Add an option to PhotoLab to turn the database functions on or off

@MikeR Would you like a Ratings to be included in the IPTC? I don’t think that will ever happen when it hasn’t in decades. The problem is I guess that different software handles the problems differently. Some “forks” the Ratings-data one or two ways and others not. That is a mess deceloped for decades.

No. The rating is already stored as metadata in the DOP file. Not in the IPTC section but elsewhere. But this rating is ignored when PL discovers a raw file in a new location with a sidecar present.

It’s stored in EXIF by most programs. Is it really stored in .dop too? That’s unessessary redundance if that is true and also a non standard proprietary solution.

DXO never modifies the raw file…

So if you rate in DXO your rating cannot be stored in the raw file.

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well, look at it like this: The .dop file is kind of a(n almost synchronous) backup for what’s in the database, which is also the basis for what is writtten to XMP. If you loose the database, the .dop files can save your bacon…but DxO will have to do a thing or two until we’re there.

As for non-standard/prorietary: The .dop sidecars are DxO’s - and they can put into them whatever they like. .dop sidecars are not meant to exchange information - except between DxO products.


So v5.3 is out and seems to directly address this deficiency. Need to check this out.

… and that is a problem too because some write and read EXIF to and from the RAW or to and from the EXIF namespace of the XMP-files.

DXO have to make up their mind about their XMP-support.

Seems DXO aka giving you the option whether to store the metadata in XMP or DOP files.

So they made up their mind and they decide to give the user the option.

So if you use other tools then store in xmp. And if you only use DXO store in DOP.

I tried a quick test in 5.3 and it seems to work.

But it looks like they have removed the option to not have PL act as a DAM even when you use a separate DAM which is a very bad move.

This thread is typical of forums - when I (or anyone) posts anything, it generates a huge number of responses, regardless of what the post was about. Forums are like that.

I switched to PhotoLab3 when I felt (and still feel) it’s the best image editor. Download image, edit image, export finished image.

What goes on in a forum is a whole different world, with a huge number of people each with their own personality and ability, and who enjoy chatting.

I travel, and use multiple computers, and all my photos eventually end up on my best computer, currently a Mac Mini. I’m aware that PhotoLab can do more than what I use it for. I’ve been using PhotoMechanic for decades, and it serves other purposes, and eventually will provide me with a DAM.

I think photography is supposed to be enjoyable, not work.

@mikemyers isn´t the only one trying to understand what is really going on when it comes to the metadata support in Photolab 5. For me Photolab is 1.0 when it comes to the metadata support and the problems we have seen is far from just the way it has handled “Rating”.

I have still not got any answer on a direct question to DXO about Photolab not handling one of the element of Picture Taken and Shown used by “IMAGE” in Photolab. Photolab is using “Location” and in for example Photo Mechanic Plus the element used in that set of five six elements is “Sublocation” and not “Location”. So there are a few holes there to discuss.

It´s however not just DXO that creates problems in the integration with external software. Even PMPlus doesn´t fully support using XMP namespaces like EXIF. If everybody should comply to the XMP they could all just read and write both IPTC amd EXIF from the XMP-files. Problems solved. DXO has to handle metadata stored in three different places and that is to ask for problems. There is one metadatastandard today and it is XMP but some cameras store metadata in EXIF in the files. Even IPTC “classic” kan live the life outside XMP and programs like PMPlus often write IPTC-data both outside XMP and inside it in the IPTC-namespace (a choise of the user). It´s a mess created by structural expansion over time like many other example of disorders.

My opinion of the metadatasupport in Photolab is divided. I think they have done a lot in a short time and some is very good - as long as you stay in Photolab but Photolabs Image Library is pretty imature still and needs some improvements especially when it comes to collaboration with other external DAM-software - if we want that data exchange to take place in a safe and controlled way. In order to achive that we have to be able to maintain data integrity and today there are unacceptable flaws in this field. A first step has to be to make XMP the undisputed metadata master of metadata. .DOP is a legacy but not the way forward. I guess it has to be preserved of compatibility reasons but it just can´t be the master.

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Actually, I’m not trying to understand what is going on - I’m trying to ignore/forget it. It’s like “Sirius radio” in my car - I used it for the trial period, then forgot all about it. Free AM and FM are more than enough for me.

Can’t judge what they had done in short time, but the longer I read what’s going wrong with the interoperability between PL5 and DOP, XMP and external apps to organize pictures, add metadata, the more I think DxO should focus on RAW conversion and stay away of things apparently too difficult to get them done. I miss clear recommendations from DxO like “which DAM works best with PL”.


