Updating Photo Metadata in Lightroom

This afternoon for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to ensure that all my photos have the latest Lightroom metadata. I have made a lot of changes to my keyword structure and fiddled with other things.

My 2008 photos are not always online and I do not know if Lightroom queues changes to be applied when I mount the disk. My 2009 photos should have been up to date.

Lightroom went through the process, I think re-writing every image in the catalog. That’s almost 30,000 images and it took over two hours.

At the end Lightroom displayed this dialog box:

Lightroom Writing XMP

It had a problem with one image. It very considerately put the image in a special Error Collection for me. That’s the first time I have seen that.

Lightroom Photo That Failed 2

I examined the image and I could see nothing wrong with it. I edited it in Photoshop and examined its metadata using Photoshop’s tool (Alt-shift-Ctrl-I). All seemed fine.

I saved it as a TIFF file to be on the safe side and returned to Lightroom. I tried to update the one photo’s metadata (Ctrl+S) and Lightroom went a bit gaga on me. When it is upset it often replaces the grey application title bar with the standard Windows blue one. It used over 50% of the CPU (but never 100%) for about a minute then settled down.

I changed focus to another image and shut Lightroom down. I restarted, deleted the image that appeared to be causing problems. Then I backed up the Lightroom catalog and optimized it.

Everything seems to be fine. Clearly there was something wrong with the internals of the DNG file that the Lightoom programmers had not anticipated. Their Photoshop colleagues didn’t seem to have a problem with the image.

Unfortunately I do not have the original CR2 (Raw) file. Otherwise I would have tried the conversion to DNG again.

I am lucky I was not using ACDSee. Such an error would surely have hung the client and corrupted the database.

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One Response to “Updating Photo Metadata in Lightroom”

  1. bkkphotographer Says:

    As I feared, I had 70GB worth of pictures from 2009 to back up using Sync Toy after my experiment with updating XMP metadata. Lightroom touched the files whether they needed to be updated or not. I am not going to try that experiment again.

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