Lightroom CC: Selective Sync

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I'm not a professional and have only used Lightroom for less than a year. I do love the redesign and I want to use it but I don't like the auto-sync. How hard would it be to implement an option that prevents auto sync and instead enables manual sync? 

My idea is to add a manual sync option in the settings and when you want a photo to be uploaded to the cloud you should be able to click on the cloud button and hit "Sync" or "Upload". Taking away people's ability to choose doesn't just scare away the pros but also the beginners. 
Also, some advanced features from the original Lightroom need to be added. One of them is the export function. The new export function is terrible. I only see "Small, Full Size, and Custom". The original Lightroom has a lot more export functions.
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Aaron Ramirez

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Posted 2 years ago

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Raju Rimal

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What happened to this thing. It is impossible to use Lightroom at my home. My upload speed is 0.5mbps and once it starts uploading all my internet gets jammed. I have added photos in Lightroom and now I can not control which one to sync. If I pause the sync, it will also pause any other share such as in portfolio. Hope they will fix this issue fast.
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Jeff DeNapoli

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Somewhat blown away that selective album/folder sync does not exist in this product. The storage price per GB is way high given the fact that people are already paying a subscription for the product. The "selection" of storage tiers is flatly offensive coupled with the price differential (100GB to 1TB?). And what about people with older computers (cloud sync ramps my fans on a brand new XPS15 with 32GB) and slow upload speed? This just does not make sense given that the feature would be trivial to implement. Someone in finance is being stubborn, but such is the state of the world in 2019. This is a cash grab by Adobe to wring even more money from loyal customers who've already been slapped around aggressively during a terribly confusing product launch/transition from the outset. You want people to switch to LRCC, make it worth switching to. There is a reason C1 is gaining traction, and it isn't just because PhaseOne got great at marketing all of the sudden.
(Edited)
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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The Lightroom formerly known as CC is a cloud-based app that leverages the cloud for more than just storage, but also for its features. Many of the features only work for photos that are in stored in the cloud.

Lightroom Classic is designed for local storage solution with some selective sync.

They're not asking people to switch, they're offering both workflows so people can choose which suits them best.
(Edited)
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Gary Nored

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There is no Lightroom Classic for Android -- only Lightroom.  And Android Lightroom does not even offer the option of not uploading, so they are demanding that all Android users keep everything on their overpriced cloud. Also, in my remote location, internet service is so unreliable and so slow that at my present advanced age, I could never hope to live long enough to see all this data make it to the cloud, and indeed, I don't want it there. I'd just like to use it to organize all the images on my phone.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Gary, you could pause sync to prevent uploading, but of course any organization you did wouldn't make it back to a desktop. 
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Jon Anscher

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I have to second what Jeff and Gary have said here. I want a usable photo editor and library tool on my iPad but that does not hold me hostage to exponentially increasing annual fees. I have nearly 800 GB of active photos in my library. Already, if I loaded new photos, I'd be pushing the 1TB limit. In 5 more years, I'll probably be approaching 2TB. After that I'd have to jump to 5TB which is $50/month for CC, $60 if you want Classic and Photoshop.

I don't mind just syncing the Smart Previews, so long as I could get the RAW files to my computer. But importing to my iPad causes all kinds of issues and manual management to keep the originals from taking up cloud space. And syncing from LR Classic doesn't keep all the organization I've done.

Anyway, this gets beyond selective sync now. I'm not necessarily opposed to cloud sync, but I don't want to be held hostage by their cloud storage pricing. Honestly, if they either offered cloud storage for far less (2TB for $10/month, 5TB for $20), I'd considering LrCC. Or if they offered real, whole library SmartPreview sync for LrClassic, I might stick with that. But at the moment, my loyalty is up for grabs to the first company to offer me an effective, semi-pro editing tool and library for the iPad that does not gouge me on storage costs.
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Gary Nored

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Well, "pausing" sync isn't a real solution, is it? Turning it OFF or ON is the only real solution. Even Google with its voracious appetite for everything it can get from you lets me decide when I want to sync.  And for allowing it to keep a copy of all your photos, Google gives you the storage free. Adobe wants to have all your pictures, and make you pay for doing it. Sheesh!
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Pause is essentially turning it off, just in different phrasing.

