Windows 7: IPTC

WindowsIPTC in Windows 7. Subtitle: When the standard of IPTC is non-standard.

Back in March I wrote a rambling discourse on various options for searching files, (Searching Files) and, in particular, searching metadata in photos. This is what I wrote about Windows Search 4:

“The main problem I’m having here is that it’s pulling information from an older version of my metadata (somewhere) that goes back at least two months. I was going to say it could be a useful tool to see where you have missing metadata but if it’s bringing up information you’ve already changed that isn’t going to help you.”

As usual, I was blaming Microsoft.

By the nature of the ‘old metadata’ it seems that MediaDex was using a version of IPTC called AFCP.

Phil Harvey, the author of ExifTool, says this about it:

“AFCP stands for AXS File Concatenation Protocol, and is a poorly designed protocol for appending information to the end of files. This can be used as an auxiliary technique to store IPTC information in images, but is incompatible with some file formats.”

My changes to the original metadata, written by MediaDex, were not overwritten by Photo Mechanic or XnView, because it’s not standard and, although they could read it, they couldn’t write to it. Instead, an additional IPTC version was created.

Windows Search 4 (a stand-alone app that can be used in Windows XP) and Live Photo Gallery in Windows 7 display the first version of IPTC metadata they see, i.e. AFCP.

I was able to remove some of the AFCP, but not all of it, by installing my old copy of MediaDex. When I wrote to Canto about getting the MediaDex metadata off my photos, they said MediaDex has been unsupported since 2008 and they were only interested in selling me an upgrade to Canto Single User.

Version 8.35 (October 23, 2010) of ExifTool includes a fix for this. Using ExifToolGUI it’s now possible to delete metadata from the AFCP Application Record Version. This works most of the time but not all the time.

Update: Since GeoSetter is based on ExifTool I was able to get rid of most of the AFCP by running my photos through it. Which just means making a token change like ‘xxx’ to one of the IPTC fields, saving and then taking it out and re-saving.

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