abeMeda Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)



Can abeMeda read catalog files from CDWinder, neoFinder or CDFinder?

or: How do I share catalog files between abeMeda and neoFinder ? How do I import my neoFinder catalog files from the Mac into abeMeda ?
The answer is quite easy, really: abeMeda and CDFinder share the same catalog file format. And this catalog file format works across plattforms as well. It's like JPEG files - you don't import them, they just work, wherever you are.
With abeMeda and CDFinder, this was a design goal from the start - it's the very basis of the cross platform cataloging system. Both programs can read, write and manipulate the catalog files, regardless of who created them or saved them last. So there's no need of importing or conversion - you just tell abeMeda where the catalog files are (e.g. choose your database folder) and work with them. (sharing catalog files over the network and/or across platforms is also described here)


How many catalog files can abeMeda manage?

Technically, the limit is near 4,000,000,000 catalogs. Every catalog file created of a volume or folder can itself contain up to 4,000,000,000 files and folders. Typical larger users have around 5000 catalog files and abeMeda deals with that easily...


What types of media can abeMeda catalog ? I read that abeMeda was once called CDWinder. Does that mean it can only catalog CDs?

abeMeda is being developed since 1998, when people were still using little square plastic boxes named "Floppy Disks" to store their data, and started out in life called CDWinder. But even the use of "CD" in its name never meant it was or is limited to just cataloging CDs.

In fact, CDWinder back then and abeMeda today can catalog anything that Windows recognizes as a disk or storage medium, be it an iPod (in that case, abeMeda will even read your hidden music library on that iPod, too!), USB stick, hard disc, server volume, FTP server, Audio-CDs, anything! Of course, any CD, DVD-ROM, HD-DVD, BlueRay - you name it, abeMeda can catalog it.

Which is the main reason why we thought of a better name - and while CDWinder could also have been renamed to DVDWinder, MusicWinder, AudioWinder, iPodWinder, USBStickWinder, or BlueRayWinder - we decided to name it abeMeda ;-)



How do I move my abeMeda database to a new PC / new location / new version ?

If you wish to move your catalog database from your existing PC to a new one, follow these instructions:

1. Install the current version of abeMeda on your new PC, and type in your license key.

2. Copy the abeMeda Database Folder from the old to the new PC. If you don't know where your Database Folder is located on your old PC, please open the abeMeda Preferences window on your old PC, and look at the "Database Folder" value. That is where abeMeda stores the catalog files, and that folder must be copied to the new PC.

3. On the new PC, once you have copied the full Database Folder to a proper location, maybe your Documents folder, simply show abeMeda where that folder is located. Again, you do that using the abeMeda Preferences.

That was all.

Please do NOT try to "Import" the catalogs, as the Import feature in abeMeda is only used for catalog files of other applications.

Also, do NOT drag the database folder into the main window of abeMeda, as that will create a catalog of that folder, and that is not what you want.



When cataloging a large drive with many photos, abeMeda sometimes takes a very long time and uses lots of resources. What about that ?


catalogSettingsHqThreshold
Well, gathering the metadata and previews for huge amounts of photo and video files takes its time - you can see what gets accumulated by looking at the catalog file size after its done.
But there are a few things to consider: If you chose to get big thumbnails, you put additional stress on your system. The larger the thumbnails, the more space they need, and that may cause problems with huge drives and eg hundreds of thousands of files on them.
Also, abeMeda uses a more elaborate method of generating thumbnails this big, because they need to look better. There's an internal threshold for this, which decides when we switch to the more costly method - per default it is at 300 px. So, a catalog with 256px thumbnails will be a lot faster than one with 320 px. If you have different needs, that threshold can also be altered, you can find how to do that in the users guide. In our latest version (6.2.1) the threshold is also visualized in the catalog settings - thumbnail sizes above the threshold are shown with a "(!)", to indicate that they will take longer.

So, keep in mind:
- Be prepared to wait longer for higher resolution thumbnails.
- Know about your thresholds and sizes and set them accordingly.
- If necessary, split up huge drives in several catalogs, to make updating and maintaining them easier and faster. You can catalog folders separately, and group folders of the same drive in a catalog folder with the drives name.


How do I rename a catalog? Or add a comment to it ?

