This is a quick look at how you can manage photos on your Mac without Photos. Wait. What? Why would you want to do that? How is that even possible? Well, actually, it’s easy to use a photo management app that organizes better than Apple’s Photos app.
At the high end is Adobe’s Lightroom app, another one way to manage photos and enhance photos at the same time. Lightroom can get expensive because it’s bundled with Photoshop and subscription only, so over a few years you could easily pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege. Or, you could organize your Mac’s Pictures folder so it contains photos you don’t want organized into Photos. Or, do the same thing in the Documents folder.
Or, make your photo management life both interesting and easy by using Pixave, a Mac utility that’s been around awhile and seems to get better with age. Here’s the problem Pixave solves. It organizes photos and files. Photos is a giant photo library, a list of every photo ever stored on your Mac. Documents is where we store everything else that’s not Pictures, Music, or Photos, and organizing files is just as tedious.
Pixave is a photos and file organizer that does more than Photos on your Mac, more than folders in Documents, but looks instantly familiar, and works better than expected.
Let me run down the list of what attracted me to Pixave for my special photos and files; those that deserve more than the common storage in Photos, and just cluttered up the Documents folder.
First, Pixave is intuitive. It looks and feels a bit like Photos and iPhoto so it’s familiar and usable right away. The app displays in both light and dark themes for OS X Yosemite and El Capitan, but also handles a lengthy laundry list of file formats that won’t make it into Photos.GIF, JPEG, JPEG 2000, PNG, TIFF, ICNS, AI, PSD, PDF, TGA, SVG, BMP, ICO, Camera RAW, and if you’re a photographer or designer who is well beyond using Photos, Pixave can handle file formats for Pixelmator, Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, Sketch, Autodesk Graphic, Acorn, and others.
Second, Pixave goes beyond photos and does movie files including MOV, M4V, MP4, MPO, font files like TrueType and OpenType, and even organizes appropriately files for Apple Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iBook Author, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OmniGraffle, MindNode, Comic Life, Napkin, and others.
Wait. There’s more.
Pixave makes it easy to tag files for easier identification and faster search, either one-by-one, or in batches, and drag and drop. Select a tag, drag and drop it to a gazillion files and they’re tagged. Tags can be exported with the files, too.
Capture webpages with a click. setup a preset to format, rename, scale or add a watermark to an image. Images can be exported as a ePub book to be viewed on iPhone or iPad. Guess what? Version control is built in so if you alter a file you can always go back to the original or a previous version– without waiting around for Time Machine. Even movies get some internal love with options to playback video at different speeds, and it splits out audio and video based on cue points.
This is not your daddy’s photo and file management system. This is the 21st century. Pixave makes a great file organizer, and is a wonderful image and video viewer, but also features editing tools, reads PDFs, and, no such tool is complete without screen capture, and that’s built in, too. And, like Photos, you can have multiple libraries but they’re easier to manage.
There’s much to like in Pixave and from what I can see it deserves all the four and five star reviews. The only notable flaw is the trial version. There isn’t one so caveat emptor.