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Google Picasa "Sunset" version - Mini-Review and anchor-point

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Thanks for this review Iain :Thmbsup:

7.0 How it compares to similar products:
There are apparently some similar/alternative tools, but none that I have come across match Picasa3 for comprehensiveness or accurate face recognition and metadata cataloguing/searching.
-IainB (January 23, 2018, 09:57 PM)
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just for the record:
it does not read the 'Comment' field (as seen below in Windows Explorer) -- I dont know if other apps do read that field (but seems like one that should be read).
It does read the 'Subject' field.

just for the record:
it does not read the 'Comment' field (as seen below in Windows Explorer) -- I dont know if other apps do read that field (but seems like one that should be read).
It does read the 'Subject' field.
-tomos (January 24, 2018, 05:41 AM)
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The reason it doesn't read the Windows Explorer "Comment" field is probably because that is an editable field in the NTFS ADS (Alternate Data Stream) - which is a bit like "a special data file linked to a normal data file". Picasa doesn't seem to rely on or use the ADS. This is probably because the usefulness of the ADS is constrained by the fact that it is risky - i.e., somewhat unreliable as a data field, for many/most user purposes - because it is not necessarily persistent.  That is, it is typically stripped off/deleted by default, during certain file move/copy operations to non-NTFS storage (e.g., on backup devices).
I find it amusing that you say "...but seems like one that should be read...", because it is a moot point. I mean, it seems that any such legitimate user requirement - potential or otherwise - may have been far from the minds of the Microsoft designers of the NTFS ADS. Otherwise, I suspect that they would probably not have left it as constrained as it is.    :D
The Picasa designers' workaround to the potential ADS data persistence risk would thus seem to have been (probably quite correctly) to avoid it altogether.

I don't know about the "Subject" field per se, but it is probably one of several fields that are filled/overwritten by the (very reliable and persistent) data contained in the EXIF and IPTC fields in the JPG file. I'm not sure whether such fields form part of the ADS, but that would be kinda irrelevant since the contents of the .JPG file would always take precedence and overwrite that field on a copy/move to another NTFS device.

The issue is really about persistence of user metadata attached to, or associated with image files - and .JPG format images in particular, as other formats (different standards) do not seem to carry the EXIF or IPTC fields that a .JPG file can contain.
In case you might have missed it, and for completeness, it is worth repeating a quote from earlier in this thread, as it points out the insufficiency/impermanence of database-specific metadata about images, and the resultant need for the user to use and rely on the persistent metadata in the EXIF or IPTC fields that a .JPG file expressly can contain.

Using Tags in Picasa:
If you are already using Picasa, then you can use Tools-->Experimental-->Show tag as album.
I use that in Picasa quite a bit, and find it very handy.

The trouble with tags is that they are usually data attributes within a photo-management database, and if you get a wrecked/corrupt database (as has happened to me once with ACDSee and twice with Picasa), then you can lose hours of work invested in building the data in the database. They are not usually easy to recover intact. So don't rely on the resilience of the database, because they are probably not all that resilient.

My workaround: Instead rely on the data you can store within the image file. If you have mostly .JPG files then you can have EXIF data for any camera-related data, and IPTC info. for any freeform data you might want to attach to the image. When you add a caption in Picasa, it goes into the IPTC info, and is immediately searchable. So you can put in or duplicate your "tag words" into the IPTC info, and then never worry if you lose their external tags if your database gets corrupted (because you can easily recreate the tags and tagged photos using a sort).
I therefore recommend the principle of having the photo records contain their own meta-data not only as a good data-security measure, but also because it reduces your dependence on the idiosyncrasies of any particular database system. So you can use Picasa, ACDSee, Irfanview, or whatever, to utilise the meta-data.
-IainB (July 02, 2012, 07:07 AM)
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EDIT: Updated section 7.0 How it compares to similar products: of the Mini-Review to include some more details/discussion and a general link about alternatives to Picasa3.

