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…