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IPTC photo metadata editor for iPad with Adobe XMP® support

PhotosInfo Pro 1.2 and price drop

2012-05-07 00:00:00

I'm really glad to announce that after 2 weeks of beta-testing I have submitted the new version of PhotosInfo Pro to Apple for review. Huge thanks to all beta-testers, your help was very valuable!

The new version contains just 2 new features but a big number of smaller improvements and bugfixes. The new features are:

  • New iPad retina display support. Photos look georgeous on retina display! The last reason (for me) to print photos is disappeared: images look even better on new retina display than they are in print.
  • Dropbox support. This one took a bit longer to implement, it has required some UI changes on my side as well as some changes in the Dropbox iOS SDK to support smooth export workflow. But it is finished now and extending the app's export targets has become easier - expect FTP and other export targets in future.

The list of improvements and bugfixes is long, the most important changes are:

  • Improved usability for Library and Export sidebars according to users' feedback: now you will see what you are exporting and where - written with clear words in addition to the icon.
  • Re-structured the Export UI: now the tabs correspond to what you export and lines in the table correspond to where you export. Not only it is more intuitive but also it enables better extensibility for more export targets in future.
  • Moved settings into the application. Most people haven't found them otherwise.
  • Finally found and fixed an issue some people had on iPad2 (and which has appeared now on iPad 3 as well) where while exporting to iPad's photos library the app has crashed or produced empty images. The reason for that was that the album's link become invalid on one processor core while an image being read on another processor core - I could never reproduce it on my previous iPad 1.
  • RAW support improved:
    • EXIF metadata is read from images made with Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and Olympus cameras. Even the newest 5D mark iii, D800 and OM-D E-M5 are supported.
    • For Sony (I tested NEX-7, A77 and NEX-5N) and Pentax (K-5) no EXIF metadata supported. You can also check the metadata using e.g. iPhoto for iPad - the metadata will be empty; though Photogene and PhotoMeta are using third-party libraries that can read metadata in Sony images.
    • Image is at least as good as iPad's Photos app can provide (for D800 it is even shown in correct orientation - apparently Photos app has a bug).
  • A lot of other smaller bug fixes and improvements:
    • fixing incorrect double-tap behavior to select a group of images if sort order was reverse in some situations
    • Zoom-in and -out visualized for a single-image view
    • ...

And ONE MORE THING... :) The app is now just half the price!

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PhotosInfo Pro 1.1: iOS 5.0 support

2011-10-07 00:00:00

Last Tuesday Apple has released the iOS 5.0 Golden Master to developers. Since then I was busy finding and trying to fix the last issues caused by the update. As I mentioned earlier Apple made several not backwards compatible changes in the APIs that prevent the previous PhotosInfo Pro version to work under the iOS 5.0. The update is now ready and I have just submitted it to Apple for review. In addition the update adds three small but significant new features:

  • You can now choose to keep the original file name when exporting an image. Access to the original file name is one of the most important changes Apple made to Photos Library API. Keeping the original file name allows you to export your images and your metadata independently: just copy photos from the iPad or even from the original memory card as you would normally do (on Mac you can use e.g. Image Capture) and then export only XMP files from PhotosInfo Pro. Such workflow will save you a lot of time: there is no need to wait until all images are copied from the Photos Library to a new folder. By the way, you also don't need twice the space on the iPad to keep the images twice.
  • If the original file is a JPEG, the app per default will now embed the XMP inside of JPEG instead of saving an additional sidecar file when exporting using Master+XMP option (you have a choice to switch off this behavior if you have concerns touching the original file, however). Adobe products do not read XMP sidecar files if the original file is a JPEG, they always look for XMP inside of the JPEG files. Though it is always possible to add metadata to an image from an arbitrary XMP file (e.g. in Photoshop this is done by selecting File/File Info.../Advanced and then pressing the "Append..." button).
  • After working a little bit with timelapses, where you can easily have more than 1000 images in one event I have implemented a method to select more than one image at once but not all of them when selecting images to either edit metadata or export. This is extremely helpful if you have say two timelapses in a single event. Tap on the first image, scroll down, double-tap on the last image. Simple and efficient. Taping on 500 images to select first timelapse and on another 500 images for the second timelapse was er... too lengthy to say the least.

In addition I have noticed that star rating attribute is now supported when synching images from the computer. However if using Aperture you may need to re-create your previews to contain the latest metadata.

