Best software for searching, collating and cataloging across drives


TPF Noob!
Jan 3, 2016
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Hi all,

Hoping I could get a few suggestions for software to collect up all the images I have and store them safely - situation is:
  • I have multiple hard drives containing numerous (3,000+ photos) in RAW, JPG, TIF formats
  • I'm looking for software that could scan/search across all the drives (I can plug them in via SATA sequentially) for images, and then help me copy them to a new external drive
  • And the software could then help display them with date or other criteria (and ideally offer some cataloging approach)
  • Essentially I've got stuff all over the place and need to find an efficient solution to helping aggregate it all and then help me catalog them (appreciate the cataloging will still be very manual)
(I did use Lightroom/Bridge at one point previously but with PC hardware failing and not having a plan to keep image databases live then things have got disorganized)

Have literally just realized Adobe Bridge is free (as far as I can tell), so that might be the best option - if it can scan drives and present all the folders that have images in them.

Many thanks for any pointers!

Irfanview can batch process to your hearts content.
I dont know how you intend to catalogue the images but you should be able to manage 3000 files just by searching the drive for the filetype and copy / paste into your new directory.
I have lots of drives and this is just the one that I keep photographs on:

I manage all my drives from Windows explorer.
Bridge is a plug-in that comes with Photoshop and several other Adobe applications.
Bridge is browser, not a database manager.
Lightroom's Library module is a database manager.
What you are describing that you want would be database management software.

You need a database management application if you want to catalog image files.
I highly recommend Phase One Media Pro. because it can access more than 1 catalog at a time.
Lightroom cannot do that, meaning that to most effectively use LR all of your photograph files should be in a single catalog.

The thing is - 3000 photos is a pretty small number of photos for a database management tool.
For file searching across drives and making a flat layout that can be then copied into another location is where I use Xplorer2 (from Zabkat) on my windows machines. I've been using either the pro or Ultimate versions for years, this program is a huge help in managing files spread all over the place. Before I had LightRoom I combined Xplorer2 with Ifranview to manage photos.

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