Posts tagged with iView/ExpressionMedia

MediaPro1

Last year PhaseOne finally acquired – “liberated” may be a better word –  Expression Media from Microsoft and gave it back its old name, MediaPro. I say “finally” because they had tried to add the original iView MediaPro cataloguing program to their CaptureOne raw conversion products back in 2006, and also because in those five years the post processing and cataloguing landscape has been transformed with the introduction of two major programs that combine those once-separate activities. To give an idea of how completely things have changed, I remember announcing Microsoft’s takeover to a trade show at Manchester United’s stadium, and since 2006 oil money has transformed City from a long-running joke into a pumped-up monster which might no longer need to call in Channel 4’s Time Team archaeologists to find any trophies (oh for the Arab spring to sweep away Abu Dhabi’s feudal rulers – that would be so City). Of course, some things stay the same and after Sunday’s demolition of Abramovitch’s expensive toy, United are on the verge of the 19th league title and another European Cup. . . .

Expression Media to Capture One

PhaseOne’s site now has an excellent series of movies by Peter Krogh showing how to use Expression Media with CaptureOne.

I must admit that since taking up the free CaptureOne offer, I’ve not done much more than install the program on my main computers. Over the years, while respecting it as one of the very best raw converters, I’ve never used it much and am pretty unfamiliar with its workflow, so I was mostly interested in seeing the CaptureOne related material.

But I was also keen to see what Phase had added to  CaptureOne  in the 5.1 update released shortly after the Expression Media acquisition. So I particularly liked “Sending Images from Expression Media 2 to Capture One” and “Sending Images from Capture One to Expression Media”.

It’s bound to be a while before we see any real fruits from the change of ownership – and let’s hope one juicy morsel is a change of name back to iView or at least choose something that’s less of 5 syllable mouthful than Expression Media. Yet 5.1’s little tweaks are promising and give some idea . . .

A vogue for coalition?

The BJP interviews Henrik O. Håkonsson, president and CEO of Phase One, on the iView / Expression Media acquisition:

“We’ve used the Expression Media software for many years, both when it was not owned and owned by Microsoft,” he says. “We could see that Microsoft was not so eager to expand in this particular field. We felt that if we took over, we could improve Expression Media and make it a super efficient tool.”

However, Håkonsson tells BJP, Phase One has to be careful of what happens to Expression Media. “There are two groups of customers for this software. You have the customers who want to pick and choose. They might be using Capture One along side a management platform developed by another company. They want to choose what they like. The other group of customer want one workflow software. They want to be able to do both editing and management tasks in the same software, both for stills and videos.” And, Håkonsson says, Phase One has to cater to both . . .

Out of the Redmond triangle?

Is it 4 years ago that I was doing an iView presentation to photographers at Old Trafford, finally getting my chance to perform at United’s “theatre of dreams”. My talk ended at 5pm, the same time as the embargo was lifted on the news that Microsoft had just bought the product, so I was able to finish the presentation with a last minute showstopper (even if Beardsworth seems as unlikely as Michael Owen to be listed with Scholes, Rooney….) Sadly, though iView/Expression Media made a couple of appearances, soon this promising young player seemed forgotten in the reserves. More like the theatre of base comedy.

Around the same time, two or three years back, PhaseOne and Microsoft seemed quite close for a while. There was a technology partnership, whatever that term may mean, I heard rumours of Microsoft investing in PhaseOne, and you could certainly . . .

A brand new DAM

It was no secret that it was on the way, but my friend Peter Krogh’s The DAM Book has now been listed on Amazon US and Amazon UK. The original book was immediately unusual in its cover not being emblazoned with “Photoshop CS2” or focussing on the image processing side of the pixel mountain. Peter rightly saw that the management and safeguarding of digital photos was digital photography’s dangerously-neglected aspect, and this understanding of the real needs meant the book’s shelf life extended across software release cycles and remained applicable after entirely new programs were introduced. But even long-lasting underlying principles eventually need dusting off, and this new version of the book is a complete rewrite. Thanks Peter for asking me to tech edit a couple of chapters – I look forward to my signed copy!

And now for some of my own reflections… (or alternatively). When you look back at the the original book, it offered a solution containing four main strands – Bridge, iView, Photoshop, and DNG tying it all together and letting you see the adjusted raw . . .

Expression Media 2 beta

These days, though you often wonder if fully-released versions differ from that condition, everyone’s doing prolonged public betas of imaging software. Microsoft have joined in too, releasing Expression Media 2 (formerly iView) as a beta for Windows and Mac.

Nearly two years since the acquisition, Microsoft haven’t ruined the program, but there’s surprisingly little progress or persuasive reasons to switch from iView. There is some good stuff, like effectively-eliminating the Windows program’s dependence on Apple QuickTime, but the few new features are mostly half-done.

For example, the hierarchical keywords feature lets you assign pictures to a leaf node in the new Keywords Finder, and the image automatically gets all its parents keywords. Great. But the opposite should happen when I delete images from that node ? the ?real? keywords should be deleted too.

Or take the new Virtual Earth window which displays where you took GPS-tagged pictures. On Windows dragging untagged images to the VE window will add GPS coordinates to the catalogue. Sounds handy. But you must first centre the map at exactly the right location and then drop those images in . . .

Peter Krogh's book

As a frequent contributor to web forums on “digital asset management” software (cataloguing programs like Portfolio, iView and iMatch), you soon distinguish fellow travellers who’ve also thought a bit more deeply about the issues. One of those is Peter Krogh who dropped me a nice email yesterday.

Peter’s a Maryland-based advertising photographer and O’Reilly is just about to publish his The DAM Book: The Digital Asset Management for Photographers:

brings clarity to the often overwhelming task of managing digital photographs, with a solid plan and practical advice for fellow photographers on how to file, find, protect and re-use photographs.

Following a thorough overview of the DAM system and de-mystifications of metadata and digital archiving, Krogh focuses on best practices for digital photographers using Adobe Photoshop CS2. He explains how to use Adobe Bridge along with Camera Raw, the DNG file format and DAM software. He shows you how to cut down your image processing time, while simultaneously preparing images for a long-term archive.

18 months ago I suggested such a book to my publishers. Maybe I should have been more persuasive….
Q: How many writers . . .