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  • Embedding metadata - is it readable by other software

    I understand that Embed Metadata only writes ACDSee items like Rating, Label, and a few other fields I don't care about.
    i read this as a clarification on a topic for ACDSee older version, 2017 I believe. The explanation said you could see this embedded data in Exiftool, but not likely any other photo software. I'm hoping in later ACDSee Ultimate versions this has improved.

    I want to confirm, once and for all if this embedded data can be read by other photo software that handles metadata. Can somebody give me a straight forward, simple answer?

    There are too many decent photo software to list, but I've used many quality programs and have not seen ACDSee rating or label show up in any other program, except in some programs that have XMP data. Some of those show 4 or 5 software and the metadata from each software.
    That info in the XMP file is useless for viewing complete photo metadata.

    I like ACDSee but after spending hours rating, tagging, and labelling pics, I've been very frustrated that I can't see this data in other programs that I must use due to limitations of ACDSee Ultimate.
    Is it really asking too much to have photo software be uniform for the important, frequently used metadata fields? There can still be options and frills that are Proprietary, for companies that feel that's important. Most users just want a user friendly, quality, fast DAM program with plenty of batch tools for importing, batch changes to any editable fields, great search options that offer easily used multiple criteria, etc.

    Thanks for any, all help.


  • #2
    I think you may be looking for an "official source". I do not qualify as an official source.

    This is my experience.
    I find that fields listed in IPTC and EXIF seem to be picked up by many other software packages.
    I find that Labels and Rating are picked up by other software packages
    I find that other software packages that adjust these same fields are correctly read by ACD.
    I do believe XMP data is the transfer mechanism for many of the fields I use.


    I can't remember what feature were or were not in prior versions.... but, I don't remember this being any different for a long time.

    I can't speak to as why you are not seeing the same, other than to say I have NOT used every program. There are 8 commercial applications on my system today that seem to interoperate with these fields.

    However, I have not had the same experience with categories.... I am not sure it is how I use ACD the program itself. Thus, I stay away from "Categories"

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    • #3
      Gus, thanks for your info.

      I'll have to look at ACDSee catalog settings and also see if there are any settings for Embed.
      I've pretty much stopped using ACDSee due to this issue.
      Hearing that you've seen these 2 data display in other programs makes me think I've overlooked something in settings. The settings screen is a bit overwhelming, and it would be easy for me to skip something significant.
      Can you tell me where you see Label and Rating?
      Is it IPTC or EXIF?

      And Categories! Don't get me started... Several years ago I was using ACDSee almost exclusively and had many multi level categories assigned to most of my over 5K photos at the time. I later decided I wanted to use different software, due to some ACDSee limitations. Little did I know that Categories couldn't be imported into any other software. I had to reorganize my entire photo collection. At that time there were many ACDSee Only fields that couldn't be used by other software.
      Thanks again.

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      • #4
        I agree the ACD application would benefit from an update in this area.

        For Labels and Ratings
        I mainly look for the data in the XMP sidecar file. If it is not there, Tools > Metadata > Embed seems to get it there...


        For Keywords, I use the IPTC keywords

        BUT, this is where it gets confusing... different file formats work differently. For example "embedding ratings"
        * in a jpg, it seems to update in the XMP and the file itself
        * in a raw file, it seems to update in the XMP only

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        • #5
          Strange how RAW files are handled so differently.
          I've not had a chance to try another Embed after checking settings. But I'm anxious to see if I can still get data to appear in my other software, that was embedded previously.
          It will be interesting....

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          • #6
            With RAW files..... This seems to be a typical operation... Keeping the actual RAW file untouched is something many people like.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Golden Lover View Post
              Can somebody give me a straight forward, simple answer?
              Sorry, IMHO this can't be given. Camera manufacturers and software companies invent new tags all the time. Because it's so easy with exiftool, even users can add new tags to xmp. Take a peek at this list, that shows the XMP tags exiftool currently supports by default. Also standards like IPTC get updates occasionally .

              Lets look at the "rating" (you named it). It's implemented in AC many years ago and AC stored it in the database. AFAIR at that time hardly any program had any similar tag. When AC learned to embed meta (AFAIR in was in 2015) it was forced to use a proprietary tag.

              Currently AC is storing it in the db initially. With embedding it gets written to "xmp-acdsee:rating" and also to "xmp-xmp:rating". The latter was added to the IPTC standard in 2017.

              This and other tags must be actively embedded, but are read on the fly when browsing the files. I still wonder why!

              Originally posted by GusPanella View Post
              BUT, this is where it gets confusing... different file formats work differently. For example "embedding ratings"
              * in a jpg, it seems to update in the XMP and the file itself
              * in a raw file, it seems to update in the XMP only
              Sorry GusPanella I don't get this. Do you have a sample, please.

              Last edited by Emil; 09-20-2020, 05:39 PM. Reason: Links missing

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              • #8
                An example of how image metadata is handled by file type...


