non-printable character in Description field

I'm resubmitting this post as I think the strange character causes problems to the mailer. I don't know what the character is. It looks like an upside-down cross. In the example below the non-printable character has been denoted by X

Output of: echo X | od -c

0000000 342 200 240  \n

Original post follows:

This is a strange one. I seem to have accumulated a bit of rubbish in the Description field of some of my images. I'm not sure how I've done it but it's a string of strange characters, i.e.:

(18 instances of X)

When I edit one of those images in f-spot there appears to be nothing in the Description field. However by highlighting the field (click and dragging the mouse over it) I can see a highlighted area corresponding to the unwelcome characters. Then it's simple a case of hitting delete and the problem's gone.

Doing all this in f-spot is a bit tedious as there's no way to delete or modify the Description field for multiple files in the same was as for tags. (This has come up on the list before but I can't find the link).

As I write all metadata to the files I decided to do this outside f-spot. Using a bit of script and exiftool -UserComment= $fname I can neatly remove the rubbish in the field. (exiftool seems to call the Description field the UserComment field. This works ok except f-spot must store the Description field internally somewhere in its database. Fair enough. I exported a batch of files from f-spot, deleted them from f-spot, then ran my script to nuke all the Descriptions. Tested on the command line that they'd gone, and re-imported. But guess what, f-spot still sees them, and when I use exiftool to view the metadata now that the files are back in f-spot, the rubbish is back! I've experimented with quitting and restarting f-spot after the export, removing from the catalogue then physically deleting from drive, but the stuff still returns.

It's a bit fiddly to explain but the following code should help. My clean files with deleted UserComment / Description field are in ~/renamejpegsout. They are re-imported back into f-spot, and the rubbish characters re-appear. BTW, I checked that /jpegs/2010/09/19 was empty before re-importing.

dougie pheonix:~/renamejpegsout$ find . -type f -exec exiftool -UserComment "{}" \; | sed 's/^.*: //' | grep X

dougie pheonix:~/renamejpegsout$
dougie pheonix:~/renamejpegsout$
dougie pheonix:~/renamejpegsout$ cd /jpegs/2010/09/19
dougie pheonix:/jpegs/2010/09/19$ find . -type f -exec exiftool -UserComment "{}" \; | sed 's/^.*: //' | grep X
dougie pheonix:/jpegs/2010/09/19$

Should I log this as a bug?


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