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Jim Keirs Alamy Plugin for Lightroom

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He has updated the plugin to get over the server error. 

 

BTW - I got a reply to my support ticket within 12 hours which i think is very good.

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Yeah, he responded to me, too, quite quickly, for the server error.

 

Unfortunately, Fetch Alamy Metadata doesn't work for me*. I've raised a ticket and still haven't received a response.

 

* I know it is matching as I get the correct sales data for the images but no metadata.

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Does Upload work for people?  The first upload I did it took nearly 24 hours before the upload appeared in Track Submissions and then it was another 24 hours for QC.  My second upload hasn't shown up after 24 hours.

 

Is this a problem with the plugin or FTP uploads in general?

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Does Upload work for people? 

I've found the FTP upload shows up a few minutes after the upload is done. I usually upload in the evening when I've finished other work and then get QC next morning or afternoon. What I'm saying, I suppose, is that it's much the same whichever upload I use though I prefer FTP as it seems quicker.

 

I've given up on Jim's plugin as I find unreliability is worse than no reliability at all.

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Recognition of the upload in Track Subs by whichever method takes longer than it used to. Never more than a couple of hours, though.

Filezilla is quick enough to ignore, a second or two per file. I won't be going back to the web version. Although for some reason it always has to have two attempts at connection.

Edited by spacecadet

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As others reported the plugin version 1.0.4852 had fixed the login issue but I am now getting a "500" error during the upload process.  The error appears to be inconsistently thrown as well.  First small test batch uploaded fine. Second batch failed at the last image. And this morning, the third batch failed immediately on the first image.

 

I noticed too, that the OL number in LR metadata is not consistent with Alamy's track submissions page.  The plug-in appears to not pickup the correct OL version assigned from Alamy when it logs in but instead uses a prior one.   I don't believe the OL numbering is critical to the plugin's image matching algorithm however.  If you use the OL number in LR metadata, you can change it to the correct number as the plugin does not lock that field down.  Anyone else see this?  Not sure of any adverse affects of a wrong OL number.  More probably an artifact of the larger issue with the plugin.

 

I heard back from Jim last week, but nothing since. Would be nice to get some feedback from him, perhaps on this forum.  

 

Scott

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Perhaps there was some kind of delay earlier in the week.

 

Early on Monday afternoon (Sydney time) I used the plugin to upload 7 images.  They didn't show up in Track Submissions until Tuesday morning and didn't pass QC until Wednesday morning (Sydney time)

 

On Wednesday morning I tried another 10 using the plugin but it crashed Lightroom.  I couldn't be sure if they even uploaded so uploaded the saved JPEGs using Online Upload.  They showed up in Track Submissions immediately.  The batch from the plugin didn't appear in Track Submissions until late Thursday morning. 

 

On Thursday evening I uploaded 5 images using FileZilla (after "uploading" from the plugin in .  They showed up in Track Submissions within an hour.

 

All three batches passed QC overnight (and then I had duplicates to clean up).

 

This morning (Friday) around 8 am I uploaded 3 batches of 3 images each.  The first 3 using the plugin, the next 3 using FileZilla and 3 using Online Upload.  The plugin was the quickest to do the actual upload, then FileZilla.  Online Upload failed multiple times on the last image but the first 2 were showing in Track Submissions immediately.  The 3 from the plugin and the 3 from FileZilla showed up in Track Submissions within a couple hours and as a single batch of 6 images.

 

This has got me wondering.  When I do an Online Upload I am asked if I'm finished.  It must use the answer to that question to close off the batch.  How does it know to close off an FTP uploaded batch?  Does Alamy just wait a certain amount of time and if no more images are uploaded it closes off the batch and that's when it appears in Track Submissions? I guess it could be time since the last upload or perhaps even certain times of the day (which might explain why some of mine take longer than others).

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Oh, wow.  I can't believe how crappy this plugin is. The way it is written is that it forces duplicates but then can't handle them.

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Oh, wow.  I can't believe how crappy this plugin is. The way it is written is that it forces duplicates but then can't handle them.

 

Duplicates should wind up in a separate Smart Group. I usually wind up with NEFs and TIFs so I select the NEFs, use the Plug-In to remove Alamy data, and then Fetch Alamy MetaData to match the remaining TIFs in the Duplicates Smart Group.

