I admit, I do not use online file management or asset managers for my files. I’m quite comfortable the way I manage them on my computer’s file system. Although, after testing out Fluxiom, a new digital asset manager, I am starting to second think my methods of management and may hang onto Fluxiom. Fluxiom, to me, is basically a glorified online file manager with simple organization techniques, great effects, multiple users, and user and email file sharing. What I like about Fluxiom the most is the sure simplicity of the service. I’ve tried asset managers before and never ended up using them because there would be too many features, all these advanced options, and just things that I do not need. I feel Fluxiom see’s that less is more and gave what their service says it offers, digital asset management. I don’t need much more then that. However, there were a few things here and there that I felt could use some improvement, but lets go over the services offerings first.

Fluxiom’s interface is very pleasing to the eye and gets right to the point, your assets. Appearing much like a basic computer systems folder, you have icons for each file listed one by one in a multiple row fashion with thumnails of graphics shown depending on the file type. You can select multiple files at once with a drag of a box or by using keyboard shortcuts that you normally would use on a computer, easily sort through the files with the real-time search and tag filtering, and you can also use the slider bar on the top right to easily zoom in and out on your files.

Now lets take a step back and discuss the uploading of files for Fluxiom. You can upload any type of file you may have and support is provided for over 100 image formats, including ESP and PSD (Photoshop) files, which will be shown as a thumbnail of the image itself in the manager. Also, when uploading documents like PDF’s and Microsoft Word files, Fluxiom will index the files and can perform full-text searching of their contents so you can easily find what you are looking for (pro and deluxe plans only). Now, the uploading of files is fairly basic allowing you to upload files individually or by uploading a Zip file of multiple files, also allowing you to assign tags to the files. Works great, though I personally feel the upload form needs some improvement. First, I would like to be able to upload multiple files at once without needing to create a zip file on my computer of them. Secondly, it would be nice if we can create tags as well as select tags when adding a file. It is a pain to go to the tags section and add a tag for one file and then upload when it could be as simple as typing in a tag when uploading the file.

Once you’ve got your files uploaded, you will then be able to view all the files in the assets area, which I talked about briefly above. You can sort through your files by tags, allowing you to select one tag or multiple tags at a time by simply clicking on a tag to filter and clicking it again to disable it’s filtering. You can filter files uploaded on the current day or during the last week as well as filter by file type (documents or images), files downloaded, and files shared. Also, as I have said earlier, your files are shown in an interface much like a basic folder on your computer with icons but you may also view the files in a detail list view for making it easier for you when dealing with a large amount of files.

Next, taking a look at the bottom of the Assets section of Fluxiom, you are given some options for managing your files: Edit, preview (if an image format), tag, download, share, delete, and details. What I like about it is that you can perform these options when selecting one or more files so you can easily make changes and view multiple files at once. The above screenshot shows the details option. You simply select a file and it will provide you with some basic information about the file, when it was added, how many times it’s been downloaded, and so on. The preview option will enable if the files that are selected are graphics and when clicking will open up a new window in that you can get a preview of the image. However, there is one thing I think would be a great addition to the preview option. When selecting an image, it will open in a new window at a set size, but I think it would be great if it uses the files dimensions to determine the size of the preview window because as of now it stretches the images. And last option I want to mention is tagging. You simply select the files and click the option and a box will slide up letting you select tags. But like the uploading of files, I would like to have the ability of adding tags while assigning them instead of going to the tags section and making them first.

You can also setup multiple user accounts with Fluxiom, each with set permissions and access priveledges (basic, pro, or deluxe plans only) so multiple users can add and manage files. This turns this asset manager into a great business solution where a coworker can upload files and other workers can easily find and download them, tag, and share. The users section is also nicely laid out and uses some nice effects which makes it very appealing, but at the same time put into good use when it comes to assigning access. To assign access to a member, you simply click on the bottom blocks and drag them on the users account and it will be assigned to them. Probably would be easier to add access while filling out the members information, but it’s nice and different.

Overall, I feel Fluxiom is a great product and is a great solution for companies, although not as much independent users. It is a little pricey, I’ll admit, but if you are are working with a lot of files and need a simple way to manage them, Fluxiom may be what you are looking for. When combined with multiple users and use of tagging, it turns into a very useful system. I am picturing it for Parallel where our work can all be uploaded and tagged by client name and project where our employees can simply login, find, and download all the files they need for a project. Employees can subscribe to an RSS feed to keep up to date on files, can upload and email files to clients, and can download multiple files at once in zip format instead of each file individually. Its storage for companies made simple and can really help keeping organized. I currently use a cluttered file system on Windows and I am definitely thinking about making a switch for work (Fluxiom supports SSL as well for pro and deluxe plans). If you are interested, you can signup to Fluxiom’s free trial, but get your credit card ready because you must have one to test it out. Don’t worry though, you wont get charged if you cancel your subscription by the time the 30 day trial is over. I’m thinking of sticking with it and giving it a try for the company and see how things go. It’s just a lot easier to use then other asset managers I have used to the point where anyone can get in and find value. Nice work to the Wollzelle and congratulations on the launch.

