Adding images to Peakto for Efficient Photo Management

1.3 Adding images to Peakto

1. Adding images to Peakto

You can add 2 types of content to Peakto:

  1. Files inside folders
  2. Catalogs of one of the supported types (Aperture, Lightroom, CaptureOne Pro, iView Media, all flavours of Luminar)

1.1. Adding folders:

Simply drag any folder from the Finder to the Peakto user interface or alternatively, choose File ➜ Attach Folders… from the File Menu. You can also use the global “+” button at the bottom of the interface to reveal the Add menu and choose “Attach Folders…”.

                                                                                                         The global “Add” dialog

1.2. Adding catalogs

If you know the location of your catalogs, you can simply drag the catalog file into the Peakto user interface. It works for :

  1. Apple Photos libraries
  2. Lightroom .lrcat catalog files
  3. Capture One Pro .cocatalog catalog files
  4. Capture One Pro .cosessiondb session files
  5. Luminar catalog files 
  6. iView Media Pro .ivc catalog files
  7. Etc…

Alternatively you can choose File ➜ Attach Catalogs… from the File Menu or use the global “+” button at the bottom of the interface to reveal the Add menu and choose “Attach Catalogs…” item. Both actions will reveal the catalog browser that will scan all your attached drives for catalogs.

The catalog browser

From the Catalog Browser you can select any detected catalog from the list on the left and attach it to Peakto

1.3. Validating catalogs

Before attaching a catalog, Peakto will perform some tests on the content to detect possible issues such as missing image volumes, catalog version incompatibilities. All issues are displayed in the Preflight dialog. You should take a moment to read about the detected issues and decide whether it is OK to proceed or whether you should perform some actions before Peakto tries to suggest some possible actions.

The preflight dialog 

1.4. Viewing all the sources

Once ingested, all sources appear in the sidebar and are grouped by type.
Next to the source name, Peakto will display some status icons (see below) indicating:
  1. if the source is online / offline
  2. If the source requires synchronisation
  3. If the source is open

Many commands can be accessed from the source’s contextual menu 

The sources in the sidebar (left). The contextual menu (right) that gives
access to many possible actions on the source.

1.5. Understanding the ingestion process
When a source of images (folders or catalogs) is ingested in Peakto the following happens behind the scenes:
  1. The source is fully read and the metadata of all images is retrieved. This includes metadata that is embedded in the image files, or metadata present in sidecars (XMP,…)
  2. The source organisational structure is fully read. This includes folder hierarchy for folders, and full catalog structure (albums, folders, projects, …) for catalogs.
  3. Some thumbnails are constructed for each version present in the catalogs or folders.
  4. The instants (see later) are resolved.

Once these tasks are finished, the source can be viewed, searched, filtered, etc…

However, another long running task is spawned that will analyse all images and run some AI-based detections in order to build all keywords, scores used by Panorama. This long running task can be cancelled and resumed at any point later on.

1.6. The Peakto catalog

Peakto builds its own catalog with the ingested data. The design principles behind the Peakto catalog are the following:
  1. We do not create copies of the master images: when reading a catalog we do not copy any of the images. 
  2. We minimise the amount of disk space used: the thumbnails that we create are small and we rely on the ability to access higher resolution previews inside the underlying catalogs or folders on demand.
  3. We allow working with offline data: you can index catalogs or folders that are on external drives and disconnect those drives. Peakto will let you annotate, organize, search,… even if the content is offline.
  4. We try to create previews of the images that most accurately reflect the aspect of the image in the source catalog. If you ingest a Luminar catalog with heavy edits on all the images, we will try to access the previews that Luminar has generated in order to display the versions in Peakto. When such previews are not available we indicate it.

The location of the Peakto catalog is by default the Peakto folder inside your Pictures folder.

This folder can be moved to another location and Peakto will ask you to point to the new location upon restart.

You can also have multiple catalogs in multiple locations if you prefer to work this way. Peakto mimics the behaviour of the Apple Photos app when it comes to switching catalogs: 
  1. you can use the Option key pressed when launching Peakto to display a dedicated dialog allowing you to choose a catalog location or pick an existing location
  1. You can access the current location in the preferences screen and change it from there.

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