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Organizing Photos II

September 16, 2006

After so much reading and googling, here are some information I found about photo management. Only freewares are considered.

Choices for Windows users:

Note: all can view EXIF and edit IPTC.

For reviews of Photoshop Elements and Picasa, see this test and “Organise Those Snaps (For Free)

This articles, “Open Source Image Archiving: Exif, IPTC, XMP and all that” (also explains why you need to care about them), suggests other open-source softwares or editing tools of metadata:

For Image Archieve App:

  • PixVue* (Windows only; highly recommended. No longer maintained)

For Image Metadata Tools:

PixVue allows you to add “annotate” with your metadata by right click in Windows Explorer.

“PixVue also stores almost all metadata in the image, understanding EXIF, IPTC and XMP. The exception is the “grouping” metadata, which it provides something called “galleries”, which are a virtual directory hierarchy—in Explorer you can drag and drop images into a gallery (or galleries) to organise them but these are only “symbolic links” to the original files on your filesystem. You can also export your gallery structures as XML, to allow at least the chance of portability.”

It also has excellent search facilities (via the gallery view) and integrates with Windows Search and Google Desktop

My experience?
For jBrout: first need to install gtk+/glade environment (20+MB) and then jBrout. I just began the installation but the size of gtk put me off.

I already installed XnView but never really played with it. Maybe I should try this before anything else. (or ?, a question)
For editing EXIF, I use Exifer and it is nearly free software (asking for postcard only) that can edit EXIF/IPTC metadata. I also can backup and restore EXIF before editing pictures in some software that cannot preserve metadata – the unfortunate experience in my early days of digital camera. (PS: when encountering such a stupid-ware, uninstall it and email the company that they are so lag in the trend.)

Since I’m not sure my future software will support either IPTC or XMP, it’s better to have one that can handle these two metadata formats. I’m going to try PixVue …

Update (09/18/2006):
Adobe Photo Album SE 3.0 doesn’t handle ICTP/XMP, nor does it recognize EXIF (see this site). The site (ComputerActive) didn’t recommend the starter edition but Photoshop Elements 4.0.
Adobe Photoshop comparison chart doesn’t show the difference in their tagging method.

In PixVue’s FAQ, it explains why XMP (ie ITPC is legacy). However, many photo editors only support (ie preserve) EXIF/ITPC metadata. In that case, the XMP data will be erased after the picture is edited (!) ; now I want to know how I can copy ITPC to XMP or backup all metadata before editing photo.

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