Need Help in Organizing Photo Storage

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cwilmot

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For 3 years I've been storing digital pictures on 2 hard drives with no standarized procedure for easily locating and identifying specific pictures when I have need for same. Can anyone suggest a simple, straight-forward method of coding to simplify access to them both on the hard drive and on CD disks which I plan to store them on next? TIA.
 
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This is the way I did it. I just kinda tried to come up with something simple. Started out with a folder named "Pictures" and then started making sub folders as you can see. When I started using the dates it really helped a lot.
 

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Oct 23, 2001
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if you have a lot of them, it might be a good idea to get a program like ac-dc. it is designed just for that.
 

cwilmot

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Thanks, to you both! Your system, AJ, sounds pretty workable. I might just give it a try. As for AC/DC, I installed that once, sometime ago, but I seemed to find it a little daunting, as best I can now recall. I might just go back and take another look at it, though. cwilmot
 
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You could try an organization program. I use Thumbs Plus, but would have preferred to start out with Imatch had it been available when I started sorting my photos. Once you get organized with a particular program it is hard to switch.

Imatch lets you search for an image even after it has been removed to a CD, which neither Thumbs Plus nor ACDSee allow – at least versions I have tried. Both Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro have new album programs but I haven’t used either. IMatch is what I would choose starting out today. http://photools.com/imfs_0002.php

My Album is a great freeware organizer type program. The scripting abilities let you download scripts to enable such things as EXIF if you need that: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/myalbum/MyAlbum.html

All of the organization programs let you search by title, keyword or comment. That can be handy if you are trying to remember where the 2 year old photo of Zoe with ice cream on her face might be. It takes time to get organized though.

For just searching through folders I like the freeware Exif Viewer. It will quickly generate thumbnails of all sub-directories in a folder: http://home.pacbell.net/michal_k/exif_v.html
 

cwilmot

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Thanks, Slipe. Lots of good suggestions which I shall explore. cwilmot
 
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If you have your pictures in folders, and move them to a cd, you can do a "print screen" and put the printed copy of your folders right in the cd cover. I played with it for a while, and if you have a # code for your photo's, they'll fall in place easier. If you have more than 10 catigories, make sure you start with "01". I'll have to look, but I believe thats where I started.
 
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You can also change your view to show "date modified". If you drop it into a photo editing program, you can do even more with it. It all depends on how much time you want to spend on it, but once you have your system in place, it goes alot smoother and doesn't take much time.
 

cwilmot

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Thanks to all who have responded so promptly to my request. I think I'll eventually try each of the programs suggested and see which I like best. However, before I left my earlier request for help I had already downloaded and installed FotoAlbum but wasn't having any success in trying to implement it. I like the way it brings up all my pix in thumbnail size or in individual groups by years. However, I haven't been able to proceed beyond this point which I would like to do before ruling it out completely. Are any of you using it, or have used it, and, if so, can you kind of lead me by the hand in getting started with it (setting it up)? In short, I just don't know where to start in building my first album, etc. TIA.
 

cwilmot

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Slipe, I think I bit the dust this past weekend!!!! You recommended IMatch. I had already downloaded and installed FotoAlbum by FotoTime, which is what I thought to be a FREE, shaeware program. I spent the whole weekend getting acquainted with it and putting my pictures into Albums and Groups. It's a pretty good program, once you get acquainted with it, but it leaves a few things to be desired (which tech assistance wasn't able to satisfy me fully with in their explanations). Then, today, I get an email notice from them that my "trial period" expires on 10/19 and that the "annual rate" for use of this program is $23.95. What a shock. I immediately went from a FREE, shareware program (in my mind's eye), to a program with an annual subscription rate which, at the end of 2 yrs. would equal the lifetime cost of the program which you have recommended (IMatch). What a sucker I've been!!! cwilmot
 
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Get Picasa!! It's not free but at least you know what you are paying for. No subscription fee just outright pay for it.

On the IMatch page it clearly states "download the free IMatch evaluation version"
Evaluation usually entails a free trial period followed by having to pay for it or it won't work any longer.
 
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I don’t think he was burned by IMatch but by FotoAlbum.

The problem with these programs is that once you go to the trouble to get organized in one you are hooked or have to retrace your steps. If you want something free, MyAlbum is a really functional program.

Picasa and IMatch are completely different types of programs. The comparison is similar to comparing PictureIt to Photoshop. They are intended for a different market. IMatch is a pro level program with a lot more versatility. Picasa is probably a lot easier to use. I personally would prefer the features of MyAlbum to Picasa as it is intended more for the advanced user.

The feature of IMatch I really like is that you can keep the thumbnails and access them through the program after you have removed images to CD or DVD. This is from their page on the subject:
“Your IMatch database contains references to all your images, no matter where these images are stored. You are able to see your images as thumbnails at any time.
Many commands in IMatch (like searching, sorting, viewing, etc.) work even with off-line images. This effectively allows you to manage your images collection even if it is distributed among dozens or even hundreds of CD-ROM's or DVD's.” http://photools.com/imfs_0005.php?PHPSESSID=f23e739d4d35767feae4c889ec5d3373
 

cwilmot

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Thanks to both of you: Slipe and Rockn. Mainly what I didn't like about FotoAlbum was the inability to verify that I had copied each picture from the master thumbnail to at least one album. Is that determination possible in IMatch? Also, in IMatch, is it possible to identify duplicate pictures in the master thumbnail? FotoAlbum could not do this although tech support claims that this feature is forthcoming in the next version.
 
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