PhotosInfoPro

PhotosInfo Pro Logo

IPTC photo metadata editor for iPad with Adobe XMP® support

Outline

1. Album (thumbnails) screen

2. Single image screen

3. Metadata

4. Keywords

5. Creator and Copyright

6. Geocoding

7. Export

8. Supported features

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1. Album (thumbnails) screen

Q: How do I know which images are already tagged and which are not?

A: When selecting images either to add metadata or to export them there are icon overlays shown on top of the images. These icons show image rating, whether keywords are present in the image and whether the image is geo-tagged. The overlays are always visible when selecting images, but can in addition be switched on or off also in normal mode (Settings:Presentation / Show Overlays - always).


Q: When selecting images for either export or to edit metadata can I select a range of images without taping on each of them?

A: Yes, tap on the first image in range to select it, then double-tap on the last one. All images between the double-tapped one and the last (from top to bottom) of the previously selected images will be selected. If there is no selected images from the beginning of the folder and the double-tapped one, all images from the first one to the double-tapped one will be selected.


Q: Can I change the sort order of the images?

A: Currently supported are original sort order (as shown by the Photos app - which is simply from oldest to newest) and the reverse sort order (from newest to oldest). You can change the sort order in the application settings (press Settings button).


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2. Single image screen

Q: Can I see my images full screen?

A: Yes. Tap on the image or use two finger zoom-in gesture. A consequent tap or a pinch gesture will exit the full screen mode.


Q: Can I navigate through images inside the single image screen without exiting to the thumbnails screen?

A: Yes. Swipe left for the next image or swipe right for the previous. Swipe gesture also works in full-screen and metadata editing modes.


Q: Can I see my camera settings (Exif) metadata? Is it possible to see all metadata present in the image?

A: Yes. Tap the "<<" button at the bottom-right corner of the screen to show the metadata sidebar. For supported file formats all available metadata for an image is shown, including file name, creation time, Exif, etc.

Please note however, that I use Apple frameworks to read metadata from images, which may not support all metadata fields for certain file formats. Specifically, almost no metadata is available for Sony ARW und Pentax PEF RAW formats. Furthermore, some metadata fields are supported for images synchronized to iPad over iTunes, but not available for images imported using Apple Cammera Connection Kit.


Q: How do I rate my images?

A: Tap on a "·" on the image frame below the image to assign start rating, tap on another position ("★" or "·") to change the rating. Tap on "〇" to reset all ratings. Tap on "✘" to reject the image.


Q: I rejected an image, but in Adobe Lightroom it is not shown as rejected. Why?

A: In Lightroom image rejection is implemented in a non-standard way - as a flag rather than as rating. Unfortunately Lightroom flags are only internal to Lightroom and can neither be set using XMP nor be exported to XMP (see here). On the contrary, Adobe Bridge shows reject ratings correctly.


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3. Metadata

Q: What metadata is supported?

A: At the moment PhotosInfoPro supports editing IPTC Core 1.1, XMP rating and Exif GPS. In future it is planned to add support for editing Exif lens info and PLUS metadta.


Q: What IPTC tags are supported? Where is my Caption/Abstract?

A: PhotosInfoPro supports all of the new IPTC 1.1 standard IPTC Core tags except Subject Code, Scene Code, Intellectual Genre and Date Created. The first three tags are supposed to be selected from a closed vocabulary and will be added in one of the later app releases. The Date Created tag is semantically equivalent to the corresponding Exif tag, it was decided to not support it explicitly. Please note that the app supports more recent IPTC 1.1 standard where some of the classic IPTC tags were renamed, e.g. Caption/Abstract is now called Description. Please refer to IPTC website for details.


Q: What are the tabs in metadata editing screen?

