Media Pro 1, anyone?
#2. "RE: Media Pro 1, anyone? " | In response to Reply # 1
steveZ Nikonian since 08th Apr 2007Sat 10-Sep-11 04:45 PM
I have been messing around with this on trial.
I really like how it tries to do what it is supposed to do.
I had significant problems, and many have. Phase One
does not appear serious about their software in the way
we are used to from adobe. Anyway, after not even
having the program work at all, now it is smooth sailing.
This, since going to Apple Lion, which has not even been
tested by Phase One. I'm thinking there is some deep
level system conflicts with who-knows-what-else software
that chews up the program, but I'm no expert. It's just that
on a new system, the software worked as advertised.
Isn't this how microsoft products behave?
Media Pro is a legacy Microsof product.
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#3. "RE: Media Pro 1, anyone? " | In response to Reply # 0
I REALLY wanted Media Pro 1 to work for me. I've been looking into it since Mike Hagen told me about it at the last ANPAT in Olympic National Park. I saw his recent write up and the 30% discount for Nikonians. I installed the trial and started loading my images. I have never had a program stop working so many times. I am running Windows 7. It looks like a great program, but the database would get corrupted, the program would stop,etc.
So, I made a commitment to learn to use my Light Room 3 software.
Maybe, Media Pro 1 will get their act together, but it is not ready for release at this time.
Victor Chelf (vchelf)
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#5. "RE: Media Pro 1, anyone? " | In response to Reply # 3
C_F Nikonian since 09th Jan 2008Mon 12-Sep-11 03:09 AM
Macbook pro with Lion installed user here...
Just purchased the program with the ongoing special rebate. Tried it with about 2k pictures and must say I am impressed so far with its performance. The main thing for me is the lack of a users manual (other than the help & the online tutorials). It is not intuitive in many ways but currently as close to Imatch as I can get on a Mac. The ability to have multiple catalogs open at the same time and then merge them is helping a lot to get a grip on my 'organizational mess' in manageable chunks. I like the small 'footprint' of the catalog files compared to Aperture library files. Also the ability to do a lot of housekeeping chores without having to have the actual image files accessible is very nice.
Ready for 'prime time' ? As an amateur photographer I'd have to say, I don't know - for my personal use l think I'll be happy to manage my current 35+ k pictures and actually find specific photos as needed in a reasanable time.
DAM is a very personal matter and in my case I think I found a good tool to do it with.
Don't dream your life - live your dream
#6. "RE: Media Pro 1, anyone? " | In response to Reply # 5
NewSpirit Registered since 05th Sep 2011Tue 11-Oct-11 12:17 AM
I bought Media Pro 1 with the Nikonians 30 % discount following using Media Pro as a trial and reading Mike Hagen's review. (I'm using a pc running Windows XP SR3)
Once I tried putting it through its paces and loaded more files to make full catalogues, it was very slow and kept crashing. There are lots of issues in relation to its use for exporting files for efficient work flow.
The Media Pro forum is rife with these a number of the issues and there is no proper manual. Many sugggestions in relation to a 'wish list' have been made and the attempt by Phase One to request user feedback appears to be a sham. Do they really care about their Media Pro users?
Although the concept and execution of this program when used on a small number of files seems good, when you spend the time loading in substantial numbers of files (5K+), the program does not work and there is no proper support from Phase One.
I am not going to waste any more of my time or money on this package in its current incarnation.
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#7. "RE: Media Pro 1, anyone? " | In response to Reply # 0
I've been using this tool on and off since it was first delivered by iView. I gave up on it during the Microsoft Expression Media days and came back when Phase One delivered it. I should say that I'm using it on a 64-bit iMac with OS X 10.6.8. I'm using Media Pro 220.127.116.11536 and Capture One 18.104.22.168979.
