Poll: Who uses the XMP-files, and how

I use the XMP-files that Mylio maintains to interact with other tools and processes; for example, I have written some code to categorize my photos using various cloud services and add the labels as keywords; and I use HoudahGeo to my geo-tagging. All the processes use the XMP-files to communicate the results back to Mylio.

In general, the XMP-files are a major selling point for me as they ensure I won’t be locked into any proprietary database or service.

I wish, however, that these XMP-files were treated even more as a source of truth in Mylio, and officially so. Allow any value to be modified via these files (dates, faces, …). If inconsistencies occur, use the XMP-file as the reference. Allow a complete database rebuild based on XMP files. Etc.

I am saying this as I encountered situations in the past where some values were only read from XMP once upon import, but not subsequently; or values from the database and the XMP were merged rather than one replacing the other, …

How do other Mylio user’s use the XMP-files? How do other Mylio users feel about it?

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I use the XMP files to communicate with other applications, too.
DxO Photolab: star ratings to select photos to edit in a folder. Photolab also takes the XMP data of the source RAW file to an exported JPG.
Geotag Photos Pro to add GPS location information from GPS log.

Tried IMatch and PhotoSupreme. They would use information added by Mylio, edited content of XMP file heavily (Metadata Working Group compatibility), but couldn’t justify the licence costs for the additional features to Mylio. Some of the edits inside this applications were visible in Mylio.

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I would also like to see Mylio improve XMP support, so it would play nicely with apps like Photo Supreme.

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You can write to the photos themselves, or probably more relevant to Mylio, write anything from the xmp to the photo file (or keep them in sync)? That info will of course stay with the photos, although comes with the risk of damaging the file. That said I’ve been adding gps information and other bits and pieces to photo files for years and have never had a file go bad. And I’m very much an amateur. I’m not sure how good Mylio is at picking up the photo information after it’s already created the xmp (reflecting your experience with xmp).

That said EXIF doesn’t have a standard place for faces; but and existing EXIF or IPTC field probably could be used.

I rather the photo was the master not the xmp, but I can understand that we may not want to let Mylio loose writing to our original photo files. The larger problem is that various photo programs create their own xmp files; that’s a problem I ran into trying a photo editing program.

Tools:

A Ruby gem, mini_exiftool, to connect with the Perl script, ExifTool by Phil Harvey, which has a Windows executable and a macOS package installer available. This is a fantastic, well-maintained package to manipulate photo file EXIF data and the site has plenty of information on how to use with just about any language. However some of the links are outdated.

Hi @Greg - two reasons why I personally prefer altering the XMP than the photo are (a) the synchronization overhead (up- and downloading a few hundred gigabyte every time I re-run my tagging AI, to Amazon/Google/NAS …), (b) as you mentioned, there is a risk of damaging the image file.

I do use ExifTool to work with XMP-files …

What exactly do you mean by “various photo programs create their own xmp files” - create additional XMP files with a different name / overwrite existing XMP files / alter existing XMP-files without preserving their entire content / …?

@ionos I misspoke. About a year ago when I switched from Aperture to Mylio I was also evaluating a couple of photo editing programs—Luminar and Dx0. Instead of XMP, I should have said sidecars or databases. In any case Mylio doesn’t know about the edits, so I had to export. Coming from Aperture I wasn’t used to sidecars. Aperture kept the edits in a database, but since I was staying in Aperture I didn’t have to worry about that.

As you point out XMP has advantages.

feel free to see my post linked below on how to create polls on the forum

I can also say, that xmp sidecars are great.
I evaluated two DAM software near Christmas after reading about possible candidates.

With the first I had a bad experience by damaging my raw files. It is not 100% where the bug lies, but the software uses Exiftool ín the background and my raw processor was not able to open them, the problem is not yet solved. No brilliant feature set can make this up.

The second one is not changing raw files by default. There were some features not working and Mylio came ín between with an important change.

I learned with these apps, that Mylio’s concept is not totally in accordance with the guidelines of the Metadata Working Group. Metadata for jpg, tiff and dng files should be written directly to the files. I Guess Mylio chose to only write the sidecars because of the speed at changes and synchronization.
If you want your jpgs up to date, you can write the Metadata there.

