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Daminion Upgrade To Version 3.3

by Ralph Windsor on July 9, 2014

One of our featured DAM vendors, Daminion have upgraded their desktop app-based workgroup DAM solution of the same name.  Here are some of the key new features:

  • Duplicate assets checking (and search for dupes)
  • Enhancements to the built-in taxonomy
  • Synonyms and tag groups
  • Faster rendering (display) of large images such as TIFFs
  • Automatic asset expiry based on licence dates (and prevention of potentially risky operations like download/export)

Daminion tends to be used by smaller organisations or specialist facilities (e.g. photographic units).  The press is to the point and just tells you what it does, with no platitude-stuffed ‘boss quotes’ for us to pick holes in; although as I will describe later, it is not without entertainment value for those of us who are required to read these things on a regular basis:

Daminion can quickly find the right photos and documents from thousands of folders across multiple computers. It supports more than 200 file formats used for photos, camera RAW, video, audio, PDF, AI/EPS, InDesign, as well as text and Office documents and more besides.  With more than 50 new features and improvements, Daminion 3.3 enables you to describe your digital content more precisely and find documents much faster. ” [Read More]

Many of the new features are incorporating functionality that until recently would have been found in web based (or at least large-scale multi-user) DAM tools, one such example being duplicate checking, which is no longer the big deal it was a few years ago now that the methods for doing it are widely understood by lots of software developers.

I don’t know if the Daminion dupe checking is the familiar MD5 hash test which identifies an exact copy only, or something more sophisticated like perceptual hashes that will detect duplicates even with some modifications.  Conventional duplicate checking used to be easy to bypass with some fairly simple technique like cropping or just re-saving in a different format.  More sophisticated approaches may use perceptual methods to detect dupes using a probability score algorithm (with a threshold you can adjust  to find or less potential candidates).

Daminion is still quite a production-oriented tool, in contrast to many web-based DAMs which are chasing after marketing or brand-oriented clients.  Even within that segment, I still tend to find that the bulk of the heavy duty cataloguing work gets passed on to a small group of individuals, the so-called DAM Geeks (to borrow David Diamond’s expression).  They might not always get given a job title like Digital Asset Manager (as in person, not software) but that is a reasonably accurate summary of what they do.  A lot of these users seem to still prefer a desktop tool like Lightroom to do large-scale cataloguing as DAM interfaces (especially web ones) are still strongly oriented towards casual users who just do downloading or who will upload but then not want to catalogue.  Daminion looks like a possible alternative and potentially one which can be used either as a preliminary to enterprise-wide DAM or as a pre-ingestion tool to help get everything in shape.  If you wanted proof of Daminion’s production focus, observe the following line from their press release:

Tag taxonomy protected against screw-ups.” [Read More]

I’ll hazard a guess you won’t be seeing something similar in the near future from North Plains, OpenText or Adobe etc.  The press is a bit light on detail and (as is normal these days) the blog post about the release provides a bit more info for those at the sharp-end who will be more hands-on with the app.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Murat Korkmazov July 10, 2014 at 10:00 am

Ralth, thanks for your review of our Daminion!

1. Regarding the duplicate checking method. Daminion detects image duplicates by the SHA1 hash test similar to the MD5 (because the MD5 is not FIPS compliant). But Daminion compares only the visual part of images. For example, 2 image copies with different metadata block will be treated as dupes.

We plan to implemented a more sofisticated dupe checking method later but the above approach allowed us to add the duplicate finding capability right now and works in many cases.

2. “Tag taxonomy protected against screw-ups.” Press-releases should be short so it’s hard to fit the comprehensive explanations into the 1 page text :)

The above statement means that Daminion Server administrator can lock individual tags from editing them by other users, so, for example, users with the Editor role can assign or remove keywords to the assets but can’t add, change or remove them from the tag taxonomy (accidentally or intentionally)

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