Lightroom mobile iOS sync via usb with OS

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I am both asking questions, but hopefully giving ideas to Adobe to improve their mobile iOS product. If anybody has a solution or ideas, please join in, thanks.

Im not sure if Adobe has realised this, but the need and want of a growing number of photographers to move from laptops to iPad, particularly the 12.9 iPad pro is increasing and it seems as if the concept behind LR mobile and syncing is missing the mark terribly. Adobe wants us to work their way, but actual professional photographers don't want to work their way.

Without beating a dead horse, from the numerous tricks and hacks i have tried to use, from a automated macro touch tools to working with DNG's in certain way, the ability to export more then 15 images out of LRmobile at a time isn't going to happen. 

In the process of trying to put a work around together, I've learnt a few things and don't buy some of the excuses given by adobe in relation to this topic. 

We all know the way in which you get your RAW's or photo files in lightroom mobile off your iPad is by file sharing with iTunes, where it gives you ability to effectively copy the entire LRmobile catalog and original photo files onto whichever drive you have connected to your OS device. Interestingly when you open this folder once copied over, it gives you a Mcat folder amongst others, which is LRmobiles version of a LRcat file, the one that contains the catalog and edit which you can share with others. And even better, when you click on it, it automatically opens lightroom photoshop CC, which is the desktops version of lightroom mobile.

The truly sad part is that when it opens, non of the edits and original photo files from your iPad are included, it immediately starts syncing with the cloud. Even more sad, is when I look to import the original photos into Lightroom photoshop CC, it shows me the option of syncing photos from my connect device which is my iPad camera roll, meaning that the software actually can connect to my iPad. So here we have the perfect opportunity for Adobe to allow syncing via lighting to USB, coping across everything from albums, edits and RAW files onto the desktop version, to copying whatever is on your desktop version onto your mobile in the form of smart previews without any connection to wifi, done in minutes. 

The proof that desktop can open LRmobile Mcat file and can make connection to the ipad means there are no excuses. Those of us who travel the world for our photography job want to use big iPads, meaning I can leave my heavy macbook and wacom behind, but are too often in areas with no connectivity and want to able to complete and handover jobs immediately without returning home to do so. Even if I had connectivity, who has a connection that can sync 300gb of data quickly? 

Adobe Lightroom revolutionised the industry, transformed my work flow and made me better, now its like Adobe has dentists designing software, totally out of touch. I will happily pay you even more, make a professional version at a cost, so those who sync with their phones and so on can use the free version, while others use a full version.

So frustrated with Adobe. Watch this space, 15in iPads are on their way, powerful and ready for all kinds of work. There is going to be a change, while adobe is still trying to figure out sync.
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John

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Posted 3 months ago

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Antoine Hlmn

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Thanks for your message, summarizing what a big part is silently thinking.

From what you wrote, I understand 2 things, correct me if I’m wrong. First, it is quite easy to unload our raw files from an iPad though iTunes. Secondly, the edits are note taken with it since the catalog cannot be read by LR (whichever version). Even in dng, which should include the edits (?).
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John

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Thanks for the question.

Correct lightroom mobile does not write edits to RAW xmp or DNG (contained within the DNG) file. So all edits, settings and changes are stored within the catalog in the app and can only be extracted by syncing through the cloud or combined to the RAW through sharing as a compressed jpg with size limitation at 15 images at a time, no batch export.

To answer your first question, correct the way to get the RAWs you have in lightroom mobile off your iPad onto a drive connected to your desktop or laptop is through iTunes. Once connected via lightning to usb, launch iTunes, select the iPad icon top left and it lists all the apps on your iPad containing files able to be Copied. There you’ll see lightroom mobile. When you select it, it shows a folder with a strange long number/letter name. Select it
and scroll down to save. You can now choose to save it anywhere on your desktop or laptop.

Now on your desktop, open that folder and you’ll see the lightroom mobile catalog name, it’s a Mcat file. Under it is all the previews and so on that make up a catalog and at the bottom a folder called original where all your RAWs or any photo imported is kept. So in short this folder holds everything your lightroom mobile has, including edits.

When you click on the Mcat file, it opens lightroom photoshop CC on your desktop, which is the desktop version of lightroom mobile, but that is it, it doesn’t import or point to the originals or any edits in the same folder.

So adobe has the ability to view the exact catalog with photos and everything from lightroom mobile on desktop cc, but choses not to allow us the ability to swop catalogs between devices without their sync method.

Very frustrating.
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Antoine Hlmn

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Thanks for your reply.

Just for the record: yesterday, I came back from a shoot with 300 pictures, chich isn’t that much. It took me a couple of minutes to unload them on my iPad.

... it took me hours to sync them to LR CC and a have a fast connection (over 50 Mbit/s)

I can’t wait to struggle when I’m back of holiday with Go’s on my iPad
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John

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Thanks for the update, sounds about right.