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Bridge XMP files and Lightroom 3

michaelfromoz

Michaelfromoz
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
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Busselton Western Australia
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I am a new user and new to these Forums.

I have just converted to Lightroom 3 after using Bridge since Photoshop CS2 up to recently using Bridge/CS5.

I store my 58,000 image files on an external WD 2TB HD with a folder for each year since 2003 and subfolders for month and subfolders for day
I also have a second external 2TB WD hard drive on to which Memeo backup Premium automatically backs up my image files without me worrying about it.

Bridge was just becoming so slow and a bit unsophisticated and I suddenly found that, even though it has the same tools, the Develop module in Lightroom 3 is so much better than the equivalent ACR module in Bridge (and CS5).

The ACR that came with CS5 had already changed my workflow in that, before it was 40% ACR and then 60% CS5, and now it is 85% ACR and 15% CS5.

So adding it all up I thought there were enough sensible reasons why I should change over and I bit the bullet and moved across. (Lightroom 3 is non-destructive so what if it didn't work!)

I thought it would take forever to import my files into a single catalogue but after just a day of sorting things, it is done (I did use minimal rendering).

After 2 days I am so happy with the flexibility and speed of Lightroom 3 and because it is so easy and fast I am even starting to apply collections and filters in order to group images and add keywords into really old stuff which I should have done years ago.

Now to my Question
I have always worked in RAW and all my original 58,000 files have an associated xmp file.
They were created by Bridge, which I used to use to transfer my camera images to my hard drive.

I have today, for the first time, imported some images from my camera straight on to my external hard drive and into the Lightroom catalogue using Lightroom import.
I have also used the Lightroom 3 develop module to make changes to these images.

I note that, whilst looking at my hard drive with explorer, none of these newly imported image files have an associated xmp file.

Does this mean that I can actually go in and delete all 58,000 old xmp files from my hard drive?
Do I need them?
Does Lightroom use them?
I have Lightroom 3 set up to use my second internal 500gb hard drive for its catalogue etc. and I back that up using my backup system at the end of the day.
I don't think that I will be using Bridge again.

Thanks
 

michaelfromoz

Michaelfromoz
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
10
Location
Busselton Western Australia
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Further to the above.
I have now found that selecting to write changes to the disk on my newly imported files creates the xmp files I was missing.
Question now is.
Is this ONLY required if I am trying to use Bridge AS WELL so Bridge can use the same xmp file?
Do I need to write this xmp file if I am NOT using Bridge?
 
Joined
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"Is this ONLY required if I am trying to use Bridge AS WELL so Bridge can use the same xmp file?"

In the main, yes, it's for exchanging information with other apps (not just Bridge) but it's also a second-class backup which stores most of your Lightroom work into the xmp file. Since all your Lightroom work is stored in your Lightroom catalogue file, it's the catalogue that is really important and must be backed up - the xmp saving is much less important.
 
Joined
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Hi I basically followed the same path as you did and have almost all of my images as raw+xmp.

The easiest way to do this is in the "Catalog Settings" "Metadata" tab, check the box. "Automatically write changes to XMP". I use this mostly as a way to ensure I can easily bounce out to Bridge or PS without having to remember to sync my metadata. These updates happen in the background and LR is very efficient in applying them.

If you turn this option on now you will probably get see the metadata warning badge for every image that you have edited since importing into LR. Simply saving the metadata again (Ctl-S) will update the XMP file with the current data in your catalog. You could make a smart collection based on edit date to find all these edited images and update them all at once.

-louie
 
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I am also now an xmp fan (although that was not always the case ! I used to hate the little blighters). Once everything is in LR then you don't need the xmp files but I find them to be a very convenient secondary back-up. There is very little info that is not included in the xmp file (for eg. history and flags). I now do not use automatically write to xmp because LR tends to choose to do this at the most inconvenient of times and causes my ancient computer to grind to a halt just when I don't want it to. At the end of every session I make sure I hit the Ctr -S buttons.
 

michaelfromoz

Michaelfromoz
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
10
Location
Busselton Western Australia
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
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Many thanks John, Louie, Brad and Mark for your responses and assistance.
So, if I understand you all and some of what I have read, if I don't use Bridge (why would I now!) and I safeguard myself by automatically backing up Lightroom 3 at the end of the day, I don't actually NEED the xmp files because they are not used.

When I imported the RAW files into Lightroom 3, I assume (sometimes not a good thing to do), that Lightroom 3 read the all the xmp files and saved their details into its database against the RAW image, so deleting them should not affect Lightroom at all.

HOWEVER: From the RAW file in Lightroom 3, I do Ctrl-E out of Lightroom to CS5 and then after processing save as TIF, which seems to automatically import the TIF image file back into Lightroom and it is there when I return.

Does Lightroom 3 generate an xmp file to pass the RAW to CS5 or does it pass it as some secret Adobe file?

Once it is in TIF mode then from what I understand everything is inbuilt into the TIF so they don't have xmp files.

I might sound a little pedantic about this but if I can lose 58,000 files at 6k each it saves me 348Mb of hard drive space AND my system (especially my backup system) is not having to cope with 116,000 files in total.
 
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"Does Lightroom 3 generate an xmp file to pass the RAW to CS5 or does it pass it as some secret Adobe file?"

It does it by sending instructions to PS via the BridgeTalk language - no xmp files.

With these metadata matters the devil is in the detail, and you're asking the right kind of questions. I'd just say that saving 348mb shouldn't be a concern - 10-20 raw files? Though I generally talk of "sidecar hell" and don't argue for extending their use, I would say that they don't hurt and they do have a second-rate backup value, so I do have auto-writing ticked.

John
 
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I also don't really like the "clutter" that thousands of XMP-files create. I realize of course that it doesn't really matter. I never actually see those XMP-files. They just sit there on the hard disk. Sure, its some more file to be included in a backup but that is automated anyway. But still, I don't write metadata to XMP files. Instead, I set LR to do a backup every time I exit.
 

michaelfromoz

Michaelfromoz
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
10
Location
Busselton Western Australia
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Thanks John and Robert.
I think that I will just leave the XMP files alone.
(I hear them breathe a sigh of relief!)
I won't switch on the auto xmp write, relying on my daily backup, and I'll just have to put up with those little 'metadata has changed' down arrows.
By the way - Do any of you use Photomatix Pro with RAW files?
 
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