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Thread: Photo Tagging ?

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    Silver Lounger
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    Photo Tagging ?

    In much the same way that an MP3 (music file) can be tagged with Artist, Title, Date, Album, etc., does anyone know of a similar technique for photo files (specifically, jpg format)?

    Once an MP3 is tagged properly, the information can be used for sorting, cataloging, searching, etc....

    I now have about 5000 MP3 on my hardrive and have several different programs that will let me tune down to the one I'm looking for in seconds. On the other hand, it takes half a day to find the photo I'm looking for among ~1500. There must be a better way??

    <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20> <img src=/S/help.gif border=0 alt=help width=23 height=15>
    - Ricky

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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    This is a very good question. While you're waiting for others to chime in, will this help? I've never bothered with these advanced properties so I don't know if they're sortable or searchable. I guess a person could fill in a handful and see. I also don't know why the Category box is greyed out.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    Thanks, I've seen this and I've filled in a few to see what I could do with it. Trouble is, I can't find software that takes advantage of this additional file information... iTunes, MusicMatch and Windows MP (just to name a few) know what to do with the ID3 Tags. Someone (surely not me!) needs to write such a program for photo files.
    - Ricky

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    JPG photo files generally follow one of two "standards" (not very standard, really) for storing information about the image, EXIF and/or OSPF. I think we've had some threads on editors for EXIF and/or OSPF information, but I could have seen it on another forum... (completely different than Woody's, such as http://www.dpreview.com/forums/).

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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by fburg on 14-Mar-04 08:51. edit: added new sentence under 2nd dash about PS vs PSE)</P>Ricky,

    I have used the properties. There's 2 things:
    - filling in the properties. I saw BigAl's screen shot but I wonder where it came from. Clicking Properties from WinEx doesn't seem to bring up that screen (unless that's an XP screen since I'm only looking at Win 98 here). I've used Photoshop (PS) and Photoshop Elements (PSE), both of which have a Properties choice on the File menu. That let's you get at something similar to what BigAl showed. If you don't know the latter is a lower end version of the former - both put out by Adobe. As a result, Photoshop let's you get at more properties that it's little brother (or sister)

    - using the Properties. Both PS and PSE allow, also off the File menu but a different choice which I don't recall right now, to automatically generate a web photo gallery. If properties like Artist and Title are filled out, that can be picked up by the process and stuck into the HTML generated code. When going thru the dialog to fill out what you want from the process, you again have choice of including certain properties (eg, a checkbox for Artist) and making other choices as well (eg, what kind of layout you want for your pictures). Again, PS allows you to get at more properties during the dialog then does PSE.

    I'd be interested in SW that lets you sort by these properties or provide some kind of "Win Exp" kind of listing.

    Fred

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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    These properties exist for OLE Structured Storage files such as Excel, PowerPoint, and Word documents, and for all files in systems using NTFS (Win 2000/XP), I think.

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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    <hr>...I saw BigAl's screen shot but I wonder where it came from... <hr>
    You're right, it's a WinXP properties characteristic. In Windows Explorer, you can choose which properties you want to display via the View, Choose Details menu item. However, it's a folder-by-folder setting and I guess would allow sorting, etc. However, I don't have a 3rd party graphics program that does anything with those properties. I looked at SuperJPG which I use, in addition to Paint Shop Pro and didn't see any way to "utilize" these characteristics for stuff like slideshows and the like.

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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    BigAl,

    per my previous posts, do you have photoshop or photoshop elements? These let you set the properties. I would guess that no matter how you set the properties (thru Win XP or thru these pgms or even others), the Create Web Gallery functions of these pgms would pick up the property during html generation as long as the property was included in the dialog for the Create Web Gallery. Does PSP have a similar function? Are there other pgms that generate web galleries? Per my wife, many image editing pgms (and PSP is one but maybe you need a newer version?) do have web gallery generation features but she's not sure if the dialog would allow you to add the property.

    I would wonder if there's a way to get at the properties of a jpeg file (or any other) using VBA when inserting a picture into an Office document (eg, powerpoint or word). That would seem like, if possible, it would be thru the Win API (probably only for XP) or some office function. Maybe time to shift this part of the question to another board?

    Fred

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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    Hi Tricky

    You may find some of the information in past threads useful in your quest. A couple I posted to can be found starting with <post#=342585>post 342585</post#> and <post#=345458>post 345458</post#>.

