Not compatible with Picasa / Which EXIF/IPTC fields are used?

Aug 15, 2009 at 9:22 PM


Firstly, thanks for a very useful programme. I heard about it via my request for something similar on Ask Metafilter.

I've tested it, and it seems to work. Local JPGs are updated with the correct title, description and keywords.

However, I was hoping that Picasa, which stores Caption and Keywords in IPTC fields, would recognise the the new metadata from Flickr -- at least the Keywords -- but it doesn't.

Using Irfanview to check image properties, I cannot see any updates to the IPTC fields. The only field that appears to have changed is UserComment, in the EXIF data.

Why did you decide not to use the IPTC fields? Would you consider doing so in a future update?


Aug 15, 2009 at 11:58 PM

Hi Francois,

My app uses the Microsoft Photo Metadata Policy. The primary leading format for metadata is XMP. But I believe in cases where other metadata formats exists in the file, the corresponding IPTC fields should also be overwritten.

I am not planning on any changes to my app in this respect. Since I don't use Picasa I cannot comment on what it does or doesn't support. XMP is the way forward, so if Picasa doesn't support XMP metadata, hopefully it will be added soon.


Aug 16, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Hi Erwyn,

Thanks for the explanation. Sounds like you've thought it through. Picasa is a frustrating application: It's excellent in so many respects, but deficient in several. (E.g. not supporting Flickr in any way, seemingly out of competitive spite.) And like many other Google properties, they're pretty much deaf to their user community, so I don't know when/whether they'll ever support XMP. Just out of curiousity, what application do you use for photo management?

Anyway, it's still valuable to be able to back up my Flickr metadata, so thanks again.


Aug 16, 2009 at 7:38 PM

I use Windows Live Photo Gallery (WLPG). It is very easy to add keywords/tags using this application and manage a lot of photos and it deals with XMP/IPTC/EXIF just fine. I also use WLPG to stitch photos together, either using the built-in function or using Microsoft Image Composite Editor that integrates as a menu option into WLPG.

WLPG also allows you to easily upload photos to Flickr or Windows Live Photos. WLPG is a bit wonky in that it adds the filename as title on Flickr, and the caption as description on Flickr when uploading. Tags are mapped fine.

After this initial upload hurdle my app syncs the Flickr title with what WLPG displays as caption. WLPG does not allow you to edit the comments field that I map to the Flickr description. But Windows Explorer in Vista and 7 does allow you to edit both the title and comments field.

WLPG doesn't do geocoding. I use the Microsoft Pro Photo Tools for that or I do it on Flickr and then sync. The UI of the Pro Photo Tools is not quite as polished as WLPG and I sometimes encounter some bugs, but all in all it works. It opens up a lot of additional metadata that you can add to a picture file.

Aug 22, 2009 at 4:55 AM

Erwyn, Picasa is one of the reasons for my side project flickrmetasync. It sucks that Picasa doesn't read XMP, but I like the UI so much that I can't do without it at the moment. If you ever decide to write IPTC keywords (which is something I personally would recommend) feel free to take a look at my source code on google code to see how it is writing the IPTC keywords. All the best, Nate

Aug 22, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Nate, indeed it doesn't look very difficicult to add writing keywords to IPTC in addition to XMP. I might add it in a next release (but no date planned for that yet).

The Microsoft Photo Metadata Policy for System.Keywords does already read from "/app13/irb/8bimiptc/iptc/keywords" if present, but doesn't write to it if no IPTC keywords are already present in the file. In that case it just writes to XMP (the most modern spot to write this type of metadata to).

All in all, I still don't understand why the issue exists. If Picasa was used to add keywords in IPTC to a file I would think that my tool would update those keywords if changes have occurred on Flickr. I'll create a work item for this and lets continue the discussion there. Can you attach a picture for this happens to that work item?

Aug 22, 2009 at 1:19 PM
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