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These past 3 days were a nightmare to me as I was trying to find THE way to store picture metadata for my 5000 photo archive the correct way.

Since I read this great blog post of Carl Seibert I found out that embedded Picture Metadata world is a Hell. We seem to have 3 standards regarding embedding metadata into image files themselves. EXIF, IPTC's IIM and Metadata Working Group's XMP.

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As you see, each photo editing/organizing software is literally choosing what it likes to read. And about face tags, the only way to store them correctly is in XMP.

What I ultimately want is to have these metadata's in my pictures:

  • Date Taken (The date image was taken. I guess this is mainly stored in EXIF. some of my pictures are scanned old photos. so I need to manually enter this info for them.)
  • Location (The Location the image was taken. same as above it seems to be stored in EXIF and I need to be able to manually add it to some images)
  • Description (a short description of the story of the image if available)
  • Tags or Keywords ( a fail-safe alternative to true face tag info. just naming people in Picture as tags.)

  • Face Tags (XMP's standard face tags. which is face location and a name)

Here is where I desperately need you guys to help:

I want a Software that helps me write above metadata for my archive to XMP, IIM, and EXIF's related locations. so each shitty software can at least find what it likes to find, in one of them.

UPDATE: Seems Adobe Lightroom Classic is a good choice for my needs.

  • When I add metadata to images, it seems to update any related tags for EXIF, XMP and IPTC.
  • Regarding face tags, it will save them in xmp-mwg-rs and also adds a keyword tag to other related metadata.
  • Also, for Geotagging, it has a map module and I can drag and drop images in the needed map area. Also when saving geo-tagging metadata, it saves them in EXIF and also MWG's XMP, and will also fetch city, district and country name.
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Even though it has "EXIF" in the name, Exiftool can read and write all of these standards. It's very powerful and easy to script so you can write to all the locations you like in the way you need for the other software to understand.

In fact, this is the tool used in the blog post you link. So, I second that recommendation.

  • Thanks for your answer. Unfortunately it is command line utility and I even tried EXIFtoolGUI, it should be able to write first 2 tags I mentioned, but for facetagging and location i think an image organizer is needed to be able to practically tag them. – Euphoria Nov 14 '18 at 12:37
  • Categorize and label your photos with whatever tool has an interface you like for that activity. Then use exiftool to make sure the metadata is as you prefer. – mattdm Nov 14 '18 at 12:40
  • That is a good workaround. But right now I can't find any software that is good in face detection and can store XMP face tags. Same for Geo-tagging. Microsoft Windows 10 Photos App seems to be good in face detection, but it doesn't store that in the file and I see no way of extracting that info and embed it. – Euphoria Nov 14 '18 at 13:15
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    That sounds like a different problem :) – mattdm Nov 14 '18 at 14:38
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Seems Adobe Lightroom Classic is a good choice for my needs.

When I add metadata to images (Title, description and photo Taken date), it seems to update any related tags for EXIF, XMP and IPTC. Regarding face tags, it will save them in xmp-mwg-rs and also adds a keyword tag to other related metadata. Also, for Geotagging, it has a map module and I can drag and drop images in the needed map area. Also when saving geo-tagging metadata, it saves them in EXIF and also MWG's XMP, and will also fetch city, district and country name.

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I use Geosetter, even though it is focused towards geotagging, the app uses exiftool behind the scenes an also provides decent metadata editing abilities of the fields you mentioned (Captions, Descriptions, Keyword/Tags, Location info), with support for EXIF, IPTC and XMP. Geosetter can read MP Region (xmp-mwg-rs) and MS People Tags, but it does not provide a way to edit face tags. For face detection and tagging I still rely on Windows Photo Gallery.

Also, Geosetter allows you to include custom exiftool operations upon saving changes back to the file, so it is quite versatile. I use them to copy certain tags to their XMP equivalents, specifically ensuring location info such as Sublocation, City, Country are copied to their IPTC 2008 Spec equivalents.

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