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Elements 2024 organiser with large number of files

New Here ,
May 02, 2024 May 02, 2024

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I am just about to upgrade from Elements 2014 to 2018. It looks great. I am a long time user of Photoshop, Elements and Premier, but not the organiser.  I am considering using the Elements 2024 organiser for my files. I currently have 373,000 images on an external hard drive with duplicate files. I also have a backup of the files on other external drives. I have every format of file on the drive including RAW files .  I use other programs such as FastStone image viewer to view and move pictures around at the moment and 'Everything' to find files. I did use Picasa back in the day and really liked the facial recognition, which organiser has. That is the feature I would find really useful. I am concerned that Elements organiser will not be able to handle such a large catalogue with duplicate files. Does elements just create a catalogue of image locations. If it physically moves the images. Then it's not for me. I also use Acronis True image for 'C drive' backup and Bitdefender anti virus. Reading through the various questions on here, my particular set-up seems to have all the 'elements' for potential  disaster. I have done things like this before and really regretted it , however the facial recognition would be very useful, so I am really tempted. My PC is more than capable, so no worries there.

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Mentor ,
May 02, 2024 May 02, 2024

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I know of no upper limit to catalogue size. 

The first time you run the facial recognition stuff (It's called "media analysis") it can take a while-- in your case I'm guessing two or three weeks of 24/7 analysis.  It took my computer (A low end i5CPU) 3 days to run the media analysis the very first time on about 125,000 images.   You then have to confirm images organizer thinks may be "dave" for example. 

Think or Organizer as an old school card catalogue in a Library:   It's a record of where the image is, it's metadetails (f stop, apature, exposure, stuff like that), and a thumbnail of that image.  It does not move images.

Organizer montiors whatever folders you tell it to look in.   If you think "Well, I will just tell Organizer to look in "C:" DON'T.  It will find every single image a program uses-- tiny little icons too.   I made that mistake the first time I ran media analysis. 

ABOUT BACKUPS:  If you use organizer, you really need to use Organizer for backups-  using other backup programs can muck things up when you go to restore from that backup:   In Photoshop Elements the way to restore an image Catalogue is from within Organizer.

If you change the locations of image directories / folders you need to do it from within Organzier.

MORE ABOUT BACKUPS:  You can backup just the catalogue (All those file cards in the library card catalogue I spoke about earlier) or the catalogue AND all the images.    

PERSONALLY:   I don't care enough to bother worrying about any of the media analysis--  it literally can suck the life out of you "Well, Sam I've got 354,976 images to analyse and run facial recognition, see you is six months" .   So you have found all 3,947 images of "uncle Dave"   now what?    

I would  only get that involved with the media analysis and facial recognition  if I have tons of time to kill.   You're the only one that really cares about your image collection-- do whatever makes you happy. 2024-05-02_044152.png



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New Here ,
May 04, 2024 May 04, 2024

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Thank you Glenn and Greg_S for the very useful answer. I have now updated to elements 2024. What confused me was the 'Import' tab where a couple of the options are 'from camera or card reader' and 'in bulk'. In the first case I would actually want to move files from the camera to the PC, but in the second case, where I may be looking at a drive with thousands of images, I wouldn't want to move the files, only index them. I think the first thing I need to do is actually learn how to use the organiser properly, so I will try the various options, but just using test import folders. It seems to have a lot of the functions I use in other programs. I would be very interested to do facial recognition. I am often looking for images of a particular person. I remember pictures I have taken years ago, but it often takes me ages to find them. What I really need is softwre with advanced AI and I can ask it to find the picture of David on his bicycle, with trees in the background. That's how I remember images. I wouldn't use organiser to back up images. I only use Acronis to back up my system drive. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question

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Community Expert ,
May 02, 2024 May 02, 2024

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Just to add to what Glenn has said, my catalog currently has more than 250,000 media files,  including every type of photo format, and many video formats.  With a catalog of this size, I am seeing some very minor slowdown in performance.  For example, when I open the Organizer, it takes about 20 seconds for the catalog to fully load.  My subjective opinion is that there are some small increments of time when performing other file management operations.

 

However, if you are interested in face recognition, I highly recommend it.  This feature gets better each year in terms of both performance and accuracy.  In the early years of face recognition, I felt that I could tag people faster doing it manually.  Now, I wouldn't think about it.   But Glenn is correct in saying that, with a catalog your size, it may take many days to complete the media analysis.  In that regard, although video face recognition does not start until after all photos have been analyzed, you may want to turn that feature off.  Video face recognition takes a very long time and you may get many hits of the same person in a single video file.  So that will add to the time it takes you to name and/or confirm the name of the face recognition stacks.   The program provides a status (in the lower right of the window) of where it is in the face recognition of your catalog.  So, you will be able to see how many photos (or videos) are being analyzed per second/minute.  This will allow you to estimate how long the process will take.  In your case, I would recommend leaving your computer on 24/7 until the task is completed.

 

In addition to face recognition, the Organizer also analyzes the content of your files and adds Smart Tags to the catalog.  This is another feature that has improved over the years and provides an excellent search tool.  In fact, I have almost eliminated manual keyword tagging from my workflow.  But of course, this analysis does take up huge computer resources and I believe is the cause of both the Organizer and the Editor becoming non-responsive while it is in operation.  Depending on your computer specs, you may want to turn off this analysis if you find that it is interfering with your work on the computer.  (You can always turn it back on when you are not using the computer.)

 

Finally, I disagree with Glenn about backups.  Although the recent update to Elements 2024 has supposedly improved backups for large catalogs, I have not found that to be true.  Admittedly, this may be a problem related to my particular catalog.  However, the Elements full backup system is woefully slow.  Yes, you should backup the catalog folder (without media) frequently.  And, yes, you can use the Organizer's backup feature to do this both automatically and manually.  But, I find it far faster to backup the catalog using other utilities, including Windows File Explorer. 

 

If you are backing up to another hard drive, I recommend first compressing the catalog folder and then copying it to the other drive before unzipping it.  This is because your catalog, once analyzed will contain hundreds of thousands of small text files.  These take an exponentially longer time to transfer to another drive than a single large zip drive.  Even taking the zipping and unzipping into account, a large amount of time will be saved.  And since you are already using Acronis (presumably for your system drive and your photos), there is really no need to use the Organizer's backup system.

 

One last word of caution that cannot be emphasized enough.  You must use Glenn's advice to only conduct media file management within the Organizer.  This means not moving, deleting or renaming any photo or video files with any other program, including the OS.

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Community Expert ,
May 04, 2024 May 04, 2024

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@Alexander37128664z82g said:  but in the second case, where I may be looking at a drive with thousands of images, I wouldn't want to move the files, only index them

Just to be clear, that's all the Organizer does is index the files stored on your computer's hard drive.  Although the Bulk Import option would be available to you, it would probably not be a good idea in your case, since it may find image files that you are not interested in importing into your catalog.  Instead, I would recommend using the Import>From Files and Folders option.  This opens a navigation pane based on your OS.  You can multi-select folders, using standard OS techniques (Shift- and/or Ctrl-Click).  Once the folders are selected, click the Get Media button.

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New Here ,
May 06, 2024 May 06, 2024

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Thanks. I think it's the terminology which confused me. Using 'IMPORT' as the top level tab, but under it has four methods of 'import'. Two of the methods actually import the files, but the other two methods Index the files and doesn't physically import the files. I would have called the top level 'File actions', then have Import and Index as sub levels.  But now I understand, it's fine 🙂

 

 

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