Review: Manage digital assets and documents with Daminion | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Review: Manage digital assets and documents with Daminion

This image tagging tool offers pro capabilities for free.

Daminion specializes in LAN-based digital image management systems optimized for small teams, but their standalone Windows client is available for free. Daminion catalogs your image assets. It can import, export, and manage image data in a wide range of formats; import and export Tags and Filter data; store data inside files; and integrate with a variety of other systems. Daminion is a complex tool that can handle professional duties, not a quick fix for users who simply want to tag their digital snapshots--and it takes a little effort to learn its ways.

Daminion's interface has a familiar layout, with navigation sidebars on either side of a main view that displays single or multiple images. The program's overall style takes cues from business software as well as image tools. It's easy to switch and resize views right from the interface. There's also a compact view and various options such as a Tray and Film Strip, and easy access to Sync, Search, and Advanced features. The menu bar's Catalog and Item menus clued us in to Daminion's operations, and the Catalog Tags sidebar's quick access to data options such as Camera Model and Camera Lens and categories like People, Place, and Events hinted at its capabilities. Daminion's Startup Wizard offered to import images from files or folders or from PicaJet albums and shared catalogs. While Daminion isn't too difficult to pick up, there's no reason to do it the hard way when clicking Help accesses not only a full Help file but also the Startup Wizard and Tutorials. We could also click Ask a Question for more support.

Daminion saves catalogs as proprietary .DMC files, but can import and export images and data from other sources, too. We saved and named a Catalog and clicked Add Files and also dragged files into the Tray and the Filmstrip. Daminion is fast; scanning nearly 10,000 image files to import in a few seconds. We could group files by Capture Time, create subfolders, rename files, and assign Tag presets while importing files, too. We just scratched the surface of this top-quality freeware, but Daminion certainly interviews well!

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