What is really important is to use tags, that are industry standard and don’t lock you in inside an application.

My finding was, that these apps were able to read, what Mylio was writing.

I prefer the data stored in the file. At the “oldest” format available, if the data can be stored as EXIF use that, IPTC, XMPMETA then sidecar xxxx.XMP…
I would request that the original metadata be stored also (perfect for embedded XMP). The file size increase of extra metadata is pretty insignificant compared to most image data these days. Mylio’s .XMP file structure should apply to as many tagging formats possible (adobe, Microsoft…) and still keep proprietary blocks. Again a .xmp is 1/1000th the size of an image doubling it would still be small.

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i would like to use Mylio iPad for captioning and keywording but it creates a XMP for any file type. personally i want IPTC keywords backed in the file except RAW files where i use XMP.

maybe i have to revise my workflow. but i keep XMP only for RAWs. i find it messy to use them also on TIF and JPEGs especially when you have many file type versions of same file.

Timely topic!

I shoot video as well as images and needed to use the video’s xmp files to correct the video capture times via Exiftool since Mylio gets them wrong most of the time, thus making sorting by date/time quite confusing. When video xmp files were removed a few releases ago, I was left with no batch alternative to getting the capture times correct down to the level of one second. Even correcting the time to the minute requires a manual operation for each file and the information now exists only in the Mylio catalog.

I also used tags in the video’s xmp files to manage downsizing videos via external applications to get a smaller version in Mylio to sync to my mobile devices.

I have had fruitful discussions with David, Deon, Matthew, and Michael about restoring xmp files for video, so I am hopeful this will be resolved before too long.

I think these uses show how important xmp files can be and how difficult it is to do without them, especially for media that does not support embedded exif - like many video, raw, and image types other than jpeg, tiff, and dng.

I also have encountered situations where the Mylio catalog was corrupted and I was saved by the xmp files - although catalog corruption seems to be in the past now.

Another way to put it is that depending on metadata that exists only in Mylio’s catalog exposes me to major losses of information that I’ve put hours into creating.

So I also feel having xmp files with all of the metadata avoids locking me into Mylio when I need something it does not provide.

  pdj
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@Paul_Jensen so you have not found any way to get Mylio to reprocess the dates from the XMP of a video?

I just found that (possibly due to some by now fixed bug) all the videos and photos indexed from Janurary 2019 show Jan 1st, 2019 00:00 as the date/time. I did come up with an Exiftool command to remove the incorrect dates from the XMP and for photos Mylio would just go back to the JPG to get the proper date and populate the XMP data with it. Just for videos this doesn’t work.

Rain:

I know of no way at present to correct video capture times other than using the Mylio “Change Date” dialog on each file, although I have had some success setting the File’s Creation and/or Modification time, but I have not been able to figure out just what data Mylio is currently using in determining video capture times.

Previously it confused UTC times with local times and used the time zone of where you were importing instead of the time zone where you shot the video, and ignored some capture time metadata. The results were pretty much hard to reconcile. At least now it’s consistent in that it totally ignores video sidecars - on input, when metadata changes, etc :frowning:

I previously found I had to get Mylio to create a sidecar which I could then edit. If it were created outside of Mylio, it was ignored.

BTW, for my limited set of cameras, I looked for DateTimeOriginal, CreationDate (not CreateDate), and MediaCreateDate to try and determine the correct capture time of a media file, pretty much in that order.

As I mentioned, my discussions with David lead me to hope that these issues will be addressed before long. In the meantime I have held off on importing many videos.

 pdj

I am using xml sidecar files to bring Meta data from Apple Fotos to Mylio.
Unfortunately the GPS geolocation format of Mylio is incompatible with Apple Fotos.

I have created a workaround by writing a nodejs script to convert these formats.
Lately I discovered that Graphicconverter 11 beta can read Apple xml sidecar files and put them into the Exif tags of picture and also videos.

Unfortunately this does not work for mov files which come with Live Fotos.

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