Lightroom: Identify and notify me promptly about photo issues...

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  • Idea
  • Updated 4 years ago
There are a multitude of problems that can occur - many are being detected, but not reported. Some are not being detected at all.

e.g. Missing files.

If I have a photo in my catalog, and the file is missing, I'd like to know about it immediately, not at the point when I need to edit, or export, or move the photo...

Metadata conflict is a less severe example, but still fits in with this general idea.

One possible idea for handling:
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If something is amiss: add it to a collection and notify me. That way, I can go through and deal with all the photos with missing files, or metadata conflicts, or missing camera calibration profiles, or whatever...

Summary:
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I'd like to see photo problems detected and rounded up for remedy.

Note:
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There are 2 classes of problems one can imagine: catalog integrity issues and individual photo snafus. Although I'd like to see both issues addressed, the former has a separate feature request - this one is about the latter.
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Rob Cole

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  • hoping to know about problems sooner, rather than later...

Posted 7 years ago

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Mark Sirota

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Missing photos (and especially missing folders or offline disks) are sometimes part of the normal workflow. I wouldn't want to be interrupted by alerts about this.
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Rob Cole

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It would be easy enough to program it to handle that case.
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jdv, Champion

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The problem is that photo specifics are not generally visited until you indicate you wish to do something with that photo.

i.e., it is probably not known that a photo ref is missing until you try to dereference it during normal operation.

No one wants to wait on startup for Lightroom to verify each reference.

That being said, the normal catalogue backup and/or catalogue optimization could gather some of this, and then display an indicator in the Library view.

But we are not likely to see a real-time "something is wrong" for most photo problems.
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Rob Cole

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It could be done in background, or along with optimization - no need to interfere with user's work or delay during startup... (see John Ellis response below).
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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There are well-known techniques for applications to monitor file-system changes efficiently. On Windows, for example, the date-modified attribute of files is stored in the directory, making background scanning of directories for changes inexpensive; Windows can also provide applications with event notifications of file-system changes.
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jdv, Champion

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It isn't finding the discrete on-disk files that have changed that is the problem. It is finding and indicating when something, perhaps related indirectly to those discrete files, has gone wrong.

That is, there still needs to be some operation on the Lr side to visit the reference and follow all the ways things can go wrong.

And how to we determine what set of these photos to care about? How do we sync up Lightroom and the FS in a manner that it can use these additional calls without getting wedged into a corner where starting up Lr takes forever because it thinks 50% of your photos need to be visited?

The tech might be there, but the implementation is going to add all kinds of overhead and pathological cases. Expect more complaining and patient explanations and crufty work-arounds on the public user forums.

And I really think you are being a bit kind to both environments Lightroom runs on. Both NTFS and HFS+ offer very little in the way of verification for many file IO operations. Now we'd have to trust that yet another set of calls is trustworthy in a situation where the original problem may have already been caused by an undetected IO problem.

And all of this only to potentially find a subset of per-photo issues, some of which may be completely out of context of file IO operations.

Sounds like a lot of brittle code to maintain without getting much in return.
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Rob Cole

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If the trouble of doing it in background is too much, Adobe could easily build this into an on-demand function. I like John Verne's idea of making it part of the optimization function. I trust Adobe could come up with an acceptable solution to the problem which is:

At present, there is no way to determine where a multitude of easily detectable problems lie, without visual inspection of each and every photo, and even that only reveals a subset of detected problems.

Here's an example of some checks I'd like to see, off the top of my head:

- Missing files (e.g. photo & sidecar).
- *Missing profiles (at present, Lightroom detects this, but the user doesn't get to know about errors - a default profile is applied instead).
- metadata conflicts (might as well toss in a collection for "needs to be saved" and "needs to be read" too - can't hurt).
- reverted labels (photos assigned labels from a set that doesn't exist in present catalog silently revert to a different label).

*AdvancedColorEditor can detect and notify user of missing camera calibration profiles.

Now that I've articulated the problem, I'll probably write a plugin to do as much of this as I can, but I still think this should be native in Lightroom - I don't consider it niche functionality.

Rob
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Rob Cole

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Add "corrupt image" to the list.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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It's been there forever. Ok, it was in the Synchronize dialog before that, which was a daft place.
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Rob Cole

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I meant: "what took *you* (Victoria, or somebody else) so long to point it out ;-}
(not: "what took Adobe so long to add the feature").

There is another FR/Idea for Adobe to implement a smart collection for "offline" photos, and nobody mentioned the "Find Missing Photos" feature there either.