                NEF Files
                Outside of ACD (and others) branding their individual names into the Software field, I don't think I have seen any commercial tool touch the EXIF data within the file directly... (I certainly could be wrong. For NEF files, I typically see XMP files as the defacto method of storing metadata. For this example, ACD and others, do not change the taing inside NEF files, but rather change the rating in the XML file..

                JPG Files
                With JPG files, I see software packages including ACD change the star rating and other attributes in the JPG file itself.

                I have also notice, in times of conflict, software programs tend to use the XML data over the equivelent attribute inside the file.
                EXECPT... WIn10 uses the attributes in the file (does not seem to read XML)

                i've not been able to upload files for a long time... but here is something to try
                * Change the rating of a JPG using ACD, Win10 recognizes the change. (At least that is what I see)
                * Change the rating of a NEF file using ACD. Win10 does not see the change.

                Look at both of these files in a different photography application... I see the changed rating in both.
                Drives me crazy...


                ( FWIW, there is one application that allows you to choose if file attributes or XML takes precedence)

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                • #9
                  For storing meta data in JPEG files there exists an ISO standard. Afaik there's now such document for NEF. Programmers must use reverse engineering to get a clue. For safety reasons this knowledge is used for reading meta data only and all changes are stored in a XMP sidecar files which also has a well known standard. There also exists a XMP-Toolkit SDK for programmers.

                  Usually when creating a new XMP file, programs copy parts of the existing meta data from the raw file into the XMP file to have it all in one place.
                  When reading meta data programs usually prefer existing XMP files of course if it exists. Imho everything else is incorrect.

                  The windows explorer doesn't support XMP files at all. Fortunately it also doesn't allow to write tags in to NEF files. I'd never use the explorer to manage or even view my raw files.

                  Originally posted by GusPanella View Post
                  ( FWIW, there is one application that allows you to choose if file attributes or XML takes precedence)
                  There's also programs that can copy the image meta data "date created" into the file property "create date". Imho a pretty useless feature :-)


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GusPanella View Post
                    An example of how image metadata is handled by file type

                    JPG Files
                    With JPG files, I see software packages including ACD change the star rating and other attributes in the JPG file itself.

                    ( FWIW, there is one application that allows you to choose if file attributes or XML takes precedence)

                    Gus I know this is an old thread but I meant to ask you to give me example software that changes the star ratings, and those changes are seen by ACD and vice versa.

                    Also, what software did you find that lets you choose whether to use File attributes or XML?
                    I seem to recall using a program in the past that had this option, but I've used so many I can't remember what program (s) had this feature.

                    Thanks again for your input.

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                    • #11
                      PM sent directly

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                      • #12
                        By the sound of if, the only "safe way" to preserve metadata would be sidecar metadata files for every images regardless of format. At least the data shouldn't be dumped or corrupted by 3rd party applications used for post processing a file, and can in theory be read by anyone (they are text files) who wishes to write an application to do so.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Regor250 View Post
                          By the sound of if, the only "safe way" to preserve metadata would be sidecar metadata files for every images regardless of format. At least the data shouldn't be dumped or corrupted by 3rd party applications used for post processing a file, and can in theory be read by anyone (they are text files) who wishes to write an application to do so.
                          There may be exceptions to the rule, but there are multiple tools that happily share standard metadata. In ACD if, you stay within the IPTC tab keeps the most flexibility across tool sets.
                          Of note: the ACDC-specific (Properties > ACDSee Metadata) does seem unique to ACD. (If concerned about vendor lock-in, do not use that tab)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Golden Lover View Post
                            Also, what software did you find that lets you choose whether to use File attributes or XML?
                            AFAIR Digikam has this option.

                            Originally posted by GusPanella View Post
                            Of note: the ACDC-specific (Properties > ACDSee Metadata) does seem unique to ACD. (If concerned about vendor lock-in, do not use that tab)
                            Don't worry. If you decide to change the sw, there's options to map proprietary AC metadata into standard tags.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Golden Lover View Post
                              I like ACDSee but after spending hours rating, tagging, and labelling pics, I've been very frustrated that I can't see this data in other programs that I must use due to limitations of ACDSee Ultimate.
                              While I agree that it would be great if it were easier to share metadata among various programs, AcdSee is hardly unique in having these "limitations".
                              In fact, one must wonder if the limitations are of the exporting program, of the importing one, or of both.

                              I don't remember all the details but I remember I spent a lot of time, with no success, trying to get Lightroom to read the color labels and the star ratings assigned in On1 raw and in Capture One. Of course I ensured data was saved to sidecar files etc. After a while I gave up. IPTC keywords were read fine, but not these other attributes.

                              May I ask what other programs you tried, which cannot read AcdSee's metadata? Do you know if those same programs can read the metadata of other programs?
                              Have you found if there are other programs which can read AcdSee's metadata?
                              Last edited by YetAnotherLightroomer; 12-08-2020, 02:39 PM.

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