abeMeda Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can abeMeda read catalog files from CDWinder, neoFinder or
or: How do I share catalog files between abeMeda and
neoFinder ? How do I import my neoFinder catalog files from the Mac
into abeMeda ?
The answer is quite easy, really: abeMeda and CDFinder share the
same catalog file format. And this catalog file format works across
plattforms as well. It's like JPEG files - you don't import them,
they just work, wherever you are.
With abeMeda and CDFinder, this was a design goal from the start -
it's the very basis of the cross platform cataloging system. Both
programs can read, write and manipulate the catalog files,
regardless of who created them or saved them last. So there's no
need of importing or conversion - you just tell abeMeda where the
catalog files are (e.g. choose your database folder) and work with
them. (sharing catalog files over the network and/or across
platforms is also described here
How many catalog files can abeMeda manage?
Technically, the limit is near 4,000,000,000 catalogs. Every
catalog file created of a volume or folder can itself contain up to
4,000,000,000 files and folders. Typical larger users have around
5000 catalog files and abeMeda deals with that easily...
What types of media can abeMeda catalog ? I read that abeMeda
was once called CDWinder. Does that mean it can only catalog
abeMeda is being developed since 1998, when people were still using
little square plastic boxes named "Floppy Disks" to store their
data, and started out in life called CDWinder. But even the use of
"CD" in its name never meant it was or is limited to just
In fact, CDWinder back then and abeMeda today can catalog anything
that Windows recognizes as a disk or storage medium, be it an iPod
(in that case, abeMeda will even read your hidden music library on
that iPod, too!), USB stick, hard disc, server volume, FTP server,
Audio-CDs, anything! Of course, any CD, DVD-ROM, HD-DVD, BlueRay -
you name it, abeMeda can catalog it.
Which is the main reason why we thought of a better name - and
while CDWinder could also have been renamed to DVDWinder,
MusicWinder, AudioWinder, iPodWinder, USBStickWinder, or
BlueRayWinder - we decided to name it abeMeda ;-)
How do I move my abeMeda database to a new PC / new location /
new version ?
If you wish to move your catalog database from your existing PC to
a new one, follow these instructions:
1. Install the current version of abeMeda on your new PC, and type
in your license key.
2. Copy the abeMeda Database Folder from the old to the new PC. If
you don't know where your Database Folder is located on your old
PC, please open the abeMeda Preferences window on your old PC, and
look at the "Database Folder" value. That is where abeMeda stores
the catalog files, and that folder must be copied to the new
3. On the new PC, once you have copied the full Database Folder to
a proper location, maybe your Documents folder, simply show abeMeda
where that folder is located. Again, you do that using the abeMeda
That was all.
Please do NOT try to "Import" the catalogs, as the Import feature
in abeMeda is only used for catalog files of other
Also, do NOT drag the database folder into the main window of
abeMeda, as that will create a catalog of that folder, and that is
not what you want.
When cataloging a large drive with many photos, abeMeda
sometimes takes a very long time and uses lots of resources. What
about that ?
Well, gathering the metadata and previews for huge amounts of photo
and video files takes its time - you can see what gets accumulated
by looking at the catalog file size after its done.
But there are a few things to consider: If you chose to get big
thumbnails, you put additional stress on your system. The larger
the thumbnails, the more space they need, and that may cause
problems with huge drives and eg hundreds of thousands of files on
Also, abeMeda uses a more elaborate method of generating thumbnails
this big, because they need to look better. There's an internal
threshold for this, which decides when we switch to the more costly
method - per default it is at 300 px. So, a catalog with 256px
thumbnails will be a lot faster than one with 320 px. If you have
different needs, that threshold can also be altered, you can find
how to do that in the users guide. In our latest version (6.2.1)
the threshold is also visualized in the catalog settings -
thumbnail sizes above the threshold are shown with a "(!)", to
indicate that they will take longer.
So, keep in mind:
- Be prepared to wait longer for higher resolution
- Know about your thresholds and sizes and set them
- If necessary, split up huge drives in several catalogs, to make
updating and maintaining them easier and faster. You can catalog
folders separately, and group folders of the same drive in a
catalog folder with the drives name.
How do I rename a catalog? Or add a comment to it ?
The Inspector not only displays all information abeMeda knows about
a catalog (or any other item), but only allows you to change or add
additional information. You can rename an item, add a label or
comment to it, or make specific adjustments. Your changes are
confirmed once you leave that item and choose another one.
But you can also use the Properties dialog to make changes. Just
select the catalog file or folder in the main window and chose
Properties from the File menu. A window will appear that not only
allows you to rename the catalog or folder, but also to enter the
Also, you can just select the item you wish to rename, and click
with the mouse over the name field area. Then wait a moment, and an
edit area will appear, allowing you to change the name.
How do I set up abeMeda for a multi-user network
That is actually quite easy, please see here
for a detailed description.
Can abeMeda catalog photo previews?
Yes! abeMeda generates beautiful thumbnails of all images of the
types JPEG, TIFF, BMP, GIF, PNG, PSD (more to come...)
Additionally, abeMeda can also read meta data from JPG, TIFF and
BMP files, such as the image size, color depth, and EXIF and IPTC
data, which are also very helpful when performing a Find
The thumbnail previews for all the PSD (MP4, MKV, TS, RAW, ...)
files are missing! Can you fix this ?
abeMeda needs certain helpers for specific media file types, since
it can not read all of them by itself. If these helpers are
missing, you might not see the thumbnails or metadata for the
respective filetypes as expected. The following file types will
benefit from external help:
- PSD can only be read if a recent version of
QuickTime for Windows is installed.
- video thumbnails and metadata for these
can be read via QuickTime or by installing a DirectShow video codec
MKV, TS, VOB
- video thumbnails and metadata for
these can be read by installing a DirectShow video codec pack
- all RAW photos are being read with the help
of libRAW: Make sure abeMeda is correctly and completely installed,
and libraw.dll is available in the program directory.
- thumbnails and content for PDF files are
provided by Xpdf, which needs to be installed and configured in the
Helpers section of abeMeda’s Preferences. see below.
You can find links to QuickTime and our preferred video codec pack
on our links page
How to enable and configure the cataloging of PDF metadata
(thumbnails and/or content) ?
Obtain and install Xpdf, an open source PDF toolkit. You can find a
link to Xpdf on our links page
. Download the latest version,
doubleclick the installer, follow its instructions and install Xpdf
to a folder of your choice.
Open abeMeda, go to Preferences->Helpers. In
the section “Xpdf Reader”, point abeMeda to the folder where Xpdf
is installed. Enter the folder path manually, or use the browse
button to help.
If abeMeda finds the needed tools in the
provided folder, it will enable the options for PDF thumbnails and
Choose whatever combination of thumbnails
and/or content you need for your catalogs, and close the
Any catalog created with these settings will now feature PDF
thumbnails and/or content according to your choice.