MarsEdit 4.1: Image Metadata and Privacy Protection

June 12th, 2018

MarsEdit 4.1 is now available for download from the MarsEdit home page and from the Mac App Store.

This update brings a variety of improvements and bug fixes, with an emphasis on issues affecting image formats and the preservation, or removal, of metadata on images that are uploaded by MarsEdit.

Previously when an image was uploaded by MarsEdit, no special care was taken with respect to metadata. If your settings in MarsEdit specified a resize of the image, all metadata was lost. If your settings specified no resize, all metadata was preserved. With MarsEdit 4.1, the preservation or removal of metadata is placed firmly in users’s hands:

Screenshot of MarsEdit image properties, including a new option to specify metadata preservation.

Now there are three choices for image metadata: Preserve All, Remove All, and Remove Location. The right choice will depend on your scenario: if you’re writing under a pen name on an anonymous blog, removing everything is probably the right choice. If you’re a pro photographer and want the detailed camera settings, copyright, etc., to remain intact, then you probably want to preserve everything. But many of you will undoubtedly choose the compromise option, to preserve almost everything, but remove location information that could inadvertently reveal sensitive information to your blog’s readers.

While I was “under the hood,” so to speak, I took a look at another detail of image file formats: the color model. Most images formats support the specification of a standard by which the image’s colors should be interpreted when displaying them on a screen. The color model information allows for different devices to handle an image consistently. The sRGB color model is considered the standard for web images, but images from your phone or camera are liable to have another more proprietary color model. Starting with MarsEdit 4.1 there are two options for color model: convert to sRGB, or leave the color model just as it is.

These options for color model and image metadata apply consistently whether your image settings specify a resize, or not. This consistency of behavior will be a very welcome change in MarsEdit 4.1!

Also in the image department, MarsEdit now supports dragging photos directly from Apple’s Photos app. You may have noticed that many apps on the Mac do not supports this, and it’s because of a novel approach to dragging that Photos uses. Because images in your Photos collection may be stored in the cloud, a drag from the app only offers a “promise” of a full copy of the image. For this reason apps such as MarsEdit needed to be revised to support the new kind of drag. You might notice when dragging that there is sometimes a delay after releasing the drag. This is because MarsEdit needs to request a “fulfillment of the promise” before it can work with the image.

In addition to the image-focused changes, there are a good number of improvements and bug fixes that will affect a wide variety of MarsEdit users. Here’s the complete list of changes in this release:

  • Media improvements
    • New options for image metadata to preserve, remove, or remove only location-specific GPS data
    • Now supports direct dragging of images from Photos.app
    • Color profile can now be either preserved or converted to sRGB automatically
    • Performance improvements for users with large numbers of previously uploaded images
    • Preload media manager contents at launch time to avoid performance hit when opening it up
  • Bug fixes
    • Fix a bug that caused some CMYK profile images to not be rotated as expected
    • Fix a bug that caused featured image to be removed from posts when preview filter was applied
    • Fix a bug that prevented the “New Post” item from being enabled in the main window contextual menu
    • Fix “Copy Published Link” from the main window when a post is selected but post list not focused
    • Fix Preview Template auto-downloading for Micro.blog and other MetaWeblog API blogs
    • Fix a crash that could occur when interacting with the Formatting Macro editor window after closing a post editor
    • Fix a bug that could prevent Google OAuth tokens from being redacted in the Network Log
    • Fix a bug that caused “more” tags and other comments to be stripped from posts in some cases
    • Fix a bug where the full temporary path of an image was shown in the user notification
  • Little things
    • Add a “Remove Link” item to the Rich Text contextual menu
    • Don’t warn about editing mode switches if the editor is empty
    • Handle clicks on “mailto” links in the Preview Window for posts that happen to have them

Enjoy MarsEdit 4.1!