17 Replies Latest reply on May 6, 2011 12:48 PM by Acompanhantes Curitiba

    Export - Import


      Hi I'd like to export files and have my program view the files and then add stars, flags, keywords, to the images.


      When these images are imported back into lightroom I need this information visible in lightroom. Is this possible?

        • 1. Re: Export - Import
          Pete Marshall Level 4

          If you add stars flags and keywords in LR, then the keywords can be exported with the file. The stars and flags are part of LR's catalog and are not exported. All explained in detail in the help system, F1 from within LR itself

          If you use another application to add stars and flags then it would be very doubtful if they would be read by LR. If they are written into the files as xmp metadata then you can try reading from the metadata into LR. What exactly is the proigram you refer to that you are viewing and adding this information in? Is there a specific reason you can't just use LR, but also require another application?

          • 2. Re: Export - Import
            lightroomnewbie2 Level 1

            I want to use my iPad to view my images and assign stars, etc. I figured I would need an export and import plug-in to facilitate this, and a program on the PC/MAC to handle file transfer.

            • 3. Re: Export - Import
              johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

              Lightroom uses the industry-standard metadata field XMP:Rating to store rating.  So if you set that field from another program, LR will read it.


              As Pete indicated, LR does not read or write a photo's flags to its metadata.  Further, the LR SDK does not allow plugins to set the flags of a photo.  So there's no direct way to set the flags outside of LR and get them back into the catalog.

              • 4. Re: Export - Import
                areohbee Level 6

                Note: When I composed the following response, I didn't realize this is the SDK forum.


                Seems like this may be a case where the DNG format may be an  advantage (embedded jpeg preview can be updated by Lightroom) - i.e. a  simple DNG viewer might let you apply ratings and keywords (not flags,  which are context dependent, and hence excluded from xmp metadata), to the masters, which Lightroom could then  re-read into its catalog from the XMP block in the DNG file (is there  such an iPad app?) I don't know how practical this would be anyway since DNG files are BIG compared to jpegs.


                The problem with tagging exported photos on an  iPad is how to make the association with the originals back in  Lightroom. And for that, you'd need plugin support or at least some kind  of software intervention...


                Other xmp-aware viewers may allow the same editing of  metadata for non-DNG raw files, as long as you were willing to see  non-edited versions of the photos (embedded jpeg preview not updated by  Lightroom). Again, I don't know if there are any such iApps...


                One of my highest hopes for Lightroom is the option to  relax the restriction of not updating the preview in raw-format files  (I know it is Adobe's "policy" not to alter proprietary raws, but I'd  still like the option to not adhere to this policy, like the policy is  already ignored in the case of updating capture time). If one could do  this, it would allow nef/cr2/arw viewers to show Lightroom edited raws.  Not only that, but because the preview is also used by cooked nef  editors (e.g. NX2), it would open up doors in collaborative editing as  well.


                PS - Meanwhile, back on Earth and in the mean time,  perhaps a plugin could suffice - may be a job for tree-sync, since it  already has logic to associate exported photos with their source  counterpart. It actually would be quite simple to include xmp files with  the exported jpegs, then copy the edited xmps back to the source tree  afterward. But, you'd still need an iPad app that's smart enough to  update the xmp sidecar files instead of the xmp embedded in the jpegs.  Hmmm.... Actually, one could use exiftool to extract xmp from edited  jpegs into a sidecar file for Lightroom to read. OK, so here's a  solution for the here & now:


                - Use tree-sync for exporting your photos to be edited on iPad in same folder structure as sources.

                - Edit those jpegs on iPad with whatever app is willing to update the xmp block in the exported jpegs.

                -  Run exiftool on the edited photos to extract xmp into like named  sidecar files. I assume it can not simultaneously put those in with the  masters, so:

                - Run Scooter Software's BeyondCompare or the like to sync the edited xmp sidecars back into the masters.

                - Re-read metadata in Lightroom.


