updated 08:47 pm EDT, Wed June 20, 2012
Batch mods can be done as images are imported
ACD Systems has launched the first major upgrade of its photo-management and editing utility ACDSee Pro for Mac, now at version 2.0. The program, which has been out since 2009, offers an alternative to "vault"-based systems such as Lightroom, Aperture and iPhoto by allowing photographers to handle file and folder management entirely as they like, cataloging local and remote images wherever they are stored.
The new version allows the importation of files from a connected device, creating thumbnails of the images as it goes. The program's powerful batch presets and customizable rules can be applied "live" as the program is importing pictures, allowing users to rename, resize, set metadata or even apply edits to images as they are added. The user interface has been tweaked to allow faster, non-destructive editing in real time, and the ability to restore back to the original imported image is now available.
ACDSee's most popular tool feature on the PC side, it's exceptionally intuitive LCE (Lighting and Contrast Enhancement engine), has been imported to the new version in full, offering a more complete ability to enhance and modify shadows, mid-tones and highlights. The new version also adds Soft Focus and Clarity tools to give images (respectively) specific focus areas or draw out additional detail.
Color labels allow users to group photos quickly for search or batch processing by customizable categories, and a built-in calendar offers a new interface for finding photos by date. One of the strongest features of ACDSee Pro, the extensive ability to view and edit IPTC and EXIF image data, has been enhanced by allowing users to search using keyboard shortcuts or presets from those fields. A built-in duplicate finder is also included, along with 10GB of storage on the company's online photo-sharing service.
The new version also includes easy sharing options to social media sites or email, and non-ACDSee users can sign up with acdseeonline for a free 2GB sharing account without obligation. The company also has a companion iOS app (free) for managing one's acdseeonline account on the go, as well as a quick-fix iOS photo-editing app ($3) that leverages the company's LCE and a "light" Mac viewer and organizer called simply ACDSee ($13) on the Mac App Store. The new Pro software is not yet available through the Mac App Store.
The program works quickly with all image (and even video) formats, even including large RAW format files. The new version is a 64-bit app that requires OS X Snow Leopard or Lion. ACDSee Pro 2 for Mac is temporarily on sale for $100, $40 off its regular price. Users of the previous version can upgrade for $80. A free 30-day trial version is available.