A: All IPTC Core tags in the app are grouped into 6 groups, each group being represented by a single tab in metadata editing screen. These tabs (from top to bottom) are:

  • Description - includes IPTC Headline and Description tags
  • Keywords
  • Creator - includes Creator, Creator's Jobtitle tags, tags from Creator Contact's Info structure as well as Description Writer tag
  • Copyright - Copyright Notice, Source, Creadit Line and Rights Usage Terms tags
  • Workflow - Title, Job ID and Instructions
  • Location - allows to set GPS Exif tags (using map view) and based on that data the IPTC Sublocation, City, State/Province, Country and Country Code tags are pre-set by the app automatically, but can be fine-tuned manually if needed.


Q: Can I navigate between images without exiting the metadata editing screen?

A: Yes. Swipe left for the next image or swipe right for the previous.


Q: What does the "+" symbol means on the metadata button in the thumbnails screen?

A: Metadata buttons in thumbnails and single image screens though being called similar have different meanings: in single image screen metadata button means Edit metadata, whereas in thumbnails screen metadata button means Add metadata. To emphasize this difference metadata button in thumbnails screen has the "+" symbol in its icon.

Add metadata means that for set-valued tags like keywords provided keywords are added to the keywords already present in the selected images, however keywords present in the images but missing in the provided list stay in the images - they are not deleted. Furthermore, tags that were left empty will not be deleted in the images; empty means "no change". Of course provided tags with simple string values will overwrite the corresponding tags in the images.


Q: Why Add metadata? Wasn't it possible to implement edit metadata for multiple images?

A: To edit metadata in multiple images one has to be provided with the original metadata located in these images. Due to a simplicity of selecting a range of images or even all images in an album, it is easy to add metadata to hundreds or even thousands of images in one step. However to access metadata in an image one needs to load that image, and considering image file sizes it can get slow - a couple of seconds for a single image, e.g. in case of a large RAW file. That's why when you first view an image the app copies its metadata to an internal database. So that when next time you need this metadata the access is fast.

Now let's assume that someone selected all images in an album which contains 1000 images. Some of those images were already previewed (metadata copied in the database), most of them were not. Say, 900 of those 1000 images are not yet in the database. Since reading a single image takes 2-3 seconds, collecting metadata for the 900 images which are not yet in the database will take 30-45 minutes. I'm sure, no one is willing to wait that long before editing can start.


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4. Keywords

Q: How do I add a keyword?

A: If you see the keyword in the vocabulary you can immediately tap on it. The keyword will be added. Otherwise start typing keyword's first letters, keywords in the vocabulary are filtered according to your input. As soon as you found the keyword in the vocabulary - tap on it. If the keyword is missing in the vocabulary, type it completely, then press Enter.


Q: How do I delete a keyword from the vocabulary?

A: Swipe left or right through the corresponding table row. The delete button will appear.


Q: How do I use autocompletion when entering keywords?

A: Start typing a keyword. As soon as an autocompletion proposal appears, press Space, then Enter. Trailing spaces are removed automatically. When pressing Enter without pressing the Space the app assumes you have entered the keyword completely whatever the autocompletion proposes. It may or may not correspond to what you were expecting.


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5. Creator and Copyright

Q: Can I search inside the Contacts list?

A: Yes. As usual with the presets list start typing the first letters of a Contact's name - the Contacts list will be filtered according to your input.


Q: What address books are supported? Can I access my Exchange address book?

A: At the moment only the on-device local default address book is supported. In future it is planned to add a UI inside Settings to change the used address book.


Q: I'm a little bit confused, how do presets work? Can I create a preset without applying it immediately to an image?

A: The idea behind the current implementation of presets is that you edit metadata in images as usual, however at any point if you feel that you may have a re-use for the filled information you can press save and the content of all fields in current the tab will be added to the presets list as a single entry. In the current app version there is no UI to create presets in advance all at once for later use, presets are created as they needed.

However it is planned for a future release to implement a UI inside the Settings to create presets in advance.


Q: Is it possible to set a preset to be added automatically to all new imported images?

A: Not yet. It is planned to the add the UI for that at the same time as implementing creation of presets in the Settings.


Q: How do I add a preset?

A: Edit the fields and then press 'Save' button. A new preset will be created (make sure there is no checkmark against any of the existing presets - see next question).


