Wednesday 27 June 2007

Controlled Vocabulary and Adobe Lightroom 1.1

Well Adobe Lightroom 1.1 as just been released and in amongst a whole host of improvements the Lightroom team have improved the performance of the database and keywords.

I have just tested using The Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalogue in Lightroom and the performance has really improved beyond all recognition. So it now seems to be a workable option for those of us who really want to control their keywording.

About the same time as I was testing, Mr Controlled Vocabulary himself David Riecks (that's "i" before "e", but the "e" is silent) was testing 1.1 and the CVKC and here are his observations:

Well, I have to give Kudos to the Lightroom engineers. I imported the PhotoMechanic version of the CVKC in less than 9 seconds (I used a stopwatch). This was on a new MacBook Pro, so it's a different machine than before. I did have to change the file from the ".utf8" extension to a text file. Just to be safe I opened the file in TextWrangler and resaved as with Mac line breaks, and unicode UTF-8
no BOM encoding first.

I imported a 4 gig card with about 2.29 gigs of images (from my recent trip to Italy) and it took about 5:46 minutes to import.
The new Lightroom is able to distinguish between regular keywords, (solid white triangle to left if there are subcategories), excluded category headers (triangle to left is a series of dots, ie not solid), and synonyms.

It took virtually no time at all to actually assign the keywords, even within the 11,000 terms in the current CVKC. However, I'm either confusing LightRoom with another application, or they have changed how you locate the keywords within the tags. The only way I could find within the left side Keywords tag panel was to reveal the lower levels by clicking on the arrow to the left of the term.

I thought there used to be a search function at the top, but if so it's now gone.

There is a new tool (or at least I think it's new) called the "spraycan" which can be used to apply keywords. When you choose this tool, there is a pull down that allows you to select keywords (or labels, flags, ratings, rotations, or other forms of metadata... none of which I tested at this time). If you choose Keywords, then you CAN type in a word here and it seems to find it within the hierarchy.

I found this much easier than having to remember which region Rome is located within (it's Lazio BTW), or where another keyword is located within the hierarchy.

I'll make the converted file part of a new Lightroom download and get that up on the download page in the next day, after I write up instructions for how to install and apply keywords.

I've not had time to test any of the other improvements, and/or possible addition of DAM features, so that will have to wait for a more thorough review. However, the Adobe Lightroom engineers do seem to have listened and made some remarkable improvements in a very short time.

So it really looks like it will works...hurrah!

Related Posts

How to use Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (part 1)
How to use Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (part 2)

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