Annotation Copier is the tentative name for this application that I’m now ready to seed to a select group of beta testers. Currently, the app transfers annotations from iView to Aperture. A future version of the program will allow you to go the other way, Aperture to iView.
The target user for this application is the photographer who wants to use both iView and Aperture in their digital photography workflow without having to perform double-entry of metadata.
The user interface has been greatly refined since that ugly initial version I wrote a few days ago. Specify the direction in which you want to copy annotations, choose an iView catalog, check off some preferences, and click Copy Annotations.
- Overwrite existing annotations: Annotation Copier will overwrite any annotation in Aperture with the corresponding annotation in iView.
- Skip empty fields: If a field is empty in iView, don’t copy the annotation over to Aperture. This means fields you add in Aperture but not iView will remain the same.
- Confirm changes: Before running, the application will ask you if you want to perform the operation. This is useful if you change your mind since you can’t undo the process.
Here are some interesting tidbits that I came across during the development of this app:
- Annotation Copier matches media items in iView with image versions in Aperture with the same filename and version name respectively. It’s too bad that Aperture doesn’t expose a
file nameproperty for an image version, because that would be the ideal way to keep track of a file between the two applications. For instance, if you change the name of an image version in Aperture from “original_filename – Version 1” to “my new photo”, Annotation Copier won’t be able to transfer annotations back and worth.
- Aperture handles two types of keywords, IPTC and its own flavor. For the time being, Annotation Copier transfers iView keywords only to IPTC keywords in Aperture. It appears that Aperture writers to both their own keywords fields and to IPTC fields. If you update the IPTC fields using AppleScript, however, the Aperture-specific keyword fields are not automatically updated.
- You can copy an image from one project into an album of another project without it appearing in the album’s project. Furthermore, if you place one image version into multiple albums, there doesn’t appear to be a way in AppleScript to detect that the album image is the same image that you annotated one level up. A workaround that I came up with involves creating a custom tag with a unique identifier for each annotation session. If an image has already been annotated, we skip it, greatly speeding up the process.
Here are some screenshots of the application in action. If you are interested in beta testing this product, please leave a comment in the form below with some details about yourself and your current iView/Aperture workflow. There will be a closed beta of about five to ten photographers before I open up the application to the rest of the photography community. Thanks!