I found the initial version from Phase One to be somewhat buggy. It crashed with some of my larger catalogues or creating new large catalogues; by which I mean north of 30k images. Within a month or so, Phase One brought out a maintenance release that, at least on my system, seems to have cured those problems. Since then, I haven't had a crash.
This led me to also adopt the use of Capture One, since that's clearly where Phase One was going in trying to add a DAM for their flagship RAW converter. Frankly, having been become used to the more integrated approach of image management and RAW conversion in LR3, it took me a while to grok the workflow concept that Phase One had come up with. Once I did that, it's been clear sailing for me.
As to the documentation, Phase One has built-in manuals for both Media Pro and Capture One, which are not great but OK. Far better are the video tutorials, which are accessible both on their web site and on YouTube. These are very well done, IMHO.
As to Media Pro features, there's support for
- cataloguing almost any kind of image or video file, including PNG (note to LR users)
- opening files including NEFs with any external editor on your system
- hierarchical keywording
- metadata for persons and places
- intuitive methods for complex search terms
- multiple catalogues open at once
- search and display even when original images are off-line
- integration with a Capture One session-based workflow
- support for huge catalogues
- original NEFs (or other files) are not pulled into the database
- automatic synchronization for watched folders
- support for "catalog sets" based on criteria such as clients, client jobs, keywords, etc.
I use a lot of texture and graphics files, frequently in PNG format. One of my favorite features about Media Pro is that I can have a catalogue of this material (again note LR3 users) *and* a catalogue of image files at the same time. I can then browse and select PNGs to open in Photoshop as well as processed image TIFFs or PSDs to which I want to add textures or graphics. LR3 doesn't support PNG or multiple catalogues simultaneously. I can use distinct keywording and cataloguing models for textures and graphics than I do for images and photo sessions in a natural way.
For some bad news... Phase One has hobbled integration with a Capture NX2 workflow, which was one of the reasons why I started with it back in the day. I liked NX2 and used it for a long time, together with iView MediaPro. The original product allowed you to specify almost any RAW converter on your system for images. Now you can only choose (on the Mac) the built-in Apple version or the Capture One version. This means that Media Pro no longer is a great choice for an NX2-based workflow. This is at least true in the sense that the images you see inside Media Pro would not reflect edits done in NX2 or ACR.
Similarly, one has to be careful about viewing Photoshop files (do a layer merge in order to get a proper view or be prepared to see a pale yellow for transparency on the top layer). Media Pro does not export its metadata to the original file's sidecar by default, unless you make it do so. It keeps this information internally; so if you do updates, you must remember to synchronize your changes out. Once you grok the notion of a catalog as distinct from directly operatiing on the original files, this makes some sense. It is very different than LR3 or Aperture though. You are not operating on the files, you are working in a database about the files.
This is perhaps the most basic concept to grasp, unlike LR3 or Aperture or whatever. The Media Pro DB is a very distinct structure from the original files on disk. Information from the Media Pro DB can be pushed back out to sidecar files as and when you want that to be integrated with the originals. Likewise, if you make ranking changes, for example, in an external editor, you can easily import these back into the catalogue. This mode of operation allows you to work within a catalogue without having to have the originals with you. The catalogue builds thumbnails and medium-sized images from the originals for you to work with. This also means that you can, say, do searches on photo shoots that you've archived years ago, identify images using DB search tools, and retrieve an old image from archives for subsequent work as and when necessary. This can save a significant amount of disk space.
What took me a while to grok, vis a vis Capture One and Media Pro, was the notion of importing my original files into a Capture One session first, sorting, ranking, and developing them in C1, then and only then pushing the resulting file structure over to Media Pro. C1 has a menu item for this operation.
In summary, I'd recommend Media Pro to anyone using Capture One. I'd also recommend Capture One to anyone using ACR or NX2 as well. For an NX2-based user, Media Pro probably isn't going to take you to a happy place right now. I had been very happy with NX2 (versus ACR) for a long time, based on color conversion and lens issues (distortion and chromatic aberration). I became comfortable with using LR3 since it was a better DAM than anything associated with NX2, and I'd adopted the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport system to improve color conversion with ACR. That still left me with having to escape LR3 and go back to NX2 for any image that had lens issues. Adobe just hasn't delivered lens profiles for many of the lenses I use.