View Fluxiom Digital Assets Manager.

10 Comments on “Fluxiom Digital Assets Manager”

  1. Saul Weiner says:

    Great post. With that being said, I’m not sure I agree that it’s a pricey solution, especially considering it’s target in the Small-Medium business market. A few hundred or even a thousand or two for an asset/digital-content management system is thousands chepaer than most products like this in the market. You cannoty compare this to other comsumer products, or even products like Basecamp. This product is cheap, especially if you’re a marketing or design department.

  2. Paul Stamatiou says:

    Wow, you’re fast. I just sent them an email today to see if I could get an account to review but it looks like you’ve beaten me to the punch. Great work. I will agree though, it does seem rather pricey.

  3. Thomas Fuchs says:

    Thanks for the great review! Most if not all the improvements you suggest are actually on the top of our “coming soon” list. So, expect some polishing and cool new features. Of course, these won’t mess with the “less is more” philosophy of fluxiom.

  4. Matt Barker says:

    Great writeup. This does seem like a great service, but I definitely think it is pricey!

  5. TechCrunch » Fluxiom: Great Product, Outrageously Priced says:

    [...] So, Fluxiom is a great product but the team needs to seriously reconsider pricing if they want to compete in the already crowded online storage market. See Solution Watch, Pete Cashmore and Orli Yakuel for more. [...]

  6. Steve Kelber says:

    share files online for free instantly

    No account needed.
    Do you think services like fluxiom will be the future of the internet?

  7. Court Kizer says:

    Fluxiom a great product? A digital asset management system? I think not. It’s nothing than a glorified “pretty” gallery software. I bought an account to play with, and it’s dirt cheep. Why don’t you compare fluxiom to some actual web based asset management systems.

    Where is metadata editing? what about editing EXIF? IPTC? What about subgroups? Modifying dates? It’s nothing more than a fancy version of a web gallery.

    Do a search for “Web based digital asset management” Then DO A REVIEW of those systems, then REDO your review of fluxiom and you will find you can make the exact same system, with nothing more than a few changes to the look and feel of the open source “gallery 2″ application on sourceforge. No real company could use this for real clients. Maybe some guy with 3 websites he designed but not a real company. Never. Not to mention it’s user management and security is appalling.

  8. Brian Benzinger says:

    Court – Thanks for the comment, however I still feel Fluxiom is a great product. Your arguments that you bring up are accurate, but I surely do not feel I need to redo a review of Fluxiom because my view would not change and I have brought up the points you have as well.

    You have said that it is a glorified “pretty” gallery software. I’m not sure if you read my review or not because I agree with your statement there, except it is more then a “gallery.” I have said, “Fluxiom, to me, is basically a glorified online file manager with simple organization techniques.” If I were looking for a way to manage images, I would be using a gallery script, but Fluxiom is certainly not for images only but has nice image support as an extra.

    You also commented, “Why don’t you compare fluxiom to some actual web based asset management systems.” Seems you have missed what I have said about that as well in my review, “I’ve tried asset managers before and never ended up using them because there would be too many features, all these advanced options, and just things that I do not need. I feel Fluxiom see’s that less is more and gave what their service says it offers, digital asset management. I don’t need much more then that.”

    I respect your opinion, but I still feel Fluxiom is a great product and that I do not have to redo my review. Personally, and this goes from my 9 years experience in web design and development, I need nothing more then what Fluxiom offers. I’ve never had a time when I had to change metadata, exif’s, or anything of that nature in any projects I have worked on for freelance or corporate clients. I can see a reason for some people needing those features because maybe they work for a magazine publishing company, or they are a professional photographer, or whatever it may be, although the average creative suite includes this functionality. I have well over a couple thousand files for projects in just the last two years alone and I know that Fluxiom will help out immensely with storing and organizing them.

  9. Some College Student says:

    Anything with the Thomas Fuchs behind it scores some points with me right from the start. Pricey, perhaps, but that could be simply because they believe it’s worth it to the customer and they plan to have a profitable business model. (sarcasm implied) :-)

  10. Joe says:

    Hi Brian, could you recommend any other digital asset management solutions? I like the look of Fluxiom but we want to store our asserts on our own servers.