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Error writing metadata when working with smart previews

Community Beginner ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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My workflow involves editing smart previews on another computer most of the time. Something seems to be broken in the latest update, because after making any edit to the image I get an exclamation mark with the message "Error writing metadata". I had no issue with this in the past up till today and did not change anything in my workflow or settings either.

 

Current version: Lightroom Classic 13.0.1

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macOS , Windows

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Beginner , Nov 02, 2023 Nov 02, 2023

Solution:
I seem to have found the root of the issue by extensively testing a few different options in the meantime. My findings are that a special character in the folder name containing the photos was causing LR to not recognize that the original photos were not present when opening the catalog from my Mac.

After renaming the folder and relinking it in LR, the catalog works as expected, switching to Smart Previews editing on the Mac without producing the metadata write error.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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Any missing photos?

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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All photos are stored on my desktop PC. I generate smart previews and 1:1 previews on import, then I exit Lightroom Classic and open the same catalog file with the whole folder stucture including the previews.lrdata, smartpreviews.lrdata and etc. folders in the same version of LRC my MacBook Pro for editing. So at the time I do the edits the originals are not there, that is why smart previews functionality exists. LR shouldn't complain about not being able to save the metadata as it knows I am editing the smart preview. I use this workflow without an issue for about 8-10 months when I bought this Mac. The latest update seems to have messed this up.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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To add to this. Also when I open this catalog on my PC with the originals there, the error still doesn't resolve on it's own, but I need to click the exclamation marks next to all of the edited images one by one and chose to 'retry saving metadata' for the error to go away.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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See:

https://www.computer-darkroom.com/lr2_find_folder/find-folder.htm

 

Note, one complication, WINOS vs MACOS, Windows drives provided drive letters, MACOS drives provided names. When you look at the catalog in the MAC, it is having issues with the file paths to the photos, drive letters vs drive names. So fix the folders to get around your problem.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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quote

To add to this. Also when I open this catalog on my PC with the originals there, the error still doesn't resolve on it's own, but I need to click the exclamation marks next to all of the edited images one by one and chose to 'retry saving metadata' for the error to go away.


By @1b0r90


I've seen this too for a few images. It seems harmless because 'Retry saving metadata' always solves it, but it is indeed annoying and I have never seen this in previous versions of Lightroom Classic. @GoldingD This has nothing to do with missing images.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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Update:

I have just noticed that even though the original files are not present on my Mac, Lightroom still displays "Original + Smart Preview" below the histogram. So somehow LR doesn't recognizes that the media is missing and that is why it is trying to do something with the metadata resulting in an error.

 

I have also tested to create a new catalog file on the Mac from some random images stored on an external ssd drive and created Smart Previews for them. After ejecting the drive the text below the histogram changed to "Smart Preview" and after editing the photos there were no errors.

 

So it seems that the error only occurs when to using the same catalog file over two devices.

Hopefully there is a workaround or fix for this, because I don't intend to store my images on external drives and don't have that amount (3Tb+) space on my MacBook either to keep them there, but would prefer to edit on it.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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"So it seems that the error only occurs when to using the same catalog file over two devices."

You may have found something. Like I said, I also have seen this on some images and I use Lightroom Classic on one computer only. Recently I did have to completely erase my hard disk and reinstall everything (obviously including my catalog) from a backup however, because my computer would not boot anymore. I think that is when I noticed some images showing this issue. My images are on a separate drive, so only the catalog folder (so also the smart previews) was reinstalled.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 02, 2023 Nov 02, 2023

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Solution:
I seem to have found the root of the issue by extensively testing a few different options in the meantime. My findings are that a special character in the folder name containing the photos was causing LR to not recognize that the original photos were not present when opening the catalog from my Mac.

After renaming the folder and relinking it in LR, the catalog works as expected, switching to Smart Previews editing on the Mac without producing the metadata write error.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 02, 2023 Nov 02, 2023

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I do not use any special characters in my folder names, but what was that special character?

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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LEGEND ,
Nov 02, 2023 Nov 02, 2023

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Yes, to help other users in the future, please post back with the special character causing the problem.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 09, 2024 Feb 09, 2024

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It was: é

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 15, 2024 Jun 15, 2024

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Had the same problem and after reading this post I noticed that the collections folder I was editing in had the & symbol in the name. I renamed and the problem resolved. Thanks for the detective work!

 

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LEGEND ,
Jun 15, 2024 Jun 15, 2024

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