Author Topic: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata  (Read 1316 times)

PandDLong

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Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« on: March 06, 2021, 12:36:56 AM »
As context, I am a hobbyist and have become the designated family photo archivist. As my mother was also a hobbyist, I also have a meaningful number of old prints and slides as part of my "collection". I am embarking on a project to organize this collection - and the ongoing additions. This will include adding information through metadata to each picture which survives being culled.

I recently selected iMatch as my tool of choice.  Now I am planning out my workflow and what metadata fields I will use.  Having read many posts on related topics - eg. 'Should locations go in Keywords or the metadata fields?' - I lean strongly to only using the structured metadata fields whenever possible.  For sure this includes Locations and People - maybe Event too.

Now my challenge:

I intend to share sets of photos with family members as I go. eg. "hey everyone who went on that trip in 2001 - here are the photos".  They won't have iMatch nor any other specialized photo software. 

What free (or very cheap) app can I recommend to be able to search these photos and to read all of the information I will have included?

Windows is the most common platform in my family.  I checked File Explorer and it is pretty limited in terms of fields it uses (it doesn't seem to look at the Location nor PeopleInImage fields) and thus it would push me into repeating all data into Keywords; which i would rather not do.  I google searched for an app but didn't find anything between full-fledged photo software and File Explorer. 


Suggestions on such an app? 

If not Windows - good IOS suggestions?

Michael
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 12:45:27 AM by PandDLong »

bekesizl

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2021, 09:19:15 AM »
You will be best saved by copying persons and location to keywords.
At the moment there are not many apps out there, that can handle the IPTC fields for this information.

As you also want to search and Windows can see the keywords, your best bet is to use this.
This might change in the future, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

You can create a Metadata template to copy the location to keywords, there were threads about this functionality.

For the people IMatch has it built in to assign one or more keywords to each person.

The Windows apps I was thinking of for viewing are:
-XnViewMP -> this can display XMP metadata, but in a very unfriendly manner
-FastStone Image Viewer
-Irfan View

You might consider Mylio, which is free up to 25000 images. Above that, it is a yearly subscription fee near the amount of an IMatch update.
It is more about replicating on a peer-to-peer basis, but has face recognition/display, has its own Reverse Geocoding built in (not reading the location fields IMatch wrote to).
It is cross platform on Windows, Mac, Android and IPhone.
It is not a big friend of hierachical keywords (cannot write them and the display is "ugly"), but can search very good.
Although it requires an account (but nothing is stored in the cloud) and can be harder to set up.
Mario is not a big friend of it, but as long as you don't want to change metadata only search/view it, it could be a good solution.

Mario

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2021, 09:32:50 AM »
Quote
Mario is not a big friend of it,

I have used Mylio only for a short time. I neither like or dislike it.
But I don't like how crappy it handles metadata. As per your post:

Quote
has its own Reverse Geocoding built in (not reading the location fields IMatch wrote to).

IMatch writes GPS coordinates into the official XMP and EXIF fields.
IMatch writes location data into the official IPTC/IPTCExt and XMP fields.
Why Mylio would not read these is unknown to me.

Quote
It is not a big friend of hierachical keywords

Same as point 1. Hierarchical keywords are established for a decade now. They should embrace and support it.
Else Mylio may cause data loss, e.g. when a user "moves" files with proper metadata "through" Mylio.

Proper metadata handling is complicated. And if you do it wrong or half-assed, users will only recognize it when they switch to another software or platform...
It seems that the focus of Mylio is DropBox/OneDrive/GoogleDrive-like functionality (replicating files/images between multiple devices) in conjunction with some DAM features...

It's all nice and shiny on the front-end, but I really don't like their incomplete support of metadata standards, the incomplete XMP records they write (not even copying the standard EXIF fields) etc.
This can all end up in tears later...

Mario

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2021, 09:36:49 AM »
You can create a Metadata template to copy the location to keywords, there were threads about this functionality.

Another often overlooked way to do this is the integrated Export functionality in IMatch via the Batch Processor.
You cannot only export files in various formats, but you can also copy selected metadata and even copy metadata tags from one tag to other tags during the process.
Like, copying keywords or location data into the caption or whatever the receiving application supports.

Windows Explorer and Finder are not really good at metadata, but both support at least a few frequently used tags. Author, description, keywords.
If you place your metadata into these tags during export, your friends should be able to view them, on whatever platform (even on most smart smart phones).

mastodon

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2021, 10:52:41 AM »
digikam is free and very promising digital photo management application. Even face recognition for dogs :).
BUT not so rock solid as IMatch, not so reliable as IMatch, and very-very overhelming UI. (Like LibreOffice)

Mario

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2021, 11:01:02 AM »
face recognition for dogs
Is this reliable? Does it also work for cats or horses?
Does it store the face region in the XMP data with the "pet" type?
In that case, IMatch should be able to use this automatically for face annotations.

