If you are an iTunes fan with a large library of music, chances are you have several songs with missing tags and cover art. Most people get their music from a number of sources, making it inevitable that some of your music doesn't have the right tags. While you could go in and fill in the genre, album name, and artist fields by hand, a huge library would take a long time to get through--not to mention all the time it would take searching for all the missing album artwork.
With its launch of iPhoto 09, Apple has begun showing some reasons why it's worth enduring the hassle of geotagging your photos.
It's generally not easy right now to label your photos with information about where you took the pictures--the process usually is done with special software to marry the photos with location data taken from a separate GPS receiver.
Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, demonstrated what you can do with iPhoto at the Macworld 2009 keynote Tuesday.
iPhoto 09 works best with photos that already have been tagged. That's getting more common, as GPS hardware support becomes less of a rarity. For example, Nikon's Coolpix P6000 has a built-in GPS receiver, and Nikon has begun selling its GP-1 GPS receiver, which can plug into its SLR's flash mount so location data is embedded in the photo. Apple's iPhone can geotag its own photos, and camera manufacturers say GPS support in cameras has become a matter of when, not if.
But the software also can help you tag your own images. Clicking a photo flips it over, letting you type in a location, then showing the spot using a map. (Google supplies back-end mapping services). Helpfully, iPhoto then can spread that location data to other photos with similar time stamps, and they can be bundled together into a group called an event.
OK, but what can you do? Once you have geotagged photos, what can you do with them?
For one thing, sift through them geographically using iPhotos' new Places interface. Viewing an iPhoto event can show an associated collection of pushpins on a map, and clicking each pin shows the photo.
For another, you can search for photos based on where you took them, not on whatever filing system you might use. iPhoto can handle geographic hierarchies, so if you labeled a photo with "Eiffel Tower," it'll find it with a search for "France" or "Paris." … Read more
Updated 10:10 a.m. PDT with further Adobe confirmation.
Adobe Systems on Wednesday plans to release an update to its Lightroom and a related Photoshop CS4 plug-in for processing raw images, bringing the software up-to-date with many of the latest SLR cameras and fixing some bugs.
"The release and release notes will go live later today," Lightroom Product Manager Tom Hogarty said. Specifically, 9:01 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, Adobe added.
It's a boon that digital photos can incorporate textual information, leaving behind some film-era complications, such as having to separately record a photo's caption or copyright status.
But there are some problems handling this so-called metadata, and now Canon, Adobe Systems, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and Nokia have banded together to solve some of them.
The companies have formed the Metatdata Working Group and released a first set of guidelines that attempts to standardize some issues that can crop up as metadata travels from cameras to computers, software, and Web sites. On Wednesday, the group announced its work at … Read more
Microsoft is releasing a major update to its Zune software and online service, and it couldn't have come soon enough.
Most of the headlines will probably focus on Microsoft adding downloadable shows, such as "South Park" and "The Office," to the Zune Marketplace for $1.99--sorry, that's 160 Microsoft Points. (No, they're still not adopting conventional currency. Argh.)
And in my discussions with the Zune team, they seem to be most excited about the new social features. For instance, your friends' Zune cards will now appear on your Zune device, where you'll … Read more
CUPERTINO, Calif.--Apple, why hast thou forsaken me?
That, loosely paraphrased, is what some Aperture customers had been asking after Apple went too long without updating its higher-end photo editing and cataloging software. It got to the point where some were plotting strategies on Apple forums about how to flee to Adobe Systems' rival Photoshop Lightroom software with their photo metadata intact.
On Tuesday, though, Apple came back with the new Aperture 2.0, a version that addressed many common gripes, caught up with Lightroom in several important respects, and signaled that the company hasn't lost interest in the … Read more
It's the law of entropy: as your digital music collection increases, you're bound to run into mislabeled songs, duplicate tracks in multiple file formats, and other problems. Apple's iTunes does a fine job of displaying song data and letting you edit it--as long as the song's in a format that iTunes supports (if you try to import a WMA file, for instance, iTunes will ask if you want to convert it first). Microsoft's Windows Media Player has an advanced tag editor, but it's buried a few menu options down, and it only lists songs … Read more
I've posted plenty about the new Zunes, but I have to blow off a little more steam before leaving this topic behind for a while. It's surprising to me given Microsoft's long history as a desktop applications company, but once again, the weakest link in the Zune lineup is the PC software.
Every Sunday during NFL football season, I watch the Seahawks (often an exercise in frustration) and record LPs to WMA files using Microsoft's Digital Media Plus Pack for Windows XP (sadly, it's been discontinued, and so far there's no Vista equivalent). The … Read more
(Update: As of 2/01/08, many of the bugs discussed in this blog post have been addressed in Firmware update 2.3 and the PC software update 2.3. While no software is 100% perfect, the Zune software development team has been making significant strides in the past few months, and most users shouldn't experience these same hiccups that were encountered early on.)
Legions of first-gen Zune owners are are downloading the latest version (v1.2) of the PC-based Zune software, and profoundly regretting it. If the Zune support message boards are any indication, there are some bitter first-gen Zune owners out there who are feeling slighted by Microsoft's all-inclusive upgrade to their Zune line.
The major sticking point on the forum (with 9,200 views and counting) seems to be abducted library metadata (album art, ID3 tags, playlists, song ratings) caused by upgrading to the latest version of the Zune PC software. The Zune support team has posted a seemingly viable solution to the problem, but not everyone is happy having to poke around on their computer's Local Settings folder to rename and delete files.
To see if the complaints had any merit, I upgraded from v1.1 of the software (the version I was given for the official CNET review) to the latest version. The result? The majority of my personal music library had been scrambled--artist and album information got all mixed up, and album art was reassigned randomly across my collection. My Zune Pass subscription music files, however, survived unharmed. To be clear, the Zune software upgrade didn't scramble my actual music files, they just appeared scrambled within the Zune software. The same files displayed perfectly fine in Windows Media Player. Instructions posted in the Zune forum solved my metadata scramble problem, but it was a hassle.
Another problem people are running into with the new Zune software… Read more