If someone already has an app for metadata management, PhotoLab’s respective functionality can be ignored or used read-only, for informational purposes. There simply is no sense in managing metadata in several/different apps (except and maybe for adding something that you forgot to add in your preferred MDManager, accepting the risk involved).

If someone wants to replace the app for MD management and use PhotoLab instead, the MD capabilities can be a start, but when I notice DxO’s incremental approach, I suppose that it will still take a few years until PhotoLab could replace (instead of complement) e.g. Lightroom.

Every DAM will do…if you don’t use PL’s metadata editor.

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This is something I can’t accept as “recommendation”, sorry. Every DAM will then just show the un-edited RAWs which makes finding the right ones a night-mare.

But I think that’s normal thinking for PL users who always needed to workaround essential DAM functions, who copy RAWs, who need complicated naming systems for the files, who need to program apps to get easier access to files. You guys simply don’t know better, sorry for being blunt.

Serious question.
Aren’t all editors ignorant of other editors proprietary adjustment sidecars?

Until you export aren’t all raw editors going to show the unedited RAW (except the one that was used to edit it)

Of course they are.

But a DAM should show the edits, and no one of the “two-or-more-app” workarounds can perform that. I hesitate to call them solutions - they are none. That’s the point why I refuse to go a multiple app DAM and edit way. I rather prefer the second best editor which has a well made and -working DAM inbuilt.

But that’s just me, not being part of the target audience of PL.

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I suspect that what I would want in a DAM is a way of finding my photos. It would be up to me to decide which program I might want to open the photo in - PL5, Lightroom, DarkTable, whatever. I wouldn’t expect the DAM to tell me that VC3 was the virtual copy I was happiest with.

Since the DAM is primarily designed to take me to a specific image(s), I wouldn’t expect it to show me things that are only available once the image is opened in each editor.

That’s me. If the DAM was designed to work with PL5, then I certainly would want all those things.

To me, a DAM means something that can search for images, perhaps using keywords, and maybe combinations of keywords.

I haven’t tried to use it yet, but this page describes a concept that I think I would enjoy using, and would hopefully allow me to “zoom in” to an image once I had created a logical list for key-wording.

I wouldn’t expect it to tell me which program I used to open the image.

Finally, when I’m on a two-month visit to India using my MacBook Pro, I would want a way to copy everything, including keywords, to my other computer(s) if/when I wanted to.

I used to enjoy using Lightroom for keywords, but stopped when I moved to PhotoLab. I guess I will have a lot of “catching up” to do, once I figure out what I want to do, and how to do so.

Compare version 4 with 5 of Photolab and you will see they really have done a lot with the metadata support in Photolab.

I think DXO has to work closer with all of the more important alternatives we now have to Lightroom as a Photo Library/Photo oriented DAM. So far they seem to only have had focus on how to integrate with Lightroom and that is an odd focus.

I don’t really understand how the market people at DXO think. Quite a few years they tried to get Lightroom users to buy even Photolab because of the Prime/Deep Prime denoise funktions - before they realised that two full converters was one to many and developed the more suitable PureRaw product.

Now they instead have a golden opportunity to cooperate with the manufacturers of the state of the art metadata tools on the market and get a clear edge compared to Adobes compromise Lightroom. Now they together with these manufacturers can offer a better offer of both a state of the art RAW-conver and a state of the art metadata editor and DAM to demading users. People finally have a possibility to scale up if they find they need it. Adobe can’t offer that in a natural l way.

Of that reason DXO have to fully support XMP as the owner of the metadata and they have to take steps to make it posdible to inactivate the PhotoLibrary and the metadata interface in a straight forward way when integrating the metadata workflow with external software.

Using external software is also one way of getting around Photolabs bottle neck of slow handling of large amounts of big image files. That is one area where the integration with for example Photo Mechanic shines and improves productivity.

A RAW is a RAW. If you like to see if a “RAW” is developed even in a DAM like PM, there is a way for that too - use DNG because that format has an embedded JPEG reflection the changes made to the files in for example Photolab - but you might also need to update the PM indexed folder you are working in.

Full grown Enterprise DAM like Fotoware will monitor the file changes in the file system and automatically update the index. Photo Mechanic will not. I have suggested them to change that a long time ago but so far that process is still manual like in Photolab PhotoLibrary.

It is possible to configure Photo Mechanic so it moves the RAW, the DOP and the XMP as a set. PM is a professional mature tool that takes care of that without problems.

Photo Mechanic is also a culling tool and a part of the work flow for most people is to clear out unwanted images. It’s not a problem I think just to select a group of RAW-images and open them in Photolab in a second and if just some of them have been “touched”/developed earlier and others not it will be very easy to see in Photolab which us the case since there are symbols for that in the “filmstrip”.