? In this video, Kevin Ames discusses how to use catalogs and databases to manage your digital assets.
- Catalogs are databases. A catalog is nothing more than information about something put in an organized manner, and that's what a database is. Databases are more accessible than a catalog if you're thinking of a print catalog or a catalog of projects on the web. The database can be queried in many different ways to find exactly what it is a customer or a photographer or someone just looking for a Word document wants to find.
Let's use Lightroom Classic as our example. It can show you everything on your hard drive that you've imported into the database, even if the hard drive is not attached. Now, remember, an import into Lightroom or into any other database, for the most part, is information about the files, not the file itself. Lightroom also supports a proxy workflow. What that means is that any work that's done on a low-res preview of the image, as soon as the hard drive is reconnected, all of those changes are added to the XMP files, or if it's a JPEG or a TIFF file, directly into the header of those files so that when they're opened in other programs like Photoshop or Camera Raw, the information of the edits goes right along with them.
InDesign and Adobe Premiere Pro can work with low-resolution previews and then reconnect to the data, the original files later for packaging for output or for export into a motion picture format. The other thing that's really good about a catalog as a database is that it is a great, great backup. If I lose information about my images, let's say for some reason the original XMP files get corrupt.
If I have a Lightroom catalog, I can export all of those XMP files back into the original folders, and it does it automatically. I don't have to do it folder by folder. I just select all of the images, tell it to write to the folders, and it sorts it all out automatically. Again, any time I can let a computer sort it out, I'm better off and so are you. Here are some common databases. And let's use the word database also meaning digital asset manager.
Adobe Lightroom, of course, we've spent a lot of time with that. Another program that I've used in the past is Extensis Portfolio. It started out as Aldus Fetch. It was bought by Adobe and then transformed into a professional digital asset manager called Portfolio. The new On1 Photo RAW also has a database component built into it, as does Skylum's Luminar 2018. iTunes is probably the best-known catalog, database, digital asset manager that's common to most of us.
It came about in April of 2003, and before that it was known as SoundJam by Casady and Greene. They were purchased by Apple to make iTunes. And since then, iTunes is managing millions and millions of songs for users around the world. Another professional digital asset manager is Canto Cumulus. It is not only for photography and motion. It's being used worldwide for document management as well.
So, there are a lot of digital asset management tools that really are nothing more than catalogs that are nothing more than databases that we can use to find the things that are important to us digitally.
- What is in a hard drive?
- Formats for hard drives
- Using RAIDs for storing digital files
- Organizing assets
- Using digital asset management tools
- Connecting hard drives
- How often to backup
- Long-term backups