How does Win10 handle digital image IPTC metadata?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

  1. Posts : 16
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    How does Win10 handle digital image IPTC metadata?


    In Windows 10 Pro (Version 1909 OS Build 18363.720) Explorer, when I select an image file, in the details pane on the right, Explorer displays a group of available metadata fields (several are directly editable). Among these is "Tags".

    Whenever I start typing in the Tags field, Explorer takes whatever first couple of keystroke I type, and (perhaps through some 'artificial intelligence algorithm?) presents me with a dropdown checkbox picklist of previously-applied tags.

    That's nice, but after years of tagging images on the fly without a consistent plan, I've accumulated a lot of inconsistent tags, which causes problems with search results. For example, if I search for "Sue", it doesn't find any of the pictures of Sue that I tagged on the fly as "Susan" or "Susie". Hence, the served-up list that Explorer provides, is inadequate.

    Recently I re-thought my whole approach to image tagging, and created a new, comprehensive, uniformly spelled, reference list of tags to replace the old tags already applied to my images. But how do I make the old, inconsistent tags in the dropdown, go away, so I can start reapplying tags from my new, coordinated pick list?

    One way might be to:
    (1) Delete all personal information from my entire image collection (which I believe can be done in one step.) This would presumably zero out Explorer's dropdown checkbox list, for a 'fresh start'.
    (2) Clone one image, rename it "test", and tag it with ALL the tags in my new list. Explorer would presumabely make all my new tags potentially available in all future dropdowns (depending on the first one or two keystrokes I type in their Tags fields.)

    But how, exactly, does Explorer build that pick list? I suspect it builds a database of applied metadata as it indexes my files.

    If there is such an index database of user-defined tags (and other metadata), is there any way for a user to manage/edit the database directly?
      My Computer

  2. x509's Avatar
    Posts : 853
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    Al Nonymous said:
    In Windows 10 Pro (Version 1909 OS Build 18363.720) Explorer, when I select an image file, in the details pane on the right, Explorer displays a group of available metadata fields (several are directly editable). Among these is "Tags".

    Whenever I start typing in the Tags field, Explorer takes whatever first couple of keystroke I type, and (perhaps through some 'artificial intelligence algorithm?) presents me with a dropdown checkbox picklist of previously-applied tags.

    That's nice, but after years of tagging images on the fly without a consistent plan, I've accumulated a lot of inconsistent tags, which causes problems with search results. For example, if I search for "Sue", it doesn't find any of the pictures of Sue that I tagged on the fly as "Susan" or "Susie". Hence, the served-up list that Explorer provides, is inadequate.

    Recently I re-thought my whole approach to image tagging, and created a new, comprehensive, uniformly spelled, reference list of tags to replace the old tags already applied to my images. But how do I make the old, inconsistent tags in the dropdown, go away, so I can start reapplying tags from my new, coordinated pick list?

    One way might be to:
    (1) Delete all personal information from my entire image collection (which I believe can be done in one step.) This would presumably zero out Explorer's dropdown checkbox list, for a 'fresh start'.
    (2) Clone one image, rename it "test", and tag it with ALL the tags in my new list. Explorer would presumabely make all my new tags potentially available in all future dropdowns (depending on the first one or two keystrokes I type in their Tags fields.)

    But how, exactly, does Explorer build that pick list? I suspect it builds a database of applied metadata as it indexes my files.

    If there is such an index database of user-defined tags (and other metadata), is there any way for a user to manage/edit the database directly?
    So you have come across one of the big issues, the need for a "controlled vocabulary" for tagging.

    Depending on how many photos you have, and just how much you want to get a really thorough system for adding metadata, you might want to consider a "DAM" application such as iMatch, IMatch - Organize your digital images and other digital media files easily.. $130. There are other DAMs, but iMatch is probably the best for individual use.

