Smart Albums


I would like the possibility to create smart albums, where pictures are automatically added based on specific criteria, that you can combine arbitrarily with AND and OR functions.

For example:
All pictures, that are shot between 01/01/2022 and 03/01/2022 AND have 4 stars OR 5 stars
Apple´s Aperture has had such a function and I miss it a lot.

I miss that function, too. But Aperture’s smart albums were on a very high level of functionality, you could also define one with your parameters AND project name including “house” AND camera brand NOT including Nikon AND serial number of lens starting with 098… At the beginning I thought who on Earth needs that stuff, and later it turnt out: Me.

I’m just saying, before we reach this kind of database function peaks are a couple of other obstacles to master.

hi @JoJu
Could it be a way to solve your issue with collections ?
to reinitiate the collections when moved to other location by just launching the keyword based routine ?

No @Man (that’s rather gangsta slang… :sunglasses:), collections are by far less flexible (meaning, more static) than smart albums. And although smart albums can be done with keywords, they also can be done completely without them, which makes them far more usable.

Aahmm, just re-thinking: Which “collections” you’re referring to? The name in PL is “project”. Actually, I don’t get what you try to say?

Sorry maybe i misundertood : i thought you lost your projects (my mistake) because you change storage location and dxo was not able to recover.
Imagine that creating a project adds automatically (or you put it manually) a keyword with the name of the project, couldn’t this smart album thing solve your issue ?

Aah, you were referring on the “back to C1” thread? I didn’t loose my projects. My projects lost the file paths to their content. DxO is partly able to assign the new file path t the project’s contents, but it takes really long and that process blocks all other processes on the Mac. Thank you for clarification.

In theory I could add keywords with the project’s name to the images in the project, it also could be done automatically. But what do you do if you change the project’s name? You’d need to delete that specific keyword from all images immediately after renaming the project and add a new one with the new name. This is part of the DAM’s job. Next to cluttering a “well-thought” keyword list with project names.

Of course, if I had moved the images within DxO PL to the new drive, it would have been possible that the connection with their projects would have been kept intact. But of the 651.321 files which were copied – don’t ask, I don’t have that many pictures, only app. 22.000 are in DxO library folders – how to copy the rest within DxO PL? No way… SuperDuper does a very reliable copy job. In another RAW converter I just needed to point the new location once and all other projects, collections, groups were updated in nearly no time.

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Yes, Aperture was fantastic and I am puzzled that so many years later no other software except Lightroom is reaching its capabilities.

I can imagine that Photolab’s searching function already contains some of this functionality though, I do not understand how to use it, is there any documentation? It took me some time to figure out, that to search for 3 stars, I have to type “***”. To filter for the focal length, I can enter 24mm. But there seem to be so many other options available, but how are we supposed to know how to use them? What are those symbols in the picture meaning? And there are so many other symbols appearing, depending on what I type in the searchbox, but I have no idea what to look for, it is like searching for a needle in a hay stack. There is no tooltip help, I did not find anything about it in the user guide (which by the way is so unstructured, it is impossible to find anything, the links in the content bar link to the content overview itself, etc…).


It seems that a lot of functionality is already existing, but the usability unfortunately is zero.

Oh, it is a bit described here, unfortunately not with examples for all possible entries, so it is still quite tricky to figure out how it works:

So it is possible to filter by date and by stars! Even date ranges are possible: entering “1/1/2022 - 1/3/2022” and **** works! However, these are only AND operations, not OR operations. I cannot search for images containing either 4 stars OR 5 stars. If I search for 4 stars and 5 stars, it shows me 0 results, as an image cannot contain both 4 and 5 stars. So it would be nice, to have a bit of extended functionality or intelligence in the search, or the possibility to search for star ranges.

The last 5 searches are saved, the display is limited to 1000 search results. It would be nice to save these permanently as a smart album, so we are almost there already!

Interesting: with rating and focal length preselected as your screenshots shows, you get 6 possible “date”. Here on the Mac: 3.

And even if you master the search: Maximum 5 “last search results” are on display, with each new search the oldest will disappear. I work with another asset management system, it can save searches, but that only means “saving the results of today’s search”, which will next week/month/year still contain the same number of results. Smart albums are “saved search conditions” and will update as soon as new images come up with the same match.

Another problem with these saved searches: They don’t “survive” anything done to the images outside DxO. And there’s a maximum of 1000 pictures as results.

Interestingly, the search itself gets a code number.

Yes, it is not optimal, but it a start, and it is not that much more work needed to achieve a full working smart album functionality. So please people, vote for it :smiley: , that DxO will put more effort into this.

I already voted yesterday, before my first post in this thread :slightly_smiling_face:

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I think, if DxO wants to go that path, we users will increase the possibilities rather soon. You already found out the only AND, but not OR. And also not AND NOT, as it sometimes limits the search results.

The way of “set up a filter” and then save it as a smart album is possible in Capture One. But there it’s not possible to find the album just by entering it’s name or a name. Don’t know why developers have so limited imagination. However, that’s also not possible in DxO PL to search for an existing project. That was a rather powerful part of Aperture then: not only creating folders, albums, projects but also searching and finding them again. I know, it’s weird to want to find something on a computer… :roll_eyes:

The lack of support for Or, and Not operators in addition to And has been discussed before. To the best of my knowledge, DxO has not officially promised them in a future update, but that does not mean they are not not working on it. I suppose they could add those operators to a point release sometime this year, but assuming they are currently working on it, it is more likely they would be added to PL6.


Without changing the interface, OR conditions could already be included by a simple rule:
If search items are from the same category (e.g. rating stars, focal length, etc), then it should always be the OR rule applied. If they are from different categories, it is AND.

I will never have an image that has 3 stars and 4 stars at the same time, or that has been shot with 24mm and 35mm at the same time. So using an AND operator for these cases does not make any sense.

what means AND NOT OR?

AND, OR, and AND NOT are logical operators that define the relationship between several conditions, they are typically used in Software Engineering, but it is not complicated:

You can combine an arbitrary number of conditions, for example:

2022 AND 3 stars: Display all images that have been shot in 2022 and contain a rating of 3 stars

2022 AND NOT 3 stars: Display all images that have been shot in 2022 and do not contain a rating of 3 stars, essentially displaying only the images with no rating, 1 star, 2 stars, etc.

2022 OR 3 stars: This would display images, that are either shot in 2022, or do contain 3 stars, it would thus also include images from other years, if they have 3 stars, and also images with other ratings than 3 stars, if they were shot in 2022. This choice would not make much sense, but there are useful examples, e.g. display “3 stars OR 4 stars”.


Thank tou for clarify! This system would be great, more versatile and accurate than Lightroom

Up… so as not to forget this request