IMatch complements Adobe® Lightroom (LR) with powerful and flexible cross-application digital asset management features. This article explains how to configure IMatch and Lightroom to work optimally together.
When you manage files in IMatch and process these files in Adobe Lightroom, IMatch stays in control of the entire process. You can launch LR directly from within IMatch, you can drag files from IMatch to the LR application window to open/import them etc.
Changes made to files and metadata in Lightroom (e.g. you edit a rating, label or a description) are automatically recognized by IMatch and IMatch re-imports the files to keep your database up-to-date. IMatch also records such events in the file history so you can always track back and see who changed which files.
Settings in IMatch
IMatch implements the Metadata Working Group recommendations for metadata processing. It by default embeds XMP metadata in standard formats like JPEG, TIFF, DNG, or PSD, and uses external XMP sidecar files for RAW image formats. Adobe Lightroom behaves the same, which makes metadata exchange between LR and IMatch easy and automatic.
Changes made to metadata in IMatch show up in LR when you write-back the changes to the files – which can be done on-demand or immediately. The default is to save changes to the database but to delay the update of files until you explicitly execute a write-back command. This improves overall performance considerably. Note that you may have to explicitly reload the metadata in LR with the Read Metadata from File command.
If you want IMatch to automatically write-back modified metadata, enable this feature under Edit > Preferences > Background Processing. IMatch then updates modified files in the background immediately. You can monitor the write-back progress via the Info & Activity Panel.
Settings in Lightroom
Lightroom by default keeps modified metadata inside its catalog database only. To make metadata visible for other applications (including IMatch), you have to enable the option Automatically write changes into XMP available in the LR Catalog settings.
If this option is enabled, LR writes changes made to metadata into its catalog database, but also updates the XMP metadata record contained in your image files or the associated XMP sidecar file. This allows IMatch and other applications to see the updated metadata and to process it.
The XMP metadata format and the rules and recommendations of the Metadata Working Group allow multiple applications to exchange metadata in a (fairly) standardized way.
Avoid changing metadata for the same files at the same time in multiple applications. XMP has no concept to handle concurrent updates to metadata and thus one application may accidentally wipe out the changes made to metadata by another applications.
When using a DAM like IMatch, most users find it easier to edit and maintain metadata only in the DAM, and use the RAW processing or image editing software for their original purposes: developing and editing images.
You can also use the protection feature available in IMatch under Edit > Preferences > Metadata 2 to protect XMP data changed but not yet written to be replaced by XMP data changed in other application. See the IMatch help for details.