34 Replies Latest reply on Dec 28, 2015 2:50 PM by JimHess

    How to synchronize multiple drives

    aitches_2

      I edit with a copy of LR6 on my desktop, but I upload from camera to two external HDDs.  I edit from one drive (3 TB hdd) and would like to synch it to the other drive (a 24 GB NAS), so in the event of a drive failure I won't lose the .XMP files.

        • 1. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I don't know about synchronizing the two drives. But the main thing you want to concern yourself with is a backup of the catalog as well as a permanent backup of your images. Unless you have chosen to write changes to XMP files in your Lightroom preferences, the catalog is the only place where the adjustments are being stored. I assume you are aware of that.

          • 2. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
            thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            I sync multiple drives using a software utility like SuperDuper, Chronosync etc (those are Mac app's). You want some software utility that will 'clone' the drives or folders updating the newest data from drive to drive. You probably should consider dedicating a driver for ALL LR data files and images rather than keeping the Library on your desktop. That makes synchronizing and backing up all the data much easier! Examine the "Store Preset with Catalog" option which will keep all user presets there, again making it easier to clone all that data from drive to drive.

            • 3. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
              aitches_2 Level 1

              I upload images to 2 drives from the CF card.  I have imported the primary folder and the backup folder.  If I edit on the primary drive those changes are stored in the catalog.  If I edit a file from the backup, those changes are saved to the catalog.  Neither drive will show the thumbnail with the proof copy numbers from the other drive.  THAT is why I'd like to be able to synch the drives.

              • 4. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                aitches_2 Level 1

                When you synch drives and edit 2 files on drive A, and after synching A to B, will B show that there are 2 edited files on A?

                • 5. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                  ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

                  Sounds like you are misusing your "backup". A backup is for emergency purposes and should never be "edited", nor imported into LR.

                  • 6. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                    aitches_2 Level 1

                    If you have an A drive and a B drive and A is the work drive and it fails, B drive will not contain any of your edits.

                    • 7. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                      D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      aitches_2 wrote:

                      B drive will not contain any of your edits.

                       

                      It will if you backup your Lr catalog as well as the photos. That's where your edits are, not in xmp sidecar files. Lightroom doesn't use that (unless you specifically tell it to).

                       

                      BTW you can use file synchronization software to manage this, so that you only deal with one drive and changes are automatically updated on the other. You can even do this on separate machines in different locations (I do).

                      • 8. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                        aitches_2 Level 1

                        I'm not sure I'm understanding this.  If I edit a file on A, and then open B in LR, I'll see the file I edited on A as an edited file with your synch method?  How about if I open B and edit a file, synch and open A, I'll see that edited file there too? 

                        • 9. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                          D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          All your edits are in the catalog.

                           

                          You're not supposed to edit B. They are your backups! Don't touch them.

                          • 10. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                            dj_paige Level 9

                            If I edit a file on A, and then open B in LR, I'll see the file I edited on A as an edited file with your synch method?

                            This is not how Lightroom works. If you edit a photo on drive A in Lightroom, then Lightroom knows that the photo is on drive A and the edits in the catalog are associated with the photo on drive A. Lightroom does not know anything about the photo on drive B.

                             

                            But you are really following a poor approach, as D Fosse has pointed out. Do not use your backups on Drive B for any purpose except when you have an emergency and the photos on Drive A are not usable for some reason.

                            • 11. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                              aitches_2 Level 1

                              I'm not so parochial about 'backups'.  A backup is traditionally the place that you 'restore' files from, but if all your edits die with a drive (drive A, for instance) and you restore all the files that were on that drive to a 'new' A your edits will not be restored.  The catalog, I think, will have no data about the original A.  That's why I want a way to synch between drives and I think that should be part of the LR core.  BTW it is good practice to test the veracity of a backup by restoring the files to see if the backup is undamaged.  FWIW, when I finish edits I export that as a TIFF. 

