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I found a few nice utilities–most free–to enhance managing photo’s on Windows (at least under XP).
IPTCExt 1.1, from PhotoThumb.com is a handy windows shell extension that will give you access to the IPTC information in the Explorer shell (“My Computer”). It also adds more pages (tabs) to the item properties window that show the IPTC info. You can view and edit the information, as well as add columns to the Explorer window (when viewing under “details”) to show any IPTC fields. Photothumb also offers MetaStripper 0.91, which will losslessly strip all or selected meta data from a JPEG and save the stripped version to a new location or file name. It can batch process entire folders. I need to check out Photothumb for Windows which bills itself as a thumbnailer, resizer and web page builder, it also allows IPTC and EXIF editing.
PixVue hails itself as an image management application. While it certainly isn’t a “Portfolio” type application, it does provide image previews, slideshow, image finding, gallery creation and metadata editing. Like IPTCExt it integrates into the Windows Explorer shell and adds pages to an image file’s properties window. Unlike IPTCExt, PicVue is also available as a right click context menu. PixVue allows editing of XMP and IPTC metadata, as well as a very handy copy, cut and paste of metadata through the context menu. This feature is very nice. Also an option is removing metadata. Another great feature is the creation of metadata templates for application to groups of photos. I am really impressed with PixVue’s context menu and metadata editing capabilities. Oh, it’s also available free-of-charge.
I initially installed IPTCExt, and then found PixVue. Actually I like the combination of the two even more than either alone. PicVue’s strength is in the Explorer shell context menu items it adds–metadata edit, remove, copy, cut, paste etc–it also adds property pages, but they are detail summaries without editing capabilities. It shows Exif, IPTC and XMP info on separate pages. IPTCExt adds the explorer shell view details and detailed editable IPTC property pages–Caption, Keywords, Categories, Origin–to the item properties access through the Explorer shell. I haven’t noticed any problems running both extensions at the same time.
I am still looking for a nice tool that will allow me to selectively imbed metadata into images destined for the web, and / or selectively export metadata in an xml format. Anyone know of something that can handle this? If you do please drop me a comment.