How I Got to Lightroom

My first photo database (image management system) was suggested to me years ago by Dr. Richard Soley, President of the Object Management Group (OMG). Thanks Richard!

I liked many things about ThumbsPlus and I eventually catalogued every image I had ever taken in a database.

But in late 2008 I was approaching the maximum size of database that ThumbsPlus could support using the Mictosoft Access database engine. I also felt that ThumbsPlus was falling behind its competitors in many features. Version 7 doesn’t even let you rate pictures (give them star rankings, 1-4 is typical).

The makers, Cerious Software, had been promising a new version for many months but the early beta I downloaded was underwhelming. Even today Thumbs Plus 8 has not been released – they are at Beta 4. I suspect that Cerious have some serious internal problems (pun not intended).

I really liked ThumbsPlus.

Initially I tried ACDSee Pro but I am sorry to say it was a disaster for me. It was unreliable and had some very annoying and productivity destroying usability issues. I could live with the latter but when the database kept on crashing it was unacceptable.

In the 1980s we accepted software like that because we had little choice. Now it is 2009 and users have higher expectations. I was sad because I wanted to support a smaller company. I was not alone in my frustration. The support web site was full of irate users and all the support folks could do was offer weak solutions. I tried engaging with them but got nowhere. Finally in March 2009 I sent them an ‘I Give Up” message and deleted the software.

Incidentally it wasn’t only the ACDSee software that was dynfunctional. Their web store was so bad that it let me purchase the software and gave me an activation key but didn’t charge my credit card. What a company!

I have saved screenshots of some of the things that annoyed me most about ACDSee Pro. I tried sending a few with my suggestions to the company but I got no response.

Another Bangkok based photographer, Kurt Heck suggested I try Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. I tried the 1.0 release a couple of years ago. I liked it but it didn’t offer me sufficient advantage over Thumbs Plus to make me switch. I heard good things about verion 2 so I decided to try it again.

That was in March and three months later I don’t have any regrets. There are many things I’d like to see improved or changed but I am impressed. Still, in some ways I miss ThumbsPlus and wish Cerious Software had been able to keep up with the times.

I liked some of the features in ACDSee, for example its calendar views, but I cannot spend more time dealing with software bugs than I do working on my photography. Those days are long gone!

ACDSee Pro 2.5 Error

ACDSee Pro 2.5 Error

4 Responses to “How I Got to Lightroom”

  1. “Old” Bangkok Pictures « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] scanned all my photographs in about 2002 so I have them all on my Seagate USB drive, indexed with Thumbs Plus. In those days film was expensive to me so I didn’t take as many vehicle photos as I would […]

  2. I’m a Google Wave Previewer « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] blog. I consciously sought out a smaller competitor with a good reputation: WordPress. Unlike with ACDSee Pro I have not regretted […]

  3. ThumbsPlus 8 Available at Last « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] and I moved to Lightroom 2. I talked about my migration path in one of my first posts on this blog here and discussed my reasons for abandoning ACDSee Pro […]

  4. Two “Must Reads” for New Lightroom Users « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] I wish I’d read them before I plunged into Lightroom from ThumbsPlus and ACDSee […]

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