    Alan

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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    Thanks to all for the ideas and links. It looks like the Adobe products allow "tagging" the photos and has the ability to use the tags.

    I had received Microsoft Digital Image Pro 9 for Christmas and stuck it in a drawer. I never did install the program because I thought it was just an image editor and slide show maker. I've spent the last few hours digging a little deeper into its capabilities and I think I can make it work for me. The program will allow me to define any number of keywords and then I can apply those keywords to the photos while viewing them. Then I can retrieve a subset of photos using any number of the keywords as filters...

    Not quite the same as MP3 tagging but close enough, I suppose. Once I go through all the photos and apply keywords, I'll post back here to let everyone know of its usefulness. I'm sure this will take awhile...

    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>
    - Ricky

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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    If you like evaluating software, many professional (high-volume) users of digital cameras recommend IMatch by Mario Westphal. I believe it works by using an external database to store image information, rather than inserting information into the images, but I've never tried it. Purchase price after evaluation is $50.

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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    Ricky,

    Yes, Photoshop and Photoshop Elements (PS and PSE) have the ability to fill in tags and use them. But note that PSE, as a lighter version of PS, only allows you to fill in certain tags and work with those, while PS's tags (in terms of filling in and working) are a superset of PSE.

    Now here's something I was quite surprised at. Checking on my XP machine what BigAl talked about, I found that I could fill in some tags while in the XP Properties dialog for a file. BUT, and this is a HUGE BUT (maybe worth 2 T's), what you fill in in XP seems to have no relationship to what you see in PS or PSE. For example, filling in the title in the XP Properties dialog does not show anything when I open PS/PSE and look at "File Info" under the File menu of PS or PSE. Similarly, if I fill in the Title in either PS or PSE, it will be picked up by the web gallery generation but will NOT be shown in the Win XP Explorer, even after enabling "Details". Further, if I check the timestamp of when the file is updated, it does properly show the timestamp from either method of update (XP or PS). So the file is being updated either way.

    I always thought a Title is a Title. Apparently not.

    Fred

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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    In a recent edition of PC Magazine, they reviewed several software solutions for dealing with digital images. I was surprised to find that there are several good packages that can really help organize the photos. In addition to Adobe PhotoShop Album, there's Picasa, PreClick's Lifetime Photo Organizer and more.... Strange that the product I already own (MS Digital Image Pro) wasn't mentioned in the review.

    I do appreciate the suggestions and encourage everyone (with a harddrive full of digital photos) to check out the links below:

    Pictures, Pictures, Everywhere (a PC Magazine article on Image Managers)

    A Free Download of PreClicks Photo Organizer (Also a Trial of the better Lifetime Photo Organizer)

    Adobe PhotoShop Album v1 (Really good info, see excerpt below...)

    <hr> Photoshop Album also has excellent tagging capabilities. A Tag pane on the left shows a well-organized hierarchy of keywords. To tag images, simply select one or more photos and then drag a keyword onto one of the selected images. Images can have multiple keywords, making it easy to search for images in various ways or narrow down searches with multiple criteria.<hr>
    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>
    - Ricky

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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    Ricky,

    I'll have to check those articles.

    Did you happen to notice in any of them any explanation for the observations I made regarding the tags as XP sees them vs how PS/PSE sees them? Possibly the easiest software to use would be Win XP since you can view the (XP version of the) tags and sort them right in Win Explorer. I also checked to see if you could do a search on them but didn't see how to do so. But if there are "2 sets of tags", then all bets are off.

    Fred

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    Re: Photo Tagging ?

    Fred - I did not see a clear-cut explanation of why the "tagging" features are not recognized across different software. It appears to me that there is no "standard" such as what exists with MP3s. As an example, looks like you can attach keywords to the photos using PS Album but if you then view the same photos with Picasa, the keywords are useless.

    So, until a true standard is developed, one would have to decide early on which program to use.

    With MP3's, a "standard" was simple: Artists, Title, Time, Album, Genre...
    With photos, where would one start? The only "tag" where everyone might agree is date! After that, you wouldn't be able to get two people to agree as to which attributes to assign, much less a world of users. You and I would take an MP3 and tag it the same way; but we could look at the same photo and tag it differently. I should have thought of this as I was writing the original post.

    In the end, I'll tinker with MS Digital Image and the free trials of some of the others before I lock in my loyalty. Once I apply the keywords to my collection, I don't want to have to do it again.

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>
    - Ricky

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