Tag, You're Not It

Spent some time looking at IPTC and EXIF stuff again. As usual, there seems to be very little choice where it regards available libraries to both read and write image metadata (I wrote about this time and again), and I've pretty much established that even iPhoto 5.0.4 is pretty damn useless where it regards adding metadata to images (Caption Buddy helps, but it's patching a big gap in what ought to be built-in functionality).

In an ideal world, I should be able to add keywords and notes to an image using the base iPhoto UI, drag it off iPhoto and get a fresh JPEG file with the added metadata merged in - in either IPTC or EXIF format, I don't care - I just want it to be consistent.

In this world, iPhoto can only read those tags (and not all of them judging from my experiences manually adding tags and trying to read them from images) and there is no decent solution to manipulate EXIF tags programatically (from what I've gathered so far in my EXIF and IPTC Wiki notes, it's either megaton libraries or forking a jhead command line).

It's a shambles, and Photoshop Elements is looking better and better - even though I wasn't interested in its album management features as first, the more I look into it the more it seems to be what I need to get my photo workflow in order. Apple may have made a big mistake by deciding to store image metadata in their own semi-open format instead of improving iPhoto's features - even if it is an entry-level product...

Let's see how long it takes Adobe to churn out version 4.0 for the Mac, and how much I can spare by then.

Update: I just spent a good 20 minutes waiting for the 30-day trial version of Photoshop Elements 3.0 to install on my iBook, and it crashes upon launch - not a good sign, and probably due to Adobe not having figured out limited user accounts on Mac OS X yet - the release notes recommend running it under an administrative user account, but I refuse to do that. We'll see how 4.0 works out.

In the meantime:

  • Everyone seems to be going nuts over Writeboard - me, I'm still getting the hang of Backpack, which became an order of magnitude more useful since Melo showed me that all it took was appending /mob to the URL to have a perfectly functional mobile to-do list (yeah, I know, it's old news, but I'm the guy who only recently started using it - and through a Dashboard widget, no less...)
  • Neverball is a lot of fun, but very hard to play on my iBook's trackpad. It is an adequate replacement for Mercury, though.
  • The PNG Canvas now sports a simple vertical gradient primitive.
  • It looks like Europe is getting the Broadcast Flag as well. Cory's writing is far more restrained than usual (must be picking up hints from the Brits, but then again this is a lot more to read than his usual fare), but this does not bode well at all, i.e. we haven't even begun switching to digital TV, and we're already thinking of crippling the end devices.
  • A bazillion people are posting that the 770 got delayed. As if any gadget getting delayed was news... If anything was released on time, that would be news.
  • I want one of these. For myself, when I start work next week.

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