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Friday 20 November 2015

Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop - SongKong versus Jaikoz

Lightroom versus Photoshop

I have used Adobe Photoshop on and off for many years for photo editing. It is an incredibly powerful tool for photo-editing that offers limitless opportunities, but that is part of its problem. You can easily spend an afternoon working on a single photograph to get it perfect. And because I did not use it regularly often I did not use it in the most efficient cleverest way.

I also used Apple Aperture for managing my photographs but found it awkward to use not least because of the opaque library it uses in a similar way to how iTunes manages songs. But then I discovered Adobe Lightroom - at first it replaced Aperture offering a much clearer way of managing my photographs and making simple adjustments such as contrast and exposure and white balance. But then as I delved into it I found almost everything I used Photoshop for could be done in  Lightroom , and it was more obvious what to do and the results were often better.

One particular aspect of Lightroom that I love is that instead of having to use layers to ensure I dont modify the original photo I do not even have to think about it, Lightroom never modifies the original photograph instead all changes are written to its catalog and can be undone.

And I never have to think about working colour profiles either, I only have to worry about colour profiles when I export the photograph for use in another application or print.

I still use Photoshop because it can do things that Lightroom cannot, but most of the time I just Lightroom.

So why am I telling you this in the jthink blog ?

Firstly, I have just launched my Secret Dorset Photography website, would be great if you come and  took a look

Secondly, because the analogy between Lightoom and Photoshop is very similar to how I feel about SongKong and Jaikoz.

SongKong versus Jaikoz

Jaikoz development started in 2006 which coincidentally seems to be when Lightroom development began. But in this story Jaikoz is more analogous to Photoshop, from the start it has added manual editing and automatic matching . There are more than one way way to do some tasks and I have also been receptive to user enhancements requests to try and solve every possible problem. I think Jaikoz offers more comprehensive tagging than any other music tagger on the market.

But this complexity comes at the cost, although Jaikoz can be used simply this is not immediately apparent to users

SongKong is only two years old, the aim was to provide powerful automated matching with a clear workflow for the user. SongKong does not offer manual editing and never will, there are now many tools to do that. SongKong does not try to emulate all of the Jaikoz automated matching functionality just the most useful stuff.

For example MP3s support three versions of the ID3 tagging standard v22, v23 and v24, and Jaikoz supports saving with all three versions. But nobody uses v22 anymore, everything supports v23 and many applications now support v23. So SongKong just supports saving v23 and v24 we have lost a tiny bit of functionality for more simplicity, nobody has complained about this so far.

Now lets try to stretch the analogy to Photoshop layers . Unlike many other tag editor tools Jaikoz doesn't save changes as they happen instead everything is done in memory and can be reviewed before the modifications are saved. This is much safer but it does put the onus on the user to check the modifications, and can mean a delay if many file need to be saved at the end of an editing session.

With SongKong I wanted to remove this burden from the user, but just having SongKong making changes without the user having an opportunity to reverse the changes was dangerous. So instead all modifications are written to SongKongs database similar to the way edits are written to Lightrooms catalog. Unlike Lightroom the files are modified as well but because the changes are written to the database they can be undone at a later date, no problem.

These days my first point of call for cataloging my music is SongKong, I then use Jaikoz for songs that SongKong fails to match plus for special tasks such as exporting metadata to a spreadsheet.


For my photographs I need both Lightroom and Photoshop but I get much more use out of Lightroom. For my own music I need both SongKong and Jaikoz but songs always go through SongKong first.

Hope this helps with your decision making

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