Author Topic: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?  (Read 11018 times)

Offline Derekasaurus Rex

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How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« on: May 02, 2008, 08:36:21 AM »
I have just started my evaluation of Photo Mechanic 4.5.3.1 for OS X (10.4.11 Intel).

Unfortunately it seems that many actions in PM modify my RAW files (mostly Canon CR2s and older CRWs). For example, soft rotating the image or adding a tag/color/rating changes the MD5 checksum of the RAW file. This happens even though in the preference I have set "Add tag, color class, and rating to IPTC/XMP" to "Never" and I have checked "Don't update embedded IPTC/IPTC4XMP even if it exists."

In fact, no matter how many file-modifying options I disable, it seems I can always find a way to make PM change the underlying RAW file. Even changing file permissions to read-only (chmod 400) doesn't stop PM from changing files.

For me this is unacceptable because I treat my RAW files as immutable read-only negatives. I'll tolerate data being added to a sidecar file, but modifications to the RAW file itself are a no-no.

This is more than a casual preference. I archive my RAW files with MD5 checksums, and if a careless action in PM can modify a file, I lose the ability to detect real data corruption. Furthermore, when PM touches a file, it causes my backup tools to copy it again, which results in a lot of unnecessary data shuffling. And last but not least, I don't trust any tool to modify my RAW negatives. What's to say PM isn't making changes that will make my RAW file or the embedded metadata unreadable to some other tool? When an application changes data in a proprietary file format, there is always non-zero risk that something will get botched, which is why I stick to tools that don't modify my files.

So as much as I would love to use PM for its speed and simplicity, I can't unless there is some way to make it treat my RAW files as read-only. Is there some way to accomplish this?

Thank you.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 08:39:13 AM by Derekasaurus Rex »

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2008, 10:24:44 AM »
I have just started my evaluation of Photo Mechanic 4.5.3.1 for OS X (10.4.11 Intel).

Unfortunately it seems that many actions in PM modify my RAW files (mostly Canon CR2s and older CRWs). For example, soft rotating the image or adding a tag/color/rating changes the MD5 checksum of the RAW file. This happens even though in the preference I have set "Add tag, color class, and rating to IPTC/XMP" to "Never" and I have checked "Don't update embedded IPTC/IPTC4XMP even if it exists."

In fact, no matter how many file-modifying options I disable, it seems I can always find a way to make PM change the underlying RAW file. Even changing file permissions to read-only (chmod 400) doesn't stop PM from changing files.

For me this is unacceptable because I treat my RAW files as immutable read-only negatives. I'll tolerate data being added to a sidecar file, but modifications to the RAW file itself are a no-no.

This is more than a casual preference. I archive my RAW files with MD5 checksums, and if a careless action in PM can modify a file, I lose the ability to detect real data corruption. Furthermore, when PM touches a file, it causes my backup tools to copy it again, which results in a lot of unnecessary data shuffling. And last but not least, I don't trust any tool to modify my RAW negatives. What's to say PM isn't making changes that will make my RAW file or the embedded metadata unreadable to some other tool? When an application changes data in a proprietary file format, there is always non-zero risk that something will get botched, which is why I stick to tools that don't modify my files.

So as much as I would love to use PM for its speed and simplicity, I can't unless there is some way to make it treat my RAW files as read-only. Is there some way to accomplish this?

No, not currently.  Others have requested that when PM is told not to embed edits in metadata and not to embed metadata at all that this be a cue to Photo Mechanic to never modify their files.  This will be addressed in version 4.6 of Photo Mechanic, and the edits will only be written to XMP sidecar files.

-Kirk


Offline Derekasaurus Rex

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2008, 12:58:10 PM »
Thanks for the prompt reply. I'll be looking forward to 4.6.

Offline Mike-D

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2008, 07:30:03 PM »
Please make it a nice, obvious option, something like "Do not modify the file contents in any way on download" or something. And please make it sticky.

...Mike
---
Mac OS X 10.6.3
PM 4.6.5

Offline HPL

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2008, 04:32:47 AM »
Hi

I would prefer an option ‘do not change read-only files’ in PM.
Currently PM is ignoring the read-only bit – a behavior totally different from all other programs. Read-only IS read-only.
You have already explained long time ago, that this is by design because many cameras are setting the read-only bit for ‘protecting’ the picture.

On option would help us all…

Peter

Offline ofdphoto

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2009, 08:06:13 AM »
I am trialling PM 4.6 and hitting the same problem, and for the same reasons I'm finding this to be a major problem.

Where is this new read-only mode buried?

