Friday, January 4, 2008

Vista Photo Labels and Search Folders

While going through pictures of Christmas morning, we realized that most of the pictures are of Kate, and thus would usually go in her folder on our computer, but that we'd be left with precious few pictures in our Christmas 2007 folder then. We decided that it was finally time to start using Vista's Labels (just like the labels in this blog) to label pictures, then mostly access them using Saved Searches (I call them search folders).

Usually that method would have you dump ALL your pictures into a single folder on your computer, since they don't need to be separated-they're essentially just entries in a database, sorted later to the end user using searches. The benefit is that we could start using Vista's Photo Importer again like we used to in XP. We haven't been using it because it's horribly broken in my opinion, forcing you to import ALL the pictures on the card to a SINGLE folder - no checkboxes to include or exclude pictures from this round like there was in XP. Problem solved if you use the labels: they're SUPPOSED to go in one place, and you can label them from within the importer itself. May be why it's designed that way in the first place.

The problem then is that our saved searches folders (views?) don't work when accessing our pictures via FTP, as I do sometimes, so it's hard to figure out which picture I want when they're all called something like IMG00599.jpg, and double-clicking the saved search folder shows me the XML codes that Vista just interperts. So for now they're just still in their folders and I'm about 1/3 through labeling ALL of the pictures we have with location, people, events, etc (a painful, but one-time process). We could rename them in the single big picture folder, I guess, but that's got its own problems.

The labels are great, and allow me to just quickly find (for instance) all pictures of Kyla and Kate (and even specify which labels to include/exclude in the screensaver slideshow), I just wish there was a way to use the saved searches via FTP, as I haven't got my remote desktop setup how I want it for our home machine, leaving FTP my only option for grabbing pictures we haven't published on our website. Even if Vista's IIS even just included a "Labels" file information column in the directory listing, I could sort by that and date, and come pretty close. I just can't plunge fully into this system without some kind of fix for this situation.

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