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How to Sync LightRoom between Laptop/Desktop?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by MrKal_El, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Mar 24, 2011
    Hey guys...I am an intermediate user of LR (currently 5.3)...but pretty beginner on the in-and outs of all the user customization's.

    Long story short...I finally upgraded to hi-rez laptop (Yoga 2 Pro) and updated my NAS to a fast one (ReadyNAS 312 4TB) and would love to know how it could/would be possible to sync my catalog between my desktop/laptop.

    I love the SmartPreview feature that allows me to store the RAWs on my NAS and not burn up my Yoga's SSD...so I wonder if I kept my complete catalog on the NAS, could I work on files on either the Laptop or Desktop and keep everything synced?

    If so...how would I set it up?
     
  2. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Images can be on a NAS but not the catalogue. To share a catalogue you could have it on a small external drive and just movee it between machines.

    Gordon
     
  3. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Mar 24, 2011
    After researching for a couple of hours...seems like this is the only solution. Would a small USB drive be sufficient?
     
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    That solution sounds good if you're on the road and using the laptop a lot. I have a Macbook Pro 15" that I travel with, but I don't travel a lot. I have 256gb SSD on the laptop. I basically just use that to build a small new catalog for each trip (with a small USB drive for backup) and then when I get home, I export the contents of the laptop and then import it into my existing catalog on my desktop machine. So I don't exactly "sync" the two - the laptop will never see vast parts of my catalog, but it does work to keep everything current.

    -Ray
     
  5. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Actually, no. It is very easy to use Dropbox or some other cloud synch service to keep copies of the catalog on multiple machines. You just can't be using the catalog on more than one machine at a time.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    +1 for Dropbox. All of my current Aperture folders are in Dropbox. Don't overthink your workflow.
     
  7. angusr

    angusr Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Sep 21, 2011
    I save my catalog to dropbox. Provided it is synced (which it does in 30 seconds or so, because it syncs only the changes), it works very well. I have also saved my presets etc with the catalog so they sync too. Because dropbox saves previous versions and because there is a copy on each connected computer, you get a degree of redundancy. You still need a separate backup, but your NAS will presumably do that.

    It works seamlessly only if your images are in exactly the same directory on each computer, same disc letter etc. (otherwise you have to 'update folder location' by right-clicking the top level in the library).

    It has worked well for me for 2 years, though it is not meant to be used like this so I take no responsibility if it goes wrong!
     
  8. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Yes, an important point. In my case all the photos are on a NAS drive and all computers access them there. The photos share is mapped to the same drive letter on every machine.
     
  9. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Yes, my Dropbox folder is mirrored on all my devices so moving/adding/deleting is seamless. I read the OP's post as the NAS being his desktop's HD rather than a backup. Good point about a separate backup.
     
  10. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Feb 25, 2012
    London
    Malc
    This might require some jimmying about on my machines with drive letters and symlinks but the dropbox option will really help here, thanks!

    Time to go read up on how mklink works again... :)
     
  11. angusr

    angusr Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Sep 21, 2011
    I tried symlinks but couldn't get it to work (never done it before). It is trivial, though irritating, to update folder location within lightroom when moving machines providing you have a top level folder for all of your photos in the catalog, so I ended up doing that instead. Then eventually when I reinstalled windows on my laptop I just made the drives match the desktop and all was good.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  12. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Mar 24, 2011
    Thanks for all the help guys! I think I will go the Dropbox method...
     
  13. mfj197

    mfj197 Mu-43 Regular

    80
    Aug 20, 2012
    Guildford, UK
    Michael
    If you keep the catalogue in Dropbox itself (rather than manually copying) you might want to think about disabling sync of the previews subdirectory. Dropbox will then sync the catalogue itself but not waste your bandwidth and online storage trying to sync all the previews, leaving preview generation to each computer.

    Michael

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
     
  14. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Mar 24, 2011
    Nice! Thanks for the help. Also, since my two machines are Window 8.1's I will actually use Skydrive (esp since I have 25GB with them).

    One thing I wonder about...If I import on one computer and it generated Smart Previews there...How would I get Smart Previews on the other machine to work on (if my NAS is offline at any point)?
     
  15. angusr

    angusr Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Sep 21, 2011
    Oh yes. I forgot about the previews. They will just automatically get regenerated on the new machine.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  16. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Mar 24, 2011
    Great...cant wait to set all this up next week.