In Capture One Pro, I have been more than surprised and pleased by its support for my Nikon lenses; not in terms of having built-in profiles, but rather its automated correction for distortion, flare, and CA just by clicking an "analyze" button. Likewise, its builtin profiles for my D700 are so good that they are, IMHO, better than the calibrated profiles that I was doing with my X-Rite. Likewise, its white balance seems better than anything I've found in ACR. For example, I had struggled with a photo shoot I'd done last summer for a client family. I had done some shots in studio and others outside in sunlight and open shade. The gentlemen were all wearing white shirts and jeans. One of the ladies had a off-white blouse. The gentlemen's shirts were somewhat bluish, presumably because of whiteners in the laundry process. The lady's blouse was somewhat warm. Getting accurate white balance across all three photography settings was critical since the prints were to hang together. In ACR, even with using the X-Rite system in all three settings, I could not get uniform white balance, especially in the open shade setting, without going into LAB in Photoshop after the fact. With Capture One, this was as easy as grabbing white balance off the X-Rite Card and pasting it into the appropriate images from the shoot. C1 just got it right coming out of the blocks. I was completing this work just as I was beginning to use C1. It saved a ton of time on this client's job; and I haven't looked back.
Now, I understand that the whole Capture One fan boy material is a digression from comments about Media One. However, I think that it's a natural one. The question was, is Media Pro ready for prime time. My answer is "yes" but with qualifications about what kind of workflow you use. If you want to integrate Media Pro in a workflow where Capture One is your RAW converter, then my yes is unqualified. If you're using NX2 or ACR, as most folks would be, you're probably better off sticking with PhotoMechanic or LR3. Having said that, it would be remiss of me not to mention where C1 shines as a converter relative to NX2 or ACR. So, this is more of a package deal as far as workflow is concerned.
That package, Media Pro and C1 Pro together, is not inexpensive. You can get trial versions, though the C1 trial is *not* the Pro version. The basic version does not have the lens features, skin tone correction, keystone correction, sessions, and other advanced goodies that I think are really important for pro use. So, the trial version is kind of hobbled (dumb for Phase One to do really). Still it would give you an idea of how the two work together. To a newbie using then, let me emphasize again that you want to begin with importing images into a C1 session, and you don't get this model in the C1 trial version. Again, dumb for Phase One to hobble their trial versions in this manner. Really dumb. It kills off the best feature (IMHO) of the integration of the two products. So, bear that in mind if you're doing an evaluation. Look at some of their video tutorials on workflow to see how this should work.
One last point. A respondent here mentioned poor performance on an XP SP3 system. I can't speak to how well Media Pro would work in that environment. On my system, I've got 64-bit support in h/w, OS, and app, which likely goes a long way towards performance for a product like this. That's also worth considering in any evaluation. I have also not run this under Lion. I am pretty conservative about taking the OS upgrades from Apple as many apps I'm using still aren't ready for OS 10.7. I believe that Phase One is saying that C1 and Media Pro are Lion-ready now; but I can't speak to that. Roaringapps.com agrees, for whatever that's worth. Oh, and I've got no connection with Phase One in any way.
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#8. "RE: Media Pro 1, anyone? " | In response to Reply # 0
I am a current user and am happy using Media One finally. Yes the combination of keyword, metadata and find capabilities is tremendous. I was already committed when iView went to the bad place. I postponed shifting and finally I am glad I did. It is taking Phase One a long time to absorb, repair the damage and lash up its own tools. This is understandable if a bit frustrating. In a Nikon software workflow with significant number of files it can be an effective tool. What follows is a long post but perhaps it will help Nikonians use and sustain their Catalogs as we wait for more progress in viewing NEF files in Media Pro
An iView Media user since 2003, now with the latest 1.1 upgrade to Media Pro I think I have found a workflow I can live with again. It enables me to keep my Catalog with NEFs, see the edited thumbs and use Capture NX2 as my main editor, (although I use Capture One to edit my iPhone photos, as well as Photoshop when needed).
