Monthly Archives: February 2010

Don’t Buy ACDSee Photo Manager Software!

My first blog post in some time is a public recommendation that you DO NOT buy any image management software from ACDSee, such as ACDSee Photo Manager or ACDSee Pro Photo Manager.

I am taking this rather unusual step because the customer service folks at ACDSee International Systems Inc. have left this as my last resort, after leaving me high and dry with software that simply stopped working after just 5 months:

Image of Windows Vista dialog reading ACDSee Pro 2.5 Photo Manager has stopped working

I have been a user of ACDSee Photo Manager for some years, and have invested a substantial amount of time and effort in creating a comprehensive hierarchy of categories (a.k.a. metadata) with which to catalogue my extensive library of digital images.

Last summer, I was attracted by a new feature in ACDSee Pro Photo Manager 2.5 — the ability to embed my laboriously-created metadata into my image files using Adobe’s XMP (Extensible Metadata Platform) technology. This would mean that my metadata was no longer held hostage in ACDSee’s proprietary database, and would also provide a useful backup in the event that the database ever became corrupted. So, I ponied up $77 for the software, taking advantage of a special promotion for existing customers.

After installing the software, I ran the procedure to embed XMP metadata into all of my image files (the vast majority of which are JPEG files from Canon PowerShot cameras). However, after it completed, there was no evidence that any metadata had, in fact, been embedded into the image files. I even took files to work and viewed the XMP metadata through the Adobe Photoshop File Info Advanced tab, and was still unable to find any evidence that the categories had been embedded.

Although frustrated by this apparent failure, I was too busy to do anything about it.

Then, just before Christmas, as I was trying to create a holiday photo-montage to send to friends and family, ACDSee Pro 2.5 Photo Manager stopped working altogether. It simply refused to load, giving the following Windows error message:

ACDSee Pro 2.5 Photo Manager has stopped working
A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.

I reported the problem to ACDSee Systems Technical Support in January, and over the course of a month was directed through a series of troubleshooting procedures, such as:

  • Downloading a tool to remove ACDSee registry entries;
  • Removing thumbnails;
  • Deleting specific database files;
  • Renaming the entire database folder and creating a new database;
  • Setting the start up folder to an empty folder;
  • Uninstalling and then reinstalling the software;
  • Manually deleting ACDSee registry keys;
  • Removing Nokia PC Suite;
  • Disabling Internet and anti-virus software.

Eventually, after running out of alternatives, the tech support suggested that I download a trial version of ACDSee Pro 3.0 Photo Manager, to see if that would resolve the problem. And it did — it loaded fine, and successfully imported my Pro 2.5 database. Unfortunately, however, it’s limited to a 30-day trial — which I am now 19 days through.

At this point, I was told that my only option was to pay another $89 to upgrade.

I argued that this was unacceptable, particularly since it was less than 6 months since I had paid $77 to upgrade before. I said that I was unwilling to pay yet more money for software that had so far proven unfit for purpose, and that the company should either:

1. Fix my ACDSee Pro 2.5 Photo Manager
2. Refund my $77, or
3. Give me a free upgrade to version 3.0

They refused on all counts — hence this blog post.

Anyone up for a class action suit?