Nothing in life is free. Google will find another way to cover their costs for your storage, likely through advertising. Adobe's up-front about making you pay for storage. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

I support the request for selective sync. There are certainly some workflows that will benefit from doing so. I'm less convinced that it will turn out to be the ideal solution everyone wants, because it will cripple some of the clever stuff Adobe's doing in the cloud.
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Gary Nored

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No no. Pausing is not turning it off, "just in different phrasing." Not even remotely. Turning it off is a preference, it is persistent, it stays that way. Pausing it is not permanent and you have to deal with it every single time you invoke the app. And by the time you do that, pictures that you may or may not want sent, have been sent anyway.

As to free -- hah! Google is happy to have your data and to monetize it as they see fit. Adobe wants to have your data, monetize it as they see fit, and make you pay them to do it. The difference is significant. Moreover,  Adobe does not explain this "up front," at least in any clear and honest way. They do not tell you that they will automatically upload your entire phone to their cloud. They just do it, and then tell you to pay for the storage. It's a devious and underhanded marketing trick that no amount of "clever" things (that most phone users don't want anyway) can make up for. 

We are not talking about "workflows" here. We're talking about people's phones. The average consumer wouldn't even know what "workflow" means. What they want is what has been iterated repeatedly throughout this thread. They want an app to help organize, tag, and perhaps do light editing on their snapshots. They certainly do not want to try something out only to find that their data has been taken, without their permission, and to then be told that they will have to pay for it.

Finally, there is absolutely no way that making syncing an option could be less than ideal. With choice, anyone who actually wanted all that "clever stuff" could have it with a click of an icon. Those that don't need not click the button.

I'm glad you support the idea, but Adobe will never respond to this request, or any customer request for that matter. They never have.
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Jon Anscher

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Point of clarification: When you pause syncing in Lightroom Classic, it stays paused, no matter how many times you open and close the app. When I first tried Lightroom CC, I kept syncing paused in Lightroom Classic for months.

The same is true for the iOS app. Even if you close the app by swiping up.
(Edited)
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threesixty

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For me to use Lightroom CC, selective sync is a must-have.

I want an ecosystem that allows me to see previews or smart previews of all my images in one easily organized place on all my devices. But I only need active projects and a select few other images on the cloud, with everything always backed up locally.

Essentially, I want a unified system for viewing all of my images regardless of source — phone,iPad, SLR — that integrates seamlessly and easily with my Adobe CC Suite and my RAW workflow.

I don't want my 10 terabytes of data stored "safely in the cloud", as if there is such a thing.
(Edited)
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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If you have 10TB of data, is there a specific reason you want to use the cloud app, rather than Lightroom Classic, which is designed for folder-based photo management?
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Jon Anscher

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I, like threesixty, want the Smart Preview sync from Classic. I want to be able to sync the Smart Previews from my library to my iPad, including my organization and folder structure and all my photos. I also want to be able to import and go through the entire editing process on my iPad, though I’d be willing to accept local storage there, if the new iPadOS external storage implementation allows that.

I actually wonder if Adobe’s attempt to keep the two softwares connected is actually causing problems here. Let them be separate and give Classic a far more robust Smart Preview only sync. But allow photos imported on the iPad to sync back to the desktop or to a connected hard drive locally or via WiFi.

I’ve already got a robust backup system for my photos including unlimited cloud backup for $5/month through BackBlaze (that’s right, unlimited, I currently have 19 TB there, mostly in video content, though I recognize their average user will probably have much smaller amounts, but still, I can manage my own local + remote backup for my photos for much cheaper than Adobe’s rates). I don’t need to pay Adobe for cloud backup. I just want a library and photo editor for my iPad. And local storage for that would be fine. I already behave my Lr Library on an external device because I edit from two machines.

