I'm dealing with a huge variety of image files (photos, vectors, icons, cliparts, etc.).

I've organized them in folders and subfolders, in order to find theproper sort of image, but I don't find a good way to quickly get what I need.

I've tried following solutions:

  • iPhoto
  • Picasa
  • Adobe Bridges
  • ACDSee

All of them have some kind of issue that I will resume here:

  • Unable to show all sort of iles (e.g.: if ti shows pictures, it doesn't show vector images, like .ai files)
  • Unable to handle a library (only browsing through the filesystem)
  • Unable to retrieve metadata (and therefore take advantage of an hypothetical search engine)
  • Unable to handle separated libraries (iPhoto and Picasa creates a single library, mixed with all images: personal and for work can't be spearated, unless using tags or folders)
  • Unable to display a single stream images (filtered or not filtered): they only shows the current folder/album files

I know that probably Lightroom and other (expensive) products would solve my problem, but they are meant for more than that. Instead, I just want to find a media library that only makes my life easier when looking for an image.

I've found a couple of questions here in that makes similar questions, but none of them really matches my needs (and anyway, the answer's always iPhoto, Picasa or some adobe products).

By the way, I've tried with Adobe Bridges because I have a free Adobe Elements license (so, no Lightroom).

  • 1
    Pressing the option/alt key when launching iPhoto gives you the option to open and create more than one library. Not sure if that's your only issue with the program.
    – XQYZ
    Oct 18, 2011 at 17:03
  • Thank you XQYZ: I didn't know that. However, another problem with iPhoto is that the library contains a copy of imported items: I've always found this behavior quite useless and space wasting. In this specific case, is an actual issue. Oct 18, 2011 at 21:37
  • Oh, wait a minute: I didn't know there was an option to disable copying of files in the library when importing. I'll take a look to it and I will update this question later. Until then, thank you again. Oct 18, 2011 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


Well, you could try some sort of "anything bucket" like DevonThink or Yojimbo, as those should be pretty capable of handling the search and metadata parts, but I think those might be tad bit overkill if you only want to use it for images.

I am not sure how powerful the image managing part is, as I mostly use the conversion and editing tools, but GraphicConverter has some image managing parts built into it and might be worth a try:


As I said, it mostly is a conversion and light editing tool, but since it is an old-school shareware program, you can try it out for free to see if it suits your taste. In that case, I would recommend trying out both version 6 and 7, as 7 was a complete rewrite and as far as I know has not yet full feature parity with the older version.

  • Hi Boman. Quite an interesting (and huge) piece of software! It doesn't do what I need, but it does a lot of useful stuff. The catalog on file is quite handy, but it takes ages to be built (at least, with my graphic library). Nov 10, 2011 at 20:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .