Lightroom: LR 3.6 unknown error while writing metadata to this photo

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  • Problem
  • Updated 6 years ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
Lightroom 3.6 - on some photos I get a ! mark saying there is a unknown error while writing metadata to this photo. retry? - which I do and it still will not save. No other message is displayed. I've verified there are no 'read-only' permissions on both my folder and photos as well as the catalog folder and files. Ever photo that I have noticed this on as a exif version of 0210. ( not sure if it's related or not ).
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Dean Talbert

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Posted 7 years ago

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jdv, Champion

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Is the image file on a removable drive or other non-local fixed disk?
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Dean Talbert

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this is a usb attached drive that is never removed - mirrored 1 tb drive used for storage of the photos. I update many files which sit in the same location without issue. my system specs are below:

Lightroom version: 3.6 [795620]
Operating system: Windows 7 Ultimate Edition
Version: 6.1 [7601]
Application architecture: x64
System architecture: x64
Physical processor count: 8
Processor speed: 2.9 GHz
Built-in memory: 8183.0 MB
Real memory available to Lightroom: 8183.0 MB
Real memory used by Lightroom: 266.7 MB (3.2%)
Virtual memory used by Lightroom: 250.9 MB
Memory cache size: 153.1 MB
System DPI setting: 96 DPI
Desktop composition enabled: Yes
Displays: 1) 1920x1080, 2) 1280x1024
Serial Number: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Application folder: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.6
Library Path: C:\Users\Dean\Pictures\Lightroom\full_photo_library\full_photo_library.lrcat
Settings Folder: C:\Users\Dean\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom
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Rob Cole

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Consider posting an offending photo so others can verify. My hunch is incompatibility between Lightroom and another program that has written the file (metadata).

Adobe: better "illumination" when this sort of error occurs would help.
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Dean Talbert

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the above jpg is a example. I created a new catalog, imported just this photo, added metadata and attempt to save it to the file - I get the error.
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Rob Cole

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Can you post a link to the original? - it seems this one as I'm able to lasso it from this web page, is not straight from camera - or is this a scan, or a previous save...?
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Dean Talbert

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http://dtalbertphoto.smugmug.com/Othe... see if that works there is a option to save the orig file. this is a scan of a old picture.
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Rob Cole

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OK - got the original file, I think (51.7KB).

Anyway, Lightroom choked on it, but exiftool can read and update metadata in it.

I'd guess the problem is due to an incompatibility between Adobe Premiere Elements 8.0 or Elements Organizer 9.0 and Lightroom, or something like that.

I think Lightroom needs to be robustened metadata-wise, thusly:

- Do better (even if it means going along with stuff that does not meet current spec...).
- Confess when its done its best and that still isn't good enough (provide informative error message).
- Have an option to repair (non-raw) photo files: e.g. rewrite file to spec, salvaging whatever metadata is possible, and warning user of potential metadata loss...
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I get the same error with the file you posted.

The problem appears to be in the IPTC section of metatadata. If you delete the IPTC:keywords field with the freeware "exiftool":

exiftool -iptc:keywords= "dean1965 - copy.jpg"

and then import the file, the problem no longer occurs. The keywords also appear in the XMP metadata section, so you're not losing any information by deleting the IPTC:keywords field (LR gives preference to the XMP:keywords field over IPTC:keywords).

It appears that you used Photoshop Elements 9 previously to manage this file. Did you use any other software, or juse PSE 9? The PSE Organizer has many bugs when it comes to metadata -- this is the first I've heard of this problem, but if indeed this is caused by the Organizer, it doesn't surprise me.
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Rob Cole

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It may be a bug in Elements that is at the root of this problem, but it seems Lightroom is not "trying very hard" to deal with it. Both exiftool and acdsee can read and update the metadata, including keywords, in this "possibly not to spec" file.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Agreed. At a very minimum, the error message from LR could be much more informative.
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Dean Talbert

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to my knowledge the only software used besides the scanner software to create the file was PSE 9 before lightroom.

Thank you both for looking into this, I at least have a workaround ot repair the offending photos that are not saving metadata. As being new to this forum what is the next step here to get this issue into Adobe's hands to improve their software?
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Dean Talbert

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further testing: I loaded the offending photo into Elements 10, imported the keywords, and just used the option to 'write keyword tags and properties info to photo'. I went back to lightroom and was prompted that metadate was changed by a external application, should lightroom import the changes from disk or overwrite disk setting with those from the catalog? - I selected to overwrite disk settings with those from the catalog - and it worked. So apparently PSE 10 is more forgiving and corrected the issue as well.
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Rob Cole

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This forum is the bug report channel - consider it reported (acknowledgement may take a while...).
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Well, maybe Adobe is finally starting to fix some of the metadata bugs in PSE (after 5 years)!
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Rob Cole

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Perhaps we'll see some more bugs fixed in Lightroom too in the next half decade or so... ;-}
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David Franzen, Employee

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Official Response
Hi Dean,

Thank you for reporting this issue and posting the file! I've reproduced the problem and logged a bug--we'll proceed with more in-depth investigation into the problem.

The metadata in the file seems to indicate that you worked with this file using Adobe Premier Elements 8 and Elements Organizer 9.0. Did you use any other software to process or modify the file before you imported it into Lightroom? Can you give me a rundown of what your workflow was with this photo--from scanning through the Lightroom import?

Thanks for your help,
David
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Walter S Szymanski Jr

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I have the same problem, but it's when doing a roundtrip from my LR 3.6 to, say, Nik's Color Efex Pro 4. When the tiff image is returned to LR from the plug-in app, I get the same "unknown error while writing metadata to this photo" exclamation point. One way to avoid this until bug is fixed is to revert to LR 3.5. Another way is to export a copy of the tiff image (as a tiff) and then reimport it into your catalog. A third way to handle this is to ignore it, which is what I've been doing while waiting for Adobe to issue a bug fix.
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Rob Cole

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Dean Talbert

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the two listed programs were the only ones used after the photo was scanned into the computer. Once I switched to lightroom the only other programs now used is the latest version of photoshop Elements. - as noted before if I used the latest elements to write a keyword to the photo in question, then go back to lightroom and try writing a keyword from there it works. Apparently when the latest elements updates the photo it overwrites whatever anomoly keeps lightroom from succeeding its actions.
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Dean Talbert

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Official Response
This appears to be resolved in the latest version of lightroom.