Files created / sidecar files / non-destructive edits

I am interested in trying Photo Structure, but I primarily use Lightroom to manage my photos. Is there a complete list somewhere of where Photo Structure stores files and what changes it makes?

Ideally I want to give it access to a folder of Photos and have it never modify anything in those folders or move files in my photos folders. I assume that’s possible?

I could be a little bit looser on sidecar files, but before I go ahead and install and let it create a ton, is there a list of what files it creates and where? Is it possible to force the app to create all necessary files in a separate “Photo Structure” folder without contaminating my main photos folder? Will the app work if I give it read only access to my main photos folder?

Howdy, and welcome to PhotoStructure!

There’s the library (where your library database, previews, and, optionally, where automatically organized files will get copied.

There’s the directory for your system-specific settings, which is different for every OS.

Finally, there’s a cache directory that is used for temporary file storage and import bookkeeping.

The uninstall instructions have a comprehensive list of these directories, specified by OS and the “edition” of PhotoStructure that you installed.

Sure: PhotoStructure won’t write into other directories unless you change metadata, and by default it will only write changes to metadata non-destructively, as sidecars.

PhotoStructure won’t create sidecars except via human interaction.

Yes, absolutely.

Thanks! Can I make changes to metadata that get stored in PS’s library folder / database, and then later decide to tell PS to write those changes to sidecar files in the applicable (non-PS) subdirectory holding the applicable photo? I think this is similar to what Lightroom does.

What extension/format are the sidecars? Are they PS-unique or would they potentially overwrite existing Picassa/Lightroom sidecars?

Well, this is kind of academic, because the only metadata you can currently muck with within PhotoStructure is the orientation.

But yes, I’m wanting to store any edit you make in the PhotoStructure library, and possibly write it to a sidecar next to the affected file (either at edit time, or later, but the “later” bit would be a subsequent feature).

This is actually configurable: PhotoStructure always

  • reads from all sidecars (.XMP, .MIE, .JSON, .EXIF, and .EXV, which is basically every type I’ve heard about), and
  • writes to .XMP files by default, but this can be configured via the defaultSidecarType library setting to be .MIE or .EXIF.

Sidecars that PhotoStructure writes to that already exist (from, Picasa or Lightroom, for example) will be incrementally added to: not completely overwritten. In case the edit turns out to be destructive, PhotoStructure retains the original sidecar but renames it out of the way, so you can restore it manually.

This article goes into this into much more depth:

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