Picasa - EXIF+IPTC  search/index standards
Cross-posted from: Re: Feature Request: Search text notes in screenshots
« Reply #2 on: 2013-03-14, 23:04:24 »
(NB: Note that using Picasa Tags causes the Tagname used to be written to the the .JPG file's IPTC Keywords field.)
This is something I've been trying to work out for some time. With mouser's new new captions features it's starting to make it easier.
cmpm found & posted a solution here:
-bob99 (March 14, 2013, 11:02 AM)
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Doing a search with Agent Ransack works for finding captions.
In the results will be the Screenshot with caption.
-cmpm (March 09, 2013, 06:49 PM)
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Thank you for this. I've read about Agent Ransack before but hadn't tried it. Just did and it found every caption search test I threw at it. And with the export to clipboard or file I can generate about any type of listing I want. Very nice.
-bob99 (March 10, 2013, 10:20 AM)
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When I started to play about with them, it surprised me how tremendously useful the data-carrying potential for JPG/JPEG files was/is.
JPG image files seem to have lots of places to insert data/text.

For example, in the IPTC info there are tabs for:

* Description (you can put data in here)
* Keywords/Categories (you can put data in here)
* Credits/Origin (you can put data in here)
* Options
Of these, Description has 8 or 9 subfields for you to insert data/text:
   1. Title
   2. Artist
   3. Byline Title.
   4. Copyright
   5. Caption
   6. Caption Writer
   7. Headline
   8. Instructions
   9. JPEG Comment (Not really an an IPTC field?)

In the EXIF info:
There are various Tag fields, not so easily changed by the User.
(Filename is a Tag, so if you change the filename, then you change that Tag's contents also.)

Google Picasa can see all these filenames and fields (all this data) and automatically indexes it all, including the file path.
So you get an instant response when you search for any of it in Picasa. You can thus sort your images/data in multifold ways using various text strings.
There is a function called "Tags" in Picasa, which enables you to use unique linear tags (i.e., not Tags in a hierarchical tree) to categorize your images.
It's really easy to use Tags from the Tags Panel. You can Tag images individually (one by one), or en masse (in large groups).
You can have multiple (different) Tags for any given image.

This is interesting and rather useful:
If you put the word (say) "Sausage" in the IPTC Keywords/Categories Keywords field for a JPG file, then it appears in Picasa with the Tag "Sausage", and vice versa if you put the Tag "Sausage" as a Picasa Tag for that image.

In the Picasa menu, if you select Tools | Experimental |Show tag as album, you can select the Tag "Sausage" and that then becomes a logical album for all the images with the Tag "Sausage". This is in addition to the usual Album category function, which is comprised of an assortment of your selected images or groups of images from your database of images.
Using Picasa you can then send all or some members of an album (whether a category or a Tag album) online to a web-based album in Picasa.

In addition to this, if you have some images with text in them - e.g., (say), a picture of a receipt) - and if you save those images as TIF/TIFF files, then Windows 7 Search/Index can be set to automatically OCR scan these images and index any text found in the image. So you can search for that text from the Start menu.
Refer: Search for TIFF documents based on text content

If you have any images in OneNote Notebooks, then OneNote can be set to automatically OCR scan these images for text, and that text gets indexed, together with ordinary text in the Notebooks, and all of it is integrated in the Windows 7 Search/Index, so it can be searched for either just from within OneNote, or from the Start menu.

Does anyone know what's the story with Picasa and name tags?

in Options, I have 'Store name tags in photos' selected, but I cannot actually find this info anywhere in the file (using ExifToolsGUI, which in the past has found everything for me).

It looks like this means that the name tags are only available locally. I created an album and uploaded to google Photo -- cant find any name tags there either.

If these tags are only available locally, is there *any* way I can share them?

I read (should have searched first -- more info, but no solution) --
face recognition name tags

Face recognition name tags are the new kid on the block in terms of metadata standards. Being new, face recognition name tags do not have a place in the old IPTC standard but it does have a proper place in XMP.

Picasa saves face recognition name tags in the correct place again. How awesome is that!

Picasa saves face recognition name tags in the correct place in the XMP image header.
A simple conclusion about Picasa image metadata

Picasa is right on with the most important pieces of image metadata. Picasa saves them all in the right place. Granted, Picasa provides an interface only for a limited set of image metadata elements, but it saves them in the right place.
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Still cant find it though using either IrfanView, or ExifInfo (which claims to read XMP data)


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