Firstly, kudos for having a well organized and structured site, and a well-setup forum - I feel like I can actually take PhotoStructure seriously and have confidence you are developing it as a real product, not just a tech demo - I mention this because there are a lot of tools thrown out with a github page that disappear 6 months later - that is not the case here!
I’m using a windows setup with multiple PCs and a NAS (Synology) and I’m looking for something to browse my library of processed JPGs. The RAWs all live separately in a Lightroom catalog, and that’s how I want to keep it - I used to use Picassa while Google supported it, and since have tried a bunch of different tools, but they all have one issue or other - generally with poor metadata support for lightroom export files or an awful UI, or both. Plus I want to move to a network model where the photos are on the Synology and everything runs off that or a windows “server” and I can access it from whatever device I want. So PhotoStructure is a really good fit.
Some general feedback:
- I personally don’t like trials that require a credit card. I don’t blame you for doing it this way, I know it makes commercial sense, but I make my purchase decisions before I hand over payment details, so this is based on trialing the free product. Trying to work out what I’m missing leads me to:
- It seems like person tags should be a premium feature? At least, “Face Tag Extraction” is listed as Premium on the plan page, and there is no “Who” in the menu, but because Lightroom generates tags for people, if I open a picture with a person in it, click on the tag, I am taken to the Who / [Person] Filter, and I can click on Who to get to the page with all the People listed. I’m not sure I should be able to do this
- “Back” vs “Up”. The “Back” arrow on the navigation bar is a bit confusing, not because it doesn’t do what it says it does, but because I expect it to act as an “Up” arrow and take me up to a parent category. This might just be me, but I feel like there should either be an “Up” or a “Home” icon, or something so that I don’t need to open the menu to go to the top level view.
- Lens filter doesn’t seem to work for me, but I’m not sure if this is because my metadata is non-standard. It shows Apple “lenses” (front vs back camera) but not Sony lenses on an ILC. They show up correctly in Lightroom, but I’m not sure if this is a bug or something that isn’t right with my metadata, I only have a small sample set of photos on my laptop to test with and they’re all taken with a Sony or a phone, so I can’t compare other manufacturers. I’ve had issues with lens tags before, and now I create a keyword for each lens to avoid needing to use the auto generated metadata.
- Finding the port number for accessing PhotoStructure from a browser took a bit of clicking through the documentation on the site - I suggest you might want to create an FAQ entry about browser access. But generally your documentation is still way ahead of most one man / small team projects!
I have a few feature requests but I’ll put those in separately so you can judge if they’re important or not.
Generally I’m happy I found PhotoStructure, seems like I finally have a replacement for picassa…