2. Januar, 2010

Picasa for Mac tags and keywords with special characters, a flickr workflow

Von webfraggle

I started using a Mac last year. Now I had a little time to manage some of my holiday photos. I’m trying to give all my photos a location and some keywords. Also I upload most of the photos to flickr. flickr is using automaticly the keywords out of the jpeg. On the PC i used PixVue to add the keywords directly to EXIF IPTC and XMP dataof the jpegs. This worked very fine. iPhoto on Mac doesn’t work for me because it stores all in his own database. So I searched for another solution. I found Picasa. Picasa is fine. It’s easy to manage keywords called tags. The locations can be shown in the app. It’s fast. So I started keywording. But at the first uploading I noticed that something is wrong with special character (german umlauts in my case).

Also described here in the Picasa Support Forum.

So I started investigating. And after some days I found a fix. Not a solution, because it’s definitively a bug of Picasa. Picasa for Mac uses a very special not standard character encoding. And only an Mac, on PC everything is ok. And because of that I used the PC version to make a little list. Because Picasa for Mac always replaces the special characters with the same wrong characters. I just added a tag like this on Mac „äöü ÄÖÜ ß“ and imported it on the PCs Picasa there it was schown like this „ŠšŸ €…† §“.

Now I just needed a solution to replace the wrong characters with the right UTF-8 characters. Exiftool is the right solution for something like that. It’s a command line tool to read/write exif data. You need these two files to replace the characters. exiftool-files-for-german-umlauts.zip

After you installed exiftool and added some tags with german umlauts, open the terminal change to the directory of the jpeg files and type in this command:

exiftool -config rename_config "-keywords<umlauts" *.JPG

This replaces in all .JPG files the wrong german umlauts with correct UTF-8 umlauts. Picasa adds the tags only to the IPTC part of exif. But it reads it correct from the xmp part. Also other tools are reading only the xmp data. So it would be nice to have the keywords in both parts. With this second command the IPTC keywords are copied over to xmp.

exiftool -tagsfromfile @  -@ my.args -iptc:Keywords *.JPG

Picasa rescans the files and finds one correct (xmp) and one wrong (iptc) tag and shows both. That’s not fine but it works.

But now every other tool (e.g. flickr uploadr) reads the umlauts correct.

If you want additional characters to be changed just edit the „rename_config“ file and add some lines. To find your replacements do it like I described above. Add a tag on Mac and look what it is on PC. Important, all files need to be UTF-8 encoding. I use Textwrangler because there you can choose the encoding of the files.