[Digikam-users] Confused about meta-data templates

Mark Hayes (Hotmail) mark_hayes_1973 at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 27 14:40:46 UTC 2012

Hi all,

I'm experimenting with Digikam's meta-data templates as a way of
inputting a lot of metadata early on in my workflow.  I've not played
with it before, but the whole idea seems fairly intuitive so I presumed
that I would be able to sort it out fairly easily.  Nevertheless, I'm
struggling with it - quite a lot really, so wanted to quiz people on how
they used templates.

Firstly, I usually import pictures with Rapid Photo Downloader.  I find
it fast, excellent, easy to use, and able to rename and sort according
to my preferences on import, along with making a simultaneous backup. 
For some reason, I have struggled to do the same with Digikam, in
particular using the regex renamer - which must make perfect sense to
coders, but is complete gobbledegook to myself.  The regex renamer seems
to struggle to remove parts of a filename for me - even when I follow
the very simple instructions on the Digikam blog etc.  Ho hum... 

I hit on a bunch of problems - so I'll try and break them down a little
to make it more manageable.  Any help you can give on any of these items
is most welcome.

Firstly, setting up a template.  From a UI point of view, I struggled
initially.  The 'Add' button didn't seem to open up a dialogue box to
fill in data - which is what I had expected it to do.  You had to fill
out the data, including a name for the template, before pressing Add to
add it into the list of available templates.  This seems a little
counter-intuitive to me (anyone else too?) and although I eventually
worked it out, being a little quirky just seemed to make it a little
more of an effort. 

In addition, I had imagined that a template would be a generally minimum
set of basic "boilerplate" info that you then added to - but how to add
the additional information seems harder than it should be.  I had
thought that you would leave a bunch of fields blank - such as location
and then update them later, when applying the template to the photos. 
But when I came to update/apply the template later, I hit on other
problems related to that.

Anyway, the Digikam manual/help-file states that templates can be
applied at downloading.  Since I don't use Digikam to download, this
means that I need to apply the template later.  It took me a while to
find out how.  I had tried selecting photos and then editing metadata
but this doesn't seem to be the right way.  I also looked long and hard
at the metadata tab on the right hand panel.  In the end, I had to
Google it and then surf to the Scribbles and Snaps blog to find out how
to apply it.  Apparently, metadata templates are applied under
"Captions/Tags" panel and then choosing the "Information" tab on the
right hand panel. 

I realise that Digikam is a hugely complicated program with a lot to it
- but I really am struggling to understand why template application
would appear there - and not in and around the metadata tab.  Is there a
reason behind that?  What is the main notional separation between photo
metadata and my/your metadata templates that is being applied here?  Why
would they seem so far apart and stuck in such very different locations?

Anyway, so now I found it - but then I came across another problem. 
When applying a template, you are not able to adjust any data before
application.  I would have assumed that I could select pictures, select
a template to base my data on, and then make any adjustments necessary
(such as a change of location and country, subject matter etc etc) and
then apply the template with the adjusted data.  But I don't seem to be
able to do that.  I am not able to change any data or add any more data
to the basic template before application.  And now that I have 362
images with the wrong country data (picked up from the template), I am
unsure as to how I can update/change that. 

I must be pressing all the wrong buttons because I can't seem to do
that.  Please let me know:  what am I doing wrong?

Finally, I am now trying to adjust the 'country' metadata that I have
now incorrectly embedded in the files.  I have a bunch of photos showing
that they were took in one country, when in fact they were taken
elsewhere on holiday.  So I select all the files again, choose Image >
Metadata > Edit all metadata and I'm presented with a pop-up box with
loads of metadata options.  The interesting thing about this dialog is
that it seems to be for changing only one file at a time - starting with
file number 1 of 362 in this folder, and not a 'template' system that
allows me to change all of the files en-masse. 

Anyway, with my first file being a CR2, I'm not able to edit the
metadata.  I'm able to choose from the three tabs across the top - Edit
EXIF, Edit IPTC or Edit XMP - but not able to choose any of the tabs
down the left hand side of that box to edit them.  Fair enough, given
that it's a CR2 file, but then if I click on 'Next' to go to the JPG
version of the same file (in the hopes of changing that metadata), the
system hangs and I am not able to advance to the second picture.  I am
unable to Close the box, either by clicking on Close or on the X at the
top of the window...  Dialogue buttons show no reaction to clicking, but
clicking on the X seems to bring up a KWin warning about non response
and asking me if I want to terminate the application and its child
windows with the loss of all unsaved data.  Humph!!!

It's very repeatable - and I've done it about 10 times tonight trying to
find out how to get all this to work.  I'm on Kubuntu 11.10 using
version 2.1.1 of Digikam on KDE 4.7.4

I'm starting to get concerned that I'm pressing all the wrong buttons
etc.  Thousands of people use Digikam without all the problems that I
seem to get - and I have been trying on and off to use Digikam for four
years... but still struggle to get it up and running.  I give up
frequently but come back just as often because I know that it's great
software that many people use effortlessly.  So what am I doing wrong????!!!

Grateful if anyone can shed some light on this for me.  It really
shouldn't seem this hard for me - and yet, honestly (!! :-) ) I am not
_that_ stupid all of the time...!



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