Sebastian, if you are doing serious work with stock, I’d recommend an application like Photo Mechanic which can handle metadata with templates and selected fields. Photo Mechanic is a bear to initially set up and I wouldn’t recommend it to someone not shooting commercially, in a genre where metadata is important:
- stock (whether micro, landscape or paparazzi)
On the other hand, if you do need/want to use metadata and captions, Photo Mechanic makes creating and managing them much, much easier. Don’t forget to make an executive decision about what fields you would like to use and remove the rest of them from the interface so they don’t distract you. Here’s the limited set of fields I fill in for my sports photography:
Deciding which fields to fill in is the most important decision to make when using a metadata application. Any application which doesn’t let the photographer limit these fields will cripple his/her ability to efficiently process metadata as there are at least 120 metadata fields to choose from. With just the metadata fields you intend to use right in front of you, filling in metadata becomes a simple matter of fill-in-the-blanks (which is plenty of work, I’m not sure adding metadata even with a dedicated, very efficient application with templates doesn’t take almost as long as the actual processing – part of the slow down for me is trying to identify players from the opposite teams: while I have a numbered list, numbers are not visible on these uniforms except from behind).
The new variant Photo Mechanic Plus allows the photographer to build permanent catalogues (thankfully per image data is still stored in xmp sidecars) and would be the version I’d get to manage stock.
There’s no way in a dozen years that Photolab would be able to handle metadata the way Photo Mechanic does. There’s twenty years of dedicated work in Photo Mechanic and it shows. If DxO is that intent on building a serious metadata tool, it would make more sense to make it a paid add-on like ViewPoint. Even in that case, the new MetaView should still play well with others.
What I would like to see from Photolab is storing keywords and ratings in the .xmp sidecar and not in the .dop file. Here our interests coincide as for these additional Photolab metadata improvements to be of much use, Photolab should play well with the outside world. Perhaps it matters less to you as you’d add your limited metadata fields on export to jpg.
But would the DxO Photolab fields be enough for most stock sites or would you have to take the finished files and process them with an external application to add some obligatory boilerplate fields? There’s about six different ways to designate artist/copyright and who knows what stock company requires which ones. Metadata is a deep rabbit hole and I’d really prefer that DxO focus on interoperability so that Photolab photographers can use other dedicated metadata tools without having to do handstands moving photos between applications.