A few XMP Dublin Core elements; description overlay

Describe any features you would like to see in future versions of FastPictureViewer Professional.

A few XMP Dublin Core elements; description overlay

Postby sergeymk on Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:28 pm


I am not a photographer; my main interest is in viewing and maintaining a future-proof personal photo collection. I would like to be able to view photos and add simple descriptions to them; if the photo I am viewing has a description, then I would like for it to appear as a text box or semi-transparent overlay at the bottom, similar to the way many photo sharing and social networking sites now display photos.

As you know, XMP has emerged as the future standard for image metadata, and supports different schemas. For home users like me, IPTC and EXIF is overkill, and Dublin Core [1] [2] has emerged as the preferred standard for archival metadata information.

Unfortunately, few of the popular image viewers support XMP, and the few that do (FPV being the best and most prominent) do not always support Dublin Core and do not make it easy for causal users like me to view the photo description (XMP dc:description) when looking at the photo, and to add one as desired.

In terms of support for Dublin Core, iTag comes close. Take a look at their compatibility section which describes how the XMP Dublin Core schema fits in with other software. But iTag's viewer is not nearly as clean, simple, functional and powerful as FPV.

So I really think you have a market opportunity here, to provide a powerful, future-proof way for home users (non-photographers) to view and annotate their photos on the Windows platform. All you would need to do is:

  1. Support a few XMP Dublin Core elements (at least Description, but preferably also Date, Title and Subject [Subject is typically used for Keywords])
  2. Create a read-only overlay that is displayed whenever the photo that is being viewed contains a Dublin Core description, title or tag.
  3. Create a separate dialog to add Dublin Core metadata to images.

I have conducted extensive searches for this kind of functionality over the past several years, and unfortunately nothing out there really provides this function. FPV is my best hope because it comes so close to providing this kind of simple photo viewing and archiving functionality. I also volunteer at a small museum/archive (mrcsf.org) where a big project is under way for scanning of historical photographs is under way, with almost no IT expertise and support. Dublin Core is the recommended schema for archival purposes, and it would be great if FPV would enable this functionality to help them annotate their historical images better.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you consider implementing this feature?
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Re: A few XMP Dublin Core elements; description overlay

Postby Axel on Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:22 pm

A good start would be to hit the W key to fire up the IPTC/Keyword editor 8-)

Several DC fields are readily mapped in an easy-to-use user-interface (dc:creator, dc:description, dc:title, dc:rights), as well as a bunch of others from the cornucopia of schemas that makes up typical image metadata.

FPV's IPTC Editor field mapping is a 100%, one-to-one match with Adobe Photoshop's IPTC tab in their File Info dialog. I plan to follow the work of the Metadata Working Group and implement their recommendations regarding future schema mapping.

Finally, FastPictureViewer supports the Embedded Metadata Manifesto and aims to provide the best possible, most interoperable metadata editing mechanism. Actually the data written by FPV inside files such as JPEG successfully rounds-trips between Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, my primary interoperability targets.

Some sort of metadata overlay might be added at some point in the future.
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Re: A few XMP Dublin Core elements; description overlay

Postby sergeymk on Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:33 am

Thanks Axel. Did not know that some of the IPTC fields sync to the Dublin Core elements. Installed FPV, tested it out and works beautifully with jpegs and tiffs. Adding text to the IPTC description field creates a corresponding dc:description element. It is very reassuring that you pay so much attention to metadata handling. For a lot of software packages it is an afterthought.

One minor thing that I will mention is dc:date, which allows fuzzy dates (e.g. YYYY or YYYY-MM). Your current (IPTC) implementation requires an exact date. I don't really see this as a priority, but a nice-to-have. Just throwing it out there to keep it on the radar.

I really enjoyed FPV functionality, and just purchased it today (+codec pack), and made it my default viewer. Thanks a lot for developing it. Really a top notch product and a great interface / user experience. I switched over from Imagine, which is another great viewer and I continue to use it (as external "editor" in FPV) for side-by-side comparison of images and for viewing animated GIFs.

So my greatest wish remains the metadata overlay that would display dc:description. Good to hear that it might get introduced. I hope you can find the time.

Best wishes
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