No, Lightroom CC doesn't save metadata to the files at this point in time. It's a request I've heard a few times, so it would be worth adding here: https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/categories/photoshop_family_lightroom_cc
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Is there a place in the new Lightroom configuration settings to have all metadata saved back to the file XMP?
No, and I suspect there won't be any time soon. With the introduction Lr CC Adobe are aiming to simplify things by not replicate aspects of Lr Classic that many customers couldn't get their heads around. With Lr CC all of the metadata, and develop settings you apply to an image is stored within your local catalog and synced to the Cloud. The same applies to the album structure, ratings, and flags, which btw, cannot be stored in an XMP sidecar. As such, there should be no need to backup to xmp sidecars. I expect you'll see and hear the phrase 'the truth is in the cloud' a lot as time goes on.
On a related note, I noticed that the locally saved originals are organized in folders by date only. Is it possible to get the album structure exported or to have the local originals organized by album?
The simple answer is no.
While there are aspects of how Lr CC stores original files that some customers might prefer to do differently, I would strongly urge that they do not go 'fiddling' with the original files. The originals are stored locally to give access in the event of internet not being available, not as the primary storage location. If customers do start making changes to the originals outside of Lr CC then it's highly likely that the application can no longer access them. For example, renaming the originals will result in Lr CC completely ignoring them, and instead downloading a new copy from the cloud. Likewise, if the customer decides to reorganise the file/folder structure. If a customer has a strong urge to make local backups of the originals then it's best that they backup the entire Lr CC 'originals' folder as is. The main takeaway from this being the locally stored originals are solely for use by Lr CC.
Hope above helps.
Thanks for the clarifications.
I really like the new Lightroom CC, the cloud-centric approach and edit anywhere (mobile devices, web browser) really matches what I am looking for. (Basically more like Apple Photos or Google Photos but not tied intricately to a phone/computer vendor's platform with all their artificial limitations and restrictions.)
I don't mind the restriction of never mucking around with the locally saved copies that are managed by Lightroom CC on my hard drive.
The only thing I am trying to understand is how much "round trip" capability I have to bulk export/move all my photos out of Lightroom CC and back out to a set of folders outside of the package/folders managed by Lightroom that preserves all the metadata.
Basically, for any major workflow/non-trivial app that I adopt, even though it is cloud based with a known/highly reliable provider, I still want to understand what I end up with if I want to gather up all my data and use it on my own outside of their system. (Either for special capabilities they don't provide, or just to abandon them in the future and go somewhere else, if I should choose to do so.)
In a few years, or even decades, there might be entirely different apps/ecosystems that i will want to use for my lifelong photo collection.
Currently, my "master" collection is a set of deeply nested folders that I backup using local hard drives and generic cloud systems (both syncing like Dropbox and true backup like Backblaze, etc.)
I view the Lightroom CC cloud as part of the "working environment" but not a true backup.
So, bottom line, it sounds like I can get my photos back out (including raw files) but I can't preserve any manual sorting/organization that I would do using albums and/or nested folder structures created inside Lightroom CC, and I can't preserve any manually added metadata (tags/keywords, flags, etc.)
Does that summarize it?