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The Info panel

Expression Studio 2.0

When a media file is created on a computer or digital device, information is embedded into the file to describe it. This information is called metadata. Because metadata can be extensive and detailed, you can use it to precisely classify and organize your media files according to the metadata criteria.

Microsoft Expression Media uses the Info panel to provide an instant view of the combined properties and metadata of any single media file, such as file type, size, dimensions, resolution, caption, capture date, and duration. This information might change, based on the media type. You can edit and check the accuracy of information in the Info panel list without having to open multiple dialog boxes. You can also select multiple items and view the metadata that is common among all the selected files.

The data in the Info panel is split into various sections. To show the data from one of these groups, click the arrow next to the section name.

Some files have large amounts of metadata. To view all the metadata for these files, you can scroll down the panel, or you can hide various sections by using the Configure List menu.

The Info panel

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To show or hide the Info panel

  • To show or hide the Info panel, click the Info button.

The following table describes the sections that you can display in the Info panel.

Media Info

This section displays embedded media-related metadata that cannot be edited. It includes some data that your computer assigns to a file, such as type, size, creation date, and modification date.

Other fields display information based on the media type. For example, image files display dimensions, resolution, bit-depth, color space, and profile. Audio files display the type of encoding, length of the music, audio channels, and data about the quality of the sound.

Expression Media also displays the size of text annotations, audio annotations, and any thumbnail associated with an item in this section.

Photo EXIF

For images created by digital cameras, this section displays special Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) data that has been captured and embedded in the photo file. This metadata includes the date and time a photo was taken (Capture Date), and also such camera-related information as shutter speed, aperture, and exposure. Global Positioning System (GPS) information can also be displayed in this section. Different cameras record different amounts of EXIF data. Only the EXIF data captured by your digital camera is displayed here.

Cue Points (Audio and Video)

This section displays cue points, or markers that define special time stamps in some audio or video media files. For example, an audio file might have cue points that mark the chorus, bridge, and solos of a song. Expression Media lists the name and time stamp for all cue points of an item in this section.

Movie Tracks (Audio and Video)

This section displays the type of encoding, start time, duration, data size, data rate, and frame rate for each video track of a movie file. Movie files typically contain two tracks of digital information, one for video and one for audio. However, movies can contain multiple video and audio tracks. For audio files that contain only one track, this section displays the type of encoding, start time, duration, data size, and data rate.

Annotations

This section displays a set of predefined fields for annotating media. This set of fields, also known as the IPTC Core, includes fields that enable you to define the author, event date, event information, copyright, labels, ratings, and more.

IPTC is an acronym for the International Press and Telecommunications Council. Since the late 1970s, the ITPC has focused on developing industry standards for the interchange of news data. The IPTC annotation fields used by Expression Media comply with the standards set by this organization.

These fields are also part of Adobe's metadata standard called XMP (Extensible Metadata Platform). Expression Media can read XMP metadata in four image file types (.jpg, .tif, .dng, and .png) and Adobe Photoshop.

Creating or editing annotations in an Expression Media catalog does not affect annotations in the original files, unless you want to synchronize the catalog items with the original files.

Description

This section lets you write descriptions of media, which is useful for additional details or thoughts about the files. Descriptions embedded into files are automatically shown in this field.

QuickTime equivalent mapping

This section displays embedded QuickTime annotations. Some files, such as MP3s or movies, have QuickTime annotations embedded. These are mapped to annotation fields. For example, the Author annotation field is mapped to the Artist field of an MP3, Product to the Album name, and Title to a song's Full Name. For more information about mapping, see Annotation mapping.

People, Keywords, Categories, Scenes, and Subject Codes

This section displays metadata groups that are useful for describing and organizing the content of your media. These groups are part of the IPTC and XMP annotation standards.

Catalog Sets

This section displays all the associated Expression Media catalog sets in the Organize panel to which an item belongs. Catalog sets are a free-form, hierarchical method of organizing media files.

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To add a group to the Categories, Keywords, and People annotation groups, double-click the empty field and type the name of the new field.

Some images in your catalogs will have large amounts of metadata displayed in the Info panel. To view all this information, you can scroll in the Info panel. However, scrolling might become too cumbersome or repetitive, especially when you have to scroll past fields that are irrelevant to your workflow.

The same is true of the Catalog Index in the Organize panel, which is used for sorting and annotating images.

As a solution, you can selectively display the most relevant fields or groups of metadata in the Info panel and Catalog Index by selecting them from the Configure List menu.

The state of the Info panel and Catalog Fields index lists is unique for each catalog and is maintained when you save and close a catalog.

The Configure List menu also has the option of storing a default state of hidden and shown fields, which you can define. This default can be useful for workflows that focus on a specific subset of metadata. For example, your annotation workflow might require data entry in nine fields: eight entries in the IPTC annotation fields, and one entry in the Keyword field. In this case, you can store a default that shows only these fields in the Info panel.

To configure the Info panel list

  1. Click the Configure List button.

  2. Click one of the following options:

    • Show/Hide Fields   Creates a custom display of the field sections. Select or clear the check box of the fields you want to show or hide.

    • Save as Default   Stores the current Info panel configuration as the default, which can be loaded into existing or new catalogs.

    • Load Default   Applies your default configuration to the current catalog.

Some software programs use different names for the various IPTC/XMP field names. For example, what Expression Media identifies as the IPTC Job Identifier field, Photoshop CS identifies as Transmission Reference. Expression Media gives you the option of selecting which field names to display: the official IPTC Core names, those names used in Expression Media, or those used in Photoshop CS.

To change the displayed field names

  • On the Edit menu, point to Preferences, and then click General.

Field names do not affect how annotations are written (synchronized) into media files. They are just a visual preference designed to help you select the appropriate field when you annotate files.

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