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Digital Asset Management-On the Cheap

(May 2006) posted on Fri May 19, 2006

DAM products to help graphics producers on a budget.


By Stephen Beals

If you have between $20,000 and $50,000 dollars to spend on
digital-asset-management (DAM) hardware and software, there
are some really fantastic solutions available to you. and for
some graphic-arts providers, such an investment can be readily
justified. For many shops, however, that kind of money just
isn"?t available, no matter how good the return on investment
might be.

But there are a few solutions out there that might be able to
do an adequate job for you. In fact, a few choices might even be
able to push the "adequate"?
label. In addition, there are
some modular solutions
that can expand from very
small, single-user capabilities
to very large enterprise
packages. and while
you may already be familiar
with the names of some
of the products I refer to
here"?and have dismissed
them as options for your
shop because of their simplicity
"?keep in mind that
many have released brand new versions with new features;
they may be better than you remember.

Basic options

On the lowest end of the spectrum, two products stand out"?
from ACDsee and MediaDex"?while another"?from Extensis"?
could be considered a step up.

ACDSee Photo Manager (www.acdsystems.com) is a Windows-
only product that combines the ability to make catalogs
of images with image-editing capabilities. It"?s as inexpensive
as you can get: $49 for the single-user version and $129 for
the Pro version; the latter allows for the import of RaW-format
images and provides several extended editing capabilities and
image filters. The weakness is that it is really for photographic
images and won"?t read a lot of typical graphic-arts file formats
like Quark and InDesign (but it"?s not really designed for that).


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