I have a Dropbox folder shared out to 3 different users, with multiple subfolders of JPEGs.
Each user/computer has their own unique LR catalog—running LR 5.7, with Mac 10.9 and 10.8
The idea is to push new images out to the Dropbox folder, and then each user can synchronize their individual LR catalog to add new images. Each catalog is set to not write changes to the files, so in general all the editing and organizing is happening inside the LR catalog only.
Here's the problem: I can't use the synchronize command to update/add images newly added to the dropbox, since asking LR to do this results in it "losing" all the images and then simultaneously "finding" them, which has the effect of removing all the working organizational metadata: i.e., collections, ratings, labels, etc. Performing that sync nukes all of the catalog metadata since it acts like it's just seeing the images for the first time.
• Inside of LR, If I control click on one of the subfolders of images that has not changed, and choose Synchronize I get a dialog box that tells me that it has found 20 new images and has 20 missing images it wants to remove.
• If I cancel, and then use the "find missing images" from the drop down menu I get the message that there are no missing images.
This doesn't seem to effect normal operations within LR—images can be put into collections, exported, manipulated in the Develop module, etc. In short, LR knows the images are there and has no problem with them for everything except synching.
This repeats on a bigger scale if I choose the master folder: i.e., 4208 new images and coincidentally 4208 missing images. This has happened now on two of the computers. I resolved this the first time it happened—for some reason Dropbox had renamed the newly downloaded folder with a "(1)" at the end of it. After some digging, I found some indications that LR did not play nicely with non-standard characters in file/path names. I changed the folder name in LR to remove the "(1)", and re-synched, and it all seems to be fine.
Today, on a different computer, the same problem showed up, but this time there was no renaming or 'bad' characters in the file or path name.
Troubleshooting steps have ranged from optimization, throwing out the LR prefs files, restarting, building entirely new catalogs from scratch, to pointing the master folder to a new blank folder in LR using the "Update Location" command, and then doing it again back to the actual location. I've exported out collections as new catalogs and re-imported to newly scratch built catalogs.
Nothing seems to be working. Worth mentioning is that this methodology has generally been working fine—since LR doesn't have a workgroup feature this is a great workaround, except for this problem.
Thoughts? Am I missing something obvious? I've searched through the forums here, but haven't found anything that works.
I'm having almost the exact same problem. the Lightroom library is not recognizing that the files stored in a LOCAL dropbox folder are the same ones as in the library. So if I try to "synch" library, i end up with 40k photos that are missing from my library but they are not. They are there.