A couple of things that do not work:

  • Metadata editing does not work if the keyboard is undocked. Simply dock the keyboard, the metadata editing will work fine again. This will be fixed in the next update.
  • When exporting images to the Saved Photos album on the iPad the CreatorContactInfo data is not saved. This is a bug in iOS 5.0. If you would save an image from mail or internet on the iPad the CreatorContactInfo data will not be stored as well. When exporting images to iTunes shared folder or Email the CreatorContactInfo data is exported without any issues.
  • The app may become very slow for several seconds when restarted after the Photos Library has changed (e.g. after iTunes sync or an image saved to Saved Photos album). This is caused by yet another bug in iOS 5.0: background operations that actually shall be started when the app goes into the background are now started first as the app returns to the foreground. This leads to the database getting blocked for a longer period of time during the app start. I hope Apple will fix it soon. In the mean time the solution is just to wait for a couple of seconds at the app start. On iPad 1 having a database of approx. 2000 images it takes me 5-6 seconds time. On iPad 2 it should be much faster.

And at last, a warning. EXPORT ALL YOUR METADATA BEFORE UPGRADING TO iOS 5.0. Otherwise it will be lost. The upgrade process re-index the images in the PhotosLibrary causing the PhotosInfo Pro to possess orphan references pointing to image indexes not associated to any images. In this case the app thinks the original images were deleted from the iPad and deletes the metadata as well.

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PhotosInfo Pro 1.0.3 and iOS 5.0 status

2011-09-15 00:00:00

A couple of days ago Apple has approved the PhotosInfo Pro 1.0.3. I have been on vacation recently shooting some timelapses and have found a bug which caused the app to crash if trying to tag an image that has not been previewed yet and thus is not yet present in the database. It has only happened when tagging multiple images at once (typically more than 100). This is now fixed and I tested the app tagging more than 800 images at once.

In the background I continued to prepare the app to work under the iOS 5.0. I could successfully circumvent the issue with the keyboard and now all features are working again as appropriate, though I had to re-write a couple of things due to the changed APIs. The only new feature in the new version will be the ability to use the original file name when exporting images. It is really significant since it opens the possibility to copy the images to the computer as usual and use the app to generate only XMP files. And you can do that any time, even later, after you have copied the images and imported them on the computer.

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PhotosInfoPro 1.0.2 approved 2 weeks ago: no new bug reports. Looking forward to iOS 5.0

2011-08-13 12:00:00

PhotosInfoPro 1.0.2 has been approved on July 28th and since then no new issues have been reported.

I have started working on fixing issues caused by changes made in iOS 5.0, and most of them are already fixed, however due to introduction of un-dockable and split-keyboard I may need to re-think of how the editing is done. Let's see, I still have a couple of weeks, hopefully.

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PhotosInfo Pro 1.0.1 approved, 1.0.2 submitted for review

2011-07-21 21:00:00

Yesterday Apple has approved the PhotosInfo Pro 1.0.1, the update is available on the App Store. However things are going fast and today I have finalized yet another update: it should fix issues that some people have when exporting images into the Photos Library on iPad 2. In detail, the 1.0.2 provides the following improvements:

  • Fixed a possible unpredictable behavior when exporting images into Photos Library on the iPad 2. The issue was caused by the fact that as soon as you export an image into the Photos Library the app immediately gets a notification that the library is changed and must update all references to any library objects that it possesses. It sounds simple until you are going to export multiple images at once. Previously the app just prepared all images to export in a one single API call, and it has worked fine on the iPad 1. On the iPad 2, however, it seems that some work may be off-loaded to the second core of the A5 processor and it is where the things could go out of sync. Now the app explicitly waits for the export of an image is finished, updates the links, and only then starts with the export of the next image.
  • Fixed "over-rotating" of JPEGs from Canon cameras. This is due to a bug in the Apple's AssetsLibrary framework. Canon rotates the JPEG images to the orientation where they should be but in addition stores the original orientation. Apple reads this original orientation and rotates the image again... In addition the fix also slightly improves the crispness of the full-screen previews, so there are positive sides too.

Now, I'm a little bit scary of what is coming with iOS 5.0. At the moment the iOS 5.0 beta 3 is not usable for me at all, it contains several critical issues, to handle them all would mean to rewrite the app completely. Hopefully things will improve as it's getting closer to release.

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