Descript.ion handling seems very flaky

I've migrated to Directory Opus from Total Commander, and I have a lot of descript.ion files that I want to keep on using. It seems that DOpus randomly fails to update the descript.ion file as it should. I think I have the settings correct. If I update a file's description I see a randomly named file ending in .tmp appear briefly, but the descript.ion file never gets changed. This does not happen for every file though. I am really puzzled by what DOpus is doing. Does anyone have any thoughts? Thank you.


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Have you had any descriptions not show up, e.g. after a restart, or is this just based on the text files not updating right after making a change?

The changes aren't saved immediately, to avoid constantly updating the files. It'll wait a while before flushing the new version to disk. (If you use File > Exit Directory Opus, any pending changes will be saved then, of course.)

For some files at least, it simply doesn't update. I see a strange file appear, but the descript.ion file never changes

It could mean antivirus/privacy guard software or similar is interfering with writing the updated file.

(Don’t discount Defender here. It’s one of the worst these days.)

Defender can't be turned off, can it?

That also doesn't explain why it seems to be certain files. I can't discern any pattern to this behaviour.

It can be turned off, but it made no difference.

Instructions on turning it off can be found here: Problems caused by Windows Defender (strange behavior when using Opus)

There are two parts of it, which is often missed.

If it (or similar privacy guard software) objects to some of the content of the file (e.g. because it looks like personal data), that could explain why it goes wrong with some files and not others. But that's just a theory; the cause might turn out to be something else.

If you can log one of the failed updates with Process Monitor, that might reveal what's going wrong.

Device type could also play a part (e.g. non-Windows NAS or unusual filesystems can do strange things).

It appears to be related to the file type. It is a .mp4 file. If I change the extension from .mp4 to something random so it is not recognised as a video file, everything seems to work as expected. When I change it back to being .mp4 we are once again not getting any descript.ion updates.

If the comment can be stored in the file's own metadata (i.e. if the format supports a "comment" field, and Opus supports writing metadata to the file type) then file metadata will be used rather than the descript.ion file.

So are we saying that for some types of files (eg .mp4 here), although DOpus reads descript.ion, if I update the description it will always write it back to the file metadata and not descript.ion ?

Yes, Opus prefers to store descriptions inside the files themselves if it can and knows how to. That way the descriptions aren't lost if the files are archived or copied to a non-NTFS device (in the default mode) or by something that doesn't also extract and copy over the relevant line of the descript.ion file (in the descript.ion mode).

Thank you Leo and Jon for the helpful responses.

So which files types will it always update the metadata for? As far as I can see, all files have a Comment field in their metadata.

If I tell DOpus to use descript.ion it is very confusing if it quietly refuses to, for certain files.