Lightroom: Make file relinking smarter

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  • Idea
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • (Edited)
After restoring from a backup to a newly wiped Mac, Lightroom failed to find about thirteen thousand of my photos. The ~/Pictures directory, which holds all but a few dozen of those, has an identical folder structure to the ~/Pictures folder old Mac drive, though the username has changed. There are about five hundred folders of photos.

I know how to relocate missing files, I've had to do that far too often. But this experience is going to cost me many many more hours, and it shouldn't have to. I also know that I should move folders from within Lightroom -- that was not an option in this case. I don't want to delete them and reimport everything because there's too much added metadata and virtual copies to lose.

I desperately wish there was a way to do any of the following:

  1. Have Lightroom iterate through the path, directory by directory, checking all the links relative to that path, until it finds something familiar (i.e. everything under the ~/Pictures directory) and just relink automagically.
  2. Expand the scope of the "Find Nearby Photos" checkbox so that it looks in sibling and child folders, and relink automagically
  3. Allow me to tell it where my new Pictures directory is and ignore everything above that in the path
  4. Give me a way to query the database so that I can rewrite all the paths myself, replacing "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/oldusername" with "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/newusername".
  5. In the Locate File dialog it would be damn handy to prefill the Spotlight search box with the filename
  6. When the Locate File dialog appears, make it default to the last folder where a picture was found
  7. Fix the thing where it says the filename is different when it isn't
  8. Anything sweet Jesus please give me ANYTHING to make this suck less.

(And once you've figured that out, send the code to the Premiere Pro team, which has the same problem.)

Also: Occasionally, especially with photos laying around loose in the ~/Pictures directory, Lightroom would warn me that the filenames were different when they weren't. Not only does that cause a little speed bump in the process, it prevented it from finding other nearby files. For those I must relink them ONE BY ONE.

>bonk< >bonk< >bonk< <-- sound of forehead hitting desk

Lightroom 5.0, Mac OSX 10.7.5 freshly wiped, MacBook Pro with internal HD
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mike jennings

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Posted 5 years ago

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