                               

                              For a number of years I was a beta tester for a CAD program.  I had a hand in reshaping the program from what the developers made to what a user needed (beyond finding bugs).  But CAD is like virtually all other programs in that a file is a file and not a catalog entry.  If an edited file was restored it would be seen the same as the original file by the program.  Backing up the catalog was suggested, but I don't think the catalog would see any edits of files restored from a backup.

                               

                              Thanks for taking time to discuss this.

                              • 12. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                It seems that you are still not understanding the logic behind Lightroom. All of the adjustments made to your images are stored in the catalog. The images are left untouched, in their pristine condition as when they were imported. Of course, you always want to make backup copies of all of your images. But those backups are left untouched. If you work on your master images, and routinely back up your catalog, all of the adjustments made to your images are backed up and can be recalled in the event that your running catalog crashes. That backup should be stored on a different drive than the original catalog. If your images are lost through a disk crash or other untimely event, all you need to do is make the backup images available to the same catalog that you have been using, and all of the adjustments will still be in place.

                                • 13. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                  dj_paige Level 9

                                  ... but if all your edits die with a drive ...

                                   

                                  The catalog, I think, will have no data about the original A.

                                   

                                  Backing up the catalog was suggested, but I don't think the catalog would see any edits of files restored from a backup.

                                  aitches_2, no one said this is the case. These are incorrect statements.

                                   

                                  You need to spend some time understanding how Lightroom works, and then you will understand that if you have a backup of your catalog file, and a backup of all of your photos, then you can RESTORE everything simply by copying all of the files (catalog and photos) back to their original locations.

                                   

                                  Your analogy to CAD works for CAD. It does not apply to Lightroom. Your edits are not in the file. Your edits are in the catalog. You need both catalog and photos to restore everything.

                                  • 14. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                    aitches_2 Level 1

                                    Geez, all  want to do is be able edit  on different drives and synch them to a single catalog so from any drive I can see all the files that have edits (proof copies).  All the files will have the same names (ie _dscxxx_001.nef).I want to be able edit from any drive and I don't want to try to edit an already edited file.  Current catalog is specific to a drive/directory, hece why I wan a way to synch multiple drives.  I think I need to go the enhancements forum and pitch this as an enhancement.

                                     

                                    Thanks for all the comments

                                     

                                    ps my catalogs all reside on the network home computer hard drive and all photos are on any of 5 desktop HDDs  and there are duplicates on my NAS drive.  Lightroom should be flexible enough for artists to use it without having to become techno savants.

                                    • 15. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                      dj_paige Level 9

                                      Geez, all  want to do is be able edit  on different drives and synch them to a single catalog so from any drive I can see all the files that have edits (proof copies).  All the files will have the same names (ie _dscxxx_001.nef).I want to be able edit from any drive and I don't want to try to edit an already edited file.  Current catalog is specific to a drive/directory, hece why I wan a way to synch multiple drives.

                                      Perhaps you should also consider that Lightroom, as designed and as it currently exists, does not meet your needs and perhaps some other software would better meet your needs.

                                      • 16. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                        thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                        aitches_2 wrote:

                                         

                                        Geez, all  want to do is be able edit  on different drives and synch them to a single catalog so from any drive I can see all the files that have edits (proof copies).

                                        Again, if you use a true syncing software product and have all the data necessary (the LR catalog absolutely falls into this camp), you can of course sync newer data to the older data spread across any number of other cloned drives.

                                        Example: Drive A has all the necessary LR data as outlined. So does Drive B. You edit some images on Drive A, you clone to Drive B. They are in sync. You edit on drive B and sync back to Drive A. It's critical you sync the library of course, and all images, presets etc. There's no 'single' catalog so to speak. But everything IS in sync.

                                        • 17. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                          aitches_2 Level 1

                                          Don't want to add third party software.  LR can synch one folder, or even a directory.  It just needs a bit of code tweaking.  I've posted this to the enhancements board.  Thanks.

