Lightroom Classic: Auto Sync folders in LR? Why not make it a pref?

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In Lightroom, if I have a folder that is already part of the library it would be really helpful if that folder would synchronize automatically. It seems silly that I have to manually do that when I might add photos to the folder via export or other means.
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Steve Gandy

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Posted 7 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Are you imagining this capability for one special folder or as an attribute for an arbitrary number of folders?

Synchronize adds new photos and/or removes photos that don't physically exist anymore and/or looks for differences between LR's version of xmp metadata and the sidecar version of the xmp metadata and updates one or the other based on what it finds different.

Are you imagining all three of these functions happen automatically with arbitrary frequency? Are you wanting an Import panel or a Delete confirmation panel to appear every time a new file arrives or an existing image is deleted outside of LR while LR is running, or are these operations supposed to happen without user intervention?

Exports already have a way to put the new output files back into the catalog as the Export happens, and with Auto Import Folder settings you can move, but not add-in-place, externally added photos from a single external folder into a catalog as the photos arrive, which is useful for tethered situations.

Do you typically manage all your photos in one folder and want LR to keep track of new and deleted photos without bothering you with confirmations every time something changes, or what would a typical workflow be for you that an Auto Synchronize preference would help with?
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Steve Gandy

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Those are all interesting questions. And you are obviously more knowledgeable about LR than I am. I have just finally moved to it after using Bridge/Cam Raw for many many years.

First, I was unaware of the "place in catalog" function in the export dialog. A small checkbox that I overlooked, I guess. That solves a lot of my problems right there. Thanks for pointing it out.

I still think it would be a nice feature to be able to turn on/off on specific folders to be monitored. For example I don't use LR to import from my memory cards as the naming function can't seem to keep track of my increment number as Bridge does. I guess that's a feature request right there! I don't understand why LR can't count!

So, I use Bridge to copy images to disk and name them. Then, I'd love to see my "working" folder (where all my new images live until I deal with them) update automatically with those new images but I certainly wouldn't want to see a confirmation for every image. Maybe it could just check periodically or something. I guess that it would be nice to turn the switch on/off with a right click on the folder in question.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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If you really want to Synchronize several folders at once, then put them all under the same parent folder and synchronize the parent folder.

If your remaining issue is merely getting LR to automatically import images INTO a single or rarely-changing working folder, then use Bridge to rename and then move the images to a LR Auto-Import folder outside the LR folder structure but have the LR Auto-Import configured to then move-import the images to the current working location--a two-folder process because LR doesn't auto-import in-place.

As far as LR naming images, if you mean LR does not contain a global counter, that is likely because LR is multi-threaded and can be doing multiple imports at a time, so a single global number wouldn't be incremented properly across multiple imports.

An alternative solution to having a single number to create unique filenames, if that's what you're trying to achieve with a global sequence number, would be to include a shoot-name, a timestamp, perhaps a camera-designation, and a sequence number, in the filename, so it'd be unique across all cameras at a particular shoot. If your situation is more complicated, where you are receiving many photos from many photographers across many timezones, the naming might need some adjustment, but it is easily possible to have unique names w/o a global sequence number.

Personally, I only use one or two cameras, and don't take pictures for two events simultaneously so I only make unique folder names and ignore the filenames being the same amongst different folders over the years. In other words my photo organization is hierarchical and consists of both folder names that have date and shoot name containing file names that repeat every 10,000 pictures.. I have yet to take that many photos in a single shoot with a single camera, but if I had, then I'd probably rename the IMG prefix for the second instance of the same sequence number to IMH so things would still be in order and unique within the folder which is all the uniqueness my filenames require.

If your organization actually NEEDS a flat organization with entirely unique filenames over long periods of time for indexing requirements then make the filename consist of multiple semi-unique parts as described above so the combination is unique across all filenames.
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Franklin

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Hello,

Thought I'd start a new topic for this one.

I am noticing that when I add images / image sub-folders to my windows 7 explorer image folder, that the LR3 catalogue, which was based upon this main folder (i.e. i imported this whole folder to establish my LR catalogue), does not automatically reflect the changes in terms of adding new sub-folders and new images.

I am aware of the auto-update feature in LR but as I understand it, this forces you to create a new empty folder, which I don't want to do. Also it apparently doesn't monitor sub-folders. I am just wanting to maintain my windows explorer 7 image folder / sub-folder structure.