    Another option is Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan | Photo editing software. The current release is $10/month forever, but you could try to locate Lightroom 6 or older, which is a one-time purchase.

    iMatch is strictly for organizing photos, but Lightroom give you powerful editing, printing and publishing functionality.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 16
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thanks, x509, for the info on iMatch and Lightroom. I'll take a good look at iMatch; it sounds very good.
    The point of my original post was to hopefully learn more from wiser people than I, about how certain IPTC metadata is managed natively by Windows.
    Many really great programs exist, that do a far better job than Windows in this regard. Problem is, they get revised, given new inscrutable and arguably unnecessary updated interfaces, merged with other programs bought by the software company, or sold to other companies and merged with their products, or bought by other companies simply to kill off the competition. Operating systems themselves often force programs to be revised or face obsolescence, even if the software was sold with 'assurances' of a lifetime license. In some cases, programs like Adobe's can be abruptly switched to a subscription model or forced into a cloud model, subjecting users' files to a kind of ransomware status if they've used the program's proprietary file formats to store their data. But it's as close to a fair bet as I can foresee, that the .tiff file format and file-embedded IPTC metadata is much more likely to continue to be supported for the longest time, which is the logical goal of all archivists who seek the best way to preserve their data and imagery for as long as possible without constant dependence on costly, version-churning, feature-churning exterior programs.
      My Computer

  4. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 3,930
    Windows 10 Pro x64 2004 - 19041 - 264 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       #4

    The is also the free adobe option that includes most of Lightroom's organisational tools, Adobe Bridge ...

    I replied to someone else a few days ago so check this link (saves me retyping things )

    Copied folders - sort by original date

    In lightroom you have the option to add synonym tags into images which should also be possible in Bridge, you could create a set of tags based on your organised set and include the older related tags as synonyms of the new tags which would allow you to search either in bridge or the less efficient file manager for any of the new or older tags
      My Computers

  5. x509's Avatar
    Posts : 853
    Windows 10 Pro
       #5

    Barman58 said:
    The is also the free adobe option that includes most of Lightroom's organisational tools, Adobe Bridge ...

    I replied to someone else a few days ago so check this link (saves me retyping things )

    Copied folders - sort by original date

    In lightroom you have the option to add synonym tags into images which should also be possible in Bridge, you could create a set of tags based on your organised set and include the older related tags as synonyms of the new tags which would allow you to search either in bridge or the less efficient file manager for any of the new or older tags
    Adobe Bridge is a great deal for the price. However, it does not contain a database, which Lightroom does (sqlite3). And iMatch also has a database, but I'm not sure which one.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Al Nonymous said:
    Thanks, x509, for the info on iMatch and Lightroom. I'll take a good look at iMatch; it sounds very good.
    The point of my original post was to hopefully learn more from wiser people than I, about how certain IPTC metadata is managed natively by Windows.
    Many really great programs exist, that do a far better job than Windows in this regard. Problem is, they get revised, given new inscrutable and arguably unnecessary updated interfaces, merged with other programs bought by the software company, or sold to other companies and merged with their products, or bought by other companies simply to kill off the competition. Operating systems themselves often force programs to be revised or face obsolescence, even if the software was sold with 'assurances' of a lifetime license. In some cases, programs like Adobe's can be abruptly switched to a subscription model or forced into a cloud model, subjecting users' files to a kind of ransomware status if they've used the program's proprietary file formats to store their data. But it's as close to a fair bet as I can foresee, that the .tiff file format and file-embedded IPTC metadata is much more likely to continue to be supported for the longest time, which is the logical goal of all archivists who seek the best way to preserve their data and imagery for as long as possible without constant dependence on costly, version-churning, feature-churning exterior programs.
    You are not wrong in your assessment of the DAM market. Microsoft bought iView and completely bollixed it up and I believe it is now discontinued. And there are some DAMs that either don't have that much functionality or have a really awful UI.

    Some Lightroom functionality does continue to work if you stop paying for the subscription. I know that DEVELOP does not, so you can't do more edits. However, I don't know if you could still import (LIBRARY module) new photos and apply metadata. If your interest in Lightroom is primarily as a DAM, it may be worth doing the trial but not actually subscribing.
      My Computers

  6. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 3,930
    Windows 10 Pro x64 2004 - 19041 - 264 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       #6

    When dealing with file metadata and its accesability from the Windows OS and in particular File manager a database based system can be the wrong way to go. You are best served by selecting a file format, or in reality formats, that store all their metadata internally (avoid sidecar files as they are a problem waiting to happen).

