Rating Lightroom photographs offline with Android

When I go on vacation or walk about doing photo shoots, I take a lot of pictures. I can easily return from a vacation with the kids with over 1,000 pictures. I once returned from a European vacation with over 2,000 pictures.

Rating the photographs with Lightroom can be a tedious process. You have to sit in front of the computer for an extended period of time and look at all the pictures one by one and make a selection. Why couldn’t this task be performed offline on an Android tablet (the one from my previous post) while commuting on the train or the bus? Well it is possible. Here’s the recipe.

On the Android tablet, you need a little application called Photo Review Lite. This app displays your photographs one by one and allows you to assign a star rating from 1 to 5 just like Lightroom. The only problem is that this information is stored in an Adobe XMP file. Now this is fine if your pictures are all in RAW format, but what do you do if you shot JPGs? Lightroom just ignores the XMP files when the pictures are in JPG format.

Enter a little command line program called “Exiftool”. Just copy the XMP files into the same directory as your JPG files. Open a command prompt and go to the directory with your pictures. Then type in the following command at the prompt:

exiftool -tagsfromfile %d%f.xmp -xmp:rating -ext jpg -overwrite_original -r .

Voilà! The rating information is written into the JPG files. Next, go to Lightroom and select the images that you rated. From the top menu select “Metadata” and then “Read Metadata from File”. You should see your ratings appear for each picture.

Now you can take your rating work with you. Happy shooting!

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