After a very long development and test phase, the first version of the Zoonar Media Manager is here at last! We would have loved to have offered more functionality, but uploading with the web form is too awkward for many photographers and we were getting more and more enquiries about Media Manager. That´s why we have decided to make a basic version available with the most important features; namely, the facility of loading whole picture directories on Zoonar, and a function for editing the relevant IPTC tags and the keywords.
1. System RequirementsIn order to support as many platforms as possible, Zoonar Media Manager was written in Java. So, you must first install a current version of Java Runtime on your computer. We tested the Java 2 Standard Edition Version 5.0. The most current edition of the J2SE is the version 5.0 Update 11 (1.5.0_11). In our tests, Media Manager ran under Windows XP/2000, Mac OS X 10.4 and Red Hat Linux.
2. InstallationZoonar Media Manager is installed with the aid of Java Web Start. All you have to do is click on the relevant link on our download page and the installation is executed via the Internet. When you carry out the setup for the first time, you will be asked to accept a certificate. This is necessary so the Media Manager can access the picture files on your computer. If you run Media Manager later, and in the meantime new updates of the software have become available, these new updates will be automatically installed on your computer when you run Media Manager. So you needn´t be surprised if the Media Manager suddenly offers new functions.
3. Functions OverviewThe Media Manager interface is divided into two sections. On the left is a list of all the directories that are designated to uploading; on the right are displayed the JPEG files of the directory that is currently selected.
3.1 File MenuWith the aid of the commands in the File menu, you first put all the directories together which you wish to load onto Zoonar. Using the command Add Directory, you can add a directory including all the sub-directories and the pictures contained in them to your selection. In the following example, a directory with three sub-directories has been selected.
To delete a directory, you must click the directory in question in the left-hand hierarchy view and after that, select the option Delete Directory from the File menu. In the same way as with the two commands described above, you can select and remove single JPEG files using Add File and Delete File. Alternatively, you can delete a file by clicking on the right-hand mouse button on the relevant file name. A pop-up menu appears that also contains an option to delete the selected file.
Please make sure that when you delete directories or files you only remove them from the Upload List in the Media Manager. The files remain available on the respective data medium.
3.2 Edit MenuThe commands in the Edit menu are only activated when you have selected a directory in which the JPEG files are also saved. With the aid of the menu option IPTC... you call up a dialogue in which you can edit what is known as the IPTC tag. At the moment, you can only edit the information relevant for Zoonar, i.e. title, author - this is later displayed in the area Copyright - and description. The information displayed in the IPTC dialogue refer to the picture currently marked, in this case, the file woman_on_escalator.jpg. You can also activate the IPTC dialogue, with a double click on the respective picture name using the left-hand mouse button.
If the dialogue for editing the picture information is open, you can flick from the IPTC tag to the keywords and back again any time you want using the control tab. You can also edit the keywords by selecting the option Keywords... in the Edit menu. Alternatively, you can also call up the edit function of the IPTC tag and the keywords from the pop-up menu. See Section 3.1.
We have tried to make it as easy as possible to edit the keywords. All keywords are displayed in a list structure and when you open the dialogue, a new empty line is selected at the end of the list. You can enter new keywords straight away, without having to click with the mouse in the field beforehand. After you have entered the keyword, simply press the button ENTER or RETURN. A new line is added automatically and the cursor jumps to this line.
To delete a whole line, simply press the button DELETE. Important: the line must not be in Edit mode. If the line only has a frame around it or has a blue background, it is not in Edit mode. If the cursor is flashing in the line, you are in the process of editing that particular keyword. In Edit mode you can only delete the characters to the right of the cursor using the button DELETE.
If you are currently in the line before last - in the above example, the line with the text "moving stairs" - change to Edit mode by pressing a key and delete the whole text, the line will also be deleted when you move the cursor up. Lines that are in the middle of the list and whose text is deleted are not cleaned at the moment. However, these lines are not saved as empty keywords.
To make it easy to add keywords to a picture, you can copy keywords to the clipboard and take them from there in other pictures. The relevant commands are executed via a popup menu that is activated by clicking with the right-hand mouse button.
The command Copy All allows you to save all the keywords to the clipboard. Copy Line will only save the currently selected keyword to the clipboard. The command Insert hangs the keywords from the clipboard to the end of the keyword list that has already been started.
3.3 Transfer MenuThis menu currently offers just one menu option. Using Transfer All, you can load onto Zoonar the pictures from all selected directories. You will be prompted to log in before you transfer for the first time.
Enter your user name and password that you used to register with Zoonar. Next, the login procedure is executed and your status is checked. The client and the Zoonar servers communicate via a encrypted SSL connection. If you are not registered as a photographer, have reached your upload limit or have been blocked, you will receive a message telling you this. Otherwise, a dialogue will appear in which the upload status of the file currently being transferred will be displayed.