    The file formats chosen for long term storage and use need to by chosen carefully, and where possible non proprietary open formats.

    I am mostly concerned with photographic images and occasional work based on them. I convert all my Raw images out of the camera into Adobe DNG format that supports all internal data from all the metadata groups, for composites I work with TIFF and online output i use PNG or JPG, ( jpg is a one off export conversion from the original and is never edited).

    The above formats are all now fully open , store their metadata in a single image file and therefore free from sidecar files or reliance on a database. This also means that if I load the file into any pro level and even most consumer level software all the metadata is available and searchable/ editable to the limits of the package.

    One other advantage to me of the DNG Format is that the edit history from Lightroom is retained in the file so in the case of a database apocalypse I can re import the files into lightroom and carry on editing as I was even having the ability to revert.

    The cost of the photography package from Adobe of around $10 per month is worth it to me as a serious amateur photographer, for lightroom alone, the addition of photoshop and other add ons makes it a no brainer but of course YMMV
      My Computers

  7. x509's Avatar
    Posts : 853
    Windows 10 Pro
       #7

    Barman58 said:
    When dealing with file metadata and its accesability from the Windows OS and in particular File manager a database based system can be the wrong way to go. You are best served by selecting a file format, or in reality formats, that store all their metadata internally (avoid sidecar files as they are a problem waiting to happen).

    The file formats chosen for long term storage and use need to by chosen carefully, and where possible non proprietary open formats.

    I am mostly concerned with photographic images and occasional work based on them. I convert all my Raw images out of the camera into Adobe DNG format that supports all internal data from all the metadata groups, for composites I work with TIFF and online output i use PNG or JPG, ( jpg is a one off export conversion from the original and is never edited).

    The above formats are all now fully open , store their metadata in a single image file and therefore free from sidecar files or reliance on a database. This also means that if I load the file into any pro level and even most consumer level software all the metadata is available and searchable/ editable to the limits of the package.

    One other advantage to me of the DNG Format is that the edit history from Lightroom is retained in the file so in the case of a database apocalypse I can re import the files into lightroom and carry on editing as I was even having the ability to revert.

    The cost of the photography package from Adobe of around $10 per month is worth it to me as a serious amateur photographer, for lightroom alone, the addition of photoshop and other add ons makes it a no brainer but of course YMMV
    I also find Lightroom worth it for me at $10/month (forever ......) but that might not be the case for the OP. For the OP, for metadata, the answer depends on whether the OP is shooting RAW or JPG (or maybe even TIFF). For JPG and TIFF, metadata is written into the original photo file by the camera and any metadata added by the user is also written back into the file.

    IF the OP shoots RAW, all the camera metadata (EXIF plus maybe GPS), is written into the RAW file. However, it is not considered to be a good practice to write additional metadata back into a RAW file. Nikon Capture NX does write additional metadata into the NEF file, and supposedly such NEFs can't be read by other applications. Hence the need for XMP "sidecar" files. Such files would be created by a DAM manager or Lightroom.

    In Lightroom, the use of XMP files is entirely optional, since all metadata is already contained in the catalog.

    So the OP has some choices to make and some options, depending on his/her choice of photo file formats and desire to use a DAM or Lightroom.
      My Computers

  8. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 3,930
    Windows 10 Pro x64 2004 - 19041 - 264 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       #8

    The DNG file was built from the ground up by adobe to work with adobe products mainly Photoshop and Lightroom and to remove the existing issues with the proprietary Raw formats, some camera manufacturers were/are always modifying the internal structure of it's raw files and the need for sidecar files. What adobe have stated is that they support .DNG "for ever" in their software including keeping up with proprietary format changes so I can be sure that my files will always be readable in Adobe products (and all the other products I've used) going forward,

    The DNG format is actually supported in Cameras made by several Manufacturers, including Leica, and all available formats of proprietary RAW files are simply converted to DNG, (automatically during import into Lightroom), which gives a regular saving in size of around 20% without any loss of data or detail.

