I joined this forum within days of Hert's announcement that he had discontinued IDI. I had downloaded the IDI trial a week or two before and came to this forum with questions about how to do things in IDI. When I learned that IDI was being discontinued I immediately downloaded Photo Supreme and began using it instead of IDI. My original impression matched that of many of the IDI users in this forum and I was extremely disappointed with PSU when comparing it to IDI.
In the interest of providing some reference, I need to say that I had never used any other DAM software. I had recently purchased a new DSLR and realized that I already had over 15,000 images on my PC. All of my previous images were taken with various point and shoot cameras and were either in jpg or tiff formats. My DSLR has the ability to save in jpg, nef, and nef + jpeg. I couldn't decide what format to save my photos in so I turned to the internet to find out what others recommended. One thing led to another and I found myself reading about workflows and cataloging. I work with databases regularly so the idea of cataloging my images immediately captured my attention. Now all I had to do was select software that could enable me to do it.
I've read many comments here from people expressing the sentiment that since IDI had been discontinued that they would have to look elsewhere for software. Those comments led me to continue looking for options, thinking that there must be other comparable options. My conclusion is that there are very few, if any, other programs that do everything PSU does. As a newbie, it was fairly easy for me to remove IDI from the field of potential competitors. Once I had done that, I found that PSU is head and shoulders ahead of most other programs. There are some other programs that do some things better than PSU but none that do everything it does. Perhaps the closest rival is Lightroom, which does a lot of great things, including some things that PSU doesn't do, but it still lacks some of the functionality that I find valuable and that PSU does very well, plus it costs almost twice as much. IMatch may be able to do just about everything PSU does but by the time I downloaded and installed it and then scanned the quick start guide, I realized that it would be a steep learning curve and that I'd probably have to start scripting to do some of the things I wanted to do. Also, my initial impression of its interface was not good. In fairness, if I had started with it, I might not have found it so objectionable but I was beginning to get weary of trying to learn new programs.
The functionality that is important to me includes:
- Robust subfolder creation and naming
Robust file renaming
The ability to map keywords to metadata fields (even multiple metadata fields)
The capability for iteratively applying parent label metadata mapping
The ability to create label sets and then use them in the assignment process, which helps to make labeling images much faster
The image bucket
Portfolios and Collections (or some way of grouping sets of images)
The ability to keep different versions of the same image together
The ability to write delimited keywords (I'm not sure if I want to do this but I like knowing that I can if I find that it will help me)
An active forum
I have downloaded and/or tried:
Windows Photo Gallery
Zoner Photo Studio
FastStone Image Viewer
Several others that I've already forgotten
I should add that I do have some concerns about what will happen in the future. Hert could get hit by a bus tomorrow and then what would we do? (Sorry Hert, I don't want to see that happen but you must understand what I mean). These concerns are somewhat offset by the fact that Photo Supreme offers functionality that makes it pretty easy to prepare my image files to be moved to a different platform. That portability means that I'm not stuck with Photo Supreme if something happens that convinces me to change.
I hope my ramblings are helpful to some of the members here. Hert has taken a lot of heat for his decisions and the way he communicated them. I share some of those sentiments, but in the end, I want the best value in image cataloging software and my 40 days of searching have convinced me that Photo Supreme is my best option.