                This would work for camera-mfr raws or dng-raws, but NOT jpeg masters  (and NOT virtual copies), since Lightroom won't read metadata for jpeg  masters (or virtual copies) from an xmp sidecar file like it will for  the aforementioned raws. To solve that problem, one would need to handle  jpeg masters and raw masters differently.


                I confess this would probably be more hassle than it was worth to me,  but maybe not to you - at least until that plugin comes along ;-}


                PS - Another option I'd LOVE to see for Lightroom is ability to have  xmp sidecars for all file types (instead of mandatory embedding for DNG  & JPG), plus virtual copies  - to support doing stuff like this...


                Reminder: Lightroom (like Bridge) will read metadata from xmp sidecar  for a DNG, however (unlike Bridge) it won't ever write xmp sidecars  (Bridge will write a sidecar if you make the DNG read-only).


                I've been using text manipulation editor macros and software for a  long time to analyze and transform metadata in XMP files. I even began a  line of XMP manipulating plugins (e.g. XmpEdit),  which were never completed primarily due to lack of support for DNGs  and TIFs and virtual copies. If they supported XMP sidecars, I would  finish my line of XMP plugins for doing things like this... Since I  wrote XmpEdit, I've discovered exiftool can read/write xmp in DNGs and  RGB files (e.g. tifs+jpegs), and exiftool can be called upon from a  plugin, so that could be taken advantage of for stuff like this,  although there is still no solution for virtual copies...


                ...Sorry if I exceeded the optimal answer/question ratio...


                Oops - I just realized this is the SDK forum, not the reglar Lightroom forum, had I realized this earlier, my response would have been different:

                - Yes: this is possible for a plugin (see above)... - pick flags could conceivably be handled using keyboard stuffing (i.e. if your program stores pick states on iPad, those could be transferred to Lightroom by a plugin that could somehow read the info and subsequently issue 'p', 'x', and 'u' keystrokes - just be aware that whilst those flags will follow the file when moved amonst folders, they will not follow the file if flagged in a collection (thus the reason those flags are considered context-dependent and are excluded from xmp).


                So, mr/mrs.lr-nubee - were you going to write this plugin yourself, or were you wondering whether plugin support already exists, or were you hoping someone else would write it?... - what's the reason for posting this query on the SDK forum?



                • 5. Re: Export - Import

                  There's an app for that Sort Shots - iPad Edition.  It reads the metadata keywords and ratings and allows you to both export and import images.


                  www.sortshots.com is their website.

                  • 6. Re: Export - Import
                    areohbee Level 6

                    I think I'm running out of useful input.


                    What does sortshots export / import? Where does it read keywords and ratings from, and where does it store them back to? xmp?


                    Have you tried it yet?


                    I may be able to help make the connection between Lightroom and iPad-edited metadata, but I don't understand enough about it yet.



                    • 7. Re: Export - Import
                      Henrik Eidem Kurka Level 1



                      Thank you for your thoughts Rob. I may not be completely in line with the person starting this thread, but what I and many others feels are missing from LR is the ability to more easily "do things" outside LR. I would also love to be able to transfer a bunch of photos to my iPad or a web site and then use this other tools to comment, tag, rate and flag photos and finally easily get the metadata (I'm only interested in metadata. Image editing is not relevant for me in this aspect) back to LR.


                      I have given this some thought before, and I think that a publish service would be the best, since this already has built in functionality for keeping a link between the exported photo and the one inside LR. I have looked at the SDK roughly but could not find any details about what metadata could be imported back to LR in the publish service, but if a plugin knows about the file that is modified outside LR, I guess it should be able to read data from it (XMP, JPG, DNG or, if the modified copy resides on a web gallery, using API to retrieve data) and update LR.


                      The reason for why I don't like the export/import approach is that during import both the image and the metadata would be imported, replacing the LR original. I would love to have a feature that would only update the metadata in LR, and not replace it. This would of course lead to questions about what to do if data is changed both inside LR and outside, but it should be possible to define rules.



