Metadata settings synchronise choices?

Hi all

I think I have seen this discussed previously but could not see anything that matched(?) what I am doing???

I am using Excire as my DAM and that can create sidecar files but its default is to rely on the embedded Metadata. And the keywords in the file.

On PL the Metadata settings say

So, to ensure that PL will read the Metadata but will not be used via the GUI to change or add keywords…what settings, if any should I select in the above settings tab?

TIA :slight_smile:

Lawrence, if I have understood you right you want to do your metadata maintenance in Excire. I think you should not think so much of having Excire to create sidecars for JPEG-files it´s fine to use it just for RAW.

Just try to “check” “Synchronize metadata with XMP sidecar files”. I have seen no problem with XMP-compatible formats like JPEG, TIFF or DNG. They all get updated automatically as does the RAW with XMP-sidecars.

I think this just might be a little bit of a fuzzy text. Maybe they ought to write something like “Synchronize metadata with XMP sidecar files and embedded metadata in XMP-compatible files like JPEG, TIFF and DNG” instead.

Another thing to keep an eye on is whether you shall use “keywords only” or “whole hierarchy of keywords”. I have no problems after using “keywords only”, but I had earlier with the other setting. Så maybe some other here can help you with the status on that issue now. Maybe Joanna.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the reply & insight :slight_smile:

I can see (I think?) the reasoning behind selecting “Selected keywords only” because I surmise that only, should one add any in PL, that only those will be placed in the (raw?) file. And doing it that way mitigates for not letting PL become the primary DAM player.

However, I am still not sure about ‘checking’ the “Sychronise metadata with XMP sidecar files” box???

Thinking back I have a vague memory of seeing a thread (last year?) that mentioned that where you use an external DAM (e.g. Excire) to be aware/wary of these settings due to a DAM potential conflict between the two programs.

PS if you think that other members can offer their advice do please tag them in :smiley: @Joanna I have just realised I can tag Joanna in (I was unsure if her username was her ‘name’ ?)

There will be no conflict it you don´t update from Photolab.
I have never experienced that really.
But a good practise in your case is to only update in the external DAM.

I haven´t really had any problems updating from Photolab when testing either despite using hierarchic keywords but even that might be fixed now. If you ant to use that you have to test first.

It is very important to check the “Write keyword hierarchies in the XMP dc:subject tag” and the “Whole hierarchy of selected keywords” options if you plan on keywording in PL. This maximises compatibility with most other applications, especially for searching purposes.

Yes, it is my aim to use Excire for the keywording.

Though I can see one or two situations where whilst editing in PL I perhaps add a keyword, in regard to the output file e.g. a jpeg for an exhibition print?

Thanks for the reply & insight.

As I mentioned in reply to @Stenis I intend to keyword in Excire but there might be situation(s) where adding a keyword or two in PL is desirable…?

Therefore (to summarise) based on your reply do I understand correctly that the settings you recommend would add the PL entered keywords to the ones already present…so that they are readable & searchable in Excire (or any other external DAM) but PL would not affect the ones in place or become the dominant keywording program. All it (simply?) does is to make the added keywords usable in either program???

Don’t underestimate that part. It’s good you’re already thinking of it. I also had some (not very precise) hopes and expectations when I tried and bought version 1 three years ago. As time shows, Excire, much like DxO PL, has a long feature list from user requests. Geo-tagging i.e. (standard in a lot of other apps) being one of them.

My main problem was, no, were:

  • Excire can’t learn. It’s a rather stubborn kid, which excels on average photos (because that was the training material, millions of photos, collected where? Right, the good, ole internet, full of jpgs) and disappoints on specialities. And RAW material. The amount of “unsaturated”, “dark”, “low-contrast” keywords got really high, because into what is Excire looking to estimate keywords? Into the little RAW preview. Not the final edit.
  • Excire has a different idea about colour tags and ratings and how to write them into XMP sidecarts. Prepare to lose your either Excire or PL ratings when synchronizing metadata. Use a bunch of test-images to see how that goes.
  • Excire as DAM and PL as editor: Do you store your cutlery in different drawers? Knifes in one, spoons in another, forks in a third and teaspoons in another? Then you should be ok with constantly switching from one app to the other. I was (too) often confused and should have spend more time with extensive testing of what works, what doesn’t or what does destroy my already invested work. Problem with that: When starting with a new app, I’m in the learner role. But should be in the “knower”-role. Mistakes and errors were not easy to correct. And the interaction of two different softwares (three, as PL for Mac and for Windows has some major differences dues to different teams) doens’t increase freedom but makes you dependant of multiple developments.

It all comes down to your preferred workflow. Just be aware, Excire was trained mostly with JPGs. If you want to use it to organize your RAWs, surprises are ahead.

I still use it for some kind of searches (like for faces or similar images), but the main direction of it’s development (finding duplicates) is nothing I’m caring for.

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I watched a demo of Lightroom AI person recognition. Interesting that it found all sorts of faces in all sorts of places that were nothing to do with faces, or even people.

