Lightroom: Read and write video metadata into video or sidecar

  • 119
  • Idea
  • Updated 1 year ago
  • (Edited)
The new Video part is great! I really like the previews.It is a great addition to sort and tag your video's. Only one problem:The tagging system doesn't work properly, it doesn't store the tags in the video-files like it is possible with the photo's. I hope this will be working in the Final.
Photo of R P


  • 5 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
  • wishfull!

Posted 8 years ago

  • 119
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 4685 Posts
  • 1268 Reply Likes
I agree that it would be good for LR to store metadata for video files; without that ability, it's not the "single, robust workflow solution that can support all of your imaging needs regardless if they’re still images or video captures" that the Lightroom team aspires to (

LR could adopt an approach similar to what Adobe products have done with photos: If a metadata field (e.g. Keywords) has a slot in the particular video format, it will store it there. But it will also store all the metadata fields in an XMP sidecar. This is similar to how LR uses EXIF, IPTC, and XMP fields in photos. (Note that the XMP:DynamicMedia namespace is designed for video-specific metadata and appears to be the basis for the Video preset of the LR 4 Metadata panel.)
Photo of Michael Meyer

Michael Meyer

  • 7 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
LR4 needs to be able to store, import and export metadata for non-image files such as video files and other files I wish to organize in LR4.

This is critical for a cross application workflow based on metadata as well as allowing LR4 to serve as a robust DAM system.

LR4 needs to be able export this metadata into sidecar XMP files and be able to import the metadata from the sidecar XMP files.

This includes the standard XMP fields such as subject as well as the lr extensions, hierarchical subject, etc.
Photo of Alan Harper

Alan Harper

  • 458 Posts
  • 94 Reply Likes
Even if Lightroom (4.2) can't write to THM sidecar files, there doesn't seem to any reason it couldn't at least read all the exif & iptc fields. I set the IPTC "Title" field using a separate program (exiftool), and it causes me many problems that Lightroom can't read this field for my .MOV files, and maintains a separate, unsynchronized value for this field.

exiftool is a free and highly tested tool that Adobe could easily add to Lightroom to handle cases where their team hasn't gotten around to writing the code, I wish that Adobe would use it (or write their own code) so that video is a "first class" citizen in Lightroom.
Photo of Alan Harper

Alan Harper

  • 458 Posts
  • 94 Reply Likes
I have decided to use the following as a temporary work-around to this problem:

Canon, at least, creates a thm file for every movie file. A thm file stores some of the metadata associated with the movie file (like date/time), and can be used to store other any other IPTC metadata like location, latitude/longitude. Lightroom, of course ignores the thm file. However if you duplicate the thm files as jpg files (I have an applescript that does this), then Lightroom will at least treat the jpg files as "first class" citizens, allowing you to save metadata in them, and write metadata to them from other programs.

If you use other programs to change metadata in your image files (like georeferencing) or if you just like to have the metadata saved with the image so you can share it with other people and other programs, the "JPEG sidecar" is at least a partial solution.

For Mac users, the following AppleScript will duplicate all thm files in a directory to jpg files.


set theFolder to choose folder with prompt "Choose a folder of thm files."
tell application "Finder" to set thmFiles to files of theFolder whose name extension is "THM"

repeat with f in thmFiles
set src to POSIX path of (f as text)
set dest to ((characters 1 thru -4 of src) as text) & "jpg"
set whatIwouldDo to "cp " & quoted form of src & " " & quoted form of dest
do shell script whatIwouldDo
end try
end repeat
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 4678 Posts
  • 1267 Reply Likes
This is the technique that the Any File plugin uses -- it creates a "proxy" JPEG thumbnail that gets imported into the catalog, and it transfers all metadata from the video file or its sidecars (e.g. .thm's) to the proxy file. Any metadata changes you make in lightroom are written to the proxy JPEG.
Photo of Alan Harper

Alan Harper

  • 458 Posts
  • 94 Reply Likes
Yes, of course, John, I should have mentioned Any File as another (great) solution.