воскресенье, 8 сентября 2013 г.

Program interface : Full description

Program interface : Full description

      The program interface can be separated into a few blocks:
1. Services - settings, support, etc.
2. Explorer - browsing computer folders
3. Image list
4. Metadata manager
5. Upload and submit
6. Settings context menu
Main StockSubmitter window separated into workspaces.

1. Services

1.1 Live Support Chat

Clicking this button will open your default browser with web form which allows you to send a message to the developers. The chat is real-time so you can wait for the operator's response and solve problems straight away.
If no operators are online you can enter your e-mail and send your question anyway. In this case you'll receive the answer by e-mail as soon as any operator gets online.

1.2 Manage Sites

This button opens the site manager. You can enter your login credentials for stock agencies you use. This information will be used by the program to upload and submit your images.
You can find User profiles feature here as well. It allows to use multiple stock account sets by switching profiles containing their settings.

1.3 Statistics

This button allows you to view your sales statistics in your default browser as tables and graphs. The program only gathers limited amount of statistical information. This information is good for a brief look at the trends and sales distribution, not for an in-depth statistics analysis. More upload/submit/other information will be added to this statistics later.

1.4 CanstockCategorizer

This service can be used to automatically set categories for your portfolio on CanStockPhoto agency based on keywords of the image. On this agency, selecting categories for the images while submitting them is disabled so most of the portfolios are just lying there without any. This service allows to fix the issue without any manual work.

1.5 FotoliaPriceSetter

When you advance to the higher ranks on the Fotolia you can raise prices for your images. However, it takes a lot of time if you do it manually for thousands of files. This service can automate this process. You can use it to set maximal available prices and/or allow extended license for your whole portfolio on Fotolia.

1.6 Select Folder

Using this button you can choose active folder via standard folder select dialog of your OS without using StockSubmitter's Explorer.

2 Explorer

Explorer lets you browse folders on your computer and choose folder to work with images in. Explorer does not support network paths, however you can map network folder as a drive and it will be displayed in Explorer. Important: You should mount drives using the same user as to run StockSubmitter or it won't be able to see these drives.
The last 10 visited folders are stored and displayed in drop-down list above Explorer. You can quickly move between your working folders using this list.

3 Image list

Image list displays the images in the active folder. Each displayed image has a status icon on its top left corner. Mouseover this icon to view full image state description.
Image status is one of the core program features. It determines whether image can be submitted to any of the agencies. If the image does not meet any of the site requirements the program won't allow to upload it there until the image becomes ready.

Image status types:

      Not ready to upload

    Ready to upload
Image is uploaded

Image is submitted

Image is ignored

You can change image status manually. To do so, right click the image in the list and select the status you want to set for all agencies.
You can change image status for multiple images at once or for just one agency using the status icons in Upload and submit panel. This is described in details below.

Sorting, searching, filtering the images:
There is a panel above the image list:

Selects whether images should be sorted ascending or descending
Refreshes active folder contents and folder tree in explorer (useful in case you have added any new images/folders or metadata wasn't read correctly)
Searches images by name, keywords, description, etc.
Allows to filter the displayed image list by different criterias (file format, releases, etc.)
Auto. Selects the metadata read priority. Default priority is EXIF->IPTC->XMP. In some cases this priority can lead to weird results. If you see strange characters instead of normal titles/descriptions/keywords or experience any other problems with reading existing images, try different values in this drop-down list.
Status by site. Selects the agency to use its status to show a status icon for all the images in the list. This choice will also affect sorting of images by their status.
Sort. Selects parameter to sort images by.

File formats and model/property releases:
If an image has additional formats (EPS8, EPS10, MOV, AI)
or model/property releases attached
you will see such icons at the top right corner of the image.

4 Metadata panel

There you can fill and edit the metadata (keywords, description, title, cateories) of an image, attach releases, etc. When all the required metadata is filled the image will become "Ready to upload".

Image status will be updated automatically every time you change something in its metadata (in some cases you'll have to switch selection to different image and back to get its status updated).
You need to meet specified limits for the title, the description and keywords because all the agencies have their own requirements.
The program automatically expands the image description for some agencies to meet their requirements (if you have the corresponding option turned on in the settings).
Categories are being chosen automatically using specified keywords (if you have the corresponding option enabled). You can choose them manually of course, either for all agencies at once or for some of them manually (press the Categories button to do so).
"Releases" button opens Release manager allowing you to create releases and attach them to selected images. This process will be described in details below.
Metadata buffer
Metadata buffer and templates are features which allow you to copy metadata between images. They look similar to metadata panel and are located below.
The buffer can save a complete copy of image metadata. You can copy all metadata between the buffer and selected images using these arrow buttons:

Down and up arrows are copying metadata from selected images into the buffer and vice versa. All the individual site categories, attached releases and every other piece of metadata are copied too.
You can also copy a part of metadata (title, description, keywords, etc.) using small arrow buttons in the corresponding metadata elements.
"+" button allows you to add keywords from the buffer to the selected images or vice versa without replacing the existing ones. You can add most common keywords to images from buffer or templates easily using this feature.
Templates are additional metadata buffers. They work exactly like buffer does. You can create, rename and remove templates as you want.
It is easy to quickly prepare images for upload switching between templates and copying metadata to images.
Working with multiple files at once
If you select multiple files you can fill their metadata together. Differences between selected images will be taken into account. Fields with matching values will be shown as it is, while fields with different values will be left blank. You can change any field value to change this field value in all selected images at once.
Advanced operations like copying or adding metadata works fine for multiple selected images aswell.
Typical workflow can look like this: you choose an image you want to use as metadata source; press "down" button to copy metadata to buffer; choose files you want to edit and press "up" button to paste metadata to all the selected images at once. You can copy specific fields' values in similar way.

5 Upload and submit

There is a list of all microstock agencies you specified login credentials for. You can see image status for each agency to the right from the agency names. If you wish to change status of all the selected images for some agency manually then click the status icon for that agency and select the desired status. If you click the big status icon above all the individual status icons you can select status for all agencies at once.

To upload images to the sites select "ready to upload" images (yellow status). If the status of some image is red then the program won't upload it to the site. Mouseover the image to see what is wrong with it. As soon as all the selected images are ready you can press Upload selected button. The program will start to upload the selected images to all agencies with checked checkboxes to the left of their name in the list.
After uploading images StockSubmitter will start countdown until it will start trying to submit it (15 minutes). This countdown is required for the agency server to accept and process these uploaded images so the program can submit them. If the images didn't get submitted at the first attempt it means the server still hasn't processed them and you'll have to wait a bit more.

FTP and HTTP upload methods
HTTP upload mode is used for IStockPhoto, VectorStock, Veer and (if corresponding option is enabled) BigStockPhoto. In this mode, images won't get uploaded by FTP and then submitted later. Instead, all the process will be continuous. Files will get uploaded directly to the agency web-site and then submitted without additional countdown.
FTP upload mode works just like any FTP manager so the program has to wait until the agency server processes the image and puts it into unfinished list.
For some agencies (ColourBox, 123rf) the submission is not required at all or is limited to starting processing for the uploaded images. In this case program will perform the required operation automatically and the images will get into the pending queue.
Submit for FTP upload mode will happen automatically after countdown if the upload has been successful or immediately if you click Submit now button manually.
The submit process will be launched only for the agencies with the checkboxes to the right of their names checked.
The button won't have any effect for the agencies working in HTTP mode. Images get submitted to such agencies right at the moment of the upload.

6 Context menu

Context menu contains a few most common operations:

This menu is opened by right clicking an image in image list. It allows to select image status for all the agencies at once.
Rasterize command works for vector images only and allows you to create additional raster copy (JPG only) to submit it separately.
Also you can Rename or Delete an image using corresponding commands.
Refresh command reads folder contents again. In some cases the program can't read image metadata. This can lead to having image status red permanently, and its resolution in popup hint displayed as 128x128. To solve this problem you can try using this command. If the file is accessible on the second attempt it will be displayed correctly.
Also this command proves useful if you have added any files to the folder or changed them externally. After refreshing the folder you will see all the changes you've made.

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