Well, @Joanna that can happen to your (edit: and mine) beloved Nikon D850, too. If I recall correctly, the 3D tracking or some of the “more than one AF-point, select by camera” modes (which you very possibly never use) prefers faces.

The various brand’s face recognitions (in camera) also tend to fail more or less often. Also, searching for a similar face in Excire needs a good sample picture (I guess, in Lightroom too, not different from old Apple Aperture).

But you’d possibly be very surprised how many faces are detected correctly, additonally with gender, eyes open/closed, smile, front or profile. Since Excire started off as a plug-in into LR, it should have some advantages over LR, still.

Imagine using one portrait (doesn’t have to be fine art) of a person, ask Excire to find similar faces of this person and be able to tag it afterwards with the name. Manually of course, since Excire can’t learn the names.

Chinese face recognition, prism or the other usual suspects can. Do we want this? I mean, I’m really careful with giving away meta-information like person’s names or personal data. Over at Facebook it appears people are not caring about that data protection at all. Use and abuse are very close to each other on this subject.

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Yes, the vast majority of my image files are raw. And Excire has recognised all the associated keywords of the various images. Though I do wonder, as you mention, about some of the Hierachical ones?

As for the cutlery analogy…all my cutlery is one drawer but separated by type, isn’t everyones :wink:

So, the PC is the drawer and the programs are the separators. IMO I see not issue of having a DAM that is just a DAM (NB I used to use LR v 6.12 and it was on the whole a good DAM with a range of PP functions. No program to date has matched the LR DAM with PP functionality. However, I had no wish to be tied into a subscription model so moved on to PL…but wanted a more functional DAM…I wish DxO would concentrate on the editing!)


Please, are you able to offer an expanded insight…re: my earlier reply to you…?

In order to have intact keyword interoperability, it is good practice to use exactly one app to add keywords. All other apps should only read (and search for) keywords, but not change them.

If PhotoLab is NOT your (one and only) keyword manager, leave those boxes unchecked and read keywords manually, be it through the respective menu command or the badge that will appear when keywords have been changed outside of PhotoLab.

If PhotoLab is your SPOD for keywords, you can check the boxes and make sure that other apps don’t write keywords…but personally, I’d prefer to read/write keywords manually in this case too.

Hint: Copy a folder of test images (raw and others) and try the different ways to manage and sync keywords. Nothing beats the lessons one learns by doing. :grin:

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I have just completed a set of tests, using 4 identical test folders.

These were two for EX to PL and two for PL to EX
Of the two per ‘set’ one was as per my image in the OP of the PL Metadata settings and the other was @Joanna advised to select the "Whole hierarchy of selected keywords etc "

What I have learned following the re-sync in Excire & the ‘refresh’ in PL that the added keyword is not being seen in either direction. Plus PL is not seeing the updated(in EX) IPTC entries.

None too sure what the message I am learning is other than, as you say/advise stick to a chosen process.

Therefore, as Excire is very rapid DAM and allows for opening images in ‘right click’ choice of programs that is the way to go for me. Though to why (purely for reference) PL does not read the user keywords in Excire remains a mystery…unless of course I need to add .xmp sidecar files in the Excire Metadat settings??? NB I don’t expect PL to see the Excire fixed hierarchical keywords.

Note ~ Both Excire and PL can see the older keywords that were added to a some of the test folder images by Lightroom v6.14

PS at a tangent I might trial iMatch…goes to search this community for iMatch and users.

Mystery? Not in what I read in Excire Foto Help:

Metadata transfer

Transfer details: MD in files or sidecars?

XMP and when to use it


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Like so often, you’re right. @BoxBrownie you need to initiate XMP writing in Excire, so PL could read an XMP file. This is a one way direction, if I remember correctly from some experiments. Although you can initiate another read process in Excire after adding keywords or colour labels or star ratings in PL, the next change from Excire towards PL can destroy the changes you made in PL. I’m not certain, so please test-ride some back and forth changes.

I agree very much with Platypus: One master may write, other apps are only allowed to read. Everything else can be asking for disaster.

Now you need to find a way to mark the PL edited RAWs in Excire so you don’t need to open them multiple times in PL, as you won’t see the effects of your edits in Excire unless you export a JPG or TIF.

Firstly, I did read the manual (Quickstart Guide) here Excire Foto 2022 Quickstart 2.1 :wink:

And thank you for the heads up pointer to the FaQs which I do recall seeing but did not factor them in again at or about this metadata aspects. I will re-read them in the light of this discussion :slight_smile:

When post processing in PL I do export as jpeg or TIFF as appropriate because I use other software to finalise for web and/or print as needed. So it becomes obvious which raw files I have worked on or finished as I save the exported files to the original folder :slight_smile:

Okay, and you know you need to synchronize Excire so it can see the JPGs/TIFs in that folder?

Yes, any changes externally means a re-sync is needed. :+1:

PS I have been looking into and reading iMatch and it seems it has a ‘folder watch’ function to automatically update its database when it detects changes. IMO much more elegant :slight_smile: