I am being driven to using Lightroom to download my images now because I cannot get the Idimager downloader to download DNG images from my Pentax K5 properly. But I still very much prefer using Idimager as my DAM, so I decided to work on getting them to work together effectively. Since there are others in this forum that use this combination of software, I thought if might be worthwhile to document my steps.
It took a while, but after many failed experiments, I think I have got a workflow that works.
I want Idimager to be boss over this process. So the first step is to make sure that Lightroom respects my Idimager catalog structure when downloading images from the memory card. That means Lightroom has to use hierarchical keywords structured to match my Idimager catalog.
So my first step was to get Lightroom's hierarchical structure to match my Idimager's catalog/label structure. Fortunately that was easy...
In Idimager, Tools/Catalog Maintenance/Export Catalog structure created a text file in exactly the right hierarchical keyword format for Lightroom to read.
I have been using Lightroom with Idimager for quite a while, and naturally all the kewords in Lightroom were simple with no hierarchical keyword format. So I first had to delete the existing keywords in Lightroom before importing Idimager's catalog structure.
It turned out to be easier than I thought. Time consuming, but easy. I selected all of the images from the top folder of my pictures. All keywords were then displayed in my keyword panel. I selected them all and deleted them. This deleted all my keywords in Lightroom's database. Then from Lightroom's Library module, I selected Metadata/ Purge unused keywords. This command emptied the keyword list also.
I selected Metadata/Import Keywords and selected the file I created from Idimager's catalog structure command. Now Lightroom's keyword list contained exactly the same hierarchical structure used in Idimager. When I read the metadata from the image files, keywords were correctly placed in this structure. Simple keywords used in both Idimager's catalog structure appeared in the right spot in Lightroom's new hierarchical formatted keyword system and vice versa.
Next I wanted to read the metadata from the images files into Lightroom's database. But first I had to make sure all my image files included the necessary Lightroom hierarchical keyword information in them. I had to check a few settings.
In Idimager, I made sure that Options/Synchronization/writing showed 'Always write hierarchical keywords' was checked, and Options/Synchronization/reading showed 'Lightroom Keywords only' was checked.
I've been using Idimager for a long time now, and Lightroom for only a year. Before I tried to sync the two databases I wanted to make sure Idimager's database contained the Lightroom keyword data. I made sure there were no unsync'd image files by searching for them. Then I forced the rewriting of the metadata in the entire database file by selecting all images and hitting Ctrl-Shift-F12. Now I was sure that the master Idimager database metadata was ready to be copied into Lightroom.
Going into Lightroom, I did not want to try to update the whole database file at once. My images are collected by year, broken down by month and day in subfolders. Most of my annual folders contained 2000-5000 images taken during that year, and I selected all images in a given year, and selected Metadata/Read Metadata from file for each. Now my Lightroom keyword structure matches my Idimager catalog structure.
I apologize for the length of this entry, I hope this might help others who use Lightroom and Idimager together.
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