Help with digiKam sidecar files (Windows)

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Todd Cleaver
Short read:
digiKam ratings and tags stored in XMP for RAW files are not visible in other software.

Longer version:
Based on some comments in another thread I tried out digiKam as my DAM. I love almost everything about it and would love to use it as my DAM in the following workflow.

digiKam:
Import RAW files (Panasonic RW2)
Cull files
Rate and tag files
DXO Photo Lab
Develop RAW files
Any other edits
Export all files to JPEG

Seems simple enough. However the XMP sidecar files created by digiKam are ignored by DXO PL; the ratings and keywords do not display in PL at all. At first I thought PL was at fault so I also tested opening the files in LR Classic and On1 Photo; same thing, no ratings or tags. That leads me to believe that it is some issue with the XMP files that digiKam creates.

Here are some additional details:
This is only a problem for RAW files, with JPEG no XMP is needed because digiKam inserts the data into the JPEG file.
The XMP file that digiKam creates is stored in the same directory as the RAW file with the following format: original_file_name.original_extension.xmp (example birdinflight.rw2.XMP).
I know that using the extension in the file name for the XMP is not common so I tried editing it out (example: birdinflight.XMP) with no change of behavior.
I ma using DigiKam version 6.1.0 on Windows 10 Home v. 1803

I have attempted researching this problem myself and quickly found that others have the same issue. However I also quickly found myself in over my head in a Linux world that I don't understand. Any discussion of tarballs and compiling sends me running for the hills. Maybe that means I'm not geeky enough for digiKam but I sure hope not. It seems like a great stable piece of software if I can only get my other Windows software to recognize the XMP Sidecars it creates for RAW files.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

Henk van Slooten

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In Photoshop CC and in FotoStation Pro I see the ratings which a made in Digikam. Both in the RW2-file and in the Tiff-files.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
382
Location
Florida
Real Name
Todd Cleaver
In Photoshop CC and in FotoStation Pro I see the ratings which a made in Digikam. Both in the RW-file and in the Tiff-files.
Thanks for the reply Henk. Unfortunately I don't have either of those to see if the result is the same for me. At least this gives me hope that this is a solvable problem.

One question: In digiKam are you saving the data to an external XMP file or having digiKam write the information directly to your original RW-file? I do see that writing to the RAW file is an option but includes a warning recommending against it.

Thanks
 

junkyardsparkle

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The XMP file that digiKam creates is stored in the same directory as the RAW file with the following format: original_file_name.original_extension.xmp (example birdinflight.rw2.XMP).
I know that using the extension in the file name for the XMP is not common so I tried editing it out (example: birdinflight.XMP) with no change of behavior.
I wasn't aware that this wasn't common... the software I use does it, and it seems like a good idea to me... if I were editing a RAW and JPEG version of the same image in darktable, they would definitely have very different processing stacks.

One question: In digiKam are you saving the data to an external XMP file or having digiKam write the information directly to your original RW-file? I do see that writing to the RAW file is an option but includes a warning recommending against it.
This is a good warning... see, for instance, here for an example of why. Some RAW formats are more robust than others against things like this, and I would guess that panasonic files might be better in this regard, but I still wouldn't do it, myself. :D

I'm not a digiKam user, but AFAIK it does The Right Thing with respect to those metadata fields in XMP (somebody correct me if I'm wrong), but that only helps if the other software that you're using does, too... you could look at an XMP file from DxO and see what it's doing there, I suppose...
 

PakkyT

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XMP files are plain text files. So if you have some files created by another program that does work with DXO PL, then one suggestion is to take a raw file, open it in that application that creates the correct XMP file, add a tag or two, exit and then rename the XMP file. Next do it again with digiKam applying the exact same tags. Exit. Now open both XMP files side by side and see if digiKam is using alternate field names.
 

Henk van Slooten

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Joined
Mar 18, 2019
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One question: In digiKam are you saving the data to an external XMP file or having digiKam write the information directly to your original RW-file? I do see that writing to the RAW file is an option but includes a warning recommending against it.
Yes, I write them directly into the original file. It give me no problems.
I can open de RW2-file in PS and change everything including RAW-processing and than save it as a Tiff-file or Jpeg and the rating is still there.
 
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