Q: Can I change a preset?

A: Yes. If when editing metadata for an image you find that yon need to update a preset please apply the old preset to an image - a checkmark on the preset appears. Then edit the fields and press 'Save' - the preset will be updated with edited information.

If there is a checkmark against any of the existing presets the Save button will always overwrite this preset, if there is no checkmark at any existing preset a new preset will be created.


Q: How do I delete a preset?

A: Swipe left or right through the corresponding row in the presets table. A 'Delete' button will appear.


Q: What is the preset name? Can multiple presets with the same name exist?

A: For Creator presets the preset name is the content of IPTC Creator tag, for Copyright presets it is the IPTC Copyright Notice tag. Yes, there could be multiple presets with the same name, e.g. a magazine or newspaper photographer working also on a freelance basis may want to create two different creator presets. However since his name wouldn't change both presets will have the same title.

I plan to add user-selectable preset names that are different to any IPTC tag when presets editing inside settings is implemented. In metadata editing screen it is simply not enough space for an extra field.


Q: Why in Creator tab I have to press 'Edit' button to edit the fields, whereas in Copyright tab I can edit the fields immediately?

A: Creator tab has many more fields than the Copyright tab. For Copyright tab all fields fit on screen, however in Creator tab you will have to scroll. Since multiple presets may have the same title and distinguish only in fields that are off-screen I felt it is important to provide an overview view that fits on screen completely for being able to quickly see the difference between multiple presets even if adding an extra step to edit those fields (Creator presets don't change often). As explicit preset name editing in Settings is implemented I may reconsider the UI here as well.


Q: I have a long list of presets, how do I find the right one?

A: Start typing first letters of the preset's name, the list of presets will be filtered according to your input.


Q: Can I use my address book information to fill IPTC Creator & Creator Contact Info tags?

A: Yes, you can. Address book entries are listed (if you have allowed the app to access your Contacts information) under the 'Contacts' section inside the Creator presets table.


Q: What is the idea behind using address book entries for editing IPTC tags? Why not just create regular presets?

A: Well, IPTC tags and address book fields do match in the most of the fields. However, I agree, you will probably wouldn't want to assign an address book entry fields to IPTC Creator & Creator Contact Info fields without prior editing. The idea in supporting address book was that it will help to initially create metadata presets. After you have done with the presets, most probably you will never need address book again.


Q: Now, I'm done with the Creator presets and I have a big Contacts list that clutters my view. Can I switch it off?

A: Yes. Starting from iOS 6.0 you can withdraw an app the permission to access address book. Go to iOS Settings app, Privacy, Contacts and switch PhotosInfoPro to off. PhotosInfoPro checks if it is allowed to access address book, and if not it behaves correctly.


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6. Geocoding

Q: I have searched for a location at the location tab in the metadata editing screen. The location has been found, however the IPTC location fields (Sublocation, etc.) are not as I would like them to be. Can I override the automatic proposal?

A: Sure. Press on the 'more' (>) button on the location label to edit the IPTC fields manually.


Q: How do I assign my current GPS location to an image?

A: When at location tab in metadata editing screen press the GPS button. When GPS position is found (depending on conditions it may take up to approx. 2 minutes) press the 'Drop Pin' button.


Q: Can I remove GPS location from an image?

A: Yes, you can. When a GPS location is set for an image 'Drop Pin' button turns into 'Remove Pin' button.


Q: When navigating through images in metadata editing screen, can I assign to a next image exactly the same location as for the previous image?

A: Assuming the previous image has the location already assigned and the next image has not, then yes, you can. When at the previous image go to the location editing tab. Then swipe to go to the next image. The location pin disappears, but the map stays at the same location. Just press the 'Drop Pin' button, the next image will be assigned exactly the same location as the previous and the reverse geocoder will find its address. You may need to manually edit the location IPTC fields though, if you did so for the previous image.


Q: I'm on a trip without internet connection and my iPad doesn't have GPS. Can I set the IPTC Location fields nevertheless?

