Lightroom Classic: Is not finished writing metadata changes into XMP, do you still want to quit? - Progress bar

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Although LR asks if you really want to quit or want to wait until writing metadata changes to XMP is ready, there is no way of knowing how far LR is in the process.

Today I made changes to a couple of keywords that I have used for a couple of years on thousands of photos.
The computer is really slowing down, so I want to close the catalog, back it up and optimize it. But I want writing to XMP to finish first.
And I have no clue if I have to leave LR open the whole night for it to finish, or if it will be done in 30 minutes now.
So I stopped changing things and check every now and then.

A progress bar of some sort would come in handy.
Thank you.
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Marco Klompalberts

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Posted 3 months ago

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dmeephd

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Hear!  Hear!  In fact, there are several functions behind the scenes which LR performs which have absolutely no indication they are operating or completed.  An accurate progress bar or some indicator of status (including time to completion) would be very helpful.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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When you have set the option Catalog Settings > Metadata > Automatically Write Changes Into XMP, LR writes changes to metadata from catalog to the photo files, in background. If you quit LR while that background activity is going on, you'll get this message:



It really is completely safe to exit LR at this point -- it will pick up from where it left off the next time you start LR.

For optimizing your catalog or making a backup of your catalog, or any other operation you want to do within LR, there's no reason to wait for any background metadata writing to complete.  Once a photo is imported into your catalog, LR relies entirely on the metadata stored in the catalog, not what's in the photo file. 

If you're sending the photo files to other programs or services directly, rather than via exporting or using a LR publishing service, you may want to verify that all the catalog metadata has been written back to the photo files. But for this, rather than relying on whether the background task has completed, it's safer to verify directly the metadata status of all the photos. (For example, you may have disabled and enabled the Automatically Write setting at some point.)  To do this, use the Metadata Status column in the Library Filter bar's metadata browser to find all files that aren't marked Up To Date:



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dmeephd

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Thanks, John.

I've seen this message many times as I always have metadata set to write to xmp.  I think part of the concern here—at least from my side—is that something might be lost in the shutdown process, especially if the shutdown hangs and one has to force quit LR.   (I have had to force quit more than once; not often, but it has occurred, and LR restarts with a notice to check the integrity of the catalog.)

Now just this past Saturday I was adding some hierarchial keywords whilst LR was building previews.  I tagged over 1,000 images with, on average, about 40-ish keywords per image.

Then, I started to enter another tree of keywords; however none of these were applied to any image as those images had not yet been imported—they were specific to an archaeological site in Mexico I visited last month.  After the previews had been built, I optimized the catalog and proceeded to shut down.  As I half expected due to the number of keywords I applied to the number of images imported, I received the message above.  I went ahead and shut down normally...no problems.

Between then and this monring, I performed several other imports, with catalog optimization and restarting (if I felt that performance was degrading).

This morning, I imported the images for which the heretofore mentioned keywords were intended.  Imagine my surprise when I noticed that new keyword tree—three levels deep—had gone missing.

I've never seen this behavior before, but then again, LR 7 has been one unpleasant surprise after another.

The keywords were added via 'Import keywords...' from a text file created in Text Wrangler.  I know I imported the file, and that it was successful, as I had to drag the resultant keyword folder into an existing keyword folder.  The blue highlight appeared, indicating that the top level was not already there, and I verified the list in all levels was moved.

I also make it a habit to keep the source text file and in fact move it to an external drive after importing for safe keeping.

But I never, as stated above, applied any of those keywords at the time.

So this morning I performed the import again, dragged the list from the external drive into the existing list, and it was successful.  I tagged the images and after a restart, they are still there: images and the keywords.

Is this a one-in-a-million fluke or bad behavior?
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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It's definitely not expected behavior. I don't recall seeing any similar reports over the years. 

The keyword hierarchy is stored in the catalog, as are the assignments of keywords to photos.  The catalog uses the SQLite database, a very widely used, robust, open-source database (e.g. it's used inside network routers and in Apple's Macos).  If LR follows the rules of using SQLite, it should never lose information that the user has entered. If it doesn't follow the rules, then information could be lost (e.g. when the app exits prematurely or crashes or the machine crashes).  But I don't recall reading any bug reports in the forums over the years about such possible bugs.

It's certainly possible that you've tripped over such a bug. Importing keywords is a very infrequent operation that only a small fraction of users ever invoke, so it's entirely possible a bug there has gone unnoticed these many years.

But I can say pretty confidently that the keywords issue has nothing to do with writing metadata back to photo files.
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dmeephd

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Thanks, John.  I'll probably open a new topic regarding keywords as I noticed some very strange behavior yesterday vis-a-vis keywords.
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Marco Klompalberts

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John,
Thank you for you answer.
Like dmeephd I was facing lot of lag while LR was writing to XMP.
Like I said, I made chances to a keyword that was used on a big number of photos. Also the hierarchy changed.
In the past I converted a lot of my NEFs to DNG, and I can imagine writing metadata to those DNGs will be more work than writing to actual sidecar files.

I did quit LR while it was writing the changes (including backup and optimize). But after restarting LR it still felt slow.
When I left the computer on and write the metadata while I was sleeping, LR felt a lot more responsive after a restart in the morning (without the warning, so writing metadata had clearly finished.)