From what I understand this is the way EM works. EM is image cataloging software - all of the metadata you store about images is stored within EM's own database. That catalog database is maintained independently of the images it references (and that is why you need to be maintaining a backup of your catalog in addition to your images). This seems natural. Whilst there are fields within say the JPEG file format for storing keywords, EM allows the user more metadata than is specified in a particular file format or IPTC metadata (for example EM catalog sets). This also makes for more efficient searching - for example searching a database of 10,000 images for 'family birthday' is always going to be quicker than scanning 10,000 image files for the same. So as far as I am aware then you are correct - updating EM keywords only updates the EM database, and not the referenced images, until such time as you synch the annotations back to the image files. To do otherwise would also have an impact on your backups. nb, each time you update keywording you only have to make a new backup of the catalog - as opposed ot 'deprecating' the backed version of the image and making a new backup of the image with the updated metadata.