Lightroom: Store alternate folder locations in the library

  • 1
  • Idea
  • Updated 7 years ago
I use the same library (synced via a cloud storage service) on multiple platforms, both with Mac OS and Windows. Consequently, whenever I switch computer, Lightroom doesn't remember the folders and I have to "find" them again.

It would be great if Lightroom would remember the last few locations where a folder was, and would automatically find my files without manual intervention on all my computers every time I open up Lightroom.

In order to avoid problems with multiple of those locations being simultaneously available, they could either be stored on a per-computer basis, or in a prioritized list.
Photo of Guido Gloor

Guido Gloor

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 7 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Steve Sprengel

Steve Sprengel, Champion

  • 2657 Posts
  • 341 Reply Likes
I edit photos on two different Windows computers via an external drive and have the same drive letter defined for the external drive on both computers.

Is the same thing not possible with your cloud-synced storage location--the same root device name/latter and identical paths beneath?
Photo of Guido Gloor

Guido Gloor

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Not on different platforms, no. Mac OS doesn't have drive letters to start with. Storing the photo's raw files in the cloud as well would be silly for size reasons.
Photo of john beardsworth

john beardsworth

  • 1123 Posts
  • 266 Reply Likes
But your top level or "parent" folder could be the same or similar. For example, Pictures on a Mac, Photos on your PC's F drive. So all you'd need to do is re-point LR to one parent folder (or just a small number of top level folders).
Photo of Guido Gloor

Guido Gloor

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Yes, it's just one folder every time I change computer :) Still fairly annoying, and completely avoidable with a tiny feature :)

(I actually use the same external hard drive for the pictures themselves on all platforms, I share the Library through Dropbox because the external drive is slower when accessing the Library files and creates noticeable access lag.)
Photo of Steve Sprengel

Steve Sprengel, Champion

  • 2657 Posts
  • 341 Reply Likes
The current function of Update Folder Location works for any arbitrary folder in the hierarchy and having a recency list for each folder seems unlikely to be considered.

When I look at my folder list on Windows, there is a Device/Volume/Drive-letter line that has a health indicator (green, orange, red) and one of Volume-Size, Photo Count or Status or nothing. Is it sufficient for you to change the value of this device/volume/drive-letter item and have a recently-used value list associated with the change, or does some part of your file-path also change when you move from one Mac to another. On Windows or a Network only the top level value changes, and not any part of the path, but I'm not sure about mount-points and such on OSX.

If only the top-level device/volume/drive-letter changes when moving from one computer to another like on Windows, then I can see Adobe considering the request because they may have already abstracted the this top-level value in the folder panel, or if they haven't they'd merely need to, which wouldn't be that difficult. However, if some part of the initial path also changes and it is arbitrarily long, then I could see this being more of a hurdle because the path is stored with each photo and could be arbitrarily different for each photo so understanding how much of the path to cache would be less clear in the general case.

Maybe the request should be more general and just be: make it easy to swap the same external drive of photos between multiple computers without having to Update Folder Location and browser to it every time and let Adobe determine how they want to do this.

A reason Adobe may not want to do this would be that without license enforcement (LR calling home every time you start it up to see if you're running the same serial number on more than two computers) like they do with Photoshop, facilitating using LR on multiple computers would make piracy easier in a office where there are more than two people working on photos, but only one of them at a time. If you have to change the folder path every time you swap between computers, maybe you're less likely to pirate the software--I don't know as someone would be dissuaded by this, but perhaps Adobe thinks along these lines.