I have a system for sorting my photos using the ratings feature. It came about me trying to sort out the insane mess created by phone photography and automagic camera uploads have on your photo library. I needed a quick way to go through marking photos in order to sort out what has value or not.

Within Shotwell there are hotkeys for star ratings that are simply the number row with no modifier needed, which alleviates the cramping risk if say you would need to hold ctrl+[num] while judging 5000+ photos.

  • 0 is no star rating
  • 1-5 corresponding amount of stars
  • 9 rejected

I then setup a few “Saved Searches” in order to give the ratings meaning. A Saved Search takes a number of criteria for what it includes and displays. Other software would probably call these *“Smart Searches”.

I got seven searches that corresponds to the ratings hotkeys:

0 = Pending judgement 
1 = Memorable
2 = Food
3 = Photo notes (scribbles on paper, backside of router..)
4 = Printed
5 = To be printed
9 = Rejects

This system has been highly effective in sorting out and continued upkeep of my photo library - however! I did at one point early on after applying this technique nuke my drive for some probably meaningless reason (photos and other files synced up to Mega (a dropbox type thing)). After getting things setup and files synced with Mega as it were before the nuking, I discovered the star ratings were not written as metadata or kept within my Pictures directory. Luckily it was only a ~thousandish photos that had been marked with a rating when this happened which was not a huge loss.

TL;DR: I’m wondering where is the star rating information stored so I can sync this information and keep this alongside my photos?

I’ve recently gotten into KDE and Plasma which has opened up a bunch of software to me which I knew existed but I weren’t very interested in checking out due to dependarexia and an aversion to mixing GTK and Qt applications on my machine. During my exploration of this new and exciting Qt-world I fired up digiKam which turned out to read all the ratings I had set in Shotwell! So the star ratings must be stored somewhere common - but where?

Anyhow - grateful for any information on the topic or perhaps a rundown of your strategies for dealing with photo-bloat and unruly libraries :)

2 Jahre

Shotwell was the worst app I’d ever seen. It deleted all my photos without a trace (back in 2019) and I will never ever use it again and nor should you.

I used to have maybe 10 50,000 photo libraries each, shotwell duplicated my google photos imports because they had different tags / meta – it stayed broken for a few years, finally I fixed it with fdupe. Seems like both shotwell being bad and google being sneaky to me.

gThumb is worth checking out, but for image viewing I usually now use Dolphin and if I want to browse meta I use the sidebar – I think they have a star rating column too but haven’t tried it in a long while.

2 Jahre

I am using Flatpak version of digiKam and I 100% recommend it. Better than anything I’ve used, has excellent editor and raw support, respects folder hierarchy and has facial recognition.

12 Jahre

That sounds aweful. I have used it since 2016 without any such issues. Did you file a bug report?

22 Jahre

I did not because I was too angry to explain anything haha

12 Jahre

Digikam has a few options for metadata. It stores everything in its own SQLite database by default. Optionally one can set up mysql/mariadb. Also you can have metadata stored embedded in your actual photo files as EXIF and/or XMP tags. Finally you can have XMP sidecar storage which is an XML file with same filename as image but XMP extension. EXIF and XMP (embedded or sidecar) are fairly standardized. So shotwell likely (I’ve never used it so I don’t know) embedded your metadata in the image files, and Digikam picked it up from there. You can use a command line tool like exiv2 to see what metadata is in your files.

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