Requirements for Ultimate Photo Management Tool

What is the requirements for the ultimate photo management tool? I have tried Digikam, Flickr, Picassa, FSpot and lots of other tools. Some are better than others, but none are the ultimate tool.

So far Digikam comes closest (and I already have 10000+ photos there, so it is hard to change), but I find my self lacking important features. One of the features I use extensively is tagging. And the tagging system in Digikam is more or less my biggest problem with the program…

This post will be updated with new requirements as a I think of them.


The first step in finding the ultimate solution, must be to formulate my requirements. Requirements are not the same as wishes. These list only contain functionality that must be present. There might be other stuff that are practical, like Flickr integration, but it is not really a requirement.

System features

  • Windows and Linux compatible
  • Central image repository – images should be stored centrally, so I can get access to them on all my computers. Not necessarily from the Internet, but at least when I’m home. I don’t want to move images around on USB disks or similar.
  • Repository version control – When I edit an image, I want to keep the original. So when I do color correction, I want to see the edited image in my gallery, and know that I still have the original.
  • Store copies locally on machines – I want to be able to transfer images to my local machine, so I can bring my laptop and show those images to offline friends and family.
  • Synchronize changes back in repository – If I work on those images, I want the changes to go back into the repository. If somebody else changed the image in the repository, I want those changes transferred to my local copy.

Image meta-data

  • Tagging – Add tags to images with information. Tags are typed as free text, not selected from a list. Previous tags are suggested.
  • Geo-information – Store coordinates of where the image was taken (or just some other coordinates).
  • Descriptions – Text describing the image.
  • Rating – I want to assign ratings to images. Images must be shown specifically as non-rated, until I assign them a rating from 0-?

Image sorting / viewing

  • Categories – Images can be assigned one or more categories. Like vacation, diving etc. This is more or less specialized tagging.
  • Albums – Albums can shown group as albums.
  • Sub-albums – Albums can have sub-albums.
  • Filters – Views can be filtered by tags, date, album, category and rating.

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