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Thread: Loss of Caption Metadata While Transferring Images from Windows-based Laptop to Mac

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    Loss of Caption Metadata While Transferring Images from Windows-based Laptop to Mac

    I'm new to this site and fairly new to Lightroom3, so bear with me.

    While traveling during the summer, I store my images with Lightroom3 (version 3.0) on a Window's-based laptop along with caption information. When we finally return home , I transfer them to Lightroom3 on my Mac (& external hard drive) so I can free up memory space on my laptop. When I tried this earlier today using an ADD IMPORT; all the metadata showed up on the Mac except the captions. I tried again using a MOVE IMPORT. Still no captions. I don't recall having this problem last year. There are too many images to have to re-enter all the caption info, so that's not an option. Suggestions?

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    Welcome to the forums, RWU4251!

    If you have entered the captions on your travel laptop, there are two ways you can transfer all the information of the "travel catalog" to your Mac catalog:
    1. Using "Import from Catalog", pointing to the catalog of your travelling machine.
      This is the method I would prefer.
    2. a) Writing Metadata to XMP-File(s) on your travel laptop
      b) Import the images into your Mac catalog
      This method does not transfer ALL the information entered on your travel laptop (i.e. Stacks, Virtual Copies, History, Collection Memberhip will not be transfered)


    I assume what you've used in the past is "Import from Catalog".

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    I spoke too soon above--I thought all the metadata were on the Mac, but I've also lost star ratings I gave many of the better images.

    I've not seen anything about Importing from Catalog. Could you please provide more specific details regarding your suggested option 1.

    Yell if you want me to tell you how I tried to import them to my Mac.

    BTW, thank you for the fast response/assistance.

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    Mr. Gossweiler: Last year I only transferred jpeg files. This year I'm primarily transferring RAW files. Could that be a factor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RWU4251 View Post
    I spoke too soon above--I thought all the metadata were on the Mac, but I've also lost star ratings I gave many of the better images.
    I expected that :-)

    Please let us know:

    1. Where does the traveling catalog (the one used on your laptop) reside (Internal on laptop, external)?
    2. Where do your originals imported to your laptop catalog reside?


    There should not be any difference between JPEGs and raws regarding transfer of metadata.

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    1. I copied/pasted the folders from my laptop's hard drive to a portable external hard drive. I then moved these to the Mac's hard drive, and from there imported them into Lightroom. Not sure I understand distinction between the image files and the catalog.
    2. I assumed all the catalog information transferred with the images--like the rest of the metadata (e.g., camera info, date, file names, etc.) did. Would there be one separate file containing all the catalog information for all these images?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RWU4251 View Post
    Not sure I understand distinction between the image files and the catalog. ...
    2. I assumed all the catalog information transferred with the images--like the rest of the metadata (e.g., camera info, date, file names, etc.) did. Would there be one separate file containing all the catalog information for all these images?
    Yes. By default, LR stores all the information about images (the metadata you enter, the development work you perform on images etc.) in a database, called the LR Catalog. The metadata contained within the image files is only what was written into there by your camera at capture time.

    In order to transfer the additional information from one computer to another, there are - as I mentioned before - two options:
    1. Use Import from Catalog to import the images on the target computer
    2. Write Metadata to file before transfer and import on the target computer


    1) Use Import from Catalog to import the images on the target computer (Prefered method):
    As mentioned before, this is my prefered method, as it transfers all information (except publishing information) pertaining to your images. I would proceed as follows:
    • Copy/Paste the folders with your original images from your laptop's hard drive to the portable, external hard drive.
    • Copy/Paste the LR Catalog from your laptop's hard drive to the portable, external hard drive.
      (The default location for the catalog file on a Windows system is:
      "C:\Users\[your_user]\Pictures\Lightroom\Lightroom 3 Catalog.lrcat")
    • Copy/Paste the folders with your original images from the portable, external hard drive to the Mac's hard drive, while maintining the same folder structure as on your laptop's hard drive
    • Open LR3 on the Mac, choose File -> Import from Catalog from the menu
    • Point to the file "Lightroom 3 Catalog.lrcat" on your portable, external hard drive.
      You'll then be shown a number of photos, all with text "Preview unavailable for this file" instead of the preview. Don't worry!
    • Under File-Handling, choose "Add new photos to catalog without moving", then hit "Import"
    • You'll be shown all imported images, with gray boxes in the Grid view, because the originals are not available.
      Navigate to the folder where LR thinks the images reside (it will be shown with a "?" right next to it and will carry the drive and folder name of your laptop
    • Right click the top-level folder having contained the images and choose "Find Missing Folder". Then point to the folder on your Mac's hard drive, where you copied the originals to.

    After that procedure, you're all set.

    2) Write Metadata to file before transfer and import on the target computer
    Another method is to transfer the metadata information by using so called XMP sidecar files (for Raws) or the image files themselves (for JPEGs etc.):
    • On your laptop, select all images in question and choose Metadata -> Save Metadata to file from the menu
    • Copy/Paste the folders with your original images from your laptop's hard drive to the portable, external hard drive (these folders will now also contain XMP files, carrying the LR metadata)
    • Copy/Paste the folders with your original images from the portable, external hard drive to the Mac's hard drive
    • Import from your Mac's hard drive

    This method sounds a lot easier than method 1, but be aware that not all metadata will be transfered by means of XMP data (see above for exceptions).

