Lightroom Classic: Ability to backup without exiting and naming them descriptively

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I wish there was a way to backup the catalog without having to close LR. Also, a way to name it so that I know what it was for. Currently, I have to close LR, go to the backup, create a subfolder with a descriptive name, and then move the backup into the folder.
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Dinyar Chavda

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Posted 6 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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LR has to be closed because the catalog is a database file that needs to be disconnected from LR to be backed up. Are you wanting LR to back up one catalog while you work on another, or are you asking for LR to restart after it has finished so you don't have to double-click on the LR icon as another step?

I always just use the same backup folder and the backup set has the date-time as its subfolder name. All the folders are backups of the same catalog so there's no need to have anything other than the timestamp as the backup set name.
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Phil Burton

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Fair enough, but that's a 'tech' answer.  The 'real answer' is to do a disconnect but hide that from the user, then do a re-connect but also hide that from the user.  While the entire backup process is running, display some sort of "please wait" message.

Right now, every time I exit so that I can do a backup, I have to incur the overhead of quitting and then restarting LR.  Save me that time.
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Robert Cullen

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You can save the extra "Open" command/click by the use of a script that still works with Lr-Classic v9.1
Just two mouse-clicks needed- 1) LLRelaunch 2) Backup
You will still need to wait for the Backup to complete!
http://thephotogeek.com/lightroom-power-nap-restart-script/

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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Assuming your hard drive didn't come from the ark, the time spent restarting Lightroom is minimal. Do you really want the engineers spending time on that instead of other popular requests?
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Cletus Lee

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Lightroom does not need to be closed to back up the catalog file.  Only the catalog file needs to be closed (this is the case on Exit because Lightroom is running to invoke the backup process and continues to run until the backup is complete.  At which time, the Lightroom app shuts it self down).  My Lightroom app stays open weeks at a time and never gets backed up because I don't need to restart my Operating System.   While some may consider this a user issue, it is a truth for most people.  Why shut down an app only to reopen it?  And why close Lightroom Classic if mobile Lightroom and the Adobe cloud has files waiting to be sync'd but won't sync as long as Lightroom Classic is not running?
As an app, Lightroom Classic can be open and idle for hours/days because it needs to be on standby to sync from the cloud.   The process could be the same as the Lightroom quit dialog with out the need for user intervention on backup.   

I would suggest that after 8 or so hours of run time and after an idle period of say 30 minutes, Lightroom Classic begin an automatic backup of the catalog file (the same process that already exists but omit the user confirmation dialog.  Then instead of Exiting the Lightroom Classic app, Lightroom reopens the last catalog.   The parts that need to change in Lightroom Classic is a new sentinel function to monitor run time and idle time before kicking off the Backup process.  The Backup process needs to be modified to omit the user dialog so that it will run unattended. And the backup process needs to reopen the previous catalog instead of calling the App exit routine.

This should not require more than 8 hours of programmer resource time and easily fit into the regular QA testing (although I sometimes doubt that Adobe employs any QA testing)
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Cletus Lee

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With a well regulated operating system, it is quite possible to go days, weeks, months without the need to reboot.   Lightroom Classic also has reasons why you would not want the app to be shut down.   Since Lightroom (cloudy) syncs with Lightroom Classic it is desirable to keep Lightroom Classic running in standby mode to receive any files that Lightroom (cloudy) acquires and needs to send the full size original to Lightroom Classic.  If Lightroom Classic is not running, it needs to be manually started to receive files.   When shooting with a "real" camera or phone camera in the field, I tend to import these on site to Lightroom (cloudy). Lightroom (cloudy) will sync them if Classic is in standby mode.  And they can be waiting cataloged into Lightroom Classic when I return to my desktop. 
The Lightroom Backup process is invoked from the Quit App process. It could just as easily be invoked by a sentinel process that monitors up time and idle time.  If LR has been idle for say 30 minutes and the app has been running for perhaps 8 hours,  the sentinel function could invoke the backup process. The only change needed in the backup process would be to set a flag to bypass the user intervention dialog so that the backup process would run unattended with the current backup parameters. 
Adobe probably already has a sentinel function. For instance the function that checks after a period of time for the user to have a valid subscription.   A few hours of a junior programmers time and the process could be slipped into the Lightroom Classic compile. 
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Rob Cole

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One way to backup (most of) your catalog without exiting LR:

1. Select all photographs.
2. Invoke "File menu -> Export As Catalog".

Export as backup in location of your choosing (with any name you want..).

The exported catalog will contain almost everything, but will NOT contain all publish service info, so you'd need to re-setup publish services if you were to do a whole-sale fall-back to exported catalog. Still, it has everything else, so perfect for recovery by importing..

I usually just save XMP as my "backup" between catalog backups, but exporting as catalog saves more stuff (pick flags, virtual copies, edit history, collections..).

Rob
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Dinyar Chavda

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I’m sorry, Steve, that I did not respond earlier. I must have missed notification of your response, but did get Rob’s reply.

What I was hoping for is the ability to periodically backup the catalog I’m working on, and have it save in the background while I keep working on the pictures. I’ve had LR freeze, and occasionally lost my work.

If I may add another wish, I often find myself unintentionally closing LR by pressing the Close (X) button, because I want to work on some other picture, and am so used to closing one picture and opening another (e.g., in PS, where a picture is in its own window). I wish LR would ask to confirm closure of the program when you click the red X! 

Rob, I think your suggestion would work—I’ll have to try it in my workflow. Question—if you wanted to save any Develop changes you’d made to the picture, would you have to export the negative files and previews also? I’m assuming the answer is yes, at least re the negative files, as you can always generate the previews.
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Rob Cole

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Hi Dinyar,

No need to export negative files in order to save develop changes, those changes will be in the catalog.

Just note, you need 2 ingredients to make a developed (exported) file:
1. Original imported file in expected location.
2. Develop settings in the catalog.

In other words, the exported catalog will have #2 only, unless you export the negatives along with.

What I am trying to say is:
* you don't need to export negatives too, as long as you still have them in the expected location.

Put another way: you can backup negatives too if you want to, but they don't hold the develop settings changes.

Dunno if I clarified or muddied !?

R
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Dinyar Chavda

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Gotcha! Thanks, Rob, that would make the export much faster than if I also had to export the negatives also.