GIMP and Metadata

My current version = 2.10.6 on 64-bit Windows 7 Pro

I have been using GIMP for several years, jumping back and forth with the same image between PS Elements 7 and GIMP, using the strengths of both and always starting and finishing in Elements.

Other than insisting on clipping the character length of some of my IPTC fields and always stripping away my embedded jpeg comment, Adobe Elements pretty much leaves my Metadata intact, leaving me to replace the jpeg comment and a couple of the IPTC fields for each finished image.

Yesterday, just to see how well GIMP handled my extensive Metadata and what the end results would be in a finished jpeg, I opened and edited a jpeg that was carrying a full complement of data, including all “Properties”, GPS, embedded comment, XMP, IPTC, and about thirty heirarchical keyword tags.

I was not at all pleased with the results.

All but one of the keyword tags were stripped away.

IPTC Date/Time Taken was replaced with Date Modified.

The entire load of XMP data was stripped completely away.

In “Properties/Details”, the Title and Subject fields were both replaced with what had been in the “Comments” field and Comments was stripped bare.

Other than replacing my Date Taken with Date Modified, GIMP did very well with leaving the rest of my IPTC intact and unaltered.

Also, whereas Elements always strips away my embedded jpeg comment, GIMP left it intact.

I was hoping for a lot better handling of Metadata from GIMP and was surprised and quite disappointed in the end result.

I have investigated the jpeg Metadata saving options in GIMP and all desired options look to be enabled.

Is there any chance this behavior will ever be addressed and set to rights in future versions of GIMP ?

The stripping away of Keyword Tags in completely unacceptable as there is no quick/easy means of reinstating them in the finished image.

Has anyone else experienced these problems with Metadata corruption in GIMP ?

Hopefully, there is some option or other that I have missed that is causing this behavior; but, I have investigated thoroughly and am not seeing anything.

Version 2.10.6 is very old, I would advise you to update. The latest stable version of GIMP is 2.10.34. There have been a lot of improvements in metadata handling the last few years.

Although there still are open metadata issues, the current version should handle metadata a lot better than 2.10.6. Please give it a try and don’t hesitate to let us know if there are still problems.

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Okay - I just now replaced 2.10.6 with 2.10.34 and did a test run with the same images that I used in 2.10.6.

When I examined all of my many variations and fields of data, thus far, the only discrepancy I have found is that GIMP is replacing the short/simple Properties “Subject” with the huge amount of text that is in Properties Comment, IPTC Caption, and embedded comment - all of which get the same information.

With 2.10.6, IPTC Date/Time Taken was getting replaced with Date Modified; now, with 2.10.34, that field is remaining in agreement with the original image.

My many keyword tags arrived intact and appeared to preserve their heirarchy.

Whereas before, XMP had disappeared completely; now, there is a ton of XMP data in the saved image.

Thus far, the only problem I am seeing is as already described with Properties>Subject getting replaced with Properties>Comments

In both instances, I also saved the same image as a multi-layered PSD; I now need to create a jpeg from each of the PSD and see if all of the metadata survives that conversion as well.

If the integrity of the saved metadata continues as to be as good as what my first tests are exhibiting, I may begin using GIMP more and more to edit photos from beginning to end instead of jumping back and forth between Elements and GIMP.

One thing I do appreciate about GIMP’s handling of IPTC is that it renders it exactly as it receives it; whereas, PS Elements tends to clip some of the fields short.

Yes, we are aware that handling the different kinds of comments needs to be improved. Of course, it’s not helping that there are so many comment related tags in all these metadata formats. We probably need user settings to choose which one GIMP picks as the main comment and in which tats that gets saved.

It’s good to hear that other metadata got handled a lot better. Because of the differences between IPTC and XMP there are still fields that may get saved slightly different. There are also brand specific EXIF tags that may cause problems. Correct handling of all this metadata depends on our exiv2 library, which is not always easy because of all the undocumented brand and model specific extensions these camera makers use.

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