I saw Aftershot Pro mentioned here and thought I'd give it a spin. It looks like a really nice piece of software, and runs in the proverbial circles around F-Spot (which I have been using previously) performance-wise on the exact same hardware, so I'm tempted to convert. Another contributing factor being the fact that F-Spot hasn't seen any releases since late 2010 as of currently (0.8.2, Dec 19 2010).

However, my photo collection currently encompasses a little over 10,000 photos, most of them laboriously tagged with appropriate keywords and many of them rated. I'm not particularly fond of the idea of re-doing all that tagging and rating work, which leads to my question.

Can I convert the metadata currently stored in F-Spot (primarily categories and ratings, but photo versions too would be nice if possible) to a format I can import into Aftershot Pro by some means?

If it is possible, then what would be the specific steps?

Being a programmer by trade, I'm not put off by tools with rough edges. So if the solution involves something like SQL magic to extract data from F-Spot's database and then a Perl script that calls into Aftershot Pro somehow, I'm fine with that.


F-Spot is capable of exporting XMP, which AfterShot will read during import.

There are a couple of related things to be aware of:

  • You're not obliged to use ASP's catalog system. If you have your own preferred file arrangement, you can use the filesystem browser to find your files and open them. ASP will inhale the XMPs as you do.

  • ASP has an extended version of XMP, and if you don't want it to inject its own information when you change an image, there's a setting that forces it to write standard XMPs.


I had a quick look through the F-Spot source and found that it stores its data in ~/.gnome2/f-spot/photos.db, which you can manipulate with SQLite3. It looks like the basic information about each photo, including the rating, is in a row of the photos table and a join with photo_tags and tags will get you the tags. The schema isn't very sophisticated.

So it looks like for each picture in your library, you'll need to:

  • Capture the rotation information from the existing XMP file if there is one.
  • Export the EXIF data from the image itself. ExifTool will work for this.
  • Export the tags from the database for that photo.
  • Combine the results into a new XMP file that can go alongside the photos, wherever you have them stored. I'd suggest hand-importing a few pictures into ASP so you can rate and tag them and then use the resulting XMP files as templates.
  • I looked through the menus, but can't find anything to explicitly export to XMP. Nor any plugin which seems to do it. I did find the Store tags and descriptions for photos setting which I have set to Separately from the image files. Still, only a few of the files in my photos folder have XMP counterparts. This answer would be greatly improved if you can point me to the specific F-Spot option or setting that I can explore.
    – user
    Feb 15 '13 at 20:57
  • Also, taking a random pick XMP sidecar file and looking at it, it seems to only hold the rotation setting for the photo. In particular it does not hold any tagging information (and I did verify that the image in question is categorized in F-Spot).
    – user
    Feb 15 '13 at 21:02
  • Ugh. I don't use F-Spot, but I do use ASP. Hopefully what I added to my answer will be useful.
    – Blrfl
    Feb 15 '13 at 22:24
  • Wonderful. I'll probably have a look at this during the weekend. Thank you for your help so far!
    – user
    Feb 15 '13 at 22:32
  • @MichaelKjörling: So how'd it work out for you?
    – Blrfl
    Feb 26 '13 at 13:52

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