BrilliantPhoto - good for tagging digital photographs

Written June 16. 2005, at 00:13 GMT.

I've just started using BrilliantPhoto for tagging (keywords) my digital photo library and I like it a lot. It basically meets all my requirements for cheap, user-friendly software that offers efficient keyword-tagging features, and writes all the tags/captions back into the EXIF/IPTC headers of the original JPEG image files.

Pros:

  • Writes keywords/tags, captions etc. to the image file's EXIF/IPTC headers (all other consumer-level programs lock up your meta-data in their proprietary database format).
  • Very easy to quickly add tags/keywords to multiple photos.
  • Quick batch correction of date/time stamps on photos (handy when your camera's built-in clock has gone all "Jan. 1. 1980" on you in the middle of the night)
  • Extremely friendly and intuitive to use.
  • Cheap. (USD27, after 30 day free trial period)

Cons:

  • I have yet to find out how well it will scale to handle huge photo libraries (in my case 30,000 images +).
  • Slightly limited features features for searching/browsing your library (but since BrilliantPhoto writes your meta-data to the image files you are always free to use some other program for browsing/searching)
  • There may not be any future updates to the software, nor is it clear weather Brilliant Labs provide any support for the software anymore. (However, the current version seems to do the job just fine.)

One final note worth mentioning: BrilliantPhoto offers four different fields for keyword tags - "keywords", "people", "event" and "location". Although this logical seperation seems convenient, only "Keywords" are part of the official IPTC headers specification. I therefore suggest people play it safe and put all their tags into the "Keywords" field and leave the other ones well alone.

For those who don't feel like splashing out 27 US bucks for something like this, they might like to check out the free (as in Beer) program Exifer instead. Exifer allows relatively quick and painless editing of EXIF and IPTC headers on multiple image files. However, like BrilliantPhoto, Exifer is abandonware and with much less elegant user-interface and much slower to run.


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