Jingo

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2021, 01:17:10 PM »
For me, the easiest and most reliable way for my family to view selected photos is still via a custom photo gallery that allows me to display selected metadata from the images.  I handle the entire process from my Gallery App within IMatch including FTP of the files to the online album.  It is a fast and easy way for me to set things up from IMatch and then allow my family members to review (and download if they want) photos.

I also highly suggest using Keywords as the main way to share metadata... it is a universal standard and there are many software avenues to explore that offer direct support of this.

Good luck!

PandDLong

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2021, 04:44:12 PM »
Thank you so much for the information.   This is a great support forum - I hope to move from doing all the asking to doing some of the answering in the not-too-distant future!

Seems like copying the info to keywords is the "safest" and most versatile way to go.   

I hadn't looked at the export function in detail yet but that sounds like a nice way to do it - I keep my collection (the "master") and database fairly clean and uncluttered and when I send out sets of photos to others they are richly keyworded. 

I like the gallery idea for sharing a set of photos with others particularly when I am seeking their input on the photo contents or to see what interest they have in getting copies (and they can download at that point if they wish as you mention).  I can then use export for those individuals who want copies loaded with keywords.   I will need to look at that capability further too.

Michael
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 04:49:32 PM by PandDLong »

mastodon

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2021, 05:21:16 PM »
face recognition for dogs
Is this reliable? Does it also work for cats or horses?
Does it store the face region in the XMP data with the "pet" type?
In that case, IMatch should be able to use this automatically for face annotations.
UI was overhelming for me, so I did not tried it. I am waiting for a tutorial video, because I only want to use the face recog function.

Mario

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2021, 08:58:36 AM »
One thing that always works is creating a PDF file with IMatch Design & Print and send out this PDF to your friends and family.
PDF files can be displayed on all devices, from smart phones to web browsers to TV sets.
You have full control over the layout, which data you show etc. All data you want to show your friends & family can be printed right next to the image or even as overlays.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 09:11:28 AM by Mario »

lbo

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2021, 11:22:30 AM »
from your description, it seems to me you want to pass files to your family in some way, correct?

Did you consider to have them on a web server? Then have a look at http://piwigo.org/

If not, http://jalbum.net/ might be an option. It creates static HTML code.

Lightroom's catalog remains available for free after the trial period. But I don't want to suggest Adobe software because I had bad experience with it. The installation is rather invasive and I was never able to uninstall it completely from my system. In addition, many Adobe products are known for their frequent security vulnerabilities.

Having read many posts on related topics - eg. 'Should locations go in Keywords or the metadata fields?' - I lean strongly to only using the structured metadata fields whenever possible.

This is technically "the right way", but in the reality you have to compromise.

I really hate to flood my keywords with place names, but agencies requested it because they didn't read the "modern" metadata.

Even if you are not dependent on an agency, software might dictate an ugly workflow. We'll see if someone suggests a neat image browser supporting all the "modern" data.

And there is much compatibility and legacy stuff to deal with. For example, the Exif "destination" GPS coordinates initially were rather likely not intended to hold the "location shown". It's left as an exercise task for the reader to find out who initially abused repurposed Exif dest coordinates.

frlindla

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2021, 09:46:00 PM »
When Mario writes the things he does about Mylio, I guess he means that metadata should be added by Imatch? I really like the power of Imatch, but also like the way of viewing photos in Mylio!

Mario

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2021, 08:32:39 AM »
I have used Mylio only shortly, to analyze how good (or bad) it works with Metadata.
Which way of viewing photos with Mylio do you like especially?

frlindla

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2021, 03:43:17 PM »
I like the file window layout as you see attached, where every photo has no borders. Could this layout be implemented in Imatch?

I have used Mylio a lot for face tagging and sometimes adding titles and descriptions. Imatch reads this. No problems for me.

Mario

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2021, 04:43:10 PM »
Thank you. I have something similar on my to-do list, with some new tech I'm developing.
I wonder what Mylio does when you have 100,000 or 200,000 photos in that view? Does it work and fast?

When you have no problems to upload the faces of your family and friends to 3rd party severs, Mylio face recog will do.
Note that if you live in Europe, this is most likely illegal due to European GDPR. You need the explicit permission of any person which face you process that way.
And, to me, it's plain common sense to not feed the face data of your family and friends to a 3rd party host running somewhere and doing whatever.
Mylio uses a very careful marketing speech wording on their web site to navigate around the facts that you upload face data to their servers.
It may be legal in your country though. And your friends and family probably don't mind...

bekesizl

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2021, 05:50:16 PM »
Mylio works great with big libraries.

