Adding/Tagging JPG comments...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ZballZ, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. ZballZ macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    I know, there is about a ga-zilion posts about this, and like a zilion programmes that claim they do the trick... But nothing really makes much sence to me...

    Can anyone explain to me why it is so goddam complicated????

    All I want is to add a comment to my JPGs! I want it stored in some sort of meta-data, since I want it to stay with the file when I email it around, and I want it to be easy the view this info ... anytime, anywhere...

    ...don't care if it is EXIF, IPTC, Jpg header, meta-man-crazy-stuff, whatever, as long as it WORKS!!!!

    hlp REALLY REALLY Appreciated

    PS: (think my bloodsugar is a bit funny, have been working on this for 10 hours straight!!!)
  2. mac-convert macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2006
    Are we there yet?

    Get the 30-day trial from Apple and try it out. Use the video tutorials to see how it's done.

  3. ZballZ thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    I should have been more specific:
    I want to do this WITHOUT RECOMPRESSING my jpgs. If you use photoshop/aperture or any other image-programme, you can edit the meta-data - yes - but you will need to save the whole image file again, and thus recompres it, thus loosing quality. (so, if you edit comments many times, you will gradually ruin your images)

    I am looking for at way to edit the metadata, without touching the original image....
  4. ZballZ thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    to summarize some of the things i have already tried:

    GraphicConverter (freeware) does - but needs to recompress.

    Reveal lets you edit meta-data, without touching the image - but the data does not show in any other programmes, so I dont trust it.

    Spotlight comments are saved in a seperate file in the osx library, and therefore does not follow the file around

    in WinXP you can simply right click, and add meta-data from there. But this data does not show in OSX... so useless.

    ExifTool should do the trick, but has to run from Terminal as a command line tool - too complicated for me :confused:

    How do you people "comment" in your photos?

    (ps: I dont like iPhoto - i like to keep my photos old-school, sorted in folders...)
  5. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    A bit overkill just for exif editting isn't it?

    I found this, no idea if it works though. Microsoft have some Pro Photo tools to download that would work, but you know what you need for that!
  6. ZballZ thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    Already tried that one - it's the "reveal"-metadata-editor. It does seem to do a pretty good job. You can edit a description-tab, that is saved within the jpg-file. But for some weird reason, when you open that file in photoshop, and go to file-info, the description-tag is empty .. ? .. Maybe it is not generic enough or something...? (although I do find it again, when I use Preview and "file-info")

    Maybe I am naive, still thinking there must be a simple way to do this !
  7. onomatopoeia macrumors 6502


    Dec 9, 2007
    If you're so worried about quality why are you using jpg in the first place? Can you visibly see the difference in the re-compressed jpg?

    I respect you point in principle but go with TIFF or PNG or something higher quality and your problem disappears.
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Have you been able to verify the re-compression actually cause loss of quality. (No, reading about it from some web page does not count.) Have you actually looked at the pixels and compared values? I think that the first time the image is compressed from the raw format some information is lost but if re-compressed back I don't think you loose anything.

    People who worry about this simply shoot RAW format or save toa non-compressed file format like tiff.
  9. ZballZ thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    True. If I worry about quality why use JPG at all?:

    The thing is; I have 2-3000 jpg's on my computer, which I want to tag and organize. About 3 years ago - when I was using PC - I had all my photos organized and tagged using some PC software - cannot remember which, but it worked ok.
    Then I changed to Mac, and guess what! It was imposibble to get my tags along. Well, I started tagging everything all over using Iphoto. Took forever, but again - worked just fine. UNTIL I had a harddisk-failure about a year ago! I had to get a new HDD and install everything again - Fortunately I had all my photos backed-up on an external drive. BUT GUESS WHAT! Again all my tags was lost!!

    Now, I am gonna start tagging my photos AGAIN. But I am NOT tagging thousands of photos once again, without being absolutely sure that this information stays with the JPG forever!

    So; I am looking for something fast, easy and reliable to edit the metadata contained in a JPG. But for some reason that is not that simple.

    Am I really the only one on this forum, that wants to tag my jpg's ??
  10. mtpaper macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2008
    I agree with you - I want the info to travel with my images.

    I use IMatch by photools. Not easy to learn, but extremely powerful. I can use its proprietary database, or IPTC, or EXIF, or XMP sidecars. Or all of them.

    I am getting ready to switch from PC to Mac, and was amazed to learn that iPhoto won't read the iptc data. Crazy. I think Aperture does so I'll take a look - but it's pricey. I'm an obsessive mom, not a professional photographer. Otherwise, I'll run IMatch from my Mac in Windows mode or something like that.
  11. ZballZ thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    My PAIN is over, I finally found a solution.

