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Why I Use Directory Opus Pro Part 1: Viewing Files and Their Metadata

Introduction

Directory Opus Pro (Opus) is a file management application for PC and is highly customizable. It is the application I rely on most when organizing digital photo and video collections, yet most professional photo organizers have never tried it.

It is a file browser. It does not use a catalog or library. There is no importing or exporting of files.

The video corresponding to this article is much more interesting than this article! The link to the video can be found below, but I encourage you to read this article first.

The main reason I have chosen to use Directory Opus Pro for many digital photo and video organizing tasks is that I can access important metadata about the files I am organizing. Being able to access many different metadata fields is essential to an accurate and efficient workflow.

Early on in every digital organizing project, I separate files by type. The main reason for this is that the metadata fields I need to view, sort and filter by for photos are different than for videos.

I have configured Opus to display specific columns depending on whether the folder I open contains photos or contains videos.

If I select a file, I can open the metadata pane and/or the preview pane to see more details, and I can view the files in details mode, or as thumbnails.

I have installed an ExifTool plugin for Opus which allows me to view, filter and sort by many different date metadata fields.

Viewing Photo Metadata & Properties

The columns I have chosen for my A Photo Details Folder Format are those that I need to access most often. These columns are displayed automatically if I open a folder containing photos.

  • Filename
  • Date Taken
  • Type
  • Size
  • Tags (Keywords)
  • Rating
  • Title
  • Description
  • Parent folder

When I need to analyze photo dates, I select the B Photos EXIF XMP Folder Format I created that includes the following columns:

  • Filename
  • Date Taken
  • Type
  • EXIF-DateTimeOriginal
  • EXIF-CreateDate
  • EXIF-ModifyDate
  • XMP-CreateDate
  • IPTC-DateCreated

When I use this Folder Format to sort using various date fields, I can determine which photos are Undated, and which are likely scanned. Many Undated photos have simply been stripped of their date metadata.

I have configured other Folder Formats I can select when I need to find photos from Social Media, or when I need to separate photos by Camera Make and/or Camera Model.

I can add more columns at any time by right clicking the columns heading area and selecting from a drop down list.

Viewing Video Metadata and Properties

When I’m working with videos, I need to view columns that display video-specific metadata.

The columns I have chosen for my C Video Details Folder Format are those that I need to look at most often. It includes 3 different duration columns because they read the duration of different video file types. These columns are displayed automatically if I open a folder containing videos.

  • Filename
  • Type
  • Size
  • QuickTime Duration
  • Duration
  • Media Created
  • Created (file created date)
  • Modified (file modified date)
  • Parent Folder
  • MT2S Duration

Since different video file formats use different date metadata fields, being able to see many helps me ensure video dates are accurate and enables me to separate out Undated videos. So, when I need to check video dates, I select the V Video Dates Folder Format I created with the following columns:

  • Filename
  • Type
  • Size
  • Media Created
  • QuickTime-CreateDate
  • Created (file created date)
  • Modified (file modified date)
  • Release Date
  • H264 DateTimeOriginal
  • Parent Folder

Using Filters in Directory Opus Pro

I often use filters in Opus to find files with specific combinations of metadata and file properties. That helps me find things like video thumbnail images or photos from social media. I do not include video thumbnail images in an organized collection but do deliver them to the client in a Supplementary folder.

Separating out social media images helps with duplicate removal because often many are Undated. I can compare those images against the rest of the collection and keep the photo with good Snap Date metadata.

Coming Up in Part 2

In Part 2 of this series, I’ll demonstrate how I use filters in the organizing process. I’ll also reveal how using presets to automate tasks helps me work efficiently.

Watch the Video on the Photo Organizing Stuff YouTube Channel

Video: Why I Use Directory Opus Pro – Part 1

Why I Use Directory Opus Pro Part 1

© Meg Macintyre, Photo Organizing Stuff

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