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Metadata: How do I edit or delete "Image Description" field? #1
Rob Radencic's picture
by Rob Radencic
June 23, 2014 - 1:05pm

I just realized that my Olympus camera is adding “OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA”  to the Image Description field in metadata, but I’m baffled.  I don’t see Image Description in the list of fields to override when importing, and I can’t figure out how to change it (remove the text) in photos I’ve already imported.  But I see Image Description listed in the EXIF fields in the left hand column Inspector.

Scott Davenport's picture
by Scott Davenport
June 24, 2014 - 8:12am
Aperture treats the EXIF data as read only. To change it, you need to look to other utilities like ExifTool (Google it, it’ll be the first hit). You could also ignore it, and remove the field from your metadata views. The IPTC Title and Caption fields are good for supplying a description of the image.
Rob Radencic's picture
by Rob Radencic
June 24, 2014 - 11:09am

I don’t mean to be rude, but, “ignore It” is terrible advice.  I took the time to ask the question because I’m having a problem.  Flickr is inserting “OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA” in the description field for every image I upload, and if Flickr is picking up that field, who knows where else that field may get picked up accidentally - today or in the future.

If I’m going to need other software, maybe it’s time to bail on Aperture entirely, especially since Apple seems to have bailed on Aperture users.

Scott Davenport's picture
by Scott Davenport
June 24, 2014 - 11:28am

Not rude at all. You hadn't mentioned this string being percolated and prominently displayed on sites like Flickr. Far more annoying than it being solely in Aperture.

As I said earlier, Aperture doesn't allow direct manipulation of EXIF data. Strict don't-modify-the-original paradigm. At a minimum, you'll need another utility that allows EXIF data to be manipulated. ExifTool is a fine choice. You could write an AppleScript that can be run on import that nulls out the Image Description field. Same approach to clean up existing photos (IIRC, AppleScripts need to be written slightly different for import actions vs. running against selected photos).

To get you started, I have a script on my website (link in my signature) that copies EXIF data from one image to another. It uses ExifTool underneath. This isn't exactly what you need. However, it'll give you a good starting point.

Rob Radencic's picture
by Rob Radencic
June 24, 2014 - 11:36am

An Applescript to clear that particular field is an excellent idea.  Is there a way to have the Applescript triggered automatically on import, or would I have to run it manually?  Either is fine, but auto is of course preferable.

Scott Davenport's picture
by Scott Davenport
June 24, 2014 - 11:40am

Automatically. In the upper right of the Import pane, select “Actions” from the “Import Settings” pulldown. You can select an AppleScript in the Actions brick.

Rob Radencic's picture
by Rob Radencic
June 24, 2014 - 11:55am

That sounds perfect.  Now, I just need to do some dabbling with Applescript in order to figure out the best way of approaching this.

Thanks for the idea!  I’m not great at writing Applescripts (not even close!) but I already use a bunch of them to perform various tasks.

BopperZip's picture
by BopperZip
June 24, 2014 - 12:41pm

I don’t own an Olympus and am not familiar with their camera software, but was just wondering whether the unwanted OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA text applied by default can be edited/deleted in the camera’s settings somehow before it is committed to EXIF?

BopperZip

Scott Davenport's picture
by Scott Davenport
June 24, 2014 - 12:58pm

I had the same thought before I suggested the AppleScript approach. From the quick searching I did, folks have been complaining about this for a few years and there's no way to disable that in the Olympus camera itself. If that's changed (maybe Olympus issued a firmware update), that would be the best solution.

Rob Radencic's picture
by Rob Radencic
June 24, 2014 - 1:11pm

Sadly, there is no way to change this in the camera settings.  I’m running the latest firmware, and I did just now go through the entire menu system to check, just in case.  It’s looking like Applescript is my only option.  I could just delete it with each photo I post to flickr, but that’s kind of obnoxious, not to mention that I really want to future-proof this, at least to a certain extent.  I mean, if flickr is picking up this field and inserting it as a description whenever I don’t include a caption, then who knows…  this odd field could prove to be annoying elsewhere too - if not now, then someday.  Like I said, who knows…  but better safe than sorry.

Rob Radencic's picture
by Rob Radencic
June 24, 2014 - 1:14pm

What’s weird is that, in Aperture, Image Description isn’t editable, but somehow, if there is no caption, flickr inserts the Image Description field instead - but - if there is a caption, flickr ignores the Image Description field.

Very odd.

AVphoto's picture
by AVphoto
February 26, 2017 - 2:10pm

IS there a new solution to this one? I wrote the company and they say:” just change the exif data from olympus viewer or other app”/ such an annoying problem. do my clients have to see the olympus title on ther image browser?

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