Lightroom: Automatically move lower ranked images to secondary/ external drives

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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I wish Lightroom had a function you could set to automatically send lower-ranked images to a secondary or external drive.  I have an SSD with limited space, a secondary internal with some more and an external with almost unlimited space.  I constantly find myself juggling folders around to make sure I have enough rom to work when, realistically, I'm only dealing with 10% of the files in each folder.  Sure, I can move them manually but it's a pain in the butt and something a computer could do much better.  Plus, it would save having to duplicate folders trees (folders and sub-folders).
Case in point: I just went to Alaska for two weeks so had to clear my SSD of photos before going. I then shot a bunch of photos, which didn't fill the drive but, when I rendered previews, I suddenly had to move folders to my secondary drive to keep the OS humming.  If I was able to do a quick cull each day (and have those photos moved automatically) I wouldn't have ever had to worry about space and might not have had to do the purge before the trip at all.  Smart Previews are nice but this function would be so much more useful for my workflow.
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S L

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Posted 2 years ago

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Hans Douma

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I assume the SSD is your system drive ? It is good practice to have at least 60% free space to allow the system to run smoothly. It looks to me, your SSD is far too small to hold your photos. Buying a bigger SSD would be an option, either replacing the current one or in addition to the one you have now. On the other hand SSD's have a limited life span for writing, erasing and rewriting, so an external drive would perhaps be better. Cost per GB have dramatically dropped over the past years, so space shouldn't be an issue nowadays.
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S L

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It would seem to me that Adobe could deliver incredible value to their users by writing code to use existing (SSD) storage 90% more efficiently than expecting each of their users to shell out ~$3-500 for incrementally larger SSD drives as they come out.  I currently have a 500GB SSD and a 2TB spinning hard drive in my laptop.  I know I could add a bit more space but that's hardly nothing.  I'd much rather have Adobe automate a task that's a nuisance for me and, I suspect, for many if not most of their users.  I've yet to hear a photographer say they had too much storage available.
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Mark Heaps, Champion

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So if you filter by view, 1-5 star ranking, and then choose to move those to the external drive that isn't working for you?

I shoot massive amounts of photos, and once I go through and set my value on each photo I can easily choose to filter by ranking and just drag them to my various drives. 

I think your idea has merit, but as I tap through images ranking them; if it's auto-moving images while I'm still navigating through this is a heavy taxing on a drive/processor. Seems like a real risk for fragmentation too. Similar ideas exist in PhotoMechanicTM.
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S L

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So imagine culling your images and, at the end of the process, you don't have to do anything because the software's smart enough to do what you would have done with them anyway.  Plus you have all of your best shots from the last six months because you didn't have to move them to make way for the rejects from your last three shoots.  Yes, having Lightroom move files while you're working would slow the system so I'm sure Adobe's engineers could program it to move them at night or when your system is idle. The point is the software could easily accomplish a clunky task automatically.