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XMP versus IPTC versus EXIF data

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  • XMP versus IPTC versus EXIF data

    I am very new to ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2022 but have spent a lot of time becoming familiar with the software and reading about it on the forum and watching tutorials. I am also new to image metadata and I just recently discovered that XMP is different than IPTC and EXIF. Now I am trying to understand what types of information are in XMP.

    If copy two photos into a Photo Studio Ultimate indexed folder - one photo contains a person’s face and the other doesn’t. When I and go into Manage Thumbnail view, the Embed Pending Icon appears on the photo that has a face and the photo/face appears in the Named View in People Mode as expected. The other photo that has no face does not have an Embedded Pending Icon.

    Question 1: Does the Embed Pending Icon appear in one photo only because Photo Studio Ultimate can now write the face data as XMP data to the file itself?

    I then open the Properties - Metadata pane, and go to Organize, select both photos and then assign a keyword to the photos from a Quick Keyword Set. The Embed Icon now appears for both photos. I then go to the Metadata tab and using a Metadata Preset I Apply the keyword to the IPTC keywords field. However, the Embed Icon still appears for each of those photos.

    Question 2: I transferred the keyword data to the photos themselves as IPTC data, so what data still needs to be embedded to the files themselves, using ‘Tools - Metadata - Embed ACDsee Metadata - Embed in Selected Files’ ?

    I would think that if the keywords are written to the file itself as IPTC data, there isn’t anything left to embed as XMP data.
    Your help in understanding what data is in XMP verses IPTC (and even EXIF) would be appreciated.

  • #2
    kmsz333

    The embed pending flag is set when ever there is ACDSee metadata added or changed in the database that is not yet embedded in the image.

    If you assign an ACDSee keyword to an image, the embed pending flag is set. It remains set until you actually embed the metadata in the image.

    If you take an image that does NOT have the embed pending flag set, select the metadata tab in the properties pane, then select IPTC metadata and in the IPTC section, title field type in FRED then press the enter key, FRED is both added to the database, and also directly embedded in the image.
    You will note that the embed metadata flag is NOT set, because there is no embed left to do.

    If you take an image that does NOT have the embed pending flag set, assign an ACDSee keyword to it (which sets the embed pending flag) and then copy the keyword to an IPTC keyword, the embed pending flag will still remain set because you haven't yet embedded the ACDSee keyword. The IPTC keyword is already embedded and has no bearing on the status of the embed pending flag.

    To ;provide a full understanding of the differences between ACDSee metadata, IPTC metadata and Exif metadata would be way to much to fit into a forum post. As a broad and very simplified answer, ACDSee metadata is by and large proprietary, and is primarily to provide the Asset management functionality of the software. Exif metadata is primarily technical information added to the image by the device that produced the image (but may be added to in some instances by applications). IPTC metadata is primarily a mostly standardized method of adding information relative to the origin, ownership and use of the image, Copyright, contact address information, classification, genre, reverse geocode information etc.

    XMP can refer to a file type (for instance the sidecar file used to provide metadata and develop settings for a RAW image), or it can be metadata embedded in the image. That metadata could be ACDSee metadata, and/or proprietary metadata from other software. But that isn't all.

    The IPTC standard has been broken into two parts, the IPTC Core and the IPTC Extension. The IPTC extension fields are XMP metadata.

    If you want to read up more on this subject see https://www.iptc.org/std/photometada...-PhotoMetadata

    Finally, in ACDSee if you go to Tools\Options\Database, and tick "Display embed ACDSee metadata reminder, and set Every to shutdown, you will see a reminder each time you shut down ACDSee if there is any embed metadata flags set with some details, as show below

    Click image for larger version  Name:	embed reminder.jpg Views:	0 Size:	118.0 KB ID:	60578
    Hope that is of some help.
    Last edited by Greyfox; 05-05-2022, 07:13 AM.

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    • #3
      Thanks for this prompt response and further detail.

      Ok, with regards to:
      If you take an image that does NOT have the embed pending flag set, assign an ACDSee keyword to it (which sets the embed pending flag) and then copy the keyword to an IPTC keyword, the embed pending flag will still remain set because you haven't yet embedded the ACDSee keyword. The IPTC keyword is already embedded and has no bearing on the status of the embed pending flag.

      Ok, I did this with a photo, and after copying the ACDSee keyword to the IPTC keyword, I accessed the file through Windows Explorer and used the detail pane to confirm that the keyword now appeared as an IPTC Tag as expected (therefore I have confirmed the keyword is now embedded in the image outside of Photo Studio Ultimate). When that keyword appears as an IPTC tag, it has already been written to the file itself so I don’t understand the statement “the embed pending flag will still remain set because you haven’t embedded the ACDSee keyword”. Where else does the ACDSee keyword need to be embedded if it is already in the image file?