    I am aware that lightroom includes all the data in it's database as do several other DAM options, what I like about DNG and it's internal data is that it is a built in backup system, the Image and it's metadata is worth far more to me than lightroom or it's database, although I do fully backup the Image file, Lightroom's Database and all the lightroom settings every week at a minimum. (images are automatically saved to an auxiliary disk in addition to my Image store on import into Lightroom and processing to DNG, this backup of the original files is retained until I am happy with the converted files, are OK and are backed up)
      My Computers

  9. x509's Avatar
    Posts : 853
    Windows 10 Pro
       #9

    Barman58 said:
    The DNG file was built from the ground up by adobe to work with adobe products mainly Photoshop and Lightroom and to remove the existing issues with the proprietary Raw formats, some camera manufacturers were/are always modifying the internal structure of it's raw files and the need for sidecar files. What adobe have stated is that they support .DNG "for ever" in their software including keeping up with proprietary format changes so I can be sure that my files will always be readable in Adobe products (and all the other products I've used) going forward,

    The DNG format is actually supported in Cameras made by several Manufacturers, including Leica, and all available formats of proprietary RAW files are simply converted to DNG, (automatically during import into Lightroom), which gives a regular saving in size of around 20% without any loss of data or detail.

    I am aware that lightroom includes all the data in it's database as do several other DAM options, what I like about DNG and it's internal data is that it is a built in backup system, the Image and it's metadata is worth far more to me than lightroom or it's database, although I do fully backup the Image file, Lightroom's Database and all the lightroom settings every week at a minimum. (images are automatically saved to an auxiliary disk in addition to my Image store on import into Lightroom and processing to DNG, this backup of the original files is retained until I am happy with the converted files, are OK and are backed up)
    I really can't take issue with what Barman wrote here. He sounds like he really knows his stuff. There are two subtle issues, though, and it's not to argue with Barman, but to shed some more light on the subject:
    1. The "big guys" in digital cameras don't support DNG, but their proprietary formats: Nikon, Canon, Sony.
    2. If you have a cloud-based backup system, say Dropbox or Google or whatever, you will trigger a backup of the full multi-MB DNG file even if you just changed 1 metadata parameter.

    In a Lightroom forum that I frequent, there are these occasional pro and con discussions of staying with your camera's proprietary RAW file vs. DNG. Either choice is OK, as long as you understand the full implications of that choice.
      My Computers

  10. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 3,930
    Windows 10 Pro x64 2004 - 19041 - 264 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       #10

    Can't disagree that the Big Boys , Sony Nikon & Canon are sticking with their proprietary formats, for the present, but I have not kept a Proprietary format for many years, having made the jump a long time ago,

    The Issue of the Backup I can understand, although I would suggest this would be more a case of bad Backup Design, I do not use online (WEB) backup's, through choice, but I do have an online photo site that I subscribe to Ipernity ...

    I use an automatic upload which is managed by one of Jeffrey Friedl's Many Plugins, In Lightroom, I simply move an image into a collection and publish, and the file and the metadata I specify is uploaded into the correct section of the any changes to the file in future will trigger a re-upload of the as you say, but only if the changes are of a certain level, which is set by myself, so a minor change to something like a star rating or addition of a metadata correction or edit will not trigger an upload. I can of course override this and manually upload a changed file if I deem it necessary, (which is the way all auto systems should be )

    My system of working has been tuned, for me, over a number of years, and it works well for me - all my file names available to Windows explorer are simply the time and date that the image was taken, and are sorted by a folder tree based on Year - Month - Day, no content info is included in the filename, as all image files are fully tagged with Metadata (auto and manual), and I use Lightroom to manage the images - which allows me to find any file by any Metadata combination that I need.

    Not for everyone, but it shows what is important, as you say, you have to spend time to think of a system that will work work for your individual needs. Mine has evolved over the years and will likely continue to do so as the technology advances
      My Computers


 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

  Related Discussions
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 19:40.
Find Us




Windows 10 Forums