Saving Metadata To File

Community Beginner ,
Aug 26, 2021 Aug 26, 2021

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Good Evening All,

 

I am using PSE 2021, and am in the process of adding tags to my photos and videos (about 95,000 total). This is going to takes several days.  If my understanding is the correct, tags which are added in the Organizer only appear in the context of the Organizer, and do not stay in the metadata for the photo or video when it is viewed using another program, such as in Windows. Assuming that this is the case, I would like to use the 'Save Metadata to File' feature in PSE2021 to save the data permanently in the tagged photos and videos. 

 

My questions related to this are:

 

1. Should I save metadata to files  in batches as I go along, rather than wait until I finish tagging all 95,000 of the photos and videos? I an concerned that if I wait, and my Catalog gets corrupted before the metadata is saved, then I will lose eveything that I have done. It takes quite a long time to tag everything, even with the face recognition feature. 

 

2. If I select all of my files daily and click on 'Save Metadata to File' (say, at the end of each day), will the photos and videos whose tags were saved in the metadata on a different day have the same tags duplicated in the file's metadata? Or does the PSE 2021 application recognize that a given tag(s) were already saved to the file before and therefore only new tags are added when all files are selected and the 'Save Metadata to File' option is selected?

 

Thanks.

 

Jon

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 26, 2021 Aug 26, 2021

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Hello Jon

 

1.  Saving metadata to files in batches as you go along certainly is the safer approach.  You might inadvertantly miss saving the metadata to some of the files, so when you are done, to be extra sure you could then select all files and save the metadata to files again.

 

2.  No, saving the metadata to files multiple times does not duplicate what is written to the file.

 

It's worth noting some file types (e.g. '.png' files) don't get metadata written to them.  Organizer will warn you if you do go to save the metadata to the files.  Good luck!

 

It's also worth noting most metadata that does get written to the file is strung together into one 'Subject' and one 'Keywords' item.  Location info is written as gps coordinates. 

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

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Thank you, Monte. Your feedback is very helpful.

 

Jon

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

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Just to add another thought to the equation, are you aware of Smart Tags which are the equivalent of keyword tags and, probably cover 95% of a user's search requirements?  These are added to your files via media analysis and may be sufficient for your purposes. 

 

I agree with Monte that it is probably good practice to save metadata to files in batches.

 

Also, metadata is automatically added to a file when you save it in the Editor.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

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Thank you, Greg. This is very helpful. If you are referring to the people tags added during face recognition, yes I am aware and it is very helpful. However, I am finding out that there are many photos which are not tagged after that process.

 

Jon

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

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Jon, smart tags have nothing to do with facial recognition.  Here is an example of the tags that have been applied to a landscape photo:

Snap_2021.08.27_16h38m34s_001.png

 

Yes, they can be a little over-inclusive.  But, if I were to conduct a search of my catalog for a landscape with mountains and a lake, this photo would show up.

 

As for faces not being tagged, do you mean that you cannot see enough photos in the UnNamed People room?  If so, do you have the Hide Small Stacks box unchecked?  And have you allowed enough time for the media analysis to take place?

 

Snap_2021.08.27_16h46m13s_003.png

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

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Hi Greg,

 

Thanks, I now see now what you mean by the smart tags. I assume that these will also be added to the files' metadata if I run 'Save Metadata to Files'? Do I need to select some or all files in the organizer before using this option, or will metadata automatically be saved to all files automatically when I click 'Save Metadata to Files'?

 

I also have now unchecked the 'Hide Small Stacks' box and I can now see other stacks.

 

I have some other questions. While I was tagging photos in some of the folders listed in the folder tree on the left side in the Organizer, I noticed that there were some photos that should be in a different folder (the folders are dated by year). Can those photos be moved from one folder to another without messing up the link between the Organizer and the actual files? What is the best way to do this to keep all links intact?

 

Jon

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

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Smart Tags are not saved with metadata.  They are part of the catalog database.  So, I have to ask you why you think it is so important to save the metadata to the file?  For future proofing? For backup purposes? For some other reason?  I've been using Elements for almost 20 years and have never felt the need to write the metadata to my files.

 

Now that you are using the Organizer, the number one rule is never move, rename or delete files outside of the program.  If you want to move a file from one folder to another, simply select and drag the photo(s) in the Folder panel on the left of the Organizer grid.  (Make sure you are in Tree View when you do so.)  Do not use File Explorer or the Mac equivalent to do this, otherwise you will end up with missing files in the Organizer.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 28, 2021 Aug 28, 2021

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quote

Smart Tags are not saved with metadata.  They are part of the catalog database.  So, I have to ask you why you think it is so important to save the metadata to the file?  For future proofing? For backup purposes? For some other reason?  I've been using Elements for almost 20 years and have never felt the need to write the metadata to my files.

 

 


By @Greg_S.

 

@Greg_S. 

Just the same: I never really needed to save metadata to files in twenty years... but I have always done so as an additional safety measure.

The main reason the feature is used by organizer users is to be able to switch to a different organizing software.

It's more important to regularly backup than to save metadata to files if you are happy with the organizer. If you want to upgrade to Lightroom, the catalog conversion is available.

A few reasons you might wish to store metadata to files even when you are happy with the organizer:

- Some external programs working with Elements may require it: geotagging, duplicate search, statistics...

- You can't use a newer organizer version on an older computer with an older organizer. Catalog conversions is only for newer versions. The only way is to re-import like for any other external management softwares.

- When you have to split or merge catalogs, which is very difficult in the organizer, re-importing is the only solution, requiring metadata copying. Similar situation when creating (exporting) a catalog subset manually.

- Some users are sharing their photos on photo publishing sites. Other viewers don't use the organizer catalogs.

