Archive for January, 2008

MetaSync?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

I’ve had quite a few folks ask me recently about MetaSync. I suspect some of this is driven by the release of Office 2008 and the inclusion of Expression Media in the full package.

Funnily enough, I’ve been tinkering with MetaSync again after a long absence. Towards the end of 2007, I found myself growing dissatisfied with both Aperture and Lightroom in my current image workflow. There’s nothing that wrong with them per se, but I still use ACR in Photoshop CS3 for the bulk of my raw conversions. I did try using Lightroom for a while but I found it got really clunky when some images were offline. For big catalogs, it’s still really not an effective DAM tool at all.

The end result was that I found myself creeping back to iView MediaPro 3.1.3 – it’s not sexy but it doesn’t get in the way of my workflow, gracefully deals with offline media and is DNG-aware enough not to annoy me. It’s the least bad option, if you want to damn it with faint praise.

But of course, if I go back to MediaPro, I need to dust off my old workflow tools. One of the additions to Leopard was a scripting bridge to allow Applescript events to be generated simply from within Cocoa applications. This is an absolute plus for a tool like MetaSync, which relies on a lot of scripting to extract the metadata from MediaPro. MetaSync is currently an Applescript Studio application – adding more features than it currently has means that I either have to write a lot more Applescript (ugh) or write the new features in Cocoa and instantiate the whole thing from Applescript (bleah).

In Leopard, I get to re-write the whole thing in Cocoa. This is a Good Thing. My plan is to start working on MetaSync again fairly soon. Is there interest in making a version work with Expression Media? I can add this if there’s firm interest but I’m not going to write it on spec – I don’t use Expression Media yet (there’s nothing it does that I need).

Bug Tracking And Bento

Friday, January 18th, 2008

One application that’s definitely missing from the plethora available for Mac OS X is a small, compact bug tracking tool for small software developers. I’ve used a variety of systems over the years but haven’t ever really been happy with them for personal use. I don’t want a web interface, multi-user options or integration with source control. All I want is a nice, clean database that allows me to keep track of the various problems and feature requests that users have reported. No mess, no fuss.

Because of this, I’ve been tinkering around with Bento over the past few weeks. And, with a little bit of adaptation, it looks like it might be ideal for small-scale bug tracking.

Here’s a list of active bugs and feature requests for RapidAlbum:

Overview

And here’s a detailed entry:

Detail

The theme that I’m using here is non-standard. The current selection of Bento themes is pretty horrible – it’s geared towards the sort of folks who think that Comic Sans is “cute”. However, if you open the Bento application package, it’s pretty straightforward (if you’re comfortable with a plist editor) to add a new theme that uses muted colors and a reasonable font. This limits the amount of eye bleeding that the current selection of Bento themes induces (what were they thinking?).

Bento also appears to be scriptable altho’ I haven’t started tinkering with that yet (an Automator action for parsing email messages and creating a new bug record would be ideal).

All told, it took under an hour of tweaking and configuring to get Bento set up for my bug tracking needs (and most of that was theme tweaking). That’s not bad at all.

RapidAlbum 1.0.3

Monday, January 7th, 2008

I’ve just posted the latest minor release of RapidAlbum for download. You can pick up a copy here.

RapidAlbum 1.0.3

This version mainly fixes some annoying niggles and nits that users have reported. The big change is that RapidAlbum now creates empty metadata fields for all of the default IPTC and EXIF tokens if they’re not present in the image file. This means that you can edit and display information for images even if it’s not present in the original metadata – useful if you’ve got an album full of odd images.

Enjoy!