    Method 1 sounds complicated, but it is not that bad after all.

    One more word to be cautious:
    Before trying either one, please perform a backup of your LR catalog, just in case something does not work to your liking.

    Beat
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    Beat: When I get to 4th step (Option 1), when I click File menu (between Safari and File on top menu bar), my only options are "New Catalog" and "Open Catalog". There's no "Import from Catalog".

    Thank you for all the time you've devoted to me.

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    Don't you see what's shown below:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	capture_0002_20121030_013628.png 
Views:	51 
Size:	21.1 KB 
ID:	3058


    This is a Windows menu, but the Mac's should be similar. If you don't see the option, can you post a screen shot of your menu, like mine?

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    I apologize. I had already pressed the Import key; that why I only saw the two choices. I'm seeing the same menu shown above now and will proceed with your instructions shortly.

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    Okay, I'm seeing the folders with question marks in front of them on the D drive, but nothing happens after I press "Find Missing Folder" and then click on the first listed folder or its subfolder. However, these folders are not contained within "My Lightroom Photos" folder, which contains all my photos. I assumed Lightroom wanted to import them into this folder, so I purposely didn't place them there when I downloaded them from my external hard drive. Should I have downloaded them to "My Lightroom Photo" folder?

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    Here's a screenshot (my first ever!) so you can better understand (hopefully) my situation.

    file://localhost/Users/ronthill/Desktop/Screen%20shot%202012-10-30%20at%209.49.00%20AM.png

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    That didn't work. Let me see I can "grab" a screen shot.
    file://localhost/Users/ronthill/Desktop/Screen_grab.tiff
    How do I get this screen image to show up here? Finally. Now if I can just remember what I did for the next time. :-)

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    Please tell me exactly which steps you performed, and where you're standing now:
    Quote Originally Posted by b_gossweiler View Post


    1. Copy/Paste the folders with your original images from your laptop's hard drive to the portable, external hard drive.
    2. Copy/Paste the LR Catalog from your laptop's hard drive to the portable, external hard drive.
      (The default location for the catalog file on a Windows system is:
      "C:\Users\[your_user]\Pictures\Lightroom\Lightroom 3 Catalog.lrcat")
    3. Copy/Paste the folders with your original images from the portable, external hard drive to the Mac's hard drive, while maintining the same folder structure as on your laptop's hard drive
    4. Open LR3 on the Mac, choose File -> Import from Catalog from the menu
    5. Point to the file "Lightroom 3 Catalog.lrcat" on your portable, external hard drive.
      You'll then be shown a number of photos, all with text "Preview unavailable for this file" instead of the preview. Don't worry!
    6. Under File-Handling, choose "Add new photos to catalog without moving", then hit "Import"
    7. You'll be shown all imported images, with gray boxes in the Grid view, because the originals are not available.
      Navigate to the folder where LR thinks the images reside (it will be shown with a "?" right next to it and will carry the drive and folder name of your laptop
    8. Right click the top-level folder having contained the images and choose "Find Missing Folder". Then point to the folder on your Mac's hard drive, where you copied the originals to.
    To include a screenshot here, you need to save the screen grab as an image file and then include it here by using the "Insert Image" button:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	capture_0001_20121031_003310.png 
Views:	45 
Size:	15.8 KB 
ID:	3070

    Beat
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    Sorry for the delay; I've been out of town for several days.

    When I last posted, I thought I had inserted the screen grab even though I couldn't see it. I have the screenshot saved but I can't seem to get it to appear here. When I press the Import Button, I get an Insert Image box that gives me two choices for where to look for my png file (From URL or From Computer). When I select From Computer I'm able to select/highlight the file, but nothing happens when I press Choose--i.e., I don't get an Okay at the bottom of the box to make it appear here. And the tool bar with the insert button remains grayed out.

    If we exchanged e-mail addresses, perhaps I could send the screenshot to you as an attachment. My address is ronthill@hotmail.com

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    You've got mail.

    Beat
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    Here's the screen shot from post #12:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screen shot 2012-10-30 at 9.49.00 AM.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	133.1 KB 
ID:	3100
    This looks as expected. You should copy the folders
    • Colorado
    • Hawaii
    • Montana
    • Utah
    • Washington 2012
    • Wyoming 2012

    from the portable, external hard drive to "My Lightroom Photos", while maintining the same folder structure (see step 3 above).

    Then, right-click on Folder "Colorado", choose "Find missing Folder" and point to the "Colorado" folder in "My Lightroom Photos". Repeat this step for the other folders containing a "?" as well.

    Beat
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    After sending you another email (because I haven't figured out how to insert a screen shot here), I re-read the instructions above and remembered that right clicking on Colorado (highlighted in the screen shot above) didn't do anything. Do I need to press Import first?

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    Would you mind me logging into your system sometime to try to help you resolve your issue? You'd be able to see exactly what I'm doing and to disconnect me anytime whenever you'd feel uncomfortable with it.

    Where are you located (time zone)? I think this is getting too complicated to be resolved in the forum.

    Let me know what you think and we'll go from there.

    Beat
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    Mr. Gossweiler: Yes, that would be wonderful. I live in eastern Texas (USA Central Time Zone) where it's currently 8:25 a.m. I'm guessing it must be late at night in Zurich. In order to resolve this issue, I'll be happy to work with you any time of the day or night--whatever is most convenient for you. Just explain what I need to do to make this possible.

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