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metadata conflicts: how to view differences + does photosweeper touch metadata?

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Stephanie Booth

Active Member
Mar 21, 2018
Lausanne, Switzerland
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Version Number
Lightroom Classic version: 7.5 [ 1186149 ]
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.13 High Sierra
  2. iOS
My catalog is sprouting metadata conflicts left, right, and centre. I've had messages when quitting Lightroom that LR was still writing metadata to files but that it would continue next time I opened (so I didn't wait to quit). I used photosweeper to eliminate duplicates, and then either synced folders to remove the deleted photos from the catalog, or looked for missing photos to remove.

So, something I've been doing is messing with metadata. As I'm having other issues which I suspect could be linked to this "out of sync" metadata, I'm trying to get to the bottom of which metadata is being changed so I can figure out what is creating these conflicts and a) resolve them without losing data and b) stop generating them.

I'm going batty looking at the photo metadata in LR, opening the photo in Finder, then Preview, and looking at the metadata in the Inspector, and trying to see if I can spot the difference or see patterns between different photos.

Two questions
  1. For those of you who use PhotoSweeper, have you noticed it generating metadata conflicts when you go back to LR?
  2. Is there a tool which would allow me to compare the LR metadata and the file metadata more easily so I can have a chance of seeing what is going wrong?
Thanks in advance!
Alternatively, would you consider a duplicate finder that is a Lightroom plug-in?

Phil Burton
You'd have to ask Photosweeper to get a definitive answer, but I don't think they write the "mark" you use in it to the photo metadata.

If you use Photosweeper, you can look at the metadata side by side in the "side by side" mode, and it will show conflicts in red.

If you have exiftool, then this:

exiftool a.jpg b.jpg -a -G1 -w txt
diff a.txt b.txt

Run the first commands on the two files, then run the diff command on the two text files generated by the exiftool command.
If you use Photosweeper, you can look at the metadata side by side in the "side by side" mode, and it will show conflicts in red.

Oh, I hadn't thought of doing that is it's the same files -- but I could load the catalog in one panel and the files directly from the filesystem in the other! Thanks for that idea.
Actually, I am using Find Duplicates 2. But for some stuff it was much easier doing it with Photosweeper.

I just re-read this thread. I have used a Windows photo duplicate locator, Duplicate Cleaner Pro (Pro version is worth paying for), but I was cleaning out duplicates that had not yet been imported into LR. Once imported into LR, I probably would have continued to use the batch features in Duplicate Cleaner Pro to locate duplicate files. However, I would probably be doing the actual duplicate deletions in LR so as to avoid the problems and extra work caused by "missing" photos.

Phil Burton
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