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 :)

@cyrus
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