      Thanks for your patience in addressing this!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kmsz333 View Post
        ...I did this with a photo, and after copying the ACDSee keyword to the IPTC keyword, I accessed the file through Windows Explorer and used the detail pane to confirm that the keyword now appeared as an IPTC Tag as expected (therefore I have confirmed the keyword is now embedded in the image outside of Photo Studio Ultimate). When that keyword appears as an IPTC tag, it has already been written to the file itself so I don’t understand the statement “the embed pending flag will still remain set because you haven’t embedded the ACDSee keyword”. Where else does the ACDSee keyword need to be embedded if it is already in the image file?
        There are two completely distinct types of metadata in play here, ACDSee metadata and IPTC metadata. They are embedded individually in the image.

        When you copy ACDSee keywords to IPTC keywords, you then have BOTH types.
        The IPTC ones are embedded automatically in the IPTC metadata section

        The ACDSee ones are not embedded automatically, and so the Embed pending flag remains set until you do embed them, and when you do embed them, they are embedded in the xmp metadata section. In a JPG for instance, the ACDSee keywords are embedded in the xmp-acdsee section, keywords field, and in the xmp-dc section in the Subject field.

        It is a similar situation with other metadata fields as well, for example Captions, Author, Notes.
        Last edited by Greyfox; 05-05-2022, 04:10 PM.

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        • #5
          Thank you. I didn't realize ACDSee metadata was embedded in the image as well, I thought it was only held in the ACDSee database. Thanks for your help, it is greatly appreciated.

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          • #6
            Thanks for your overview, Greyfox. I'm repeatedly awed by your mastery of ACDSee. One of my greatest concerns is when several years down the road, if ACDSee changes its proprietary keyword system (ala Adobe Photoshop Elements), or closes its doors, a lot of our ACDsee keywords may be gone. Isn't it "safer" if I copy all of my ACDSee keywords to the IPTC metadata section? This way, my images will always be tagged regardless of what happens with ACDSee or if I ever want to move my library to a different app. Your thoughts about this?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mamiya2Nikon View Post
              ..One of my greatest concerns is when several years down the road, if ACDSee changes its proprietary keyword system (ala Adobe Photoshop Elements), or closes its doors, a lot of our ACDsee keywords may be gone. Isn't it "safer" if I copy all of my ACDSee keywords to the IPTC metadata section? This way, my images will always be tagged regardless of what happens with ACDSee or if I ever want to move my library to a different app. Your thoughts about this?
              I use custom Metadata presets to copy ACDSee Keywords, Captions, Author and Notes to suitably equivalent fields in IPTC. I'm far from sure that this will guarantee an easy transition to another system in the future should that become necessary, but it doesn't take any great effort to copy them to IPTC as a safeguard, particularly as I also use IPTC for Copyright, Contact and location (reverse geocode) details.

              It also allows me to see the Title, Subject, Keywords and Author in the Windows File Explorer properties (Details Tab), so it does have some immediate benefit.

              New image formats which may or may not support the current metadata tags are likely to drive future development of applications, and at some stage maintaining backwards compatibility may have to be sacrificed to allow forward development. One has only to look at the evolution of hardware, operating systems and storage media for examples of this. Always something new to look forward to.

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              • #8
                Out of interest Greyfox, do you know the thinking behind the embed waiting flag? If the IPTC is updated Immediately, why is the ACDsee metadata pended? One would think that you would do both immediately or have both work via a pending option, I understand they are different but why treat them in different ways?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MrSteveVee View Post
                  Out of interest Greyfox, do you know the thinking behind the embed waiting flag? If the IPTC is updated Immediately, why is the ACDsee metadata pended? One would think that you would do both immediately or have both work via a pending option, I understand they are different but why treat them in different ways?
                  As I answered earlier, ACDSee metadata is not automatically embedded in the images, so has a "reminder". IPTC is embedded when it is entered, so no reminder necessary and the "Embed pending" is not linked to IPTC.

                  I personally have no insight as to why the Developers decided to directly embed IPTC metadata, but to make the embedding of ACDSee metadata optional, however I would think it might have been to provide best flexibility.

                  There would be some users who don't have a need to use IPTC metadata at all, (and they don't have to), but there would also be users who make serious use of IPTC tags, for instance to provide detailed copyright usage terms, Creator contact details, Location details etc. Since that metadata is specifically being entered because it is wanted to be embedded in the images, there is no point in not having that done on entry.

                  But those same users may also specifically not want to have any ACDSee metadata like Keywords, Categories, Collections etc in the distributed files.
                  The way it is, they can use ACDSee keywords, Categories, Collections etc for asset management, but choose not to embed them in the images.

                  The ACDSee metadata is used primarily for asset management, and it provides that functionality whether it is embedded or not. The choice to embed is usually based on being able to read it back to recreate a database, so primarily as a safeguard. There is perhaps a downside to that. For images that don't directly support embedded metadata, the embed process creates sidecar xmp files. It could be argued that creating individual xmp files for lots of short video clips for example that might eventually be cut up and included in larger video productions, is possibly unnecessary and a waste of space, and that only the end result video needs to have the metadata saved for posterity. In turn that decision might be based on whether the individual clips would only ever be used in one particular video, or whether they are going to be filed as library clips that could be used in multiple videos.

