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RHTXUS
03.06.2007, 11:45 PM
I searched for the subject in Google and found it in your old forum requesting new features in Irfanview. I've been a user of the program for years and had hoped this would now exist in Irfanview.

I have a lifetime (plus 4-5 decades) of photos to scan in via flat-bed scanner. I hope to save the photos in .tif files with IPTC to allow copyright, show family members who maintains the paper copy, and to show who is in a photo plus info about date taken, city, etc. IPTC seems the only way of getting that in and out of the image files.

I'm not sure why this is not standard practice in image manipulation, but it seems Irfanview is my only hope to gain this advantage. Otherwise, I see no good way to document my family photo collection that will last. Any file or piece of paper will eventually get separated from the image files. Only by insertion of the data directly in the image file can I be assured that it will stay put over the decades.

Please help.

Sam_Zen
04.06.2007, 05:38 AM
First I like to know more about this IPTC thing, because I'm not familiar with it.
So I'm not sure about the nature of the question.
Inserting comment data in files has developed several solutions. The jpg-format has its exif variation.

Another aspect of this is the fact of having a huge collection of files in the same category. This not only can be solved
by extra comments inside each file, otherwise one still has to browse through hundreds of files.
So survey is needed first. This calls for file-managing. If I would be dealing with life-decades within the collection,
I first would make subdirs of those decades, and organize the position of each file accordingly.

Mayuko
16.12.2007, 06:54 PM
The IPTC feature allows information such as commentary to be associated with the photo. This feature exists for JPG format files but is absent from Irfanview 4.10. The IPTC feature is useful because in most cases it is just not possible to put detailed information into file names.

I am working to digitize a large family photo set into a high quality lossless format (TIFF) and maintain that set as an archive. From there, I plan on distributing DVD's of the photos (along with a copy of Irfanview) to family members who can add information in the IPTC fields. As you can see, the family archive grows to include not just the photos but the who, what, where, when, how and why of the photos.

As our older family members pass away, we have preserved their contribution to the family.

Consider that Irfanview is the best program to do this with because the free software encourages distant family members to participate in and add to the family digital archive. Additionally, I believe capable versions of Irfanview would be of great interest to others with similar genealogy-related photo projects.

Why use TIFF? Because scanning takes a considerable amount of time and I can only going to do it once. I have found that TIFF is used by digital libraries to preserve their archives. What about the large TIFF file size? I can convert the TIFF format into another format (such as JPG) upon request, but the main archive should be as high quality as reasonably possible for future generations.

Please consider adding IPTC information to TIFF images in upcoming versions of Irfanview. Thanks!

-M

Bhikkhu Pesala
16.12.2007, 07:14 PM
You can save considerable hard disk space by saving images as PNG instead of TIF. PNG format is also lossless.

Actually there is no good reason not to use High Quality JPG format for archiving images. Although it is not lossless, the amount of data lost is neglible if you only save the original once.

See JPG for Archiving (http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/misc/jpg_vs_gif/JpgCompTest/JpgForArchive.html)

The benefits of much faster backup and transfer of image files outweigh the neglible loss of data. Hard disk space is very cheap, but time is not.

Mayuko
17.12.2007, 01:00 AM
Thanks for the note. You point regarding the advantages of PNG is well taken and I notice that PNG format is considered a preferred format for several established national digital archives.

I also believe you are correct when you note that JPG data loss"...is neglible if you only save the original once." However, I would like to pass around many photos to my relatives, have the IPTC information added then returned to me as the archivist. If I receive the edited photos in a JPG format, I will either have to transfer the IPTC information to the TIFF or PNG or accept the (possibly degraded) JPG.

I believe an important feature would be IPTC information within a lossless format. You suggested PNG.

Unfortunately, It seems that I am unable to find out how IPTC information is attached to PNG files using Irfanview. Can anyone tell me how this is done?

-M

ChuckE
17.12.2007, 02:10 AM
According to one website: "IPTC information may be embedded in JPG, TIFF, PNG, MIFF, PS, PDF, PSD and DNG images."

However, while using IrfanView v4.10, I just entered a lot of data into the IPTC tags on one JPG picture. I then converted that same picture over to GIF, TIF and PNG - I really did not expect ANY of the IPTC tags to transfer, but I wanted to try it anyway.

What I did find was that while none of the IPTC tags data was there in the other image formats, I was surprised to find that there was no IPTC button for those other formats!

(In case you are not familiar with it, the [IPTC info] button will appear at the bottom of the Image (properties) Information sheet, just press the letter "i" on the keyboard.)