One of their professional user (Daniel J. Cox) has a library of 1.3 million photos and is very satisfied with the performance.
https://focus.mylio.com/how-to/photography/mylio-for-professional-and-serious-enthusiast-photographers
Quote
All Devices Have this Capability

In our office we have ten devices running Mylio. They include iPhones, iMacs, an iPad and Mac Pro, all of them with access to the same 1.2 million image database. My wife Tanya, who regularly needs photos for promoting our Invitational Photo Tours, can get what she needs at her leisure. Jill, our office manager who deals with editors, agents, and other clients can do the same. Gone are the days where Jill and Tanya would regularly message me asking for a particular image for whatever project they were working on. Our office happens to be using all Apple products, but Mylio works just as well with Windows and Android.

Mylio face recognition is running completely local (like IMatch).
You need to have an account at Mylio for using the software, but they are not storing data on their servers.
You only need a cloud space, if you want extra backup. But there Mylio can store your files encrypted and with obfuscated filenames.
It is not very easy to understand the concepts of Mylio (and it is hard to read from their documentation, too, as it is by far not as extensive as from IMatch), but after using it for some time, you can understand it.

That software is also not perfect, but what is?

frlindla

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2021, 06:09:30 PM »
I have been using lightroom earlier and think Mylio is much faster when browsing through my photos (I have about 114.000 photos).


Mario

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2021, 01:42:16 PM »
I like the file window layout as you see attached, where every photo has no borders. Could this layout be implemented in Imatch?

You mean like this experimental feature from my lab, which might or might not, at some time, may appear as a new form of File Window layout in IMatch?


bekesizl

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2021, 02:55:25 PM »
Looks good.  :D

frlindla

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2021, 07:20:46 PM »
Yes, that looked very good Mario!

Aubrey

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2021, 05:07:17 PM »
I like this layout, I hope one day it may make it to IMatch.

BTW: Many of the images are stunning. Where do you get the time for such great photography AND develop AND support IMatch?

I would like you to give a time management course!

Aubrey.

Mario

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2021, 06:19:50 PM »
These are not mine images. I rarely publish any of my images with things associated with IMatch.
I use either licensed stock photos (especially with identifiable people, for legal reasons) or occasionally photos from sources like Pixabay or Unsplash.

frlindla

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2021, 11:24:04 AM »
Have to say it again: hope you implement this view in Imatch!!

Mario

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2021, 01:11:45 PM »
Maybe we'll see something even better in IMatch 2021...

That said, the File Window works as it works (and displays how it displays) because it can easily handle 100,000 or 200,000 files.
The more fancy the layout and display gets, the harder it becomes to ensure the performance needed.

frlindla

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2021, 09:49:03 PM »
If you manage to implement this view, I hope I can find out how to get the photos as sharp and crisp as Mylio. When I  view the photos in same size (thumbnails in filewindow), they look sharper to me in Mylio. Especially when making the thumbs larger.  Maybe some settings are wrong in Imatch. Take a look at my attachment.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 09:55:28 PM by frlindla »

Mario

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2021, 12:35:46 AM »
If you force IMatch to display the thumbnails larger than they were generated, IMatch has to make up pixels. If you have 300 pixel thumbnails and force IMatch to display them at 600 pixels, what could come out of this?
This is why scaling > 100% in the File Window this is off by default.
If you have enabled it, you get what you get. Which is what you do, according to your settings. Even over-sharpen etc...
Maybe just let IMatch create thumbnails in a size that matches your typical display size and not forcing it to mush up 300 pixels to 600?
Reducing image size is always easier than increasing images > 100% by inventing pixels.

The 'sharpness' at different scalings in the Viewer, the QuickView panel and the Slide show depends on DirectX and the GPU in your system.
It's usually just great, because IMatch uses the original file or cache image. Not the 300 pixel thumbnail from the database.

I don't have much experience with Mylio. I sync my files automatically and free via DropBox/OneDrive between different devices and after seeing how Mylio deals with metadata, I've uninstalled it again.
That was all I needed to know and my sole reason to install it.

You are free to use Mylio. IMatch does not lock you in, and when you are happy with Mylio - great. Whatever works for you is good.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 01:09:55 AM by Mario »

frlindla

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2021, 08:34:35 AM »
"Maybe just let IMatch create thumbnails in a size that matches your typical display size and not forcing it to mush up 300 pixels to 600?"

Ok, is there a setting for this in Imatch or do I just turn off scaling bigger than 100%?

Mario

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Re: Simple apps for searching & viewing metadata
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2021, 08:53:16 AM »
Database

Note: Changing this setting only affects images coming into the database afterwards. To re-create thumbnails for existing images, select the images in a File Window, press Shift+Ctrl+F5 and choose "Force Update".
The same command is also available for folders and entire disks.Using the Add or Update Folders Dialog

Keep in mind that a 600 pixel thumbnail needs 4 times as much storage space (in the database) as a 300 pixel thumbnail.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 09:54:40 AM by Mario »