I found a couple of tools for XP that I like, from Microsoft. One is an image resizer that is integrated into the right click toolbar, when right clicking on a photo(s). The other is a Photo Info tool, where you can change/modify/add EXIF information on any image and save it. It is also integrated on the right click menu, when right clicking on an image... Hey it's free and it works very well for me........
(I wonder if this thread would be better placed in Supporting Applications)
I knew about XP Power toys, but Photo Info is new to me. There was talk on this Board some time ago regarding adding descriptions via a right click in Windows Explorer. As I recall, Jalbum could not (or didn't want to) use the information at that time. This seems similar, but much newer and seemingly offers some neat opportunities. Is it an easy program to uninstall? Any other users?
John Moran_2 Joined: 09 Nov 2007 Posts: 455
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 1:46 pm Post subject: Reply with quote
The "MS Pro Photo Tools - (version 1)" utility has a release date of late April, 2008. That is only a couple of weeks ago. MS claims to have put it together in only three months! It could still be considered a beta version and it incorporates a hard to read dark grey display screen.
However, it does demonstrate that Microsoft is now fully on board with supporting the Adobe/IPTC Core format of Adobe XMP 1.0 (Extensible Metadata Platform) tag embedding, as well as exposing and writing to "camera makers' Exif fields", where possible. This is quite a change from MS posture in early 2006 Vista Beta days, of acting as if they did not even understand the concept.
Microsoft has also released user friendly Windows Live Photo Gallery for Vista and XP, and it is by any definition the most comprehensive display of its type that is built around XMP metadata. Google Picasa appears to be lagging in this regard. The Newest version of Corel Media One Gallery is in its own way a quite able indexing utility, but it does not support writing of metadata to image files using XMP fields, or Exif fields except dates.. Delorme developers have hinted on these forums that a proprietary Exif Geocode embedding utility is in the works, but it has not appeared yet. Irfanview writes to the "old" Photoshop 3.0 IPTC fields also.
(cont.) As of this date it is somewhat difficult to tell what sort of proprietary photo tagging methods -embedded or external database - are used with each Photo Editor, although Wikipedia has a pretty good writeup on the subject. But photographers newly drawn to photo tagging may be as well served by using MS PhotoInfo Tool 1.0 as any other, if they are interested only in XMP tagging, but not Exif Geotagging. However MS makes the user REMOVE MS PhotoInfo Tool 1.0 in order to use MS Pro Photo Tools! Clear as mud? Search around a little bit and open a few jpegs in Notepad. It gets worse, particularly if your images are not in jpg or tiff format.
For Starters, as of May 2008, I would go with MS PhotoInfo Tool 1.0 (not the "Pro" version), and Windows Live PhotoGallery (downloads) at this time, unless I had a heavy investment in time and money in other proprietary schemes or really, really, wanted to do Exif Geocode embedding. FWIW.
I think it may only work on pc's with XP service pack 2, it works fine on my parents, but doesn't work at all on mine. For image resizing on my old beast I use a program called VSO image re sizer, you can do batch editing with it, which I don't believe you can do with Microsoft's.
Were you referring to M$ Photo Info tool.? Their site says:
"Microsoft Photo Info runs on 32-bit versions of Windows XP (with Service Pack 2 or later) and the Windows Vista operating systems."
I don't think I'm fully understanding "image resizing." Isn't that what Jalbum does? It doesn't have the explorer right click, but.. I use JA sometimes just to reduce photos to email otherwise it's Irfanview. I did just send an email to M$ asking about why they have a nice web page promoting a tool that is not available. I sent it from my Yahoo account thinking they might pay more attention
If you need to resize a lot of photographs at the same time, or just do the odd one or two, I have found "Fast Image Resizer" an ideal tool to keep on my desktop.
You set the re-size under "options" and also if you want to put the resized pics in another folder you can specify it.... best to keep with the "resized" folder which copies them into the original folder under a sub folder called re-sized..... easy to distinguish as the original file name will have the new size attached e.g DSC001.JPG becomes DSC001-800X600.JPG
I guess my biggest reason was that I did not know MS was making photographic software and was interested about it. I have used the Photo Info tool and (for me), it's easy to add data into a photo, using the tool, like adding comments at a later date........ That was the most interesting tool I have tried. I tried the resizer but Fast Image Resizer is much easier.... I tried the photo gallery stuff, but didn't care for it any better than google's stuff....... I wasn't looking to replace jalbum, but I am always interested in what there is new in MS.
Thanks for the replies..........
UPDATE 8 hours later: FWIW, on a Vista system, I've gone through M$ hell in trying to install this software. I've gotten messages that say "you must use 'Turn Windows Features on OR off" and of course, it does not hint at on or off (I tried both ways-neither worked, but it was fun trying to find what they were talking about). I also got a message that my VISTA OS did not "meet requirements." Namely I needed "XP Service Pack 2" (INSTALLED ON A VISTA unit !!!!????) and this as after I allegedly misinstalled .Net Framework 3.0. IMHO, unless you are a real techno geek and/or a fully registered masochist, I'd suggest waiting a few months (years?) until M$ maybe gets this past version 1.0. Meanwhile stick with Exifer (ugh!) or Irfanview (yea) or playing with sharp knives and sticks.