Lightroom: Online / Offline photos filter and smart collections

  • 3
  • Idea
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Implemented
I'd like to create smart collections or filter my photos based on this criteria.
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Vlad Plaiasu

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Posted 7 years ago

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Rob Cole

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What do you mean by online / offline?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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In the absence of Vlad, I would assume he means missing files (i.e. drive disconnected).
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Rob Cole

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Thanks Victoria.
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Rob Cole

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Library Menu -> Find Missing Photos will update a collection of offline photos.

Although not technically a smart collection (updated in real time based on metadata), it essentially serves the same purpose.

I think this FR/Idea could be marked "Already Implemented".
(to get a collection of online photos, just select offline photos, then invert the selection).
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Vlad Plaiasu

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If I may,
it is only partially implemented or it is a work around.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Perhaps you can give more detail about how Library Menu > Find Missing Photos doesn't meet your needs?
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Vlad Plaiasu

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Overall it fits my needs and I use it once in a while but I believe it would be very useful to have this option when create a smart collection and as a filter in the Library filter: Attributes.

I work intensively with smart collections and have several external hard drives. When not connected I'd like the missing photos out of my way.

I'm aware that for not very experienced users not visible missing pictures could be confusing or could cause panic, and also I'm aware that my workflows might not be shared by large numbers of users but I believe that having this filter/sc option at finger tips could improve Lr usability.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Your situation (external hard drives not always connected) is similar to that of others who want the ability to take a laptop into the field with a subset of their full catalog, do work, and come back and sync their changes to the full catalog. (There's a topic on that discussion as well.)
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Vlad Plaiasu

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Thx, I do go out with a laptop a lot and I have workflows for that situation. All I wanted from this topic was the ability to create smart collections and filter in library based on offline/missing photos criteria.
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Rob Cole

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It could be done. Its a little different than what's been done so far because it involves polling the drive and not just the catalog. So far that hasn't been done (e.g. 'Metadata Conflicts') but maybe its high-time for it... - It would not need to be done unless a collection or filter with such a demand were actually selected...

PS - I'd also like to see plugin-powered dynamic filters, which could implement this and any number of other things that involved more than queried catalog data.
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Bryn Forbes

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I think the drive is already being polled (if you yank a drive the files will change to missing after some amount of time)
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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On Windows, applications don't need to poll -- they can receive real-time events from the OS when drives, folders, or files change. Don't know about Mac OS.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Vlad wrote, "When not connected I'd like the missing photos out of my way.
... Thx, I do go out with a laptop a lot and I have workflows for that situation. All I wanted from this topic was the ability to create smart collections and filter in library based on offline/missing photos criteria."

Understood. But explaining the underlying reasons of why you'd like a feature will make it more likely that Adobe may satisfy your desire (in some way or another). Many users have expressed a desire for better support for working with multiple computers, in the office and in the field, and keeping everything in sync. If that's your underlying need for having the external drives disconnected, that would help Adobe understand better how they might evolve LR.
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Bryn Forbes

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I think the problem for me with the find missing files is that it is global to the whole catalog. If I could have a similar menu item for a specific folder (and subfolders) maybe that'd resolve my need for a smart collection of missing files. Though a filter in the filter bar for (missing, conflicting metadata etc) would be great.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Bryn wrote, " If I could have a similar menu item for a specific folder (and subfolders) maybe that'd resolve my need for a smart collection of missing files. Though a filter in the filter bar for (missing, conflicting metadata etc) would be great."

You can restrict missing files to specific folders by doing:

1. Library > Find Missing Files. This creates a special collection, "Missing Photographs", under Catalog in the left-hand pane.

2. Ctrl-click (Cmd-click on Mac) the desired folders under Folders in the left-hand pane.

In general, the Missing Photographs special collection can be intersected with folders, collections, smart collections, and filters.
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Bryn Forbes

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Thanks! I didn't know that! You can also synchronize a folder and choose show missing files. The drawback to that is that it has to sit and grind through the folder (same with the global missing files) which is where the smart collection or a quick filter would be really nice (though at the potential cost of ongoing performance hit as it keeps track of the files coming and going with external drives)
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Bryn Forbes

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It'd be great if the find missing files showed how many were missing in each folder (I'm thinking in colored text next to the number of files in each folder e.g. 104 (28) I wish you could do that for all searches actually.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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On my Windows 20K-photo catalog, Find Missing Files takes about 20 seconds the first time I invoke it after a reboot; it then takes about 5 seconds on subsequent invocations (because the OS caches the folder information in memory).

I think it would be great if LR tracked the missing status in background. But whether there is a smart collection, a filter, or the special command/collection Find Missing Files is independent of whether LR scans in background for missing files. On Windows, such background scanning can be done very cheaply in real-time using the OS notification of file-system changes; other applications such as Windows Live Photo Gallery use that approach.
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Rob Cole

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I like the idea of Lightroom tapping into the OS for filesystem change notification - Mac has similar capability as Windows in this regard, maybe even better(?) This would make real-time update of smart collections like metadata conflicts and offline/online easy as pie... Add to that the ability for plugins to get into the act (dynamically I mean, without having to manually update metadata before the effects kick in), and we'd really be having things...
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Bryn Forbes

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The reason that Find missing files is so slow for me (and why I want it on a per folder basis hence my using the synchronize) is that I have more than a million files in my catalog, so I fear that real time updates on that many files would slow lightroom down.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"I have more than a million files in my catalog, so I fear that real time updates on that many files would slow lightroom down."

The Any Filter plugin lets you filter based on whether the file is missing / offline.  You can filter just the photos in the currently selected source (folder or collection).   See the Library: Available criterion.   As a plugin, it's not as convenient to use as a built-in feature, but it does get the job done.