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Best way to manage Catalog on Two Computers for New Input

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Cruzan80, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    So I am trying to figure out a new way of importing all of my pictures, and sorting and tagging them. I used to only be working on one computer (a laptop when we were abroad, and my desktop when we got home). Now, my wife has taken over the desktop for her work purposes. Since she is the only income now, I can't really justify kicking her off to do tons of photo editing (since it is a hobby). All of the pictures are stored on a network drive, but the laptop is far slower than the desktop (Core2Duo vs i7 2600K). So this is what I am trying to do:

    When I go out and take pictures, I have been moving them into a folder called Unfiled. From there, I will rate/tag/cull/etc and move them into the appropriate folder for more in-depth editing. I have been using Lightroom to manage all of this. However, the external drive is connected to the desktop she is working on. I don't really want to be pinging back and forth across the network to manage all of these files. Will smart previews allow me to move files, and then re-sync the new locations? Do I need to duplicate the file structure, then file and move after sorting on the laptop (problem being keeping the file structure on the laptop)? Is there another photo editing program that will let me do what I want? Ideally, I would want to organize them, then either send/connect the updates to the files, and they would move. I can then do the more in-depth editing in the evening, when she doesn't need the computer. I don't really relish the idea of moving the physical external drive back and forth between computers.
     
  2. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
    what I might do is keep the main computer your main catalog and when doing new images when you import into LR you could have that folder called unfilled

    in grid view on the main computer right click on the folder and then choose export as catalog and then check the smart previews and when done move both those over to the laptop
    where you can work on them do whatever you want to do when you are done one option would be just to send back over that catalog not the previews just the catalog file which will contain all the settings and stuff and then import that catalog into your main one and sync up your settings that way

    a few steps but would work

    sadly LR sucks for working across networks and such but smart previews have helped out a lot with that
     
  3. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    So that will take folder changes as well, when I re-import the catalog? I read about doing that on a blog site, but was unclear if it was just for editing, or would keep folder changes as well.
     
  4. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    This what I would do.

    I would first buy myself a very fast and large thumbdrive. Something like this. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226459. This is 240gb and is as fast as an SSD.

    I would keep my Lightroom catalog along with generated smart previews on the thumbdrive (the smart previews will allow you to edit photos even if you are not connected to the NAS). When not connected to your desktop I would store any photos imported to the catalog on the thumbdrive as well. Thos folders can then be moved over to the NAS when you next return to your desktop. I would stick with one catalog for both the desktop and the other computer - the catalog that is stored on the thumbdrive.
     
  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    If you're networked and using Windows, just install Microsoft SyncToy and you can easily sync the new files to the main PC folder. That's what I use to backup all my files on internal and external drives. It's easy and painless.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    So far, I think Synctoy may be the closer to the right way to go. If I stick with the Contribute option, it would then let me add new files from the laptop to the desktop's external, without risking any existing pictures. The only problem I then have is that I would need to empty the folders without destroying the file structure post-sync. But I think if I use the "Show pics in subfolders" and then delete the pictures from the laptop using LR, it would leave the file structure alone, correct?

    The thumbdrive is a great idea, but not sure if it would address the issues of moving the actual files on one computer, and having it reflected on the other. I should always have one available to use, it is a matter of wanting to file stuff on the second computer, and then have it done when I step back to the desktop. In this case, the only advantage would be having one catalog, which I could technically do just linking to the catalog on the desktop. Also, the laptop is old enough that it doesn't support USB 3.0, so the speed difference would be quite a bit.
     
  7. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Yes, SyncToy will allow you to do that. I also hope that you have more than one drive in which you store those files, so that if something goes amiss, you don't lose the lot.
     
  8. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I have two externals, one mirroring the second, and I have uploaded quite a bit to the cloud as well for long term storage. Looks like Synctoy would be the way to go then.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  9. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
    moving creating folders would make you when in the main one have to click and then say find the files so might not be good that way ?
    not sure moving folders is needed as much ? but everyone has there comfort levels :)

    to me folders only matter for my raws and final and album images otherwise its all keywords and ratings to organize

    much like iTunes changed the way we managed MP3 collections in the past where folders matter today everything is in iTunes and I just manage the files not the folders they are in

    look up some DAM photos on google and lots and lots of confusing and some simple ideas for managing files :)
     
  10. mrerics

    mrerics Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Nov 21, 2013
    US
    Eric
    One thing just to throw out there in case it comes in handy sometime is that Lightroom has the option to save its metadata to XMP sidecar files that tag along with your RAWs. While these files don't contain the history of edits and such, they do contain everything about the current state of the image that is normally stored only in the catalog. So if you're in a situation where you want to move files around and maintain your metadata without exporting and importing catalogs, XMP files can help with that.

    My situation is different from yours, but just to show an example of using them, the way it works in my household is that all photos I take are imported and edited on my PC with metadata written to XMP, synced to NAS, and then the family photos only are pulled from NAS to my wife's PC, where the Synchronize Folder command imports them into Lightroom and brings in my edits. If one of us edits the photos sometime down the road, the XMP files get synced, and Synchronize Folder will pick up the metadata changes on the other end.
     
  11. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I am guessing that this is a setting that I can check to do this? After using LR for almost two years, I find what I knpw about it is directly proportjonal to the workflow I have.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app