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'Save Medadata to file' - but only some?

May 5, 2012 2:30 PM

Hello, I read an Adobe Lightroom discussion from November 2011. I am looking to start using Lightroom (have been using capture nx2) but need something answered please:


It stated that 'Save Medadata to File' will copy most but not all of the metadata changes that you have made within Lightroom', which got my attention, and seemed a bit worrying.


It suggested that this problem was for both proprietary raw formats with xmp sidecar files, and dng files (also TIFF etc I think). I also understand, or think I do, that it's only a problem

when you export from Lightroom to another editing program (or photoshop at least). I also read something similar on a recent post here, but I didn't find it very clear.


The problem is that some things are not included in the metadata write command....the develop history, stacks, collection membership, flags, virtual copies.


All of these things, apart from maybe flags, I need, and can't imagine that I can't use these important options, so I really must be missing something. And surely I would need to  save the

metadata to file to send images to NIK software etc for further editing. I read it that if you stay in Lightroom there is no problem, as I think the catalogue has all the metadada, but that

won't happen, or not all the time.


I don't understand this, and can't quite believe it, so would be most grateful for advice, thanks

  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 5, 2012 3:37 PM   in reply to Roy Kaye

    These items are never written to XMP. Period.


    The purpose of XMP is to communicate with other applications, but the things you mention ... develop history, stacks, collection membership, etc. are Lightroom constructs, they only make sense within Lightroom and are meaningless to other programs, they cannot make use of it. So, these items are not written.


    Perhaps you could explain why you want these items written, what you (or another program) might do with them, so we could figure out an alternative.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 5, 2012 5:07 PM   in reply to Roy Kaye

    The truthful answer is that I don't know why I want these items written. It's just that what I read seemed to make a negative out of it, but

    I don't know why. Perhaps you might be able to clarify why this might be a problem, if that's what it is - I mean in what circumatance(s)

    might this be a problem?

    As far as I know, there are no situations where this is a problem. I would imagine for 99.9% of Lightroom users, this isn't a concern at all.


    As I said, things like collections and virtual copies (and the rest of that list) are meaningful only inside of Lightroom. There is no reason to transmit this information to other people, or other applications.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 5, 2012 8:04 PM   in reply to Roy Kaye



    The problem is that some things are not included in the metadata write command....the develop history, stacks, collection membership, flags, virtual copies.



    These items exist only in the Lightroom Catalog.  You have the option of writing the develop settings to xmp sidecars or directly into DNG files, so that other programs can read them.  Another advantage of writing develop information to photo files is that your settings will be backed up in the photo files so if the Lightroom Catalog is lost, you still have all of your develop settings which can be imported into a new catalog.  Of course it is best to have all the information in the Catalog available which can be assured by keeping multiple backups of the Catalog.  Also, if you expect to have your photos and Lightroom Catalogs in the future, a good backup scheme is essential with at least two copies of all of your photos and Catalog backups, and one off-site back up.  It is also a good idea to have a backup scheme that avoids transferring corrupted or accidently deleted files to the backup. 

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