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Expression Media 2: It Took a While but old Annoyances are Gone with Service Pack 1
Posted Oct 8,2008

Yesterday saw the release of the first major update of Expression Media 2 (the Microsoft version of iView MediaPro) and many of the bugs that have annoyed the photographic staff at the magazine for the past few years are gone in this latest version. The Expression Media Service Pack 1 contains 400 bug fixes but here are the highlights I've noticed since I started using it.

Camera Metadata (EXIF) Is Saved on Image Conversion: We frequently use Expression Media 2 to rip JPEGs out of RAW files and iView loses the EXIF metadata upon conversion. This was a major headache and I am glad it is now possible to go from RAW to JPEG and retain the critical capture date & time as well as all of the camera information including ISO, white balance and lens.

Long file names: Long file names like MM7665_080808_45332_SkyDomeBlue-000001.NEF used to confuse iView and cause the program to lose track of where an image was located, create junk characters in the file name or prevent a user from resetting the path to a particular image. Thankfully, this bug is fixed and photographs with long file names don't break anything.

Geo-tagging: It still is rare that photographers send lat/long metadata embedded in photographs but now when they do it will be as easy as clicking on Window/Show Virtual Earth to see on a map where the images were created. I tested this today with old photographs from Nick Nichols and I was able to see exactly where he was making pictures in Africa. That 3D globe view is so good -- it was almost as if I were there!

There are still improvements that I hope are made soon that will improve our work at the magazine and also help photographers who use the software. Suggestions at the top my list are:
+ add on-screen notifications of changes made to photographs
+ improve the rename-on-import options for photographs
+ provide better feedback when notifying the user about what the program is doing and has completed
+ improve the import options to provide a chance to import and copy to a new location
+ provide an option to "stack" images to combine RAW + JPEGs as one.

There is clearly room to grow but this update is much appreciated. To get the full list of improvements in this service pack and for directions on updating the software check out David Sayed's blog.

Posted by Account Deleted | Comments (8)
Filed Under: Software, workflow


Oct 8, 2008 6PM #

If you want to see more National Geographic photos on a 3D globe, check my National Geographic Photography gallery for Google Earth: http://www.merkador.com/?q=content/national-geographic-photography

You can also find it at the National Geographic Content of the Google Earth Community forum: http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/1251184/

Kind regards

Ian Graham
Oct 8, 2008 6PM #

Um... can I ask why you would use Expression Studio when Macs have such a better product especially for photographers? Especially considering that Vista has just bombed as an OS. As a consultant, I see too many pros struggle with Microsoft and not get the results they and their clients deserve.

Evan Wilder
Oct 8, 2008 6PM #

@Ian - The photography staff at National Geographic magazine uses Expression Media 2 now (formerly iView Media Pro before Microsoft purchased the company) because of the software's dead-simple editing tools, great import/export options, easy metadata viewing and editing and its overall strong photo management abilities. We're always looking at other software and so far we've continued to choose Expression Media 2 partly because the software works so well with our particular work.

Kelsey Jensen
Oct 8, 2008 6PM #

I'm a photography student at Randolph Community College in Asheboro, NC and I have an assignment to find out the imaging workflow of a photography business. I was wondering if you could help me out, I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

Rushui Guan
Oct 8, 2008 6PM #

Ian, the fact that Vista is not a strong selling OS really has no merit on whether expression media 2 is a good product. It seems to me that you are bias towards Microsoft.

hans peter meyer
Oct 8, 2008 6PM #

@Ian - As someone who's been using iView/xM for years, and had no trouble moving it to my Mac several years ago, I'm curious about your reference to "Macs have such a better product esp. for photogs." What is it?

glen - kodak digital frames
Oct 8, 2008 6PM #

My wife uses Media 2 and at first did not like it at all, however I asked her about it again and she says 'it grows on you'. So I think like many applications its hard to get a good read with a test drive.

good post!

Ted Stresen-Reuter
Oct 8, 2008 6PM #

Dear Evan,

My name is Ted Stresen-Reuter. I am a web developer and son of a photographer (susanthephotographer.com).

I have developed an Expression Media HTML theme with integrated shopping cart (see it in action on my web site).

I sell the theme to photographers and in an effort to promote its use, would like to give your readers free licenses. Would 25 be enough?

If this is something you are interested in, please drop me a line at the email address above and I'll set up a co-branded form on my site that your users can use to request the theme using a special product code that I'll send you when everything is ready.

Please see my LinkedIn profile (below) for references and a little background on who I am.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Ted Stresen-Reuter

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