    Now, first, I will describe my journey of horror, so that everyone else in this situation will know what to do.

    First of all, PHOTOSHOP, APERTURE & a bunch of other image-editing apps CAN DO THIS, BUT... dont use them! In order to edit your exif, iptc-metadate, you will need to resave the image-data, and thus recompress the jpg, and therefore LOOSE QUALITY. Sure, it may not be visible at first, but maybe you add a new keyword the week after, and sometime later again - EVENTUALLY you will F*** UP all your images.

    Secondly - it simply takes AGES doing it this way anyhow, so why bother.

    What I was looking for was an APP that in a fast and easy way would let me edit METADATA (and NOT IMAGE-data) in my JPGs, tag them with all kinds of info, and the save the meta-data WITHIN the jpg, so when you copy it around, email or whatever, this data comes along.

    Iphoto and most other "digital album"-apps let you add all the infomation you want, but it is not saved within the file itself, it is saved in a seperate data-base-file, some obscure place on your harddisk. So if your system crashes (like it happened to me) copying your backup-files WONT HELP a bit - since the data-base-file is lost.


    Apperently it is not very well-known, but used by most pro's (photojournalist). The app is PHOTO MECHANIC. It does exactly what it described. It lets you edit METADATA in a very fast and easy manner. It does in NO WAY edit the image-data itself, so you dont have to worry about quality-loss.

    DEMO available here:

    a little expensive, but I definitely recommend this!!
  12. BarnCat macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2008
    In the western mountains.
    Jpeg to PNG in iPhoto

    So I posted to another thread, posing this problem - but you guys might have some ideas??? Please???? I'd love to convert my entire iPhoto library to png, but when you save the .jpeg files as .png, you lose all the meta data - which basically means you either have no order in your storage, or you spend the rest of your life entering data by hand.

    I don't understand why apple can't save modified files as other formats. They let people save edits to RAW images as tiffs. Any clues?
  13. BarnCat macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2008
    In the western mountains.
  14. ZballZ thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    To answer some of the above questions:

    yes - PNG is a great format for images. Lossless, great! Although sizing at about 10 times a JPG, converting your whole library is gonna take up alot of space. I personally see no reason for that, since most my images where shot JPG. I don't loose quality keeping them as JPG! When I start editing certain images (far from all!) I usually keep the original untouched, and save my edited version as TIFF. But again; different people different preferences...

    BUT; when it comes to META-data, PNG is stone-age. Apparently, there are no standards, or even exif-like pseudostandards, for embedding metadata in PNG images. So, converting your nicely tagged jpg to png - magical - your metadata is gone! (and I read somewhere that the whole metadata in png developing was abandoned in year 2000 - so no, it's not gonna be fixed next month....)

    guess you just gotta find your own way through this jungle.... :)
  15. BarnCat macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2008
    In the western mountains.
    Yeah - I know

    (and I read somewhere that the whole metadata in png developing was abandoned in year 2000 - so no, it's not gonna be fixed next month....)

    guess you just gotta find your own way through this jungle.... :)[/QUOTE]

    Yeah - I spent hours and hours over a period of days doing research into this and found the same thing. I don't know about stone age - png is praised for being open source, and thus dynamic, but nobody's done anything with the encoding, mostly because the standard has more or less been decided by the camera companies, who have supported jpeg, but not messed with png tech.

    tiffs, by the way, are almost three times (if I am remembering my own experience in the last few days right - maybe twice) as large as pngs. So tiffs are hardly space savers, themselves.

    iphoto uses a non destructive editing protocol so that nothing in the library is ever more than step two away from original - but only if you stick to using their editing tools, which are nice but limited.

    I found the photo mechanic guy and he sent me a trial version, and he says that his stuff an write to png. So we'll see -
  16. ZballZ thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    I agree - tiffs are large files as well. But as I said, It is only the few photos which I start to retouch in photoshop that I keep as Tiff (and the original as Jpg). So in my library - currenctly 6.500 Jpgs - I might have a few hundred Tiffs. You talked about converting your whole library to PNG. That is going to be a SUBSTANTIAL differecne...
  17. vmgd macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2008
    Pricy Mechanic

    I was glad to find this thread, and found the discussion very helpful, as I am working with a number of people who are preparing their photos for preservation. The features of Photo Mechanic are impressive indeed, but I blinked a bit at the price. I would very much appreciate you folks evaluation of iTag a freeware program --PC only it looks like :-/ -- that claims to tag without touching the jpg. Of course I'd rather be able to do it with my Mac, but...
  18. ZballZ thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    Sorry cant help you - decided I am done with PC :), but there does seem to be plenty of free tools for this using PC. Stumbled on something called Scotts JPEG-commenter, you might want to check that out as well...

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