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To XMP, or not to XMP

Garrett's question at linuxart, What do you do with your images? has generated quite the discussion. Many excellent suggestions being made, including the use of XMP to store the metadata for your images directly within the image files.

The advantages of using XMP are that you can move your files around outside of F-Spot (or whatever other image management app), and still maintain information that you've entered about the description, location, etc. Backups become simpler because you don't have to save the metadata seperately.

Two possible issues that I can see are:

  • All image manipulation must be done in an XMP-aware app, or at least applications that don't blow away the XMP data.
  • Support of RAW formats - Adobe's XMP documentation doesn't specifically mention any RAW formats, which makes me wonder if it's possible to use XMP in formats like Nikon's .NEF (which does seem to be a TIFF format, so maybe there's hope).

This does seem like a 180° about face from my last post, but as long as there's an original, unmodified copy of the image somewhere that I can easily revert to, then I'm happy.

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