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Can someone speak to the import/export process between photo organizing softwares? I'm thinking of investing in Photoshop Elements and want to finally do my photo library justice by organizing/rating/tagging/geotagging it all. But, it makes me nervous to do this, thinking that the photo meta information might reside in the software rather than in the photos themselves.

I can't find a very plain discussion about this on the internet. Basically, I don't want to invest hours and days editing meta stuff about my photos in PS Elements and then, in 2 years, if I decide to upgrade to Apple Aperture or another piece of software (of a different brand), find that I cannot import all my tags/meta into the new piece of software.

I've already noticed in the trial version of PS Elements that tags are not recorded in the EXIF. But is there a program that could act as a go-between translator to these different pieces?

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... Embedding metadata in files allows easy sharing and transfer of files across products, vendors, platforms, without metadata getting lost; embedding avoids a multitude of problems coming from proprietary vendor-specific metadata databases ...

please take a look at the Extensible Metadata Platform and the IPTC Information Interchange Model

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When you take a photo, the metadata is embedded in the file by your camera. The metadata resides within the file and not within the editing program. You can un-install the program and the metadata will not be lost. What will be lost is the work you do in organizing the photos inside PSE.

I love Photoshop Elements 7. Like any editing program, the organizer only reads the photo files. It does not bring them into the editing program itself. Instead, what you do is to organize the photos within the program. Usually the library file is what's lost when upgrading or re-installing PSE. Once you are aware that the file can be lost, it's a good idea to back it up along with your photos.

PSE also has a very good photo editor. You can edit photo files, then, save them as a group with the original. This way, you always have the original.

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