Edited by fotoDogue

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Oh, wow.  I can't believe how crappy this plugin is. The way it is written is that it forces duplicates but then can't handle them.

 

Duplicates should wind up in a separate Smart Group. I usually wind up with NEFs and TIFs so I select the NEFs, use the Plug-In to remove Alamy data, and then Fetch Alamy MetaData to match the remaining TIFs in the Duplicates Smart Group.

 

I have been through that already but it still messes up.

 

I have one image that was uploaded outside the plugin. The file name is DSC_7627.NEF but I uploaded it as P_biaculeatus_Mioskon1302.JPG.  I have another image that was uploaded using the plugin.  It is also DSC_7627.NEF (I have 3 Nikon cameras and over 100k images so filenames have been reused 10+ times) and was uploaded as DSC_7627.JPG.   I can get the plugin to work with the second image but when I do a fetch for the first image I always get the data for the second image.

 

Most of the "features" for getting around duplicates and/or alternatives to using the original file name are either broken or inconsistent.

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Most of my images were uploaded without the plug-in which is why I have to download metadata on a regular basis. My LR catalog contains photos from 9 different "cameras" (including iPhones and scanners) so I use a date-based filename instead of whatever number the camera assigns.

 

The plug-in will match filenames with various extensions but it needs some common info to match images with completely different filenames. Adding the Alamy Ref# to stray images might help.

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The plug-in will match filenames with various extensions but it needs some common info to match images with completely different filenames. Adding the Alamy Ref# to stray images might help.

Yes, adding the Alamy Ref has helped with all my old images until I uploaded a new image with the plugin that had the same file name as my old image.  The problem is not the extension but the base file name.

 

There doesn't seem to be a setting that says "completely ignore the file name and use other settings".

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Hmmm

 

I don't have any duplicates... Been using the plug-in and lightroom for years..

 

May I suggest that you adopt a workflow that involves renaming the files as you import them from the memory card.. I use Photomechanic but LR can also do this so all my files have the date added to the front of its filename upon import. i.e. DSC_7627.NEF becomes 2016_01_20_DSC_7627.NEF ... That way you never have any duplicate names in the library. 

 

Next, I use FTP to upload to Alamy.. upon export I add ALA_ to the filename so I upload a file called ALA_2016_01_20_DSC_7627.JPG.

 

The plugin can deal with this and matches the uploaded image to the correct NEF in the library.

Edited by Julie Edwards

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Yeah... I'm not going to rename >100k files and deal with the mess that creates for my library and backups just to work around the short-sightedness of an expensive plugin that has other problems (like no support).

 

Note that I already have a system that allows for duplicate file names in my library and this is the first time in the 8 years I have been using Lightroom that I've had a problem with duplicates.

 

Sorry... I didn't mean for that to sound harsh.  I'm frustrated by this plugin.  It could be so good and so useful but it is let down by short-sightedness.  It appears to be something Jim wrote for himself and his workflow and then tried to make money on it.

Edited by ATJ

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The fault is not the plug in... You do have a basic problem in your workflow... Identical file names for differing images are a really bad idea, most DAM experts would agree and I could outline a number of scenarios where you could come a cropper - I'm glad you have not so far :-)

 

Batch renaming in LR is very easy and keeps all the data links... Try it in a single folder...

 

However it is up to you... :-)

Edited by Julie Edwards
  • Upvote 5

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Have to agree with Julie, the problem is not the plugin, it works as designed.  My workflow is almost identical to what she described, the whole point being to never have any duplicate file names in the database.  If the plugin does not work with your workflow and you are not interested in changing it then it is not for you.  If you want to use it then you are going to need to make adjustments and only you can decide if doing that is worth it, to you.

 

I honestly would not upload to Alamy without the plugin, it makes my workflow so much easier.  But obviously it is not for everyone.

  • Upvote 2

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Please outline some scenarios.  It is a huge amount of work to make the change - not just Lightroom - so I'd have to know it is worth it.

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Please outline some scenarios.  It is a huge amount of work to make the change - not just Lightroom - so I'd have to know it is worth it.

 

Google is your friend . . .

