Understanding metadata

There can be a lot more to a photo than just its filename!

The term “metadata” comes up often in digital asset management. This is because metadata is so important. A copyright notice on a file or photographer credit are both examples of metadata and both examples can have a huge impact on determining the correct usage of that file.

Metadata can stored in two ways:

  1. Strongly attached – information is stored within the file itself and therefore is always present with the file as it moves between devices
  2. Loosely attached – information describing the data that is stored separately from the file but may be linked in a database to enhance search or specific DAM features but the information may not follow the asset between devices.

Ideally, you want as much metadata to be strongly attached so that other programs and systems have the best possible understanding about a specific file.

Editting metadata

CleanPix adheres to the IPTC metadata standard and automatically reads or stores important information like copyright and credit information directly to and from each image uploaded into the service.

However, your organization may have specific attributes about your files that you want to record and search for later that may not strictly fit to one particular standard or another. This is where loosely attached metadata can still prove useful.

If you need that kind of flexibility, CleanPix allows you to define your own custom metadata fields and values to meet your specific business requirements. For example, you might have a part number associated with each photo in a product shoot. While part numbers may not be a standard metadata field, CleanPix will still allow you to store that information within the system, making search that much easier.

Make sure that when you evaluate a digital asset management for your team that it supports both strongly and loosely attached metadata to take advantage of both approaches!

Additional reading: https://iptc.org/standards/photo-metadata/photo-metadata/

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