- If you use online sites like Dropbox or OneDrive, it's easy to sync your photos to the Cloud, but you need all the metadata if you want to find and work with your pictures on the Cloud because the catalog can't be synced.

- I'm getting old and I doubt my childdren will use the organizer like me in a few years. My personal and family library will be much more accessible to any other management program with the metadata written...

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 28, 2021 Aug 28, 2021

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Dear Greg and Michel,

 

I want to save as much information as possible to each photo and video so that I can share photos with family members who do not use PSE.

 

Regarding tags, if I add tags such as names, events, places, etc, it is my understanding that this information can be saved to files using 'Save Metadat to File'. Is that correct? if it is, why isn't the same true for smart tags? They are tags, after all.

 

When I looked at the list of PSE generated smart tags, I noticed that, for example, some of my daughter's gymnastics photos are grouped under the 'gymnastics' smart tag and other gymnastics photos are grouped under another smart tag called 'aerobics'. Is the there any way to merge the two stacks or rename one of them to be the same as the other ('aerobics' to 'gymnastics')?

 

Thanks again for both of your help.

 

Jon

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 28, 2021 Aug 28, 2021

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OK, I see you have a valid reason to save the metadata to files.  But, there is no standardized usage of metadata amongst operating systems or other software.  So your family members who receive the files may not see all the metadata written into the files.

 

I don't know the reason why Smart Tags are not written to the metadata.  Perhaps it is because there are too many false positives, and there is no way to control them other than through the context menu's ability to delete them from selected images.

 

Jon said:

When I looked at the list of PSE generated smart tags, I noticed that, for example, some of my daughter's gymnastics photos are grouped under the 'gymnastics' smart tag and other gymnastics photos are grouped under another smart tag called 'aerobics'. Is the there any way to merge the two stacks or rename one of them to be the same as the other ('aerobics' to 'gymnastics')?

Although it is not possible to alter the Smart Tags, you can accomplish the same goal by the following:

  1. Click on the Search button in the top right corner of the grid
  2. Enter the text of the two Smart Tags you want to merge and use the OR (/) operator between the two search words
  3. Click on the Grid button at the top left of the results window;  this will bring up the main grid filtered by the search terms you have used
  4. Create and apply a keyword tag of your choice, e.g. gymnastics

 

Snap_2021.08.28_14h42m13s_002.pngSnap_2021.08.28_14h47m7s_003.png

 

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 28, 2021 Aug 28, 2021

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HI Greg,

 

The most important information that I want to save is the individuals' names and dates of the photos. Hopefully this information can be searched using Windows.

 

Thanks for the suggestion regarding smart tags.

 

Jon

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 01, 2021 Sep 01, 2021

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What is the easiest way to "Save Metadata to Files"? Does one need to first selct photos in each folder, one by one, and then select that option? Or can one select all photos in every folder at once and then save the metadata to files?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 01, 2021 Sep 01, 2021

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quote

What is the easiest way to "Save Metadata to Files"? Does one need to first selct photos in each folder, one by one, and then select that option? Or can one select all photos in every folder at once and then save the metadata to files?


By @Jrdnole1986

It's up to you to find what is better for you.

For instance, you can select of the files in your catalog, even 100 000 items, and issue a single command Ctrl W... Let that run as a night job.

More realistic, you can do that on the new files:

- at the end of an editing session

- every week or month

- after an import session. Remember you can sort and select files by import batch.

 

The sooner you will forget about folders, the sooner you will find the best choice for you. There is no risk to write metadata to files several times. There will be no duplication.

Pay attention to the answer of @Greg_S. about people: face recognition tags won't be recognized by your correspondents. Use standard keywords to specify names, first names, nicknames, married name, family branch.

Those keywords will be available to all from the Windows explorer just like all keywords.

Take the time to write precious captions freely, it's amazing what you can convey in a caption that everybody can read from the Explorer. And it's amazing what you can find from a text search in the Organizer from the captions.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 01, 2021 Sep 01, 2021

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Thanks, Michel. One additional question. If I want to move a photo from one folder to another in the Organizer, do I cut and paste it, or do I click and move the photo  to the new folder? If I move the photo from one folder to another in the organizer, does this action move the actual photo on the computer?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 02, 2021 Sep 02, 2021

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Thanks, Michel. One additional question. If I want to move a photo from one folder to another in the Organizer, do I cut and paste it, or do I click and move the photo  to the new folder? If I move the photo from one folder to another in the organizer, does this action move the actual photo on the computer?


By @Jrdnole1986

You don't use cut and paste in the organizer, this command would be ambiguous in many situations, so you can use the other types of command:

- from the top menus

- from right click contextual menus

- from shortcuts (the main ones are mentioned in the top menus)

- and very often by drag and drop from the left folders panel which looks like the explorer when you are in 'tree' mode instead of 'list' view.

 

Everything you do from those commands works like the Explorer;  with limitations for multiple selections, but always ensuring that what you command is followed by an update in the catalog. The command uses the same internal resources than the explorer, so you can reshape and manage your folders knowing that you get the same result.

 

A special case: the organizer is built to prevent file duplication, not only at import time. This is a general requirement when using database catalogs. So, moves which could create duplicates are not allowed.

When you are used and at ease with the organizer, there are cases where you can do forbidden commands (move, rename...) in the explorer directly, which creates 'disconnected' files: IF you reconnect immediately after the move, no problem.

Also, the left folders panel in tree view allows you to view a folder in the Explorer directly: right click on the folder and in the contextual menu you jump to the Explorer view. That may be useful to control the contents of your folder (not to change it). This may be useful since the organizer view only shows the files managed in the present catalog.

 

 

 

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