Is there an "up-arrow" icon on your photos indicating that the metadata in Lightroom doesn't match the metadata in the xmp file?
Are you sure that the xmp files themselves have the metadata of interest? If you open one of the xmp files in a text editor, you should see your keywords, captions, etc. Do you see that?
How did you move your catalog from the old computer to the new one? Or, did you create a new catalog on the new computer? Are you reimporting images that were in the previous catalog, or importing images for the first time? How did you move the images from the old computer to the new one?
I just moved all of the folders over (containing the images and xmp files) and I am importing again 'from scratch', by selecting all of the images (and xmp files) and dragging them over the lightroom icon. Before this I didn't realise that catalogs were a big deal, presumed I could just import them again as all of the data is there?
You make an excellent point...
I have just realised by opening my xmp files for older photos (that I edited in photoshop) versus those edited in lightroom - the photos where I've worked on them solely in lightroom, the xmp files contain none of my 'edit' information. This is a bit rubbish, what if in the future I migrate to another program?... Is there not a way to save my edits to the xmp using lightroom?
Yes. There are a few different ways to save the xmp metadata outside of the catalog.
1. You can save metadata for each file individually by selecting the image and doing a file>save metadata. Just like file save in other applications, but with Lightroom it saves the metadata externally.
2. To automatically save metadata for everything in your catalog, turn it on in the catalog settings under the metadata tab. This can be very slow.
3. You can export a folder or a collection to a new catalog. This doesn't save the metadata external to LR, but it sends it to a new catalog. This method will retain all of your collections.
4. You can import from old catalogs into the new catalog and this will bring all the metadata along with the images, including any collections you created.
Hope this helps.
I have just realised by opening my xmp files for older photos (that I edited in photoshop) versus those edited in lightroom - the photos where I've worked on them solely in lightroom, the xmp files contain none of my 'edit' information.
The default mode of Lightroom is to not create .xmp files, and to not save metadata to .xmp files. Lightroom works perfectly well without .xmp files.
Is there not a way to save my edits to the xmp using lightroom?
Yes, Theresa J has explained this. Her item #2 is probably the best approach (in my opinion). However, I have not found it to be very slow, I believe it used to be slow in Lightroom 1 and 2, but in more recent versions no one reports slowness due to automatically saving metadata to xmp.