I am continuing my quest for a cheap image organizer software. What I am looking for is pretty simple: I want the ability to create keywords and organize them into categories so I can apply them to my pictures in a somewhat orderly fashion. Then, I also want the ability to save my keywords to IPTC/XMP tags into my image files so that my keywords become portable. This time I am looking at ACDSee.
The ACDSee product family
ACDSee comes essentially in two flavors: the ACDSee Photo Manager and the ACDSee Pro. The first question was: what’s the difference? Photo Manager sells for about $70 on the company website ( Get the best price on ACDSee Photo Manager here). That is very cheap and sounded very interesting and appealing. So, I decided to give it a try.
As a side note I have noticed that the Pro version which sells for around $150 from the company website (Get the best price on ACDSee Pro here). This price is not bad compared with Adobe Lightroom which sells for $149, but I’m still looking for some program that sells around $50.
ACDSee Photo Manager – the cheap version.
Photo Credit: ACDSee.com
The install was very easy and the user interface was easy to use. No problems here. It took a while to create my database and thumbnails, but then it was pretty fast. Again, no problems here either.
The problems started when I wanted to accomplish my goal. Again, my goal was to be able to organize my keywords and be able to save them to IPTC/XMP fields into my image files. That’s when I started running into problems. In Photo Manager version 10 I quickly realized that there is no such feature. In the current version 12, it looks like they have added this feature.
To See or not to See
ACDSee Photo Manager version 10 does not have the ability to save keywords to IPTC/XMP fields into your image files. You must purchase ACDSee Pro if keywords portability is important to you.
The bottom line is that you have to buy ACDSee Pro in order to save your keywords to IPTC/XMP fields into your image files. If you stick with the cheap Photo Manager version your keywords will only stay in your software and will not be written into your image files. So, no keywords portability with the cheap version.
Overall ACDSee Pro is a great program for managing your photos but still a little pricey for what I’m looking for. I would like to buy it if it were cheaper because I like its features and its user interface. It is intuitive, easy to install and easy to use. Sounds like a marketing line doesn’t it? Well…it does but it’s not…I just liked playing with the trial version software.
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I recommend using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC via the annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Lightroom has excellent photo editing capabilities. Yes, Lightroom has a steeper learning curve as you have to learn to keep your catalogs in sync with your hard drive. However, Adobe Lightroom makes most sense especially when you do lots of image editing.
If you don't like the subscription, you can get also download the last standalone Adobe Lightroom 6 for Mac or Windows (while it is still available). However, the product is no longer maintained by Adobe.
Excellent Lightroom and Picasa alternative. If you're looking for a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac or ACDSee Pro for Windows is my preferred solution for organizing your media on your computer. It has a very fast browser, beautiful image editing capabilities and you don't work with catalogs at all.
In addition, make sure you have an inexpensive and reliable external hard drive for backing everything up. It is absolutely essential for backing up your media regularly.
If you're looking for a reliable unlimited cloud backup service, I recommend Backblaze Cloud Backup. I have used Backblaze for my online backup for more than 3 years now. All my files are safe and secure and I have never had any problems with them.