I've read a bit on this forum on this subject but its a few years old. I was wondering if things have changed now in any way.
No, things haven't changed at all.
Is there a way to get Lightroom to read the XMP files that sit with the jpeg image or is there some easy to use Mac Software that someone could suggest that would write the XMP data into the Jpeg file before I import into Lightroom?
I believe that the freeware application ExifTool can do this, but I admit I haven't actually used ExifTool for this purpose. It does not qualify in the "easy to use" category, however.
That's a shame I'm in Lightroom now to stay. It would be good to get my 15000 images to come with me all tagged etc but I suppose I will have to be happy with just this years so far!!
I've seen a post on ExifTool which blew my mind if I'm honest!! There are tons of Apps on the Mac Apps store that seem to update EXIF data but not sure if any would Write the info from the Sidecar file into the jpeg image, but without buying them one by one to find out I'm stuck! lol.
The free Exiftool will definitely do what you want. As dj_paige implied, there's definitely a steep learning curve, especially if you're not experienced with command-line tools. I suggest starting with this example from the documentation:
exiftool -Tagsfromfile a.jpg out.xmp
Copy meta information from
a.jpgto an XMP data file. If the XMP data file
out.xmpalready exists, it will be updated with the new information. Otherwise the XMP data file will be created. Only XMP, ICC and MIE files may be created like this (other file types may be edited but not created). See WRITING EXAMPLES above for another technique to generate XMP files.
This goes in the other direction, but it can easily be reversed. Other examples show how to do batch processing of entire folders and folder trees.