IMA database copy and metadata write-back

Started by CVKen3, May 17, 2019, 03:49:47 AM

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Trying to figure out IMA. I want it so that multiple people can edit pictures (mostly metadata -- dates & description), and then the information will be written back to the file. It's immediately odd in that you make a copy of the database, so users aren't using exactly what's in my "real" database. I figured, what the heck, the information will likely be written back to the files anyway.

1. I selected a picture for editing, changed the dates & caption, and saved them. The values never seemed to be written back to the files. Am I missing something?

While I'm here, about the dates in the edit page:

2. The field under the dates says, "Required format: 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS'", but this format doesn't work. If you use the drop down to enter a date, it shows up as "MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM:SS". Thoughts?

3. I tried this by using my "live" database (not a copy) with iMatch closed and IMA open. When the dates are written through to the file, they appear to be in the wrong format. As near as I can tell, a date should internally look like:
"1985:07:01 14:00:00-08:00"
but IMA writes them like this:
"2019-05-16 12:00:00-07:00"

So, right now I'm dead-in-the-water. IMA looks like a good solution, but isn't quite working for me. Does no one use it for editing files from the internet?


If you allow write-back in IMatch Anywhere WebViewer (FileLens) you should not work with multiple databases of course.
The "publishing" workflow (with separate databases) is for common usage scenarios where you allow users to browse your database and view files. This allows the maintainers to update metadata and the database and then publish a new version when ready.

When you allow people to edit metadata, you should use only one database.

Write-back is performed exclusively in IMatch, using the settings for write-back configured in IMatch.

What do you mean by "edit page"?
Do you mean a feature in IMatch? Or in IMatch Anywhere WebViewer?

Tip: If you don't know the name of something, look it up in the help (press <F1>) or attach a screen shot so we see what you see.


Quote from: CVKen3 on May 17, 2019, 03:49:47 AM

So, right now I'm dead-in-the-water. IMA looks like a good solution, but isn't quite working for me. Does no one use it for editing files from the internet?

Hi Ken - yes... I use IMA for editing keywords while sitting on the couch and using my TV  8) AND also do the same function when I'm at the computer using IM.  I find I do most of my work in IM on the computer - but when viewing images with family, it is nice to be able to add in keywords or other metadata that may come to mind from family as well.  As Mario pointed out - it is important to use a single database if editing in IMA to ensure all your database edits will be available when you launch back in IMatch.  Otherwise, you'll need to setup some auto-syncing from one DB to the other... SyncBackPro does a great job and can keep 2 versions in sync based upon date/time stamps automatically.... but unless you are swapping back and forth between products often, I find just using a single DB much safer and more convenient.

IMatch handles the write back of items to the images based upon your IM settings and that is how IMA edits get filed back into your files (if you wish to do so).  Of course, you cannot have the single database open at the same time in both applications so keep that in mind... Enjoy and welcome!


Thanks for the quick response. Some clarification:

> If you allow write-back in IMatch Anywhere WebViewer (FileLens) you should not work with multiple databases of course.

Yes, that's what I want. I want to be able to have other people update photo captions & dates and have them update the photos. So, you're saying that IMA just updates the database and I have to start IMatch to write-back to the actual files? I can work with that.

>What do you mean by "edit page"?

It appears I meant the "FileLens". The captions for the date entry fields say things like, "Enter the Date the image was taken. Required format: 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS' with an optional time-zone Offset +HH:MM or -HH:MM. Or Z for UTC." However, the date entry format (possibly dependent on the locale settings on the computer or browser??) seem to want a date in the format "05/17/2019 12:00:00 PM-07:00".

Also, when I save the date in IMatch Anywhere FileLens, it is not "proper" in the IMatch viewer -- it's different than the regular dates in pictures, say from photoshop or from my camera. Also, the "Renamer" utility doesn't recognize the date.

You can see the bad dates by changing a date in IMA, switching to IMatch and clicking on the date in the metadata browser (click on the date as if to edit it.)
If I change a date in IMA and then change to IMatch, the edit date looks like "2019-05-17 11:50:13-07:00". A date that I didn't change in IMA looks like "2014:06:04 12:16:56".

Note: I see this in IMatch in the metadata -> "Core Data" -> "Date Subject Created".

What is the standard format for dates in metadata?


ExifTool (and the various metadata standards) accept date and time values only in specific formats.

To make this cross-compatible, ExifTool (and IMatch internally) use a standardized ISO date and time format.
When you use the IMatch Metadata Panel to pick a date from the calendar, IMatch automatically formats the date and time correctly. When a user inputs date and time information in plain text format, he/she is required to use the YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:ss format.

The same should work in IMatch Anywhere WebViewer. It uses 3rd party components to accept date and time in various formats and then change the format internally to the ISO format before sending it to IMatch Anywhere WebServices.

Unfortunately, date and time formatting is a very complex and tricky issue. it depends on the platform (Window, Linux), the browser in use, the "locale" settings the browser is using, the date and time format the user has configured for his browser etc. Something apparently does not work correctly for your installation.

I would need more information: Which platform do you use for IMatch Anywhere WebViewer? Which browser in which version? What are your date and time settings / user interface language in the browser?


Having spent years as a developer, I understand locale stuff can be a pain! It seems this works in your locale but not mine. Ugh. I'll give you as much info as I can, feel free to ask for whatever you may need!

Running Windows 10 version 1809 & Chrome Version 74.0.3729.157, 64-bit.

Running English (United States) everywhere. Chrome doesn't seem to have specific locale settings that I can find, I've attached my windows locale settings as a clip. Note that I've tried in Windows Edge Browser & Firefox, it behaves the same.

I think all the browsers use the windows locale settings.

Attached are 3 clips:
date.jpg: The IMA FileLens date entry field after I've clicked "Today / Noon". Note the tip at the bottom says format YYYY-MM-DD, but the created format is MM/DD/YYYY.
date2.jpg: The IMatch metadata fields showing the Date Subject Created, which I saved and is in the wrong format. Note the Created Date and the Modified Date which I did NOT save in IMA.
region.jpg: The locale info from windows.


I have solved the date and time conversion input/formatting problem for the next release of IMatch Anywhere WebViewer.