Am I the only one who finds this puzzling?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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What took me so long? Oh, I don't know, working 24/7 on other things too. Not always having time to read pages of long replies to threads. Assuming someone who knows LR as well as you guys might have come across that one and not wanting to state the obvious. I could just say I was testing you! ;-)

Threads develop in different directions, and sometimes good ideas come from just letting them roll for a day or two. Who says that menu command is the best way of doing it. Someone may have come up with a better implementation.

Anyway, I still agree with the idea of finding corrupted photos and missing profiles in the same way.
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Rob Cole

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Victoria,

I apologize for the confusion. It was not my intention to single you out, but to clarify:

Part of this feature request / idea was to identify missing photos, and it was made over a month ago. And *nobody* pointed out that the feature to identify missing photos already exists.

Sorry if I caused any additional stress for you,
Rob
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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No issue Rob.
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Rob Cole

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Although my original request was for background processing, i.e. tell me, so I don't have to keep asking..., I would be happy enough with a thorough on-demand check. Since my recent discovery of the "Find Missing Photos" feature, I'd like to propose the idea that this feature be generalized to: "Find Problem Photos", where "Missing File" is just one aspect, and "Missing Profile" is another, along with "Missing Label", and "image check-code does not validate" (aka "image is corrupt"), (add check-codes for non-DNG too). And, add option to check structural integrity in the absence of pre-existing check-codes.

Bonus Idea:
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Add a check-box in preferences for 'Always check for problem photos after startup (and notify me of any anomalies)'. To be clear: I don't mean "present a blank screen or a modal dialog box until its finished", I mean "asynchronously". Double-bonus idea: have a similar checkbox in the backup sheet. Kinda like the camera's "auto-clean sensor: upon startup, shutdown, or both"... - once you check one or both of those, you no longer have to remember to initiate manually/periodically...
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Metadata Status is now available in the Metadata Filter bar in Lightroom 4 beta.
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Rob Cole

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Awesome! - although now what am I going to do with SQLiteroom? - Gonna have to think up some new queries I guess...
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Rob, can I mark this one implemented? Or are there aspects of what you are asking for missing?
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Rob Cole

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Thanks for asking - I'd say "not yet":

Metadata status is only one of many possible issues a photo can have.

Others that remain:
- Image is corrupt (e.g. unreadable / adjustable).
- Image is missing (I am aware this may be OK, but it may not be...)
- Image is missing camera calibration profile (and is assuming a default)
- Image is missing lens profile (and so profile-based corrections are not being applied).
- Image label is not represented in current set (and has therefore reverted to white for now).

I can't help but think these sorts of things would be well handled along with catalog integrity check / repair.
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Babar_e

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You could add a
-image was modified in a pixel based editor (using a MD5 checksum on the image data only - ie not on the entire file that contains metadata as well)
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Duncan Fawkes

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When there are problems with an image file (e.g. file missing, file can't be read/is corrupt, sidecar out of sync, can't write metadata) then an icon appears on the thumbnail of the image warning you of a problem. Unfortunately there is no way to get a list/collection of all the images that have such warnings so that you can address them - you only realise there's a problem if the thumbnail happens to be on your grid. With 40,000 images in my catalog it's likely that I'll never see all the warnings that might exist (obviously I would see them as I'm working on an image).

It would be really useful to add "warning" (ideally with a category) to a filter/smart collection so that I can see and resolve all such problems as soon as possible (e.g. before problem files get replicated to all my backups, possibly overwriting good files).

Further, it would be beneficial from a DAM and data integrity perspective to be able to have Lightroom go through all the images in the catalog to verify that they are 'ok' such that you can check for any problems over time (caused by e.g. a failing drive).

A recent use case for this is that I was on a 6 week trip with my laptop and shot 6000 images. When I returned I imported that catalog into my main catalog. My notebook isn't very powerful so I don't convert to DNG in the field. Doing so at base showed a number of images (using the File Type filter) that couldn't be converted due to corruption. Now, I'm investigating the source of the corruption - fortunately they are still good on my laptop - but I would still like a way, once I've imported the catalog, for LR to check that all the files are usable and warn me of ones that aren't so that I can address the problem there (and before I delete the originals from the laptop at some point in the future).

To me, ensuring the integrity of the image files at point of ingestion and on an ongoing basis is as important as cataloging them and not having this feature is a serious failing in LR IMO, albeit one I didn't realise existed until I had a problem!

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Add ability to list all photos that have associated warnings.
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Rob Cole

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Lens profile validation can now be done using a script named

'Validate Lens Profiles'

free by me here:

http://www.robcole.com/Rob/ProductsAn...