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Script to batch find across multiple catalogs

 
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jgatscher



Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 8
Location: Nashville, TN

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:35 pm    Post subject: Script to batch find across multiple catalogs Reply with quote

I’m a newbie to MP and so far I like the tool. I create a new catalog for each shoot I do. So some catalogs can span 2-3 weeks (thousands of photos) and others a single day (hundreds of photos). Thus I end up with many catalogs. It keeps the catalog size manageable but searching across multiple catalogs is cumbersome.

Is there a way to do a search using the “Find” functionality in batch mode? The only way I know to do this is to open an empty catalog and then use the Find feature by telling it to search across all catalogs using the keywords I define. This does work, but it interactively opens each catalog and then places the photos that meet my search criteria into a new catalog. This “interactive” opening and closing of catalogs is very slow and it takes a long time to finish the search. It is especially slow when the resulting search yields many photos (for example this type of search may take 30-40 minutes).

Maybe I’m doing the searching wrong, but I would like to speed up the search and thought that most of the total time is used to interactively open/close catalogs…lots of windows popping open and closing…painfully slow….so perhaps a batch search (not interactive opening/closing) would be a better option

Has anyone else experienced this problem…any help or advice is greatly appreciated!!!

Jeff
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johnbeardy



Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Posts: 1137
Location: Dulwich, South ("Sarf") London

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put them all in one catalogue.

John
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jgatscher



Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 8
Location: Nashville, TN

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I understand one single catalog will accomplish it. But my photo count is over a 100,000 and I've tested out a catalog that had around 20,000 and found the response very very slugish...so I have opted for many smaller ones...
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johnbeardy



Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Posts: 1137
Location: Dulwich, South ("Sarf") London

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, 100000 indicates you are going to have to break the catalogue down. I'd advise you to aim for fewer catalogues, so not your day or few week catalogues, but 20000 really shouldn't be a problem. "Job" catalogues are a nightmare when your search criteria span catalogues and it sounds as if you'll soon need a catalogue for your catalogues.

Maybe use an annual structure? Or try to tie it to your physical drive structure? One for D drive, one for F etc. A 300 shots a day client does opera, classical concert, ballet, theatre and has one or more drives for each field, and has one catalogue per field of work (actually he now has an Opera1 and Opera2 because of the volume of work). Would one of these make things easier.

Look as well at the combination of thumbnail sizes and previews. I find 320 pixels and no previews (because my stuff's all online) works well for me. Previews add 2-300% to file size. The sluggishness may be a symptom of a catalogue nearing the 2Gb limit (anything over 1.7 seems to suffer).

Make sure you're not using network addresses - that slows things down.

But to go back to your original question, there's no scripting way to invoke find. You would have to loop through every record querying the keywords field - you can't access Find directly.

In general, iView doesn't scale up as well as it could (Portfolio does this better). Maybe the Microsoft acquisition will lead to a SQL Server back end?

John
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jgatscher



Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 8
Location: Nashville, TN

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the inputs John. I thought about the annual route and that may still be an option. Yes my thumbnail / preview settings are an issue. I’m using 640 at high quality with a 1024 preview at high quality. I like the ability to view any sized thumbnail and to extract out a decent sized thumbnail JPG with only the catalog being available (photos on different PC). Plus I’m shooting RAW and about 70% of my photos are NEF only. So I like to use MP during the culling process using a decent 1024 preview. The down side is that the catalogs get big and fat.

I’m still working out my workflow, but recently have been using Nikon’s Capture NX for some processing and I love that I can do full processing, correcting and cropping in NX without having to save off a PSD or DNG…I save the NEF and the changes stay with the original to tweak or modify at anytime. Then when I rebuild the catalog, all of my NX fixes become viewable through the 1024 preview. I’ve noticed that there seems to be no difference between a JPG created from Capture NX and one created from MP after I’ve made my fixes in Capture on the original NEF. This way I can keep my JPG conversions contained in MP.

Regarding the scripting, does MP have an API (application program interface) that can be accessed? I have a software programmer friend who loves to tinker and this could be a challenge for him.

Jeff
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johnbeardy



Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Posts: 1137
Location: Dulwich, South ("Sarf") London

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For culling I have my Inbox catalogue which has big previews - these do make the selection process so much easier. I'll enter all initial metadata here too. Afterwards I copy and paste from the Inbox to my main catalogue which doesn't have previews.

If you're extracting the NEF files' previews into iView, they should have the same appearance as NX. But I think you can do this regardless of whether the catalogue contains previews - it's the Media Rendering setting that controls this. Test it - I'm not sure.

As for an API, the VB scripting engine is as much as there is. With it, you would be able to write an app that periodically exports the metadata of multiple catalogues as XML and imports the data into one SQL database. The app might have an interface for searching, which can open the relevant catalogues, and filter the records. You'd need to keep the catalogues in one folder so the app can find them, and it could use the catalogue files' saved dates to determine whether it needs to refresh its store of what's in each file. It would give you one overarching search engine, and I suspect that the slowest part would be filtering at the end.

Alternatively, instead of a SQL database, the app could periodically copy the items into a big catalogue with small thumbnails, just for search use.

John
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