Metadata Nightmares

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Apr 15, 2020
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  1. macOS 11 Big Sur
Hi, apologies if this question has been asked and answered 1000's of times, but it's doing my head in and I can't find a simple, logical explanation anywhere in any of the resources that I can look up - not even here. Now, if I recall, it never used to do this until quite recently, and I can't work out what's changed.

I'm editing pictures in Develop module or simply just rating them with a star or a colour label (without edits)
That pesky Down Arrow appears in the top right corner of the image file window and when I click on it, this dialogue box pops up:

Screenshot 2021-06-28 at 15.34.11.png
Screenshot 2021-06-28 at 15.30.11.png

I click 'Yes' and another dialogue box pops up:
Screenshot 2021-06-28 at 15.32.12.png

Do I 'Cancel' or 'Overwrite settings?'

I'm getting confused here because I'm not understanding which "external application has changed one or more of my photos?"
I'm ONLY editing in Lightroom!
And if I tell Lightroom to "overwrite the settings on disk" what does that actually mean? Which settings will it overwrite? Is it good or bad to do that?
All I want is for Lightroom to save and preserve my edits as I do them!

If you look at the last screenshot with the red dragonfly, I haven't applied any edits, only rated with a star.

Thank you, in advance.
 

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Sometimes it's just that Lightroom detects something has changed in the physical file (perhaps access date) but if you're not using any external applications, simply overwrite.

I agree with Paul. However, I have come to the conclusion that it is not really that important. All images that justify export will get your metadata information from the catalog. You will never use the metadata in the original. So, it does not really matter if the two sets of metadata is in sync or not. What does matter is whether the metadata in the catalog is correct.

I have ignored this warning message for years without suffering any consequences. If you compare between Lightroom’s, Classic and cloudy, Adobe did not consider keeping the metadata in sync to even include the message in Cloudy.


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Last edited:
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Same view as Cletus. Unless you know you have changed the metadata in another app, it's a Save and click Don't Show Again.
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
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Sometimes it's just that Lightroom detects something has changed in the physical file (perhaps access date) but if you're not using any external applications, simply overwrite.
If you do use plug-ins like Topaz, then you will definitely want to keep the physical file metadata up to date with the catalog. Then if Lightroom detects a change, you know that it is a valid message.

Or, if you are like me, and believe that belts-and-suspenders, or belt-and-braces, is important for data backup, then writing metadata out to physical files is something I do.
 
Joined
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Messages
4
Sometimes it's just that Lightroom detects something has changed in the physical file (perhaps access date) but if you're not using any external applications, simply overwrite.
I agree with Paul. However, I have come to the conclusion that it is not really that important. All images that justify export will get your metadata information from the catalog. You will never use the metadata in the original. So, it does not really matter if the two sets of metadata is in sync or not. What does matter is whether the metadata in the catalog is correct.

I have ignored this warning message for years without suffering any consequences. If you compare between Lightroom’s, Classic and cloudy, Adobe did not consider keeping the metadata in sync to even include the message in Cloudy.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Thanks but I beg to differ: an image that I processed and exported as a jpg earlier yesterday, looks different to the same image I exported later in the evening - after clicking "Overwrite Settings." The changes are subtle, but they're there. The History window shows all the edits I did but there appeared to be a difference after I updated the Metadata, and I had to fiddle some more to try get it back to what it looked like earlier, but I couldn't quite get it.
 
Joined
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If you do use plug-ins like Topaz, then you will definitely want to keep the physical file metadata up to date with the catalog. Then if Lightroom detects a change, you know that it is a valid message.

Or, if you are like me, and believe that belts-and-suspenders, or belt-and-braces, is important for data backup, then writing metadata out to physical files is something I do.
Thanks @PhilBurton but I don't use Topaz. Only Photoshop to add my name stamp to my pictures before posting on social media.
 
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My observation is that somewhere in the 9.x sequence of updates this problem went off the deep end. Up till then, I could keep "automatically write XMP to disk files" on and LrC would pretty much take care of it. Albeit sometimes without warning there'd be several thousand images needed to have their XMP data resaved for an unknown reason (perhaps legitamate, perhaps not).

However, sometime in the 9.x era something changed atg which time I changed my preference to not automatically write XMP changes to disk. Since then, if I select a bunch of images that have the "metadata needs saving" icon on and I "save metadata to disk" for a bunch of them, either the icon never goes off or it goes off and a few moments later comes right back on.
 
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Since then, if I select a bunch of images that have the "metadata needs saving" icon on and I "save metadata to disk" for a bunch of them, either the icon never goes off or it goes off and a few moments later comes right back on.
See this bug report:
https://feedback.photoshop.com/conv...e-doesnt-always-work/5fdbda743a4b973cd0edccf0

At least one trigger is a non-zero crop angle. Note carefully: Read Metadata From File can lose non-zero crop angles.

There may well be other triggers of these spurious metadata status indicators.
 
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Since then, if I select a bunch of images that have the "metadata needs saving" icon on and I "save metadata to disk" for a bunch of them, either the icon never goes off or it goes off and a few moments later comes right back on.
I found the same. I did find that to get rid of it (yes, I know it doesn't matter but I like tidy) Read Metadata then Save sorts these troublesome ones.
 
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to get rid of it (yes, I know it doesn't matter but I like tidy) Read Metadata then Save
Unfortunately, Read Metadata From File is unsafe in LR 10.3 -- it discards crop angles. (See the bug linked above.) (I too am obsessive about tidiness).
 
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Hi, apologies if this question has been asked and answered 1000's of times, but it's doing my head in and I can't find a simple, logical explanation anywhere in any of the resources that I can look up - not even here. Now, if I recall, it never used to do this until quite recently, and I can't work out what's changed.

I'm editing pictures in Develop module or simply just rating them with a star or a colour label (without edits)
That pesky Down Arrow appears in the top right corner of the image file window and when I click on it, this dialogue box pops up:

View attachment 16809 View attachment 16810
I click 'Yes' and another dialogue box pops up:
View attachment 16811
Do I 'Cancel' or 'Overwrite settings?'

I'm getting confused here because I'm not understanding which "external application has changed one or more of my photos?"
I'm ONLY editing in Lightroom!
And if I tell Lightroom to "overwrite the settings on disk" what does that actually mean? Which settings will it overwrite? Is it good or bad to do that?
All I want is for Lightroom to save and preserve my edits as I do them!

If you look at the last screenshot with the red dragonfly, I haven't applied any edits, only rated with a star.

Thank you, in advance.
Hey raoulco, Curious, did you ever get a satisfactory answer?
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
Premium Classic Member
Joined
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This is a well known Lightroom Classic bug.

I am a belts and suspenders (or belts and braces) kind of guy, so during a long edit session, I will periodically do a CNTL-S to write all metadata to disk. And a lot of the time, I get that same down arrow and error message. Since I have been editing ONLY in Lightroom, it is impossible that some other program modified the XMP settings. I always Overwrite and move on.

Phil Burton
 
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