I’ve said before that I intend to introduce paid versions of my plug-ins, especially Search Replace Transfer which finds and replaces metadata text, and Open Directly which sends the selected files to other programs such as Nikon Capture NX. It’s just taken much longer than I’d hoped.

Rather than half-bake my own licensing mechanism, I’ll be using the Photographers Toolbox method which includes code written by Jeffrey Friedl. Unfortunately, Jeffrey’s far cleverer than me (he understands regex) and so my attempts to shoehorn his code into mine have only been successful in breaking my plug-ins. Rather like the reborn Buddhist golfer says, that’s almost certainly my fault and I take full responsibility, but I am about to have another real crack at figuring it all out.

As part of my own rehab process, I had been resisting the temptation (mixed with self-inflicted pain) of starting any new plug-ins until I have integrated the licensing code into those two plug-ins. I had hoped to force myself to sort things out before moving on. But I have just changed tack and instead I’m going to test the waters by adding licensing to the brand new, less complex plug-in which makes its first appearance here.

Syncomatic copies metadata between files whose names match, but which are of different file types. It’s one I’ve meant to write for a while, reproducing a tool that was handy in iView, but I finally got round to it after a client ran into some problems.

She had a large number of raw files in Lightroom and had then sent TIFs to her external retoucher. She then, before the TIFs came back, added a lot more metadata to the raw files and the challenge was to update the corresponding TIFs. That’s what Syncomatic does. Whenever there are matching pairs of files, it copies metadata from one file type to the other which you choose, so another usage example might be where you have pairs of raw and JPEG files and want their metadata to be synchronised.

While I hope there are clever features in the code, Syncomatic is more straightforward than my other plug-ins – if for no other reason than being created with more Lua experience in my locker. So this week I am going to get the licensing working with it, and other plug-ins should follow.

Incidentally, Syncomatic will be LR3 only.