8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 13, 2016 8:19 AM by trshaner

    Configure LR to read metadata from file, automatically or manually for all files

    Stefan.Aalten-Voogd Level 1

      Hi,

       

      I would like to know how to configure LR for the following use cases:

      1. Read metadata from all picture files once.
      2. Always read metada from all files, whether "on startup", on a scheduled basis, or - ideally - on change to a file.

       

      I already know how to "read metadata" for individual or selected files, but my questions are with regard to all pictures in my catalog.

       

      An alternative way of looking at this would be: how do I select all pictures? Is it then possible to tell LR to read metadata for the selected pictures and apply "import settings from disk" as the default for conflicts?

       

      I do understand what some of the implications of this are, such as a performance hit, and the fact that metadata in files/XMP section is only a subset of the metadata LR maintains in the catalog, e.g. flags, collection membership, develop history, etc. are all not stored in XMP as I understand it - and that is fine by me.

       

      All my files are JPG or TIFF, so the XMP section is contained within the files, not in separate XMP sidecar files. On my file system my pictures are generally organised in a folder structure as follows: J:\Pictures\Year\Month\Event.

       

      Many thanks!

       

      Stefan

        • 1. Re: Configure LR to read metadata from file, automatically or manually for all files
          dj_paige Level 9

          1. Select All Photos (click on All Photographs, Turn Off Filters, Expand All Stacks, then Ctrl-A) then Metadata->Read Metadata From Files

          2. Can't be done. Reading metadata from files must be initiated manually.

          • 2. Re: Configure LR to read metadata from file, automatically or manually for all files
            trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Stefan, it would help if you explain what type of workflow you want to use. For example, you may want to edit keyword and rating metadata in both Adobe Bridge and LR, and/or use Adobe Camera Raw with with PS to apply edits.

            Stefan.Aalten-Voogd wrote:

            I would like to know how to configure LR for the following use cases:

            1. Read metadata from all picture files once.

            Select all of the pictures in a folder (CTRL+A). You can select all pictures in the catalog by going to the Library module Catalog panel , click on All Photographs, and select all. Make sure Filters are turned OFF. Next go to menu Metadata> Read Metadata from File.

             

            Stefan.Aalten-Voogd wrote:

            I would like to know how to configure LR for the following use cases:

            1. Always read metada from all files, whether "on startup", on a scheduled basis, or - ideally - on change to a file.

             

            It must be done "manually" using the above procedure. This is due to the possibility of metadata conflict when editing image files in both LR and external applications such as Bridge. To prevent "unrecoverable" conflicts follow the procedure outlined here:

             

            Re: Keywords conflict between Lightroom & Bridge

            • 3. Re: Configure LR to read metadata from file, automatically or manually for all files
              dj_paige Level 9

              Stefan, it would help if you explain what type of workflow you want to use. For example, you may want to edit keyword and rating metadata in both Adobe Bridge and LR, and/or use Adobe Camera Raw with with PS to apply edits.

               

              trshaner

              Stefan had another long thread where we hashed around whether or not Lightroom is the right tool for his workflow, and I am firmly of the opinion that it is not the right tool, and that he would be much better off using some other software, or dramatically changing his workflow to fit Lightroom's capabilities. Based on this new thread, it seems that he is still in that situation, where he wants to use Lightroom in ways that just won't work.

              • 4. Re: Configure LR to read metadata from file, automatically or manually for all files
                Stefan.Aalten-Voogd Level 1

                Hi, and thanks a lot for the replies.

                 

                Yes, I did post a question on another thread on How to configure Lightroom to monitor folders, automatically import but my understanding of LR is evolving and rather than keep adding to that thread with variations on my original question, I thought it was best to post a new, focused, question on the metadata topic. Incidentally, I found some excellent answers to my questions in the "Adobe Lightroom CC 6 The Missing FAQ" book by wobertc (aka The Lightroom Queen).

                 

                With regard to "updating metadata for all files / automatically" question, here's a bit more on my own context:

                 

                I'm not a serious photographer. I just take lots of pictures whenever and wherever I travel. I'm not bothered about photographic perfection. I just "snap" pictures to remind me of places, people, etc. I do aspire to become a better "snapper", but mainly my modest Canon Powershot is set on "auto" and all I do is press a button. All my pictures are in JPG or TIFF format, on an external drive I always have with me. I want to ensure the pictures reflect: date taken, location, and people appearing in them. I don't "shoot" pictures in RAW format, nor do I assign ratings or keywords, beyond the tags mentioned.

                 

                I may edit my pictures on different computers, using different software. For example, on my home computer (Windows 10, with Lightroom CC installed) I may edit pictures using LR, but on a work computer (Windows 7, without Lightroom installed) I may edit pictures using Geosetter to edit geotags, or Windows Photo Gallery to edit people tags, or edit the file names using a utility called Bulk Rename Utility. All of this means that when I come back to my home computer and use LR, I want to ensure that LR "knows" about the latest changes to geotags, people tags, etc. In other words, LR needs to extract the metada from the files. I appreciate that this may take time whenever I start LR.

                • 5. Re: Configure LR to read metadata from file, automatically or manually for all files
                  dj_paige Level 9

                  You are just making extra work for yourself to add tags or metadata in other software, rather than doing this in Lightroom. You ought to think of Lightroom as the tool to use for all of your metadata and photo management, and the only time (unless you have a really good reason) to use other software is to use other editors because Lightroom don't have the editing features you want, and then you would use the Lightroom Edit In... command to send the photo to the other editor.

                   

                  So I'm really skeptical that your "understanding of LR is evolving", it doesn't seem to have changed a bit from the previous thread.

                  • 6. Re: Configure LR to read metadata from file, automatically or manually for all files
                    Stefan.Aalten-Voogd Level 1

                    I understand and the point is noted. My question stands.

                    • 7. Re: Configure LR to read metadata from file, automatically or manually for all files
                      dj_paige Level 9

                      Your question has been answered. Updating metadata cannot be done automatically, it must be done manually.

                      • 8. Re: Configure LR to read metadata from file, automatically or manually for all files
                        trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        As

                        Stefan.Aalten-Voogd wrote:

                        or edit the file names using a utility called Bulk Rename Utility. All of this means that when I come back to my home computer and use LR, I want to ensure that LR "knows" about the latest changes to geotags, people tags, etc. In other words, LR needs to extract the metada from the files.

                        When you edit file names or move files and folders from outside of LR an '!' icon will appear on the thumbnails. The effectively become disconnected (i.e. lost) from the LR catalog and will no longer be editable. There are numerous horror stories posted in this forum, "HELP I lost all my files and LR edits." Also if you reimport files that are lost you will lose all of your "non-destructive" edits (Develop, Collections, Virtual Copies, etc.). The keyword metadata saved to the files will be there, but everything else is lost. Don't do it! Instead use keywords, collections, ratings, flags, and LR's Filter bar for organizing and locating image files. Here's a good book on the subject:

                         

                        Organizing Your Photos with Lightroom 5 - The DAM Book

                         

                        You can edit keywords in both LR and other applications using the "synchronize" procedure outlined at the link provided. It requires that LR metadata changes are always saved back to the files immediately after every editing session. It also requires that you "update" the file metadata of any files that have been edited outside of LR before making any further changes inside LR. As mentioned this is a 100% manual process that requires vigilant attention.

                         

                        If you need this kind of workflow I suggest using Adobe Bridge with PS for all your metadata editing. Are you using the CC Photography plan (PS & LR)?