DAM, That’d be Great

I’m working to catalogue files I have on current workstations, servers, and a bunch old drives. My primary goals are having searchable file names, types, and their media sources catalogued via scan of multiple filesystem types. A text file is a fine end result. There are plenty of Great-to-Haves beyond this, but getting core requirements handled as hassle-free and inexpensively as possible is the key driver.

Enterprises have options per the lay of their land. Here I’m after a Prosumer solution that goes beyond directory tree lists and falls short of needing ongoing management.


mostly in order of want:
  • Low-touch / unattended ingestion
  • Sensible, configurable defaults
  • Helpful, accurate dry runs
  • Non-catastrophic re-runs (i.e. smart enough to minimize overwriting or duplicating existing entries)
  • Clever de-duping
  • Customizable / scriptable input and output handling
  • File meta data capture
  • Full-Text indexing of file content

Extra Special Bonus

can run on a NAS with
  • myriad ports
  • an OS that doesn’t require 3TB of updates on semi-annual boot-ups
  • fans that don’t sound like a leaf blower or cause brown-outs @ home

Curating Photo Archives

Photo.app helped me curate and catalog GBs of photos from twenty+ years of archives. It sped up the family project I was working on, raised my expectations for how Enterprise photo asset management can work, and compelled me to reconsider ways to take advantage of organizing the rest of my work and personal archives.

During import, Photo.app automated tons of organization by geo- and date-tagging items. Facial recognition was decent during initial post-processing. With training, it got very good and helped me build & populate People collections for current and future projects. With each new batch of photos I threw at it, People collections grew, and the app would present additional photos to review for inclusion in individual People collections.

Good automated guesses + smart confirmation request + ongoing opportunities to manually update collection inclusions and exclusions is a strong combination for a consumer app.

The app asks for help and confirmation appropriately. It wondered if my brother, Ed, was also Ed in photos from when he was 7, 12, and 19. Manually confirming a few photos for a collection adds those items explicitly and helps the app find more from the rest of the library. Here I confirmed 5 photos of myself and Photo.app added those and 59 more — impressively seeing through multiple angles, ages, and looks.

Photo.app asks: Is Clint Eastwood Steve?

Even when it’s wrong, it’s often close. Like asking if my nieces and nephews are their mother or father. When it’s really wrong, the suggestions are usually reasonable and sometimes funny.

Update: Successes with Photo.app during this project compelled me to plot out getting archival documents, video, images, audio, and code catalogued, discoverable, and accessible for other personal and professional projects.