Return to Digital Photography Articles

Convert: Photoshop Album to IMatch

Importing from Adobe Photoshop Album 1 / 2

Having decided that continuing on the Photoshop Album path would be a mistake, I sought out ways that I might somehow transfer all of the tagging of photos to the new tool. Re-tagging over ten thousand photos was already out of the question. Transfering this tagging work (not only the tags / categories, but also the list of tags applied to each photo) is generally a two-step process. The source tool (Photoshop Album in this case) needs to have some way to export the database into a known intermediate format (generally text-file based). The destination tool (IMatch) needs to provide some means to importing the intermediate formate into its own database format.

Fortunately, IMatch provides an excellent scripting engine that will allow the second step (importing) to be done with great ease. The first step (exporting from Photoshop Album) is much more difficult, but there is a tool that one can use to accomplish this task.

An extremely useful utility written by Brad Schick, called PSATool, will let you export a Photoshop Album 2 catalog into a text file. Note that for Photoshop Album 1 users, the free Photoshop Album 2 Starter Edition is available on the Adobe web site: Photoshop Album 2 SE. Installing this version will allow you to convert your existing Photoshop Album 1 database into Album 2 database format, which can then be used by these scripts.

Please see the author's page at: PSATool. A copy of the tool has been saved here: psatools.zip

Once the text file has been created (according to the directions shown below) with PSATool, one can then use the PSA2IMATCH script, which can be found on the Yahoo IMatch User Forum in the Files directory. A version of the script has been saved here at: PSA2Imatch-08APR2004.zip

It is important to read the documentation with the PSA2Imatch script (seen within the source code for the script) to determine what command line options should be used for the PSATool script. In essense, it recommends using the following command line options:

psatool /if-print /tp /fp /uf /ss My-Catalog.psa >c:\PSA-export.txt

To run the above utility, you will need to open a DOS shell / command prompt. In Windows XP, select Start->Run.... Then type in cmd into the Open: field and click on OK. Change to the directory (cd c:\directory) containing the psatool executable and type in the above command.

Note that some modification of the PSA2IMatch script needs to be done to match your current setup (eg. the BASE_CAT and PSA_FILE constants).

It is also important to ensure that the PSA2IMatch script matches the proper version of PSATool. In my case, the import script (PSA2IMatch) did not work, and gave an error message indicating that the file was not of the expected format.

To fix this, I added four lines to the script as shown below:

...

' read the first 3 lines and check for consistency
If Not EOF(1) Then Line Input #1, textLine
If Not EOF(1) Then Line Input #1, textLine
	
'CAL! *** START OF ADDED SECTION ***
'CAL!
'CAL!   The following four lines were added to match
'CAL!   the my version of the PSATool.
'CAL!
If Not EOF(1) Then Line Input #1, textLine
If Not EOF(1) Then Line Input #1, textLine
If Not EOF(1) Then Line Input #1, textLine
If Not EOF(1) Then Line Input #1, textLine
'CAL! *** END OF ADDED SECTION ***

If (textLine <> "File Name;Id;Type;State;Date;Caption;Folders") Then

...
Corrections to the PSA2IMatch script

Once the scripts were configured correctly, it took less than an hour to convert my entire Photoshop Album database into IMatch!

 


Reader's Comments:

Please leave your comments or suggestions below!
2009-02-14magdi hajjaz
 it is very good and usefull page
2008-05-18Rowan
 I've got all my photos catalogued in Adobe Photoshop Album v1. Now I've moved to Vista PSA1 won't run. I can find and have downloaded PSA3-SE, but I can't find a download source for PSA2. Does anyone know:
1. Whether PSA3 will import a PSA1 database without going though PSA2?
2. Whether PSAtool will work with a PSA3 database?
3. Where to get PSA2 from?

Many thanks - Rowan
2008-03-11GENETIER Fran├žois
 Hello,
I'm using Photoshop Album for 2 years and I have too lot photos on my hard disk. I want to buy an external drive and move the catalog and the photos file to this external disk. I know there is special actions but it's impossible to get support and info from Adobe in Europe. Could you provide me the different actions to move these 2 files ?
Many thanks
Francois
2007-05-25Steve
 I'm trying to import PSA2. When I run the script, I get a "type mismatch" on the "Assign tags to image" script.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Steve
 Unfortunately, that script is quite old and the original author no longer supports it. The IMatch scripting environment has also changed slightly in that time too. However, I might be able to help you out if you can send me an email with your PSA-Export file and the line number that gives you the error.
 
2006-10-28CaBe
 Hi Calvin,

Thank you for your swift response! As I clearly demonstrate, I know nothing at all about command line utilities ;-)

I'm sorry to bother you again, though. I have followed your description and not much happens. I guess the catalog file has to be in the same directory as the psatool file? I have tried placing it there or keeping it in it's original location when I run the tool, but in both cases the same thing happens. In the command window I get this message:

"'psatool' was not recognized as an internal or external command, a program or a batch file"

(My translation, I use a Danish version of Windows XP.)

However, an empty file named PSA-export.txt is created in C:\

And that's it.

I know this is not your problem. However, if you have any advice, I would be most grateful.
  No problem! The command listed above assumes that both the PSA catalog file (search for any file with extension .psa) and the psatool script itself were both located in the same directory. Make sure that you download the psatool script (located in the psatools.zip link above) and expand it in the same directory (or you can add the path into the command-line options). After doing that, the script should hopefully function for you!
2006-10-28CaBe
 I guess this is a really stupid question, but: How do I 'run' this PSAtool?
 Not a stupid question at all! I have updated the text above to show how it is done. Basically you need to run this from the command prompt in Windows (DOS shell). Unfortunately, these command-line utilities aren't particularly user-friendly!
2006-02-28JSB
 Hi Calvin,
Do PSATool and the PSA2IMATCH script also work with Photoshop Elements Album v.3 or are there updated versions somewhere out there?
Fantastic web site!
 It turns out that Photoshop Elements 3 uses a slightly different database setup, so the original PSATool + script won't work. However, a script does exist to do this for you, so check it out!

Please see the IMatch forum thread. Good luck!
2005-03-21 
 

Is there a way to import PSA into Imatch? The script and method above doesn't import over OFFLINE photos.

 

You're right. Although the PSATool script works with identifying the offline photos, the PSA2IMatch script doesn't deal with them. It appears that it would be very difficult to do if you wanted to keep the images offline through the conversion process. The problem arises because one would need to create the offline thumbnails for IMatch, but there is no real source for this other than the original images (which would require re-mounting them online, potentially a huge hassle), or from the Photoshop Album thumbnail file. The latter is not particularly easy, but the PSAtnx tool (see Brad's site listed above), might provide a potential means for an IMatch script to do this.

In all honesty, I think your best bet will be to mount the images online before conversion.

To make this process easier (if you have a large number of offline photos and not enough space to mount all at once), you might be able to perform the import in a couple parts, after mounting several folders at a time first. Each time, you can rerun the script, import into your IMatch catalog and build it up that way. Won't be easy, but might be a last resort.

 


Leave a comment or suggestion for this page:

(Never Shown - Optional)
 

Visits!