 

dd

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Please outline some scenarios.  It is a huge amount of work to make the change - not just Lightroom - so I'd have to know it is worth it.

 

Google is your friend . . .

 

dd

 

Not in this case.  I searched and could not find any examples which showed that the way I'm doing it is a problem.  In fact, I found many examples of similar schemes to mine.

 

I should point out that my workflow already places each file in a directory at least for year and month and all my diving photos (which is 90% of my photos) in a folder per dive.  When I export I never export using the original file name.

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Have to agree with Julie, the problem is not the plugin, it works as designed.  My workflow is almost identical to what she described, the whole point being to never have any duplicate file names in the database.  If the plugin does not work with your workflow and you are not interested in changing it then it is not for you.  If you want to use it then you are going to need to make adjustments and only you can decide if doing that is worth it, to you.

 

I honestly would not upload to Alamy without the plugin, it makes my workflow so much easier.  But obviously it is not for everyone.

It is not that I'm not interested but I have to weigh up the effort to the benefit.  I can see a lot of value in the plugin but I have already found some problems (other than the file names) so I don't want to do the rename thing (and break other parts of my workflow - note there are many different ways to do things other than the way you do it) and then not use the plugin anyway. 

 

My biggest fear is the lack of support.  Still no response in over 10 days for 2 tickets I opened - and he hasn't closed the original ticket from the login problem so I suspect a lack of interest.  The plugin could just stop working one day.

 

Now... if there is other value to me and my workflow to renaming the original files then it may be worth doing it regardless of the plugin.

Edited by ATJ

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There are indeed many different ways of doing things, and I would never say that my way or anyone else's is better or worse, just different. 

 

First here is how I organize: Each day's shoot is in a separate folder that looks like this "2016-01-21" and each year is in it's own folder.  So "2016/2016-01-21".  And each file is renamed on upload to a unique file name.  I use "2016.01.21@16.54.34.xxxx.dng"   which is yyyy.mm.dd@hh.mm.ss.(camera file number).dng.  Lightroom does the renaming and creation of folders as required, all I need do is click import.  However, I have used this naming convention from well before Lightroom, I used a little program called "Stamp 2.8" (I think) at first before Lightroom.  I am sure you have a system that works for you and that is fine.  The only problem at this point is that it seems you have duplicate file names with your system.

 

Second, the duplicate file names are IMHO a bad thing, but your system seems to work with that with no issues so up to now we are fine.  The plugin however causes problems because it is looking through and trying to match file names in the Lightroom database to the names you uploaded to Alamy.  So it seems to me you have to choose whether to change your naming system or not use the plugin.  Certainly Alamy has their web based system of uploading and keywording and it works fine.  Many, maybe most Alamy contributors use it.  If I had 100k files that needed renamed I am not sure what I would do.  The plugin is useful, but is it worth the time and effort of changing your system to allow it to work?  I don't know.

 

Third, if you do want to change your naming to be unique you should do that within Lightroom. If you select the files you want to rename, then click "Library<rename photo" in Lightroom it will bring up the rename dialog.  Open that and select "edit.." or custom settings, not sure which.  Then create a custom setting how you want your file names to be when done.  I would suggest largely keeping the names as you are used to but include the date or some other method to make sure all results will be unique.  Test this carefully on small batches of test files first.  Once you are POSITIVE your rename works you could select "all photos" and let it run.  I would probably run it in small batches even after testing but YMMV.

 

Fourth, after you have renamed all your files you need to take that same custom rename you made and add it to your import dialog so going forward all newly ingested files have the same name format and are unique.

 

I am not sure what other issues you found but be aware there are a lot of options and settings with this plugin.  And to be honest the terminology and descriptions of those options are not always clear.  So if you are having an issue describe it, it just might be a setting wrong, or something that does not work the way the description leads you to think it does.

 

As to lack of support, you have a valid concern.  I do not know Jim but I have used the plugin for a number of years.  During that time I have had support tickets answered in minutes and long emails from him explaining things.  I have also had support ticket waits of months and gave up thinking he had abandoned the project only to get an email with a fix.  So support is haphazard and I do not know why.  Putting your trust and a lot of time & work behind something when it might go away is worrisome.  For me the benefit outweigh the concerns.  I cannot answer that for you.

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