                                          • 18. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                            JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            It seems to me that you are just spinning your wheels, not understanding the Lightroom workflow. There is no need to have two edited copies of the same image. Your catalog contains all of the adjustments. You need to back up that catalog on a regular basis. When you display the images in Lightroom the catalog is read and the adjustments are applied to the image. It doesn't matter whether the catalog points to the images on drive A or on drive B. If they are the same images Lightroom will apply the same adjustments from the one catalog to either image. So as long as you have a backup of your images in case of a future disaster, and you are backing up your catalog on a regular basis, you should be good to go and feel confident that your work is secure.

                                             

                                            On the other hand, if you insist on having 2 edited copies of the same image the easiest way would be to create separate catalogs. But that doesn't mean that the images would look exactly the same in both catalogs because you might do things differently in one or the other.

                                             

                                            The purpose of having copies of the images on drive B is to have a backup in case something happens to the images on the other drive. You can always link the single catalog to the other images. I would suggest that you maintain the same folder structure on both hard drives.

                                            • 19. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                              aitches_2 Level 1

                                              Please bear with me here.  I only want to know which files have been edited.  I upload raw files to two drives.  I import the files from both drives into LR. (I backup the catalog once a week, BTW)  Usually I edit files on an external HDD.  If I open the copy files on the NAS, I will see only the raw file thumbnails.  There will be no indication that any of the files have been adjusted.  If I adjust a raw file on the NAS, and then select, in Library mode, the external HDD, I will see borders of files I edited there, not any file that I edited on the NAS.  These are duplicate RAW files created by my uploader.  They have the same folder name and file name, only the drive letter will be different.  

                                              • 20. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                Okay, one more try.

                                                 

                                                You import images to the external hard drive and make adjustments to those files. When you import, you are able to store a backup copy of those files to the NAS drive. If you compare the edited photos on the external drive with the photos on the NAS drive using anything but Lightroom, you will discover that the files are identical in every way. The edited files will be precisely in the same condition they were when they were imported even though they have been edited. The key file is the catalog. The catalog is where all of the adjustments are stored.

                                                 

                                                Now, let's assume that something happens to the files on that External hard drive. Let's just say that they get erased. The catalog still contains all of the adjustments. All that is necessary to do is to copy the images on the NAS drive into the original folder on the EHD. Lightroom will now see that the files are in place, and will display them with all the adjustments that are in the catalog. Again, the key file Is the catalog. There is no need to keep two copies of the edited files. The image files don't have anything at all applied to them. Everything is in the catalog.

                                                 

                                                This is a fundamental concept about Lightroom that you really must understand in order to use the program effectively. Maintaining multiple copies of edited files really doesn't accomplish anything because the files that you imported don't have any changes made to them by Lightroom. All of the changes are in the catalog.

                                                • 21. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                  dj_paige Level 9

                                                  You are causing your own confusion here. You are making your own life more complicated.

                                                   

                                                  Always work with one set of photos and not the other, and all of these questions and problems go away.

                                                   

                                                  Especially for beginners, keep your workflow as simple as possible. It's less work!

                                                  • 22. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                    aitches_2 Level 1

                                                    I know that if I have an edited file on one drive and want it on another drive I can copy the setting, go to the other drive and paste the settings to the duplicate file.  What I can't do (and please stop suggesting to not edit on more than one drive, because you don't seem to accept that is how I work and is the point of the whole exercise that LR has a shortcoming that I'm trying to overcome.  If the catalog would provide a global view of the files on every drive imported into it there would not be a problem.  It can't so there isroom for improvement.  

                                                    • 23. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                      JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                      You don't get it, and I don't know if you ever will. You never have an edited file in Lightroom. I repeat, NEVER. The changes only exist in the catalog. There isn't a shortcoming in Lightroom. You just don't understand the Lightroom workflow. You need to modify your workflow if you're going to use Lightroom effectively. I won't try anymore. You just have to try to figure out a solution on your own.

