Jump to content

- - - - -

Sync LR catalogs...

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 adamhanlon


    Harbor Seal

  • Admin
  • 2171 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancaster, UK

Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:25 PM

I am after some feedback on an idea...


Like many, I have a desktop computer at home with large storage and backups


I also use a laptop while out in the field.


I like to have a number of selected images on my laptop, in case I am approached to provide work while I am away. 


Of course, these images get edited on one or other machine from time to time, or have keywords etc. added.


Can anyone think of an easy way to sync these changes automatically?


Has anyone any experiences of syncing catalogs on Dropbox?



Adam Hanlon-underwater photographer and videographer
web | Flickr | twitter | Linkedin | Facebook

#2 tursiops


    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 242 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:35 PM

My catalog and images are on a portable hard drive, which I carry with me and use when on travel and plug in while at home.

The catalog and images are simply backed up on the desktop, which in turn is backed up elsewhere.

#3 adamhanlon


    Harbor Seal

  • Admin
  • 2171 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancaster, UK

Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:42 PM

Thanks for the reply.


I have around 7TB of images and video so do not want to carry everything with me on portable drives!


When I am shooting away from home, I create a Lightroom catalog for the trip/assignment on a portable drive and then import that catalog into the main catalog on my desktop on my return. Backups will then run automatically onto multiple RAID drives.


What I am seeking here is a way of syncing catalog changes automatically for a catalog that only contains a small portion of my "master" catalog.

Adam Hanlon-underwater photographer and videographer
web | Flickr | twitter | Linkedin | Facebook

#4 errbrr


    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 362 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

Posted 03 December 2015 - 08:36 PM

You don't need all of the images available to use the catalogue. Drives/folders/files that can't be found will appear in preview with a little "?" on them. You could keep your current master catalogue on an external disk and travel with it, updating locations as you move files around and backup.


When I move the image files off my laptop I modify the lightroom location of those folders to the drive that they will sit on. The associated edits and stars and whatnot all move across to point at the image files in their new location. It works quite well.

#5 Tom_Kline


    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 967 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Alaska
  • Interests:fishes and invertebrates

Posted 03 December 2015 - 11:22 PM

The secret to having ones library on an external drive attached to a laptop is to use smart previews. This way one can export files without having the actual raw data. I have not done this myself but know that others have and may do this when I replace my antique laptop.

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Currently used housed digital cameras: Canon EOS-1Ds MkIII, EOS-1D MkIV, and EOS-1DX; and Nikon D3X. More or less retired: Canon EOS-1Ds MkII; and Nikon D1X, D2X, and D2H.

Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 200mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 60D, 150D, and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.



#6 Vondo


    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 143 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Illinois

Posted 04 December 2015 - 07:43 AM

I do something like what you want and it works fine for me. I have two areas that I use BitTorrent sync to keep up to date between a desktop, laptop, and another backup


The first directory is LRWork. It contains various subdirectories which contain photos I am working on (recent shoots/trips). It also contains Catalogs/ and there I have my master catalog, previews, and smart previews. This directory is kept on my laptops internal hard drive so its always available.


The second directory is Photos which contains all my archived photos that I am "done" with. Most of those I have generated smart previews of which allows me to work on them if needed, but not generate a JPG sufficient for a print. That is kept on an external drive for the laptop and is only fully available when connected. 


BitTorrent sync happily keeps all of this up to date across machines. The only key is that you have to remember to pause syncing when you start Lightroom. If you don't do this, its possible to get a corrupted Catalog. Should that happen you should have backups and BTSync itself will keep old versions. It's happened to me once or twice and I was able to recover with minimal losses.