                      I haven't tried the iPad app Sort Shots yet (simply because I don't have the above mentioned publish service yet), but if it can write metadata back to either the files or sidecars, it should be possible (I hope) to read the data from this files and update the LR database. In this case, the workflow would be:

                      1) Publish a collection to a folder on your computer

                      2) Import this images to Sort Shots (I don't know how this is done, but I think it should be easy)

                      3) Rate/tag/blabla images on iPad

                      4) Move images back to the same folder on computer

                      5) Trigger the publish function in LR. It will detect the changes, and import modified metadata only


                      Sounds like a good idea to me

                      • 8. Re: Export - Import
                        areohbee Level 6

                        If Lightroom will detect modified metadata in the exported (published) files (or their sidecars), and write it back to the catalog, and sortshots will allow you to edit that metadata, then there is nothing left to do, right?:


                        - publish to iPad

                        - edit published metadata on iPad with sortshots

                        - update catalog with modified metadata.


                        So, close this thread? Or is there still a missing piece?



                        • 9. Re: Export - Import
                          Henrik Eidem Kurka Level 1

                          Well, there is, because I don't know of any publish-plugin to LR that will do this import. Neither from disk or from a web-service. There are a number of services that will read comments from web-services (like facebook and picasaweb), but I haven't seen any one that can read flags, ratings etc.


                          I guess that's why we are in the SDK forum


                          I think that Jeffrey Friedl has been working on something for his Tree Publisher plugin (http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/tree-publisher), but we're not quite there yet I think.

                          • 10. Re: Export - Import
                            areohbee Level 6

                            My mistake - I somehow missed that you didnt have the publishing plugin that would transfer the edited metdata to the catalog


                            Well, tree-sync already has the logic to associate exported photos with the sources from which they originated and detect changes to the corresponding sources for the purpose of deciding what needs to be re-exported and what doesn't. Its an easy enhancement to detect changes to the exported metadata and update the catalog.


                            If I haven't released a version that supports it within a few weeks - shoot me a reminder - OK?


                            Is that the only missing piece?

                            Are you OK with using tree-sync export plugin, instead of a publishing plugin?

                            It wont read changed metadata from web services and such - just disk.



                            • 11. Re: Export - Import
                              Henrik Eidem Kurka Level 1

                              I have used your Tree Sync before, and I like it a lot, but I have recently moved to the mentioned Tree Publisher. But that is for another purpose than this, so I would love to have this feature in Tree Sync and give that a try!  


                              Thanks a lot!

                              • 12. Re: Export - Import
                                areohbee Level 6

                                I may retire Tree Sync one day in favor of Tree Publisher, but its still shy a few requirements for my needs. Or, I may update Tree Sync to use the publishing features - dunno yet. In any case, one thing I like about having tree-sync is that I can change the source code for stuff like this if I'm inspired.


                                I take it we can't count on Jeffrey implementing this feature any time soon, or do you know that he's got this iron in the fire?

                                • 13. Re: Export - Import
                                  Henrik Eidem Kurka Level 1

                                  I definetly see the good point in having a plugin you have created yourself and that you can tweak and enhance to your own liking. And I do like it's features.


                                  I haven't contacted Jeffrey about this, but he mentioned (in the link I posted above) that he was working on some type of back-to-Lightroom-metadata features. But that was in August and I haven't heard anything more about it since. I guess he's quite busy

                                  • 14. Re: Export - Import
                                    areohbee Level 6

                                    Good to see Jeffrey's worked on it since August, but its still in beta...


                                    I didn't see the reference to back-to-lr metadata but I'll take your word for it.


                                    Anyway, I'll try to get to it before all-plugin-development gets put on hold while waiting for Lr4, if Jeffrey doesn't beat me to it.



                                    • 15. Re: Export - Import
                                      Henrik Eidem Kurka Level 1

                                      Very good!


                                      LR4 - I hope it's just around the corner! But I guess it's still far away... 

                                      • 16. Re: Export - Import
                                        areohbee Level 6

                                        Lr4 will probably be out just about the time Lr3 is working well - ha-ha (not for a while).



                                        • 17. Re: Export - Import

                                          will be possible to access the iphone or android? Thanks.