                                                      • 24. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                        aitches_2 Level 1

                                                        OK, the catalog will not show a global view of all the imported files on all the drives. That's what I want.  If I've been working in A drive and have 20 files with proofs, and I start working in B, I want to see the 20 files that have the proofs.  Now with the existing program, I'd see zero files with proofs.  For 40 years I was a practicing industrial designer and the challenge every day was to make things better.  Standing still was the same as going backwards.  It would help if you weren't so parochial and tied to the way things work now, forcing yourself into a narrow view of what is instead of imagining how things could be better.

                                                        • 25. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                          thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                          aitches_2 wrote:

                                                           

                                                          Don't want to add third party software.  LR can synch one folder, or even a directory.  It just needs a bit of code tweaking.  I've posted this to the enhancements board.  Thanks.

                                                          Then I can't help you further. LR can sync one folder yes, in fact many. But it syncs to one catalog.

                                                          • 26. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                            JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                            The irony of what you are trying to accomplish is that even if it was possible to synchronize adjustments to both sets of images, if the catalog was lost (accidentally erased or became corrupted) the adjustments made to both sets of images would be gone. You would be starting over on both sets of images.

                                                             

                                                            With Lightroom, if you want an image saved on your hard drive that includes all of the Lightroom adjustments within the image file itself, you must export a copy of that image. Lightroom does not apply adjustments to the master images.

                                                            • 27. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                              aitches_2 Level 1

                                                              Or write code so the catalog becomes self redundant. 

                                                              • 28. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                                JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                I don't know what you mean by that. But have you heard of backing up the catalog?

                                                                • 29. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                                  aitches_2 Level 1

                                                                  Jim, this discussion has become pointless and redundant.  Thank you for participating.

                                                                  • 30. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                                    JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                    You're welcome. But I'm curious. Have you even made an attempt to understand what we have been trying to explain to you? It seems that you don't have any concept of how Lightroom actually works. This is my last post in this thread, I promise.

                                                                    • 31. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                                      aitches_2 Level 1

                                                                      I knew you had one more insult left.  Way to not disappoint your fans Jim. 

                                                                      • 32. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                                        D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                        Jim isn't the only one left with that impression.

                                                                         

                                                                        Work with Lightroom, not against it, which you seem determined to do.

                                                                        • 33. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                                          aitches_2 Level 1

                                                                          I'm just looking for a more sophisticated catalog that doesn't require a third party drives duplicating/mirroring program.  Why not want the catalog to look for all instances of a file and update its internal database so that whatever drive you select in library mode will be up to date across all your drives?  With my luck Adobe will add this feature to LR 7 and make it CC only option.

                                                                          • 34. Re: How to synchronize multiple drives
                                                                            JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                            But it isn't necessary to do that. All you need is one set of instructions for a set of images. If you were to select the folder in the library module and update the folder location and change to the other folder containing the same images, all of the adjustments in the catalog would be applied to the images in the new folder location. If you switch back to the previous folder, the changes in the catalog are applied when Lightroom displays images in that folder. In either case, nothing has been done to the image files. Lightroom does nothing to the image files. If you need a copy of images to share that include the Lightroom adjustments you export a copy for that purpose.

                                                                             

                                                                            The only time images will be displayed with all of the Lightroom adjustments is when the images are displayed in Lightroom. Otherwise, the images remain in their folders untouched, unmodified, exactly the way they were when they were downloaded from the camera. So what do you expect to accomplish by having the adjustments applied to both folders?

                                                                             

                                                                            Yes, I know, I said I wouldn't comment in this thread anymore. And if you insist, I will completely withdraw. And if you are convinced that your feature is essential, here is a link to a website where the Adobe people monitor closely and answer questions. Maybe you will be able to convince them.

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