Need advice: how to preserve metadata in video files after edits

Hey folks,

I am sorry, this is not directly related to the Photostructure, but I thought to give it a shot here, cause I see so many folks are really into similar topics.

Here is my “workflow” I need help with. Let’s say I shot bunch of short video clips on a phone and I uploaded them to a computer and I don’t want to have PS to display them as separate 4-5 seconds videos, but I want to stitch these together, as a “story”. QuickTime on MacOS can do it, as well as many other programs do. However, while doing so and exporting this as a “final movie” we are loosing LOTs of metadata like capture time, GPS coordinates, GPS altitude and probably some other (depending on you camera make/model). For me loosing this information or replacing it with current date/time is unacceptable and while I can deal with date/time by naming my final movie with schema, the GPS coordinates are hard to “reinsert” back.

Do you guys have a workflow that solves this? It has to be relatively quick, as in general, I don’t spend more that few minutes combing multiple related clips into one. I don’t even open iMovie or FCP X to do this, unless it requires music background or more advance edits.


For all things metadata, I normally start at the site, as well as their forum.

XMP tags have some potentially interesting tags, like DerivedFrom*…, but those don’t seem to be for multiple source files (like what you’re asking). The DerivedFromOriginalDocumentID assumes there’s some document id, also, which isn’t derivable from the source, AFAIK.

I’d love to hear what other people would suggest (and you might want to post this question on or the ExifTool forum: if you do, please link to your post so we can follow along)

Just as something to research, some of the “container” formats (MP4 I believe is one) can handle multiple internal video files I think. Is there potentially anything that you could “combine” these clips into one container for playback, but still have the original metadata included.

If you use Lightroom this is my workflow -
I use Lightroom Classic, which does an initial metadata extraction into its own catalog when files are imported, and treats the media file as an object regardless of whether the underlying file is there or not.
This means I can import a video into Lightroom, which will read and keep the original capture date, GPS coordinates, and keywords I’ve added - and then I do things like convert to h265 or trim in a separate app - and then tell Lightroom that the catalog asset now points to (for example) 1234-trimmed.mp4 instead of
For me this works because my workflow is then to use a plugin to automatically publish changed media files to my PhotoStructure media folders (not finding PS reliable at picking up changes/delete to existing files, I now do regular PS library rebuilds which take a day or two :roll_eyes::roll_eyes:).
This workflow wouldn’t work if you pointed PhotoStructure directly at your Lightroom media folders as the metadata would be sitting in the Lightroom catalog unwritten to the file. There are ways around this, such as using an exiftool writer for Lightroom.
And if you don’t use Lightroom… Well ignore everything I said :joy: Happy to answer any questions if useful.

@mrm I don’t really need create TS or GPS coordinates from multiple sources to be shovel into one. I understand the limitations an if I am editing 2 weeks road trip (oh, those were some great times…), I understand this will not work. :slight_smile: I will have to read through reddit forum before I post potentially duplicated question. Don’t want reddit police to ban me forever. :wink:

@bdillahu True, pm4 and mkv can have multiple, but PS will “see” the date creation of that container and this will b wrong.

@awojtas Seems like you found your workflow. Great stuff. But I don’t use LR (I am trying to avoid having metadata in proprietary software). I have been burnt already by loosing few tools I used that got acquired or discontinued.

Thanks for suggestions! I’ll update this thread with my findings.

EDIT: Searched datacurator, but did not find any useful info. Here is reddit post: How to preserve metadata in video files after edits? Need advice. : datacurator

For that purpose I use the following command

ExifTool -iptc:codedcharacterset=utf8 -TagsFromFile source.mp4 destination.mp4

@mnaoumov Hey, thanks. This worked great for most tags (Encoded Date was the most important). Now I need to find a way to deal with these pesky* tags.



ExifTool -iptc:codedcharacterset=utf8 -TagsFromFile source.mp4 -all:all destination.mp4

In case you missed it, it’s the -all:all bit that @mnaoumov added.

(ExifTool is a wonderful tool, but sometimes the ergonomics are a bit surprising)

I think “-all:all” option has to be between source.mp4 and destination.mp4, otherwise the tool complains:
Ignored superfluous tag name or invalid option: -all:all

Still does not write into quicktime tags…

Frig. Turns out I had older exiftool version. Updated to current and it works! Thanks @mnaoumov and @mrm!


I use Lightroom Classic and I ensure all possible metadata is written the files themselves, to make those files portable.

In my blog I described how to deal with metadata, especially with video files metadata as it requires special plugins