That said, I’m not opposed to cloud storage. There are some limitations there (problems with bandwidth over cellular, for instance, and having to choose between allowing all syncing or none, versus Smart Preview only). Just not at Adobe’s price structure. I’d also be fine bringing my own backup solution and Adobe just syncing the Smart Previews, or allowing local access via iPadOS (again assuming that’s possible, since the implementation is still fairly limited in iPadOS, I get that’s an Apple issue and Adobe hasn’t even had that option until now).
(Edited)
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Sebastian Matthews

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@Victoria Bampton (I don't know why this forum system is so archaic that it can't handle replying directly to a comment from a desktop browser, yet can from a phone, but hey, that's another story)

They want to use the "cloud app" because it's the only one available on phones and ipad to pass files on to desktopthreesixty literally listed their phone and ipad as devices they work across. Obviously, that means that if they want any form of Lightroom on those devices, it has to be Lightroom CC and of course if we want to sync any data between devices then we have to do so through the cloud. The problem then comes that we don't want to sync all our data every time.
This really is not a hard concept to follow and it bothers me greatly that people claiming to be experienced experts with Lightroom, let alone the designers themselves, are overlooking this kind of basic functionality.

- People want to use Lightroom across multiple devices, whether that's CC or Classic.
- People want to be able to sync some files—some, not all—between those devices.
- People want to be able to choose when their files sync, without having to awkwardly turn auto-sync on and off over and over.

It's a really straight-forward problem with a very straight-forward solution. Offer auto-sync as one option and manual sync as a second with a single button press, so we can choose whether we want all things to sync at all times or whether we want to sync only when we say. Then offer two more options: sync all or select which files to sync. Again, not hard. This is no different to moving individual files around in Lightroom Classic. How many of us have imported a whole bunch of photos off a memory card and only wanted to export a handful? Imagine if Lightroom insisted you had to export every file every time. That  is, essentially, what the current auto-sync does.

And yes, as Jon Anscher points out, it doesn't help that Adobe's cloud pricing is well above what other companies offer and that if someone did want to copy everything to a cloud system then they probably wouldn't want to use Adobe anyway, at least at the current pricing.

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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Sebastian, I'm asking because this is thread is tagged as a LR Desktop (aka CC desktop) thread, and many of the requests in this thread are for LR Desktop to do selective sync.

Lightroom Classic already has selective sync with the cloud (albeit more limited than we'd like) and is designed for large quantities of photos, so I'm asking questions to clearly understand the specific reasons people want LR Desktop for selective sync, rather than Classic. There are valid reasons for doing so, but there's also a lot of misunderstandings.
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Sebastian Matthews

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There don't seem to be any "misunderstandings" other than yourself not being able to get why people want 1) uniformity across application versions and 2) file syncing which is actually user-friendly. This really isn't complicated and doesn't need questioning; these are the sorts of design points which other developers of comparable software put in from day 1.
And given that this topic was first raised two years ago, in which time the many versions of Lightroom have traded names back-and-forth, I don't think it's much surprise that people may want to include versions of Lightroom in the topic other than the one explicitly tagged years ago; especially when, as pointed out already, some platforms have limited options as to which version of the software they can use and so we're expected to use all of them together anyway. (After all, using Lightroom's built-in syncing inherently implies you're trying to keep files consistent across multiple different devices, as syncing if you only use one version of Lightroom on one single device is pretty pointless; again, as Jon Anscher highlighted, if you're going to do that you may as well save money and backup to any other cloud storage service instead.)

