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Hard Drive Publish Service - Tags Sync

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Greg R

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Jun 8, 2017
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10
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Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Version Number
13.0.1
Operating System
  1. Windows 11
I recently started using the Hard Drive Publish service to send photos to an external NAS drive. After they are published to the NAS sometimes the photos get tags updated from the NAS side of things. How do I sync those metadata changes back to LR? Is this possible?

Thanks,
-Greg
 
Not sure what fields you are talking about.

Normally, when metadata is updated outside of LrC, one uses the "Read Metadata from File" command to bring that new info into LrC (If doing this, one should assure the LrC's metadata is keep up to date on the external files, otherwise old metadata in the files that has been changed in LrC but not written back to the files gets overwritten with the old data from the file.). However, in your case the files created with publish servce are generally not the ones pointed to by the LrC catalog unless you re-import them or in the Publish servce dialog tell it to add the images back into the catalog (not generally reccomended).

Coincidentally, there was another post today with a similar problem. See: https://www.lightroomqueen.com/community/threads/date-format-in-phplite-date-fields.48775/#post-1323423 for an alternative method to get externally generated metadata into LrC.
 
Thanks for your reply. I will research on the "Read Metadata from File" option.

For better clarification, here's my scenario.

Once I finish editing in LR, I've been "publishing" to an external hard drive. Up until that point, I have rated and tagged all the photos in LR. My family views these published photos from the NAS's Synology Photos. Sometimes they add extra tags to the photos (using Synology Photos) and I want to simply sync keywords and ratings back to LR. Ideally, not the photo but just the metadata. Synology Photos is writing those keywords to the actual file properties so I'm hoping I can sync those back into LR somehow.

Is there a workflow that would work for my scenario?

Thanks,
-Greg
 
it may be difficult to do what you want. I'm not familiar with Synology or specific plugins, but here's the general process I would think would be needed

  1. Determine which images in Synology Photos someone else has added tags to
  2. For those changed images, determine the folder and file name of the master version which LrC knows about
  3. Somehow get the new information into a text or CSV file from the updated Synology image files
  4. use LrC to "Save Metadata to Files" for the images in question
  5. use EXIFTOOL to take the new keywords from the TXT or CSV file and update the Master image files
  6. Use LrC to "Read Metadata from files" for those images
An alternative to steps 4-6 is to find a plugin such as LR/Transporter that will run inside of LrC which will take the TXT or CSV file and update the LrC catalog for the specified images.
 
I recently started using the Hard Drive Publish service to send photos to an external NAS drive. After they are published to the NAS sometimes the photos get tags updated from the NAS side of things. How do I sync those metadata changes back to LR? Is this possible?

Thanks,
-Greg
Publishing is exporting. Lightroom has no connection to exported image anymore. The only difference between normal exporting and publishing is that the publishing service keeps track of changes in the original, so you can export again if changes have happened. But reading metadata from the exported image is not an option.
 
Publishing is exporting. Lightroom has no connection to exported image anymore. The only difference between normal exporting and publishing is that the publishing service keeps track of changes in the original, so you can export again if changes have happened. But reading metadata from the exported image is not an option.
So the first step is to import those exported copies, and see if the tags appear as keywords.

If so, you could copy them manually to your "real" files or use my Syncomatic to do the job.
 
So the first step is to import those exported copies, and see if the tags appear as keywords.
LrC exports only as a Non Hierarchal keyword field. So if your LrC keywords are Hierarchal, the export will reimport as a flat keyword list.
 
So if your LrC keywords are Hierarchal, the export will reimport as a flat keyword list.
Not if you check the option to "Write Keywords as Lightroom Hierarchy" in the Metadata panel of the Export dialog. If you do that, the hierarchy is preserved.
 
Not if you check the option to "Write Keywords as Lightroom Hierarchy" in the Metadata panel of the Export dialog. If you do that, the hierarchy is preserved.
I'm not sure that option was available in the Publish Service at the beginning. I see it now.
 