My guess is that the IPTC.DLL v4.00 PlugIn (the current one) does give the ability to other than JPG images. If that is true, then the PlugIn needs updating.

sandman
17.12.2007, 02:12 AM
First I like to know more about this IPTC thing, because I'm not familiar with it.

Sam, I found this in an old 2004 post in the IV Users Group mail list, thought it might be of interest in this forum. I still get their emailings.

###
> > What does IPTC mean?
> >
> > http://www.iptc.org/IIM/
> >
> My, what a fascinating article.
> Now, what does IPTC mean? "I don't know" is a legitimate answer.
> Dick

Since I posted the original question, I will tell you what I use IPTC
data for. Newspapers to which I submit photos require that the
caption, copyright and other information be embedded within the jpeg
file. This way, the information does not get separated from the photo,
as it might if the photo were merely sent as an attachment to an email
with the same information in the body of the email. By the way, I
believe this feature of Irfanview is only available when you install
the plug-ins. It is then accessible as the very last item at the
bottom of the Image menu. You just fill in the fields with whatever
you choose to have embedded in the file. In the case of photos
submitted to newspapers, they generally want the identities of the
people in the photo as well as an explanation of the content. For
example, one of my theatrical photos may have a "Left to Right" list
of the actors and a statement about whose production of what play the
photo is from. My by-line goes in the Author field.

It is remarkable that this feature is available in Irfanview.
Photoshop has had it for years, but some of its competitors, including
the otherwise amazingly sophisticated Paint Shop Pro, do not yet offer
this feature.
Eric Dobbs

Sam_Zen
17.12.2007, 04:13 AM
Thanks for the info

Bhikkhu Pesala
17.12.2007, 10:19 AM
I also believe you are correct when you note that JPG data loss"...is neglible if you only save the original once." However, I would like to pass around many photos to my relatives, have the IPTC information added then returned to me as the archivist.
As long as your relatives follow your instructions to add the IPTC information and don't resave the JPG image, then the image data will not be degraded. The IPTC info is just appended to the image data and increases the byte size of the image, but the image data is not modified and no more artifacts are added. If saved at the maximum quality setting very few artifacts are detectable in a photographic image.

midora
17.12.2007, 12:26 PM
Thanks for the note. You point regarding the advantages of PNG is well taken and I notice that PNG format is considered a preferred format for several established national digital archives.

For this you may also use PDF. Beside of JPEG it supports lossless cpmpressing (with a rate that is as good as PNG). You can add things like title, author, subject and keywords. Also encryption is supported.

I also asked Irfan ones for support to handle image pdfs like multipage TIFFs (w/o ghostscript) but it looks like that not enough people are interested to do this kind of restricted pdf editing.

Flit
17.12.2007, 06:05 PM
I find pdf's containing large images unbearably slow to open/view/scroll/browse.
Only improvement i can imagine is an alternative, faster viewer than adobe Reader.
Does one such faster viewer exist? (preferrably not paid for)
(i know there's alternatives, but are they better?)

ChuckE
17.12.2007, 08:43 PM
Before everybody, like lemmings, jump off the multiple-saves of JPG format reduces quality cliff ... have you tried it? I have.

Seems that everybody (not me) believes that every resave of a JPG reduces the quality that much more. But it is not what I've seen.

I have taken a photograph with a lot of detail and horizontal and vertical lines (it was a house construction) and saved it at a quality level of 80 (IrfanView scale goes up to 100). I then opened that re-saved image and saved that again at 80. Then I opened that new image and so on and so on, for 10 successive saves.

I then opened up the original image and that 10th image side-by-side, and compared them. I could not tell a spits worth of difference between the two of them. I also zoomed in looking for some loss of fine detail, and I can't say there is much loss.

Interestingly, every successive save size was nearly identical.
I then again opened that 10th image and saved it at a scale of 100 (max quality) which made that 11th image 3 times bigger than those first 10. I then opened that 11th (large file size) image and again saved it at a scale of 80. The resulting 12th image was back at the same file size as those first 10. And then I again went through a few more re-saves at a scale of 80.

When comparing the 15th generation to that original image was just as good as the other compare.

Now, I realize that there has got to be some loss, somewhere, but when I had done other test, at some earlier date, I noticed that when I saved at a scale >70 I just did not get much loss at all.

That was when I decided that I'd see all my JPG saves to 80. Which gets be sufficiently above that number (of 70) where I started noticing some loss, and still be able to get some good compression savings.

Mayuko
17.12.2007, 09:03 PM
There is certainly a lot that can be said about the JPG format and the degree which loss occurs. We could go on about the merits of meta data within PDF formats and the what not of IPTC. We could. But that's not the point of the original request.

The point of the original request was that a user has identified a general use need, a feature gap if you will, that Irfanview can capture for the benefit of many. I have merely waded in with my perspective regarding how the addition of a feature can make the program more usable by many more users.