                  So to me it is all about choice. I can chose to use IPTC where needed, and I can choose to embed ACDSee metadata in some files but not others. But it is easy to forget so having the "embed pending reminder" come up each time I exit the program, when there are embeds pending is for me a worthwhile setting.

                  The above is a personal view only. Others may have very different ideas.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Greyfox View Post

                    As I answered earlier, ACDSee metadata is not automatically embedded in the images, so has a "reminder". IPTC is embedded when it is entered, so no reminder necessary and the "Embed pending" is not linked to IPTC.

                    I personally have no insight as to why the Developers decided to directly embed IPTC metadata, but to make the embedding of ACDSee metadata optional, however I would think it might have been to provide best flexibility.
                    ...

                    The above is a personal view only. Others may have very different ideas.
                    I can only guess is perhaps because IPTC metadata is an international standard, whereas ACDSee metadata are XMP proprietary fields, hence an extension to existing embedded metadata, which may be perceived as intrusive if automatically embedded by ACDSee.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Greyfox View Post

                      But those same users may also specifically not want to have any ACDSee metadata like Keywords, Categories, Collections etc in the distributed files.
                      The way it is, they can use ACDSee keywords, Categories, Collections etc for asset management, but choose not to embed them in the images.
                      That sounds extremely plausible Greyfox thanks

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                      • #12
                        I've never understood why there is ACDSee metadata! Why not just ITPC/XMP metadata so that the metadata is recognized outside of ACDsee.
                        Albums, colored labels, and categories are not standard metadata at all, but other than those items, why overcomplicate things and cause confusion. I have seen so many posts and FB comments from people who are confused about the 2 types of metadata.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MegMac View Post
                          I've never understood why there is ACDSee metadata! Why not just ITPC/XMP metadata so that the metadata is recognized outside of ACDsee.
                          Albums, colored labels, and categories are not standard metadata at all, but other than those items, why overcomplicate things and cause confusion. I have seen so many posts and FB comments from people who are confused about the 2 types of metadata.
                          Without ACDSee metadata there would be significantly reduced functionality. IPTC and the extended IPTC/XMP does not provide the working structure that ACDSee needs for custom categories, collections, face detection to name a few. ACDSee does use XMP for its metadata, but in a proprietary section (xmp-acdsee), just as Photoshop uses xmp-photoshop.

                          I suspect there are probably many ACDSee users like me who have chosen to keep using ACDSee for many years because we can use its functionality in a way that suits our particular workflow. Being able to manage my collections in a way that suits my workflow is far more important to me than whether the metadata that is being used to achieve that may not be recognized in some other software I may never need to use. Others of course may have different priorities.

                          Yes there is some overlap in some of the metadata fields or tags, and that is perhaps a good thing for those that want to manage their collections entirely with ACDSee metadata, and not use IPTC at all. For those users for example, the simple Author tag provided in ACDSee metadata may well be sufficient. For commercial use, the more detailed IPTC Copyright set of tags might be better suited. With ACDSee both requirements can be met.

                          Some of the IPTC fields are more restricted in their use. For example both ACDSee and IPTC metadata have keyword fields, but IPTC's keyword structure does not support hierarchy. ACDsee's does.

                          It really isn't that complicated.

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                          • #14
                            Hold on....my bad! I read this whole discussion more carefully (as I should have in the first place) and now I see that ACDSee metadata as added as XMP! I have just returned to ACDsee to give 2022 edition a try after not using it for a couple of years. Is that new, or was ACDSee metadata always added as XMP?

                            I just looked in the online help and see that information, but I don't recall having seen any information about ACDSee metadata being added as XMP a couple of years/versions ago.

                            I still assume that Categories, Albums, and colored labels, are not added as XMP metadata. Is my assumption correct?

                            Last edited by MegMac; 06-13-2022, 06:50 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MegMac View Post
                              I still assume that Categories, Albums, and colored labels, are not added as XMP metadata. Is my assumption correct?
                              No, your assumption is NOT correct.

                              When embedded in images, ACDSee Captions, Author, Rating, Notes, Tagged, Categories, Collections, Keywords are all embedded as XMP metadata, specifically in the XMP-acdsee section. Ratings are also placed in XMP in the XMP-xmp section as are colored Labels. Face ID Region entries are embedded in XMP, specifically in the XMP-acdsee-rs section

                              Albums are simply another form of Categories, and are embedded as Categories in XMP in the XMP-acdsee section.
                              For example, the following is the XMP Categories field from XMP-acdsee for an image that has been assigned to an Orientation>landscape Category, and to an Album>My Walks

                              <Categories><Category Assigned="0">Orientation<Category Assigned="1">Landscape</Category></Category><Category Assigned="0">Albums<Category Assigned="1">My Walks</Category></Category></Categories>

                              The above applies when the ACDSee metadata is specifically embedded in the image (Tools\Metadata\Embed ACDSee metadata). Not all users choose to do that (though I strongly recommend it). All that information is by default stored in the ACDSee database itself.
                              Last edited by Greyfox; 06-13-2022, 03:35 PM.

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