I appreciate not everyone works/has worked in software development and/or plain isn't as deep into these things as some of us, but there's no need to be patronising. This is an extremely straight-forward topic and request.
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Gary Nored

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I think that Adobe addresses this issue just fine on the desktop. If you don't want or need syncing, use the classic version. In terms of the phone app, however, I would imagine that most people would not want syncing for a number of reasons. I did not notice that somehow this thread got a 'desktop' tag. It didn't start that way, so, as you say, the thread seems to have blossomed at some point. And my comments have been completely inapplicable to the desktop software. I just want to be able to use LR to organize pictures on the phone without putting all of my personal photos on the cloud. It seemed to me that that was an extremely straight-forward topic and request, but somehow it seems to have morphed into something much bigger and more complicated. Sigh ...
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Jon Anscher

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I think users have some use cases, which have been shared here and elsewhere throughout these forums. Adobe has already said they are not making any further changes to the sync functionality of Lightroom Classic, so some of us are hoping Lr CC Desktop might someday meet our syncing needs. And honestly, most probably don’t care about Lr Classic vs. Lr Desktop. Either one could meet the need if it were adjusted in one way or another.

I actually don’t think this is going to happen. So personally, I continue to remind Adobe of this use case. But I anticipate in the end, someone else will offer a solution to that use case and I’ll end up leaving Lightroom. Alas.

That said, personally, sync or no sync, all I really want is complete access to my photos on my iPad. It could be a new Lightroom Classic companion app that accesses my Lr Classic library off an external drive, for all I care. I just have this really cool and really powerful device, and I’d like to use it in something other than fringe cases :-P.

All that said, Victoria has always been nothing but helpful, and I’m sure she had no intention to make light of any of your use cases. In fact, she’s agreed with the desire for better syncing with Lr Classic in the past.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I apologize if you felt I appeared patronizing Sebastian, that is never my intention. 

There's a lot of different levels of understanding in this thread, and when people have only posted once or twice, it's impossible to know how much experience they already have. 

As you note, this thread has indeed gone in multiple different directions over the course of the last couple of years. There's multiple different requests and needs in this thread now. 

Many photographers asking for features in LR Cloudy don't realize that they can already accomplish their intended task using LR Classic workflows. That doesn't take away from the longer term feature request, but at least solves some issues in the meantime.

An explanation of people's workflows does impact on the feature request itself, for example, Adobe may decide that they don't want to add selective sync to Cloudy but with enough votes, they might change their mind on not improving Classic sync. Or requests on Classic sync improvements may turn into a Cloudy improvement that would answer the same need. That's why I ask for specifics.
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threesixty

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Hi Victoria - sorry for the late reply.

Work is always super busy and there’s very little time to be on forums.

Easy answer to your question, though Sebastian got the essence of it.

Adobe’s dev direction right now is Lightroom CC (Cloud)/Lightroom Mobile.

Which is fine — our work does demand a fully mobile-cloud integrated workflow and all the benefits that go with it, details of which I won’t bore everyone with here. 

But mandatory “all-cloud all-the-time” is a pretty klunky and rudimentary approach to cloud mobile integration and will make Lightroom CC an absolute non-starter for many professionals — including us.

Selective upstream sync is essential for us — and this issue has been noted by many working and teaching professionals in the field.

As you note, Lr Classic does have some upstream sync control — though there are significant gaps, and the interface is.... well ...(awkward silence).

With Lr CC/Mobile being Adobe’s current direction, don’t be surprised if that situation doesn’t improve much before the inevitable retirement of Classic at some time in the future.

Adobe may indeed make changes as they go (and robust community discussion is an important part of that process). Effortless and fluid selective sync is one of a number of features to enhance user control that will determine if we adopt it over other solutions.

Cheers

T.

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Peter Cappelletti

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Very well put threesixty. The only thing I would like to add is that ‘selective downstream sync’ (ie cloud to physical storage) is also of fundamental importance to my workflow and practices. The ‘all or nothing’ approach has broken an otherwise robust functionality in forcing a choice between 2 fantastic functions and operational benefits, ie the use of mobile/remote editing/display of Classic locally stored images with CC, OR cloud storage.