Not if you check the option to "Write Keywords as Lightroom Hierarchy" in the Metadata panel of the Export dialog. If you do that, the hierarchy is preserved.
What does that checkbox actually do?
I just exported an image that has one "flat" keyword and one keyword from deep in a hierarchy as a JPEG, twice, once with the checkbox unchecked and once with it checked. Using exiftool I can't see any difference in the keyword metadata.
 
What does that checkbox actually do?
It does exactly what you'd expect it to do....if the checkbox is NOT enabled, LrC will export all keywords as a flat list, including those hierarchical keywords which are "inherited" in LrC from any directly assigned keywords that are themselves in a hierarchy. However, if the checkbox is enabled, LrC will write the keywords respecting the current hierarchy. This is likely only of value if you subsequently import the exported images into an image app which itself supports hierarchical keywords.....such as LrC. So try importing those images into LrC and you should then see the difference.
 
So Greg, ensure that option is checked. Then publish a single file, add some tags using Synology Photos - one such as "XYZ" which you may never normally enter, then another tag that matches a keyword in your catalogue. Then import the file and see what's happened with those keywords.

I think you'll find it's more trouble than it's worth, but you never know!
 
It does exactly what you'd expect it to do....if the checkbox is NOT enabled, LrC will export all keywords as a flat list, including those hierarchical keywords which are "inherited" in LrC from any directly assigned keywords that are themselves in a hierarchy. However, if the checkbox is enabled, LrC will write the keywords respecting the current hierarchy. This is likely only of value if you subsequently import the exported images into an image app which itself supports hierarchical keywords.....such as LrC. So try importing those images into LrC and you should then see the difference.
Well, its not that obvious (at least to me). It appears that when exporting a JPEG, with or without "Write Keywords as Lightroom Hierarchy" checked, LrC sets the ITPC:Keywords tag to a comma-separated list of all the exported keywords (and synonyms) in alphabetical order. Only when "Write Keywords as Lightroom Hierarchy" is checked, LrC sets the XML-lr:Hierarchical Subject tag to a comma-separated lists of the tag hierarchies. Each tag hierarchy is a |-separated list of the tags (without synonyms) in the hierarchy ordered from top to bottom. It seems to use a lightroom-specific metadata tag even though the Metadata Working Group (MWG) has defined a set of tags for hierarchical keywords (the HierarchicalKeywords... tags).

It also appears that while the ITPC:Keywords tag contains both keywords and their synonyms (in alphabetical order), there is no way to tell from the metadata which synonym is associated with which keyword. This might not be LrC's fault, as I haven't found any metadata tag(s) for that. I'm going to ask in the exiftool forum.
 
I rarely use Exiftool or any other exif viewer to inspect my files. All I know is that using that checkbox does exactly what I expect it to do.
 
What does that checkbox actually do?
I just exported an image that has one "flat" keyword and one keyword from deep in a hierarchy as a JPEG, twice, once with the checkbox unchecked and once with it checked. Using exiftool I can't see any difference in the keyword metadata.
The file specification has two keyword fields EXIF Keywords (Flat no Hierarchy) and Hierarchical Keywords (Which if memory serves is an IPTC field.) Lightroom writes Hierarchical Keywords in the Hierarchical Keyword field and also in the EXIF Keyword field .
 
It seems to use a lightroom-specific metadata tag even though the Metadata Working Group (MWG) has defined a set of tags for hierarchical keywords (the HierarchicalKeywords... tags).
XMP:HierarchicalSubject is indeed an Adobe-specific tag. It's not defined by any standard and I'm unaware of any non-Adobe programs that acknowledge it.

The Keywords part of the MWG has never been implemented by any program I'm aware of.

Unfortunately, the MWG is dead. Its web site has been offline for many years, and you can only obtain the spec from the Internet Archive. LR still follows the MWG spec, though.
 
It also appears that while the ITPC:Keywords tag contains both keywords and their synonyms (in alphabetical order), there is no way to tell from the metadata which synonym is associated with which keyword.
This causes problems for those with keyword hierarchies who reimport exported photos into their catalog. The synonyms get added to the catalog as top-level keywords. See this feature request:
https://community.adobe.com/t5/ligh...d-reimporting-keyword-synonyms/idi-p/12249145
 
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