Before you click away because you think you know this already, listen. We’re going to discuss the differences and we promise to make it worth your while. Also, you might just pick up on some things you didn’t know yet, so you can start working smarter.
Well, first of all, it can be debated whether they are digital asset management software at all. We think they have a lot of overlap. However, they are not sufficient, for various reasons.
Sure, you can manage and structure your assets, create folders, etc. But these are only very basic features. How often does it take more time than you want to find a specific file? You forgot the location, the name and any other relevant property you can use to look for it. Good digital asset management software is an advanced organizing tool. In Dropbox or Google Drive, you can’t add tags, there are no search filters, etc. The first and most important difference is thus: organizing and structuring features.
These features help you save a tremendous amount of time. In Gaia, the search feature goes so far that you can even search for focal length, type of photo, color, etc. So even if you forgot every property you gave a photo, as long as you remember the photo itself you’ll find it in no time.
You think you got me right? You’re going to tell me that Dropbox and especially Google Drive are collaboration tools. Yes, they are. For certain types of files that is. Try editing a photo. You can’t, can you? This is why there is a debate about the nature of these tools. Many see them as mere document management software or file sync solution. And they’re great for that purpose.
In Dropbox and Google Drive your assets become static. You can’t change their extension, add watermarks, download in different sizes, crop, leave comments, etc. You can only view and share.
A digital asset management software should do assets, not documents. With a digital asset management software like Gaia, you can easily share photos in any size, extension, with or without watermarks, etc. You decide who gets access and which rights. If you need to share your work with a client, it’s even better to share in a gallery instead of loose files. That’s the way to impress.
This question is asked more and more often. Dropbox used to be just a file sync tool. However, Dropbox is updating and adding to its functionalities (while increasing its prices). According to a review at AndroidPolice, Dropbox is becoming some sort of Slack or Trello. This complicates how it works and what you use it for. And still, it’s not great for actually managing your digital assets. It seems Dropbox wants to do so much, it’s losing sight of what it is.
Adobe Bridge is the right solution then, isn’t it? No. Bridge is not cloud-based, although it might be in the future. You’ll still have to work with different hard drives. And on which drive did you store which photo? And can you extract the data once the drive crashes? Also, Bridge is not a stand-alone product but is part of Adobe Creative Cloud, which is expensive. You can download it for free as a stand-alone product, but it will lack a lot of features.
Usability-wise, the interface is a lot more complicated. If you’re used to photo-editing, this shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re just looking for a place to store your webstore assets or marketing materials, you’ll probably just want something easy and intuïtive. Adobe Bridge also lacks important functionalities for collaboration. It’s not a substitute for a cloud-based Digital Asset Management Software.
For users outside of education, the cheapest Creative Cloud plan is €36,29 on black Friday. That’s a difference with Gaia, which is €9 with lots of functionalities included. So Adobe Bridge is way more expensive, probably has functionalities that you don’t need, lacks functionalities that you do need and has an unnecessarily complicated interface if you just want to manage your digital assets.
From what we’ve discussed so far, we can conclude the following properties that set a good digital asset management software apart from tools like Dropbox, Google Drive or Adobe Bridge:
Let us show you what a good digital asset management software looks and feels like. Upload your first photo and see for yourself. By the way, it’s free (up to 5 GB).