The Inspector not only displays all information abeMeda knows about a catalog (or any other item), but only allows you to change or add additional information. You can rename an item, add a label or comment to it, or make specific adjustments. Your changes are confirmed once you leave that item and choose another one.
But you can also use the Properties dialog to make changes. Just select the catalog file or folder in the main window and chose Properties from the File menu. A window will appear that not only allows you to rename the catalog or folder, but also to enter the comment.

Also, you can just select the item you wish to rename, and click with the mouse over the name field area. Then wait a moment, and an edit area will appear, allowing you to change the name.


How do I set up abeMeda for a multi-user network environment?


That is actually quite easy, please see here for a detailed description.


Can abeMeda catalog photo previews?

Yes! abeMeda generates beautiful thumbnails of all images of the types JPEG, TIFF, BMP, GIF, PNG, PSD (more to come...)

Additionally, abeMeda can also read meta data from JPG, TIFF and BMP files, such as the image size, color depth, and EXIF and IPTC data, which are also very helpful when performing a Find operation.


The thumbnail previews for all the PSD (MP4, MKV, TS, RAW, ...) files are missing! Can you fix this ?

abeMeda needs certain helpers for specific media file types, since it can not read all of them by itself. If these helpers are missing, you might not see the thumbnails or metadata for the respective filetypes as expected. The following file types will benefit from external help:
PSD - PSD can only be read if a recent version of QuickTime for Windows is installed.
MP4, MOV - video thumbnails and metadata for these can be read via ffmpeg, QuickTime or by installing a DirectShow video codec pack
MKV, TS, VOB - video thumbnails and metadata for these can be read by installing ffmpeg, or a DirectShow video codec pack
RAW - all RAW photos are being read with the help of libRAW: Make sure abeMeda is correctly and completely installed, and libraw.dll is available in the program directory.
PDF - thumbnails and content for PDF files are provided by Xpdf, which needs to be installed and configured in the Helpers section of abeMeda’s Preferences. see below.
You can find links to ffmpeg, QuickTime and our preferred video codec pack on our links page.


How to enable and configure the cataloging of PDF metadata (thumbnails and/or content) ?

1.
Preferences.Helpers.65
Obtain and install Xpdf, an open source PDF toolkit. You can find a link to Xpdf on our links page. Download the latest version, doubleclick the installer, follow its instructions and install Xpdf to a folder of your choice.
2. Open abeMeda, go to Preferences->Helpers. In the section “Xpdf Reader”, point abeMeda to the folder where Xpdf is installed. Enter the folder path manually, or use the browse button to help.
3. If abeMeda finds the needed tools in the provided folder, it will enable the options for PDF thumbnails and content.
4. Choose whatever combination of thumbnails and/or content you need for your catalogs, and close the Preferences dialog.
Any catalog created with these settings will now feature PDF thumbnails and/or content according to your choice.


How to enable and configure the cataloging of video metadata with ffmpeg ?

1. Obtain and install ffmpeg, an open source video toolkit. You can find a link to ffmpeg on our links page or in the Helpers dialog. Download the latest version, doubleclick the installer, follow its instructions and install ffmpeg to a folder of your choice.
2. Open abeMeda, go to Preferences->Helpers. In the section “FFMpeg Reader”, point abeMeda to the folder where ffmpeg is installed. Enter the folder path manually, or use the browse button to help.
3. If abeMeda finds the needed tools in the provided folder, it will enable the options for reading videos via ffmpeg.
4. Enable the checkbox to read via ffmpeg, and close the Preferences dialog.
Any catalog created with these settings will now ask ffmpeg for video thumbnails and metadata as needed.


How to enable and configure the cataloging of archive file content with 7-Zip ?

1. Obtain and install 7-Zip, an open source archive file tool. You can find a link to 7-Zip on our links page. Download the latest version, doubleclick the installer, follow its instructions and install 7-Zip to a folder of your choice.
2. Open abeMeda, go to Preferences->Helpers. If abeMeda finds an installed 7-Zip, it will enable the option for using it to read more archive file formats.
4. Enable the checkbox to read via 7-Zip, and close the Preferences dialog.
Any catalog created with these settings will now ask 7-Zip for archive and image file content as needed.