Windows Vista Destroys Photo Metadata

Illustration for article titled Windows Vista Destroys Photo Metadata

A bit of bad news about Vista if you're a photographer. Apparently if you tag a photo's metadata in Vista, it destroys other important metadata used by image editing apps such as Photoshop. Microsoft's gotten reports of RAW files generated by Nikon cameras being unreadable after being tagged with Vista or Microsoft's Photo Info tool.


What can you do? Well, Microsoft's asking camera vendors to make processing plugins for Vista that don't make images unreadable, but for the mean time we'd just recommend not updating to Vista until everything's fixed. Or just not tagging your stuff in Vista.

Metadata mangling in Windows Vista [ via Lifehacker]



There might be other reasons not to upgrade but labeling this as a reason not to upgrade to Vista is just brutally pathetic. The headline is obvious and braindead Digg bait. For one, if you are a serious RAW shooter I would hope that you have a better RAW setup than a file explorer. The "just don't use it" option makes a more sense for you.

This is just as much about Vista as it is about all the different versions of RAW. This type of problem occurs with other apps - not just vista. I love it that the post mentions Photoshop as an app vista gets in the way of when actually, if you edit a RAW file's metadata with photoshop you can also have problems with other apps reading the data it has written.

The metadata mangled is the makernote data and the problem is each manufacturer does things a little differently. As the kb notes "This metadata is specific to the manufacturer of the camera." This is one reason why Adobe is pushing a standard RAW format and XMP: almost every image processing app that actually writes to the file destroys this data. Because this is so common there is even a windows app called Exifer that backs up the data before using any image processing.

The most surefire way an app wouldn't mess up the data is by storing metadata in its db instead of the actual file. Lots of apps take this approach but then, if you want to use a different app, the metadata won't migrate with the photos so you are locked down.

Aperture, for instance, goes this route (after getting reamed for sloppy metadata writing in version 1.0). Apple itself tells you (if you look into how it originally messed up metadata) that you'll lose all your tagging if you move to another app so you might what to edit all the metadata with a different app before bringing them in and then ignore the metadata editing available to you within aperture. I can only imagine the well informed gizmodo headline if Vista did this - "Vista Tag Editing Ties You to M$ Forever!!!!"

Oh what am I doing trying to have a reasoned looked into the (actually widespread) problem? What the hell... "Almost Every Photo Processing Application Destroys the problematic makernote Metadata and Vista is bringing attention to this" just wouldn't bring the Diggs. In other news, "Vista Eats Babies!!"