Irfanview should have the capability to add IPTC fields in at least one lossless format.

-M

midora
17.12.2007, 09:36 PM
There is certainly a lot that can be said about the JPG format and the degree which loss occurs. We could go on about the merits of meta data within PDF formats and the what not of IPTC. We could. But that's not the point of the original request.

OK, ok, but what's your problem?
People are proposing solutions/ideas for other people.
That's fine. If you are not interested just stop listening.

Bhikkhu Pesala
18.12.2007, 12:43 AM
Now, I realize that there has got to be some loss, somewhere
Look at the number of colours too. There is some loss, but as you say, reopening and saving repeatedly at a high quality has very little effect. Eventually it will deteriorate, but if you archive the first JPG save from the original scan, then there is almost no loss at all.

ChuckE
18.12.2007, 01:08 AM
Re: "reopening and saving repeatedly"

Please note, that is not quite what I said. I was not re-opening the same image. You may already understand that, but that is not what your phraseology indicates.

At each step I was opening the most recent saved image, a whole new generation, once further removed from the original. Here are the unique color counts. (By the way, all files being JPG, have the ability to have up to 16.7 million colors since there is capability in the JPG to have 24bits of color info per pixel. I have no where even close to that number of unique colors, of course. especially since there is only 3.15 M pixels to begin with in these photographs.)

Unique colors:
Original = 183523
1st gen = 174434
2nd gen = 173589
3rd gen = 173792
4th gen = 173620
5th gen = 173627
6th gen = 173580
7th gen = 173575
8th gen = 173586
9th gen = 173595
10th gen = 173589
11th gen = 167676 (this is where I saved, from the 10th, at a 100 quality level)
12th gen = 171041 (and now back to an 80 quality level)
13th gen = 171036
14th gen = 171035
15th gen = 171035

Sam_Zen
18.12.2007, 03:37 AM
(OT indeed, but)
Thanks ChuckE, this is a very thorough investigation by a lot of effort.
According to the results, I'll have to re-evaluate my standard warnings about compressing the compressed.
Intuitively I already found the ~ 80 setting the right value for getting the same quality/filesize result.

Mayuko
18.12.2007, 05:27 AM
After being pointedly reminded not to herd cats partaking in an off topic discussion, I continued to look for a solution to my problem described above. I found what appears to be a workable solution. Unfortunately, it does not involve IrfanView.

Microsoft has released a free plug-in to the Windows Explorer which allows the input and editing of IPTC information in TIFF (and other format) files. I have also confirmed the IPTC information within TIF format is preserved when converted into the easier to manage JPG by Photoshop CS2.

The plug-in in called Microsoft Photo Info. Version 1.0 was released in January 2007. Photo Info is free and can be found at the Microsoft website (use a search engine to find it).

My relatives now have the ability to circulate and add IPTC information within photos using a lossless format (TIFF) using a widely distributed platform (Windows). I note that PNG format is not supported.

I look forward to someday using IrfanView to support my projects. I do sincerely hope a comparable feature is added to IrfanView.

My thanks to this forum for allowing me the opportunity to engage the sentient members of this discussion. I hope this information is helpful to those who wander down this path someday.

Sayonora.

-M

ChuckE
18.12.2007, 07:39 AM
Thanks Mayuko, for the lead to the free Microsoft tool. Actually I had downloaded it over 6 months ago, but never installed it. Your mention of it made me search for what I had.

For anybody else, here is a MS link:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/prophoto/photoinfo.mspx

I have now tried the MS tool, and this starts a whole new set of descrepancies. I have found some tags named by IrfanView are not named identically by Microsoft.

I am not detailing those issues in this thread, that's not the point of this thread. So I'll start a new one ...

Flit
18.12.2007, 03:50 PM
It's a lot about the principle, people need to understand about generational loss first of all, that goes equally for lossy audio like mp3.
Many don't and blindly hit all varieties of buttons resulting in a definite loss.

You can't know what kind of settings people have, what programs they use or what "you haven't heard of" purpose the image may have to serve someday.
It's okay to recommend .jpg on a per-case basis, but i think it's not okay to propagate "it doesn't matter" on just personal observations.

p.s: i think Mayuko made the right choice with .tiff for now

matrixik
29.03.2008, 09:47 PM
Maybe someone still needs the good and free program to editing EXIF/IPTC/XMP so I recommend ExifTool (command-line application):
http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/

And GUI:
ExifToolGUI:
http://freeweb.siol.net/hrastni3/

They even can add EXIF/IPTC/XMP to PNG but unfortunately I don't know program that can recognize that meta in PNG.