A: Yes. Even if the map view doesn't show anything you can still press the 'Drop Pin' button and afterwards the '>' button to edit IPTC location fields manually. Furthermore, if you don't move the map view from the default location pre-set when the view appears the app recognizes that the GPS position is dummy and re-sets it based on the IPTC location values next time when you return to the location editing tab for this image while being connected to internet.


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7. Export

Q: I've seen the app provides a possibility to export XMP sidecar files only, whithout exporting the images. What is the idea behind it?

A: It saves your time. One of the iOS 5.0 improvements is the possibility to obtain the original file name for an image. Since then you can export your images and your metadata independently. Just be sure to set the file naming scheme for image export to be the "original file name" in the Settings. That is you don't have to use PhotosInfo Pro to export your images, use whatever application you like (on Mac you can e.g. use Image Capture) and use PhotosInfo Pro to export only metadata afterwards. To speed up the process even more you can even copy images from the original memory card if you like. Everything you will need to do afterwards is to export XMP files and copy them to the same folder as the RAW images.


Q: Ok, I send JPEGs from my EyeFi card to iPad, tagged them and exported only XMP files as you said. All is set up correctly, but the file names do not match! What happened?

A: Your EyeFi app doesn't keep the original file name when saving images to iPad. No EyeFi app does it since Apple doesn't provide any API to set a file name when saving an image to iPad's camera roll. I plan to implement a direct EyeFi import myself in one of the future versions to overcome this limitation.


Q: Can your app write metadata back to original files? I don't want the hassles of exporting images and then managing two copies of them.

A: No app on a non-jailbroken iPad can change original image files. It is prohibited by Apple. So, no, unfortunately one needs a workaround, and it is saving a second copy of the original file using export.


Q: I use a JPEG workflow and export my images using JPEG option. Though I set the resolution to "full resolution" my images appear compressed compared to the originals. Can I just embed the metadata into my original JPEGs?

A: Yes. Please use "Master+XMP" export tab. JPEG tab indeed creates a compressed copy of the image (needed e.g. if the original file is RAW). Master+XMP, however does exactly what you are asking for: it keeps the original image and only adds metadata. In case original image is JPEG metadata will be embedded in the image. Though if you wish to go even further you may switch-off embedding the metadata inside JPEGs in settings and get separate JPEG and XMP files. Please note however, that in later case the XMP will not be automatically read by the common PC/MAC software: you will have to add it to you content management system manually.


Q: Why cannot I send RAW (master) images per email?

A: The email API in iOS is constructed in a way that every attachment file must be loaded into memory before being transferred to the email app. Some RAW files may be just too big for that. You have an option to email JPEG versions with up to original image resolution though.


Q: When exporting into the iPad Photos Library it is only possible to export JPEG versions. Why that?

A: The iOS API only accepts JPEG images to be imported into the Photos Library.


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8. Supported features

Q: What images can I access in the app?

A: All images that you can see in the Photos app. Camera Roll, all albums, events or faces folders are accessible. Images from Camera app, synced over iTunes, imported using Apple's Camera Connection Kit, exported to Camera Roll by any other app - any image, if you can see it in Photos app, you will be able to see it in PhotosInfoPro too.


Q: Which RAW files are supported? Can I see Exif information in RAW files?

A: The app is able to show all files which are supported by the iPad. If Photos app shows you an image it should be also supported by the PhotosInfoPro (let me know if it is not). However RAW support on the iPad is limited: instead of decoding the RAW file itself the iPad uses a JPEG preview of that image embedded in the RAW if it has enough resolution. So in some cases you will see real image decoded from RAW (Nikon), but in many other cases (Olympus, Panasonic and probably Canon) you will see just the embedded preview. Exif is supported for Canon CR2, Nikon NEF, Olympus ORF and Panasonic RW2 (though not all tags are decoded for all brands by the time of writing), not supported are Pentax PEF and Sony ARW. Even the newest cameras like Canon 5D Mark III, Nikon D800 and Olympus E-M5 are supported.