My working catalog requirement is, that the Thumbnail must represent the edited version of the file after editing in NX2. This has not been available in this tool for a long while now. Although as another poster stated NEF files in unedited state have been viewable this doesnt meet the requirement to see the edited file thumbnail. Now this is doable again, not perfect but workable.
A couple of setup steps are necessary to make this work. Now the Phase One RAW rendering engine works with NEFs on my MBP in OSX.
--> First thing , Open Preferences
--> under Media Rendering set rendering engine to Phase One
-->> select the use embedded preview if available checkbox. This enables Media Pro to use the embedded jpeg in the NEF file which is updated by NX2 when the file is saved including the edits, the crop, etc. which to me is important.
--> There is a trick to make this thumbnail register in the catalog.
--> After editing you have to Replace the thumbnail after revision. The rebuild command doesn't work on NEF Thumbnails (don't know why)
-->> after editing and closing the file in the editor return to Media Pro and delete the
thumbnail in the catalog
-->> then I use the Update Folder Now command restoring the thumb back to the catalog, sourced from the edited NEF file. Cool!
This enables the catalog to reflect my B&W conversions for instance, done in NX2. I also save my edited file as a JPEG, placed in the folder (sometimes with altered name) or replace the original jpeg using the 'save as' command in NX2. The replaced JPEG of the same name will be rebuilt if you choose to rebuild thumbnails.
Back in business, finally a workable catalog of all my online images. So now I have stabilized my workflow once more using Transfer NX, View NX2, Media One Pro 1.1, Capture NX2 with Photoshop and Camera One Express 6 when needed.
Here is my basic workflow.
--> load my raw + jpeg shots to disk through Transfer; use it to create folder and rename files, introduce minimum metadata, once transfer is complete
--> use View NX2, for initial selection, rating, & add some more metadata, and GPS data.
So far an all NEF workflow.
--> shift to Media One, update this years file folder, add new subfolder /contents to the catalog.
--> select the file organize panel, also Command Click the Catalog Field file type JPEG resulting in showing only JPEG file Thumbnails
--> use the Find 'Show Label' command (stars work too but I use labels first) to further narrow the Thumbs for final evaluation on screen is now a subset, but not the final selects.
--> next use the Light Table (w/magnifier, histogram, exposure warning to review these JPEGS and rate for final selects. leave Light table back to catalog
--> after this process, I deselect the JPEG File Type to see the NEFs next to the JPEGs then revise the ratings of the NEFs to match.
--> Once this process is complete I write the annotations back to the original file through the Action: Sync annotations command.
This leaves processing the NEF to support its use or correction then final metadata/keywording on each file for tracking, finding and handling my digital negatives (NEFs) and output/prints (jpegs)
--> this is where the thumbnail update technique kicks in as described earlier.
From that point, it's about use of the data and Media Pro works for conversions, and assembly of output files, and other maintenance and organizational tasks.
Hope this helps folks with the tool. Yes it did crash at times, but Phase One has done a good job stomping bugs introduced during the dark times. The tool currently holds my catalog of about 30,000 unique images, which, with both raw and jpeg versions, image backups, plus assorted tiffs and psd files comes to about 130,000+ images resident on multiple disks looking across the system. Also the sound files from my camera and movie files from our P&S. The catalog is now about 3.2GB. I do not use Windows, nor have I tried NAS Storage in my catalogs, but this tool works very well for me now, and I continue to use it as my DAM software in conjunction with Mac OSX spotlight capabilities.
YMMV, hope this helps answer some of the questions brought up in this thread.
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