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3 major problems

Aug 15, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Thank you for a wonderful program!
There are 3 major problems:
  1. Properties are removed when writing files to the flash drive with FAT32
  2. Inability to read / write properties from/to txt in batch mode
  3. Problems with import and export data from/to the xml (Visual C++ Runtime Error)
Aug 15, 2013 at 2:44 PM
Hi Hunter23071985

I’m glad you're finding the program useful, and thank you for this feedback. Feedback is always good! Taking each of your points in turn:

1) Properties are removed when writing files to the flash drive with FAT32.

This is a known limitation, and almost a defining characteristic, of File Metadata. As it says on the File Metadata home page, “the metadata is lost when a file is, say, emailed, or moved to a FAT file system”. On NTFS, alternate streams are used to store metadata in an annex to a file, so that it goes automatically wherever the file goes. There is simply no equivalent mechanism in FAT. The only way I know of to support metadata properties for arbitrary file types on FAT is to store them in some central location, as XP did. However, this technique is very vulnerable to file movement, as it is necessary to hook into everything that might move a file in order to trigger an update to the metadata repository or repositories involved, something that is beyond any reasonable scope for File Metadata.

2) Inability to read / write properties from/to txt in batch mode.

Do you mean something like: select multiple files in Windows Explorer, right click, and export metadata for all of them using the context menu? If so, do you envisage the production of a single XML metadata file for all the selected files, or an XML metadata file per selected file? In any case, could you say a little more about the scenario you have in mind?

3) Problems with import and export data from/to the xml (Visual C++ Runtime Error)

I am not aware of any outstanding bugs in this area. Could you tell me what errors you get and the steps you take before they occur please?

Aug 15, 2013 at 5:48 PM
Thanks for answers!

1) Got it.
2) Meant the ability to read and write metadata with CMD/BAT/VBS.
That is, the ability to read metadata from the specified files and records in the specified files from the usual TXT-file.
It would be convenient for batch processing and restoring metadata.
3) I'll try to explain.
The sequence of my actions:
  • Create a File Meta Property Handler for txt / pdf, restart the Explorer
  • Write and save metadata in txt / pdf
  • In the context menu choose Metadata - Export to
  • Get a Visual C++ Runtime Error (periodically) and always empty file:
<Storage Description = "DocumentSummaryInformation"
FormatID = "{D5CDD502-2E9C-101B-9397-08002B2CF9AE}">
<Property Name="System.Category" Id="2" Type="VT_LPSTR" TypeId="30">
OS: Windows 8 x64 Russian.
Aug 16, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Hi Hunter23071985

2) Because File Metadata just plugs into the Windows property system, anything that will access properties on Office documents or JPEGs, whose metadata is handled entirely by Windows out-of-the-box, will also access properties of file types handled by File Metadata.

Having said that, I don't know of any good command line programs that do this. For access to properties from a script, Microsoft provides DSOFile here:, and describes it here:

In fact, in my test suite for File Metadata, included in my Sources download, I round trip more than 600 different writable Windows metadata properties through DSOFile and File Metadata, to make sure that this scenario works correctly.

So, if you can't find any suitable command line program, you can at least write scripts and run them from batch files and the command line.

3) It looks like XML serialisation has failed trying to write the value of the System.Category property. That's why you see an opening <Value> tag at the end of the file, without the value or closing </Value> tag.

Could you tell me what the value is? You can find out by looking at the Details Tab in the Properties dialog for the file in Windows Explorer. The value is labelled ‘Categories’ in the first group, ‘Description’. You should also be able to work around the problem by editing the value that you see.

Aug 16, 2013 at 3:55 PM
2) >> I round trip more than 600 different writable Windows metadata properties through DSOFile and File Metadata.
OK, sounds good.

3) >> Could you tell me what the value is?
The problem only with Cyrillic characters, with numbers and Latin characters - all right.
Aug 16, 2013 at 4:31 PM
The problem only with Cyrillic characters, with numbers and Latin characters - all right.
OK, thanks. I'll take a look and see if I can reproduce the problem

Aug 19, 2013 at 11:03 AM
I can confirm that metadata export does not handle Cyrillic or other non-Latin character sets correctly. The problem does not affect property editing. I will open a work item for a fix.

Aug 19, 2013 at 11:42 AM
I hope you can solve this problem.
Thank you!
Aug 30, 2013 at 1:15 PM
I have now fixed this problem and posted the updated version as Release 1.1. Before I make it the default download, could you please give it a go (it appears on the downloads page) and let me know if it works for you?

Aug 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM
Good day!

Export was successful.
But the import fails:
Aug 30, 2013 at 1:50 PM
Edited Aug 30, 2013 at 2:07 PM
Oh dear, and I was feeling pretty confident, too. Are you importing XML exported from 1.0? If so, this is the expected result: only 1.1 can export properties containing Cyrillic values. Otherwise, would it be possible for you to give me a copy of the XML that won't import? I think that you can attach it to the issue I opened for this problem.

Export of properties containing Cyrillic characters failed silently in 1.0. If you look at the XML file produced, it typically ends with <Value> plus a few garbage characters. These files cannot be imported: a correctly formed exported XML file ends with </Metadata>, as you should see in all files exported by 1.1.

Aug 30, 2013 at 4:45 PM
Metadata entered manually, then exported to a file xml.
Sample File:
Aug 30, 2013 at 5:13 PM
Thanks! I am seeing the same problem and will investigate

Aug 31, 2013 at 11:29 AM
OK, I have posted an updated version of 1.1 that corrects the problem (build 1.1.4990). It was a very good catch, as it turns out that a few Unicode characters give the XML library I'm using a problem. My test data did not happen to include any, but the м in Тема is one of them. The problem is now fixed, and the tests have been extended.

As before, please try this version, and let me know what you find.

Sep 1, 2013 at 10:36 AM
With ASCII characters works fine.
UNICODE and ANSI / DBCS not tested.

Thank you!
Sep 1, 2013 at 11:38 AM
Edited Sep 1, 2013 at 12:37 PM
You're welcome. But just to be utterly clear, do Cyrillic characters now work correctly for you?

Sep 1, 2013 at 2:22 PM
Edited Sep 1, 2013 at 2:22 PM
OK, in order of my questions:
  1. Properties are removed in FAT32
    Decided. Restriction is due to the file system.
  2. Read / write properties in batch mode
    Decided. It's possible to use DSOFile.
  3. Problems with import and export data
    Decided. Everything is fine in new version.
Next I will try to write a script for import and export properties of group files.
Propose automatic connection Filemetadata's handler and use DSOfile...
Can I count on your help?
Sep 1, 2013 at 2:37 PM
Thank you for your crisp summary. I will close the issue and make 1.1 the recommended release. And yes, I would be happy to help with any scripting issues that you encounter.