Automated Sync & Backup to external drive

  • 4
  • Idea
  • Updated 2 years ago

Backing up photos, raw adjustments and entire catalogs is a critical concern for anyone that has invested considerable time, money and effort to create their final photographs.

Would it be possible to add automated Sync and Backup to external drive ?

I use LR on my desktop and laptop, but the problem is that I know have 2 different catalogs. It would be a nice backup feature to synchronize changes made to photos among devices or group users so we don't end up with multiple catalogs and photo versions.

Many users would appreciate a viable backup strategy to protect LR catalogs. 

Photo of John Plevritis

John Plevritis

  • 23 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes

Posted 2 years ago

  • 4
Photo of Reinard Schmitz

Reinard Schmitz

  • 55 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes
Some considerations:

1. Where are your photos? Each PC/Laptop must have access to the photos.
2. If they are already on an external HD, just put the catalog also there. Backup this HD to another one. 
3. If they are on different internal HD the catalogs must be different and can't be synced.
Photo of John Plevritis

John Plevritis

  • 23 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes

Hello Reinard, and thank you for your feedback.


Many user work on their files on multiple devices i.e. computers desktop at the studio, laptop on the road, mobile devices on the go. The problem is that you end up with some photo changes on one device and other changes on another device. It would be great to save all you hard work on 1 master catalog and require only 1 backup instead of indviduale device backups. 

If a user could sync between desktop and laptop catalogs into a master catalog on an external drive that would be awesome. This way all that would be required is to choose between an incremental or complete backup of the master photo vault and selected catalogues.

Backing up a complete catalog and DNG's can be very time consuming depending on size. Incremental backups can save time and improve workflow. 

If I recall correctly, there is a third party that offers sync and backup but their solution involved saving all files to their cloud and it was expensive. Also, it wasn't integrated from within the LR application.

Syncing catalogs improves workflow and backing up is a safety feature. I am confidant that Adobe engineers can add a fully integrated Sync and Backup feature into LR.  


   


Photo of Reinard Schmitz

Reinard Schmitz

  • 55 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes
Sorry, but this will not be possible. The only way to solve this problem is to hold all your photos on an external HD together with the catalog and use this as a working disk connected to the machine you are sitting in front. To backup this HD incrementally to another HD is easy and is done within some minutes. I am working with a catalog with more than 250.000 photos....
Photo of Paul Plak

Paul Plak

  • 138 Posts
  • 19 Reply Likes
Catalog management and syncing is a major issue. We have very little information about the limits of catalog size, how it is affected by number of photos, number of edit steps to RAW, etc.  So it's just guesswork about the best way to organize them. We need some meta catalog keeping track of all photos, and referring us to the right catalog to re-edit some pictures when needed.
Photo of Joe Boxer

Joe Boxer

  • 17 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
If you have a paid DropBox account (you'll need it for the space requirements) you can keep your LR Catalog and all your photos on DropBox. It will be synchronized across all computer where you've installed DropBox. See Victoria Brampton's article on how to do this with DropBox as well as other workarounds. http://www.lightroomqueen.com/how-to-lightroom-catalog-multiple-computers/

BTW - If you don't already have her eBook "LR The Missing FAQ" - BUY IT! Best money I ever spent.
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 3808 Posts
  • 1261 Reply Likes
Thanks Joe, glad you like it!
Photo of John Plevritis

John Plevritis

  • 23 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes

Hi Joe,

Dropbox sounds fine but you will agree that uploading more than  2 Tbytes of photos will take days ... I would prefer an in-house solution where I can use my local network. Logging on to a private network and syncing to a local master catalog has reduced risks.

The second issue is lag time to access my files. Dropbox can take forever to retrieve large files that are post processed with Photoshop.

I prefer to have control over storage of my own work and not have my files stored on someone else's cloud. I  would love to find a worthwhile solution to sync and backup without having to deal with additional vendors or internet lag to download/upload files.

BTW Thank you for the link to the lightroomqueen


Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 3808 Posts
  • 1261 Reply Likes
John, if you follow the instructions in that link, you can put your catalog and photos on an external drive, which you can plug into whichever computer you're using at the time. It's the simplest solution (currently) for your request, although I get the longer term request too.
Photo of Reinard Schmitz

Reinard Schmitz

  • 55 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes
As I described before...
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 3808 Posts
  • 1261 Reply Likes
So you did, apologies for missing that Reinard.