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Is it safe to modify exif data of a video already in the catalog?


New Member
Aug 9, 2012
New Hampshire, USA
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Operating System
Windows 8
I imported a bunch of video files I had converted.
After importing, I realized the conversion software did not write the creation date into the videos.
So I now have a bunch of videos that LR shows a "Date Time Digitized" of 1/1/1904 12:00:00

If I correct the exif data in the file using external software, is that going to corrupt my catalog?
Or cause some skew in the metadata in the file?
I'm concerned that since the file was imported with the exif date empty ( 1/1/1904 is a date of 00:00:00 ) lightroom may have squirreled that date away in the catalog or maybe in the file metadata ... and if I go writing the into the file's exif data, it may cause some conflicts...

Hmmm ... wait, lightroom does not modify the original file in any way, if I understand correctly. So ... the only skew would be between the file and the catalog; there wouldnt be any conflicting lightroom data *within* the file, because there ISN'T any LR data contained within the file .... hmmm ...
So the question becomes, is there a way to change the file and make sure any associated data in the catalog would be synchronized?

I can experiment, of course, but hoping someone has a clear enough understanding of what ( if anything ) LR stores of the video files' exif data to be able to warn me if this is a Bad Idea or not :)



Senior Member
Staff member
Lightroom Guru
Oct 8, 2007
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
"Is it safe to modify exif data of a video already in the catalog?"

I believe so, but there are certain glitches.

Adobe's Bridge reads and writes video metadata to the files, which makes it disappointing that Adobe haven't put this capability in Lightroom. I have also written my own LR plugin to save metadata back to videos - captures with Nikon, Fuji, and movies created with Premiere Pro and other apps. It's unpublished because I prefer to "risk" only my own backed-up videos, but it uses Exiftool and I have not had any problems. The advantage of writing the metadata to the files is that it should be automatically embedded in any movie files that you create in Premiere Pro or whatever.

One glitch is that LR's Read Metadata from file is disabled for videos. So if you use an external tool (eg Bridge) to modify the metadata of the video file itself, you can't simply read those changes into LR - you have to remove the photo from the catalogue, then import it again.

So, I would suggest making the metadata changes externally, in Bridge, and then reimporting into LR.