metadata not importing into LR

I've rated and categorised a lot of photos in FRV, but the metadata no longer imports into LR. I've been doing this for months, but now I can't get it to read the metadata created in FRV. I did have this problem once before, and it turned out that I had duplicate folders, so the two programs weren't looking at the same files. This time, I've triple checked that they are looking at the same files. The xmp file is right there, and contains the right flags, as far as I can tell. Is this a LR problem? Is there something else I can try?

The case may be that you have those ra files already imported into Lightroom catalogue. If that is the case, and a file or a folder is already imported into Lightroom you need to trigger the synchronization of metadata manually - "read metadata" in Lightroom; that will cause Lightroom to read the new .xmp file.

One of the ways to do it is to select the files in the Lightroom Grid view (to select all files in the Grid view, you can use Ctrl-A), right-click on one of the selected files; and in the drop-down that appears choose Metadata -> Read Metadata from Files. You can do it with a single file too by right-clicking on it; you will see 'Read Metadata from File', singular.

That's what I've been doing, but it just stopped working yesterday. I do all that, and it looks like it's loading the metadata, but none of the flags etc appear.

Does FastRawViewer, on re-opening, acknowledges the new ratings / labels you've just set?
Have you checked your Lightroom catalogue, is it writable?
What is the diagnostics from Lightroom File > Optimize Catalog (backup the catalogue before optimizing it, please)?

FastRawViewer does remember the new ratings and labels I've set.
I can set ratings in LR, and it remembers them there.
I just optimized the catalog without any problems. I'm not sure what kind of diagnostics I should get.

I just tried tagging something in a different folder in FRV, and then reading the metadata in LR, and it worked. I don't know what the difference is, but I guess it's not FRV's problem. I'd still appreciate any suggestions. Thanks for your help!

The difference may be that Lightroom doesn't expect XMP sidecars on removable drives, especially if the "drive" is a flash card.

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