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Digikam metadata synchronization: preserve existing data?

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Dear all,
I've been trying to find some information about how synchronizing metadata in Digikam between database and image files works, but couldn't find quite what I'm looking for.

My question is:
Will existing metadata in the target be preserved, even if it doesn't exist in the source?

For example, if I'm going to sync metadata from the database to the image files, and in an image, there happens to be an additional tag not in the DB (perhaps added by another application), will Digikam delete that tag or just leave it be?

Background to my question: I'd like to do a maintenance synchronization between database and image files, but I can't be sure either can be trusted 100%. I'd rather stick with a slight mess (by keeping all keywords of both sources and sync them to both targets), than lose keywords. And the collection is way too big to sort this out manually.

Thanks in advance for any insights or experiences.


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