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P: Cannot write metadata to certain third-party-created jxl files.

Explorer ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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I have used lightroom to work with tiffs for years and have begun the process of converting some of those files to JXL. Lightroom appears to read the files fine but cannot write, citing the error: "Cannot Write Metadata - Unknown File Format"

 

Is this an oversight or does Lightroom not read JXL as I had thought

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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I am not able to replicate this failure. 

 

  1.  Select JXL File
  2.  Add Keywords
  3.  [Cmd]+[ S ] to save metadata

    Metadata writes with no error. 

    Moving to Discussions
Rikk Flohr - Customer Advocacy: Adobe Photography Products

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Explorer ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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This only happens when I convert an existing image in my cataloge from tiff to jxl, relink, and then attempt to write data. In cases where I import the same jxl file rather than relinking it, I can write successfully. I have this problem only with jxl. 

 

Screenshot 2023-12-18 at 16.17.08.png

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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"relink"
I do not know what that means.  Can you describe step-by-step the process?

Rikk Flohr - Customer Advocacy: Adobe Photography Products

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Explorer ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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I will do my best to explain this clearly. I have existing tiffs in my lightroom catalogue from 2020 (for example). I convert the images in the folder containing the tiffs which lightroom is referencing to jxl. Lightroom provides and error prompt that it cannot find the original files and offers for me to manually locate the file. I choose the file that has since been converted to jxl. Lightroom provides error saying that the file extension has changed and I approve it. After this I can no long write to the jxl. If instead I read the jxl that has been relinked and later try to write it works properly.  

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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I am sorry, but I cannot understand what you are doing here: 

"I convert the images in the folder containing the tiffs which lightroom is referencing to jxl. Lightroom provides and error prompt that it cannot find the original files"

Are you using something other than Lightroom to do the JXL conversion?

Rikk Flohr - Customer Advocacy: Adobe Photography Products

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Explorer ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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When you use the hot key CMD + R in Lightroom the application opens the orignal unmodified files that Lightroom initially imported and which the catalogue references. These original files are TIFF images in my case.

I have converted a few of these images to JXL. When I relink these files to the lightroom catalogue Lightroom can read but not write metadata into these files. 

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Explorer ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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It should be noted that I can also successfully export these relinked jxl files as regular jxl files, and Lightroom has no issue writing metadata on export. 

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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You haven't answered my question:

Are you using something other than Lightroom to do the JXL conversion?

Rikk Flohr - Customer Advocacy: Adobe Photography Products

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Explorer ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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I am using libvips to perform the conversion. Lightroom doesn't support converting existing files to JXL like it does in the "Convert to DNG" function. The files are fully validated; however, as importing the same exact files is a successful

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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I suspect something is amiss with your JXL converter. 

As the entire workflow can be accomplished in Lightroom (via Export and Reimport), I recommend avoiding a third-party converter. 

Rikk Flohr - Customer Advocacy: Adobe Photography Products

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Explorer ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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Sure, that could technically be possible but it doesn't solve for my workflow which is making a lossless change to the original file rather than exporting the fully edited file from Lightroom after which I would reimport. I use libvips to deliver files to clients and the tool produces fully validated files as Lightroom imports them without issue. It's merely that choosing to relink doesn't offer the same functionality as if I had eg converted from a tiff to a dng and relinked. 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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  • What LrC version?I assume v13, and I think this might not work at all pre v13.
  • What quality setting for the conversion? Quality 13 apparently compresses, and current LrC will not support that.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4731413

 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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[This post contains formatting and embedded images that don't appear in email. View the post in your Web browser.]

 

So to test my understanding:

 

1. You use an external app to convert a cataloged TIFF to a JXL.

 

2. You delete the TIFF from disk.

 

3. In LR, the TIFF's thumbnail now shows an "!" in the upper right corner, indicating that the file is missing, no longer at the location recorded in the catalog.

 

4. You click "!" and navigate to the corresponding JXL, and click Confirm:

 

johnrellis_0-1702950366350.png

 

5. Now doing Metadata > Save Metadata To File gives an error.

 

6. If you look at the File Type field in the Metadata panel, it shows that LR thinks the JXL has file type TIFF:

johnrellis_1-1702950590287.png

 

I can't find the discussion from many years ago about trying to change the file type by relinking missing files, but I'm pretty sure that LR wasn't designed to allow that.  I'm sure @Rikk Flohr: Photography can get an authoritative answer.

 

I think the bug here is that after you select the new location of the file, LR should check the file type of that file and give an error if it's different than the original.

 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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Here's a much simpler method for converting a batch of cataloged TIFFs to JXL, entirely within LR:

 

1. Select all the TIFFs.

 

2. Do File > Export, with the options:

 

Export To: Same Folder As Original

Add To This Catalog

Add To Stack: Below Original

Image Format: JPEG XL

 

3. After the Export completes, the original TIFFs will be selected and the JXLs not selected. Give the delete command to delete all the TIFFs.

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Explorer ,
Dec 19, 2023 Dec 19, 2023

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Thank you for taking the time to describe this much more clearly than I'd been able to. It is as you say: Lightroom still reports a TIFF on relinking with the new JXL file. A shame because this would have had the potential to save me TBs in my back catalogue., 

 

The only solution here would be working with JXL compressed TIFFs it seems. 

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Explorer ,
Dec 19, 2023 Dec 19, 2023

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My understanding, however is that this will export the files with all the cropping and edits applied, correct? My goal is to have the untouched original files and allow lightroom to continue to losslessly provide the edits to the originals. 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 19, 2023 Dec 19, 2023

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"My goal is to have the untouched original files and allow lightroom to continue to losslessly provide the edits to the originals."

 

Right, my original recipe applies the edits from the TIFFs to the exported JXLs.  Here's a somewhat more involved recipe:

 

1. In Library, select all the TIFFs.

 

2. Do Photo > Create Virtual Copies. All the virtual copies will be selected.

 

3. Do Quick Develop > Reset All to clear all the Develop settings from the virtual copies.

 

4. With just the virtual copies still selected, do Export with these settings:

Export To: Same Folder As Original

Add To This Catalog

Add To Stack: Below Original

Image Format: JPEG XL

Include: All Metadata

Write Keywords As Lightroom Hierarchy

 

5. Do Delete to remove the virtual copies.

 

6. Do Photo > Stacking > Collapse All Stacks and select all the stacks.

 

8. Use the Syncomatic plugin to copy develop settings from the tops of the stacks (the TIFFs) to the bottoms (the JXLs).

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