Read keywords from file but not develop settings?

Is there any way to read IPTC Core metadata, but not develop settings, from a file? I'm still figuring out my Lightroom workflow and made some errors that I'd like to recover from. Here's the situation:
In Lightroom 2.x I selected images, gave them star ratings, and made initial Develop module adjustments. I did NOT write the metadata back to the files (my mistake). Later, my keywording assistant opened the files in another program (Breeze Browser) and added extensive keywords using a controlled vocabulary that works very well and very fast in Breeze. Now I have extensive caption and keyword data in the XMP sidecars, but develop settings in Lightroom's database. I need to merge them.
The slow and tedious workaround in Lightroom is to select the photo, copy the develop settings, read the metadata from the file, then paste the develop settings back in. It works, but is repetative and slow. There's not even a keyboard shortcut for reading metadata. The other tedious workaround is to export the keywords to a text file (using Breeze) and copy & paste them into Lightroom's keywords field. But that's even slower.
Is there a way to write only the develop settings to the files?
Any other suggestions on how to proceed? I have several hundred images that need to be fixed.
In the future, I know I need to write the metadata to the files after making any adjustments in Lightroom so the data travels with the files themselves and isn't just in Lightroom's database.
-- Mark Turner

Ok, thanks for the reply.
I feel a bit ashamed now, because my topic title contains the function i needed...
So, assuming that i would have
String content = "458,304,0,345,432";i could split this and put this in an array string using a code like
String[] arry = null;
array = content.split("\\.");I haven't tested the code yet, cause i'll go to bed soon, but will this split all at once and put it in the array or do i have to create a loop or something ?
And is it possible to put number one using split in the array[x][v] on the x location and the others at the [v] location ? (the first number of each five has to be added to [x] and the other 4 to [v] )
Again thanks for your reply, cause im a bit further this way in accomplishing what i want to reach :)

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