Offline ofdphoto

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2009, 08:24:38 AM »
BTW, yes, I have enabled the "Don't update embedded..." option, and disabled both "Add embedded" options for writing RAW files under the IPTC/XMP tab.

XMP files are being created, but original RAW files (Canon CR2's in my case) are still changing whenever I make a change in PM (e.g. rating an image).

This makes PM unusable for me :(

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2009, 08:36:57 AM »
BTW, yes, I have enabled the "Don't update embedded..." option, and disabled both "Add embedded" options for writing RAW files under the IPTC/XMP tab.

XMP files are being created, but original RAW files (Canon CR2's in my case) are still changing whenever I make a change in PM (e.g. rating an image).

This makes PM unusable for me :(

Sorry.  The changes required to only store edits in XMP sidecar files didn't make it into version 4.6.0 or version 4.6.1.  When I get more information on the status of this issue, I'll post back here.

-Kirk

Offline ofdphoto

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2009, 08:57:42 AM »
Thanks for responding so quickly.

If the changes were not made, why is there a new "Don't updated embedded IPTC/IPTC4XMP even if it exists" option?

Furthermore, given PM ignores this option and changes files without changing their timestamp, even if I chose to allow PM to break my current backup system (which would make me very unhappy), I wouldn't be able to, because there's no way for any backup software in existence to pick up the changes without a binary file comparison. In other words, it seems you've attempted to make it look like this new option works when it doesn't work at all, instead silently modifying RAW files while unsuspecting users assume their integrity is intact.

For a product with PM's reputation, serious user base and price tag, this is a major and embarrassing oversight. It is of particular concern to me because I have just finished recovering 500GB+ of photos from backups that had been quietly being corrupted due to faulty RAM. If I had been using PM to manage these, I would have had NO hope of restoring my RAW files to a known uncorrupt state.

I would suggest that it's in your best interests to resolve this problem as close to immediately as possible, for the benefit of those who currently assume PM does what it says it does.

Offline ofdphoto

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2009, 09:58:29 AM »
Hi again,

Any update on this? I'd love to know when I'll be able to make the switch to PM. Aside from this little problem, the program is PERFECT for addressing several of my workflow headaches.

Cheers,

Luke

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2009, 12:01:02 PM »
Thanks for responding so quickly.

If the changes were not made, why is there a new "Don't updated embedded IPTC/IPTC4XMP even if it exists" option?

It's not all that new.  It does what it says.  If there is embedded IPTC and/or IPTC4XMP already in the file then they won't be updated.

Quote from: ofdphoto
Furthermore, given PM ignores this option and changes files without changing their timestamp, even if I chose to allow PM to break my current backup system (which would make me very unhappy), I wouldn't be able to, because there's no way for any backup software in existence to pick up the changes without a binary file comparison. In other words, it seems you've attempted to make it look like this new option works when it doesn't work at all, instead silently modifying RAW files while unsuspecting users assume their integrity is intact.

I'm sorry but you're mistaken.  That option doesn't say "Never modify RAW files" it says that when checked it won't update existing IPTC or IPTC4XMP if it already exists.

Like I said earlier, when I have news I will post back on this thread.

-Kirk

Offline ofdphoto

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2009, 04:01:50 PM »
I'm sorry but you're mistaken.  That option doesn't say "Never modify RAW files" it says that when checked it won't update existing IPTC or IPTC4XMP if it already exists.

And yet this is what PM's documentation says about this option:

Quote
There is a new option (Don’t update embedded...) disabling any updating or adding of IPTC/XMP data for TIFF based RAW files to maintain the integrity of the original file.


Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2009, 04:17:26 PM »
I'm sorry but you're mistaken.  That option doesn't say "Never modify RAW files" it says that when checked it won't update existing IPTC or IPTC4XMP if it already exists.

And yet this is what PM's documentation says about this option:

Quote
There is a new option (Don’t update embedded...) disabling any updating or adding of IPTC/XMP data for TIFF based RAW files to maintain the integrity of the original file.

The documentation is in error.  I will correct it for version 4.6.x's manual.

I know this is an important issue to you and to some other users of Photo Mechanic.  I will post additional information on this thread when I have something new to report.

-Kirk

Offline HPL

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2009, 02:28:05 AM »
Hi

Please do not forget an option for ‘do not change read-only files’ in PM.

Peter

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: How to make PM stop modifying my RAW files?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2009, 06:19:54 AM »
Peter,

Please do not forget an option for ‘do not change read-only files’ in PM.

We are not currently considering that option for implementation at this time.

-Kirk