Metadata Woes – Part II

I mentioned some problems I was having with Microsoft’s Photo Info tool. I’m not the only one. The internal design of the tool appears to be a bit of a mess. Check out this thread, and then read the summary here. The phrase “don’t touch it with a ten foot bargepole” springs to mind.

What appears to be even more dispiriting is that reading the Photo Info tool FAQ [Note: no longer available on the Microsoft site], I, and others far more knowledgable than I, get the distinct impression that the Microsoft developers are saying that they are right in their design, and the rest of the world is out of step.

What’s the old joke? Q: How many Microsoft developers does it take to change a lightbulb? A: None. Microsoft simply declares darkness to be the new standard.

The thing that really concerns me is: how much of this mess of misinterpretation of metatdata standards is in the heart of Vista, rather than simply in an add-on tool? If it’s in Vista, we’ll probably never get it out, and we’ll just have to get used to darkness.

Update 13 September 2007: It seems as though I owe Microsoft an apology. I’ve had some further communication with Robert Wlodarczyk of Microsoft, and we’ve got to the bottom of the issue. The problem lies, not with Photo Info, and the Windows Imaging Component, but with IDimager – the metadata tool I use. It produces an invalid XMP string. This is not picked up by any of the other metadata tools that I’ve used (Lightroom, Expression Media, PhotoShop Elements), but WIC is much stricter, and throws an error. The developer of IDimager will correct the issue, so everyone should be happy…

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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5 Responses to Metadata Woes – Part II

  1. RoelSan says:

    Too soon to say that Microsoft will not correct this issue and tell the world to live in darkness.
    So please let’s help them to solve it. My experiment is simple.
    1) Take a picture in JPG and make a backup of the Exif data (incl. MarkerNotes).
        I use Exifer from Friedemann Schmidtt for this. CDLpro is another option.
    2) Edit the JPG in editors like MS P.It or Adobe PSE5 and save. You’ll notice that
        the MarkerNotes are gone. They can ne put back using the backup and ExiMerge.
        (ref. Walter Mangum from Pyzaz Inc.).
    3) Add tags, labels using PhotoInfo or Vista’s Photo Gallery. Now the Markernotes are gone,
        but CANNOT BE UPDATED from the backup. Some Exif field show up wierd data too.
        Basically these MS tools mess up the Exif data.
    4) Add tags, labels using Adobe PSE5 Organiser and force them to be save them in the JPG file.
        MarketNotes are untouched. It simply puts it in the IPTC container of the JPG file.

  2. RoelSan says:

    Above post mentions No Name. Don’t know why but is should be "" 

  3. Geoff says:

    Roel, I have sent Mike Tedesco (a Microsoft photo evangelist) examples of the problems back in January. Despite a reply from him saying he was working with the Dev team on the issue, and promising to update me with the results, I have heard nothing, nada, zilch since then. I sent him a reminder in April, and still haven’t heard anything. So I am not convinced that they have any interest in solving the issue, and little enthusiasm for whipping what appears to be a dead horse.

  4. Pingback: Managing Photo Libraries – Part 5 | Geoff Coupe's Blog

  5. Pingback: Managing Photo Libraries – Part 6 | Geoff Coupe's Blog

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