After the file has been transferred, it is removed from the Upload list of the Media Manager and it also disappears from the files display. As soon as all the files in a directory have been transferred, the whole directory is removed from the file hierarchy view. If during the transfer you encounter a recurring network fault, you can load the remaining files by means of calling up Transfer all again.
In the case of network faults, the Media Manager tries to establish a new connection within the next 30 minutes in order to continue uploading. It is only if it fails to establish a connection in this time that it abandons the upload. You can upload manually later.
4. Log Information and FaultsFor every day on which pictures are transferred, the Media Manager writes a log file with information about the upload procedure. Look in your personal user folder - you will find this under Windows, for example, in Documents and Settings - for the directory Zoonar. In this directory is a sub-directory called MediaManager, that in turn contains the folder log. In this directory you will find text files with the upload information. Taking the above example, the last file contains the following entries:
Sun Feb 11 10:47:27 CET 2007: Started image transfer. Sun Feb 11 10:47:28 CET 2007: Image C:/Temp/image/pictures_2007/people/woman_on_escalator.jpg is too small. Sun Feb 11 10:47:28 CET 2007: Image C:/Temp/image/pictures_2007/people/children's birthday.jpg is too small. Sun Feb 11 10:47:28 CET 2007: Image C:/Temp/image/pictures_2007/people/man_with_hat.jpg is too small. Sun Feb 11 10:47:30 CET 2007: Transfer picture C:/Temp/image/pictures_2007/StockST_6670.jpg. Sun Feb 11 10:47:52 CET 2007: Transfer abandoned.
Unfortunately, the first three pictures have less than the required 8 mega pixels and will therefore not be uploaded at all. The fourth picture has the required size and the upload procedure is initiated. However, the upload was stopped by the user.
If you encounter problems with uploading your pictures, first check the respective log file. If you cannot solve the problem, send us an e-mail using the contact form with precise details of the problem and the entries from the log file.
5. Versions History
- Version 1.0.5 of 26.03.2007
Adobe Photoshop 6 thumbnails are displayed - provided they are available - in the dialogue Process picture information.
- Version 1.0.4 of 22.03.2007
The repeat of the data transfer initiation now works under Mac OS X 10.4. If, for example, your computer changes to energy saving mode and thus breaks off the network connection, or the server is briefly unable to receive the data because of too many queries, or someone pulls out the network cable by mistake, Media Manager tries to establish a new connection in the next 30 minutes in order to continue the upload. If it fails to establish a connection in this time the upload is completely abandoned.
- Version 1.0.3 of 16.03.2007
It is now also possible to transfer pictures under MAC OS X 10.4.
- Version 1.0.2 of 07.03.2007
Input fields in the dialogue for editing the IPTC fields no longer change their size.
- Version 1.0.1 of 03.03.2007
Changes in order to be able to install the application in user directories whose names also contain umlauts and empty spaces.
- Version 1.0 of 23.02.2007
First published version.
6. Known Problems
- Input of user name
Under Mac OS X 10.4, entering your user name in the login dialogue sometimes doesn't work. If you encounter this problem, click with the mouse in the password field and then again in the field provided for inputting the user name. After that, you should be able to enter your user name.
- Scrolling among keywords
The list of keywords cannot be moved in the respective dialogue using the vertical scroll bar if the cursor is positioned at the end of the keyword string. Click in the last-but-one line. Then the vertical scroll bar will work. Alternatively, you can use the arrow-up, arrow-down keys to scroll up and down.
- Symbols in ITPC tags
It is mostly Mac users who will have encountered this problem: the umlauts and special symbols in your IPTC tag are not shown correctly after they have been uploaded onto Zoonar. This is not a fault in Media Manager; the reason is that different operating systems use different character sets. When you load pictures onto Zoonar, all ITPC information in the character set UTF-8 is converted. This character set enables a very high number of accents and language symbols to be displayed. However, in order that this conversion is executed correctly, the system must know which character set has been used to record the IPTC information in the first place. That is why the IPTC data also includes an entry called Coded Character Set. Unfortunately, however, many programs do not enter this information. In this case, the original character set cannot be identified and the character set of the Windows platform is taken. Special symbols which have been entered on other platforms - e.g. under Mac OS - cannot therefore be read. Until we have come up with a viable solution for this problem, we ask all photographers not to use special symbols in their pictures. Please see also our hints in the FAQ.
7. OutlookWe have loads of ideas for Zoonar Media Manager. Unfortunately, due to limited development resources, we can only expand the functionality in small steps. For the next few versions, however, we plan to implement the following points:
- Preview Exif-Thumbnails in the dialogue Edit picture information
- Add and remove IPTC information and keywords of all the pictures in a directory
- Edit additional information, such as price category, licence type and availability of Model Release agreements