I have installed "Jeffrey Friedl's Blog » Jeffrey's “Folder Watch” Lightroom Plugin" but haven't gotten it to work.

Any solutions or or work-arounds would be much appreciated. Thanks.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: How Do I Get Lightroom To Monitor Windows Folder / Auto-update Catalogue?.
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Dariusz Kotarba

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Hi.
This is suggestion.
Many "watched folders" - for example first for colour images from my microscope and second for b&w images from other camera, of course with other develope settings.
And next suggestion - add crop (specially proportions for me) to develop settings.
Thanks. Darek

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Ability to have multiple watched folders with separate crop to develop settings.
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Bethany O'Connor

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I recently made the jump from Picasa to Lightroom, and am very happy with the upgrade, except for one thing that drives me crazy. When I edit in PSE and then save the image, that edited image shows up in Lightroom, no problem. HOWEVER, if I then want to edit the picture differently and save it again, as a copy or as a completely new file name, it doesn't automatically pop back into lightroom. I have to save it to another folder, have Lightroom monitor that extra folder, wait for LR to auto-import from that folder, navigate to that new folder, find the file, navigate back to the original folder, and move the picture back to the original folder in my catalogue. This drives me nuts. How do I get Lightroom to automatically see that I have added new photos to a folder that is already existing in my catalogue?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How to get Lightroom to auto-import when new files are added to a folder that is already existing in LR.
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Christian Fürst

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I suggest LR should automatically synchronize folders. why doesn't LR4 what other Adobe Photoshop programmes are doing?? also, when exporting into the same folder or any other folder of your catalogue, the box regarding writing into this catalogue should be automatically ticked. If and when I export to an external media (why doesn't LR use the internationally accepted termes "move" oder "copy"???) I can easily "un-5tick" the box.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Automatically synchronize folders.
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Rene Maurin

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Simply - Bridge and Lightroom should be merged into one app. Now both are limited and there is no real reason why one app couldn't do both ...
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john beardsworth

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One tells you what is currently there, the other tells you what should be in the folder location. This means LR records the existence of files, even if something catastrophic happened to them. It's a record of what you should have, and its querying is much more powerful as it's against a database.

Also, Bridge isn't just for photographers. It's as much for others.

So "simplistic" rather than "simple"?
(Edited)
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Rene Maurin

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What should be there? You mean so you can lament your fatal data loss in greater detail? There is no value in “what should be there”.

As for Bridge - I never saw anyone but photographers use it and I work with designers and moving media creators each day.. 99% of it’s features are photo-centric. Beside - they don’t need to kill Bridge just borrow the missing features and bring it to LR ...
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john beardsworth

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The value is that LR alerts you of a problem and provides confirmation that you have correctly restored the photos from a backup or elsewhere.

99% photo centric??? That's a joke, right? Bridge's name is a big clue about Adobe's intentions.

Certainly LR could use detailed features from Bridge - ones that quickly come to mind are its renaming feature (the string substitution), writing video metadata, and the Image Processor. But there are clearly-defined roles for a Finder/Explorer browser and a database-driven cataloguing application.
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Rene Maurin

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I fail to see what bridge offers for InDesign, Premiere, Illustrator and such that good old Finder doesn't. OK, I admit - I do not know how Windows handles it so perhaps it is valued in PC environment but in Mac landscape, I never met anyone but photographers using it ... Perhaps I am oblivious - would you point me to some Bridge features that are crucial for the use of other Adobe products? 

Renaming is the least problem I have with LR - the biggest problem the cataloguing approach that is obsolete. There is no point having file management that does not reflect the finder structure beside in very consumer-oriented apps like iTunes and such. It namely just adds to confusion which happens with large photo libraries as it is. For sub organising, we have other tools like tags etc and filters. There is no need for alternative methods like catalogues, projects or no matter what they are called. 

And it doesn't end here - Adobes strategic and conceptual confusion shows even by having two Lightroom products. Utterly silly. And another thing is ACR which is basically LR without the organizer and plugins compatibility. So now I am forced to use LR just because I need one plugin that ACR will not take.

Go figure, but in my view, they need some pruning ...

But well, I guess everyone has their own perception - I only wish LR would simply have the finder like nature of BR or ACR would take plugins ...

Cheers mate! :)