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Sync Disk Usage for Sync with Lightroom CC

Les T

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Operating System: Mac OS 10.13.1
Exact Lightroom Version (Help menu > System Info):
Lightroom Classic version: 7.0.1 [ 1142117 ]
License: Creative Cloud
Operating system: Mac OS 10
Version: 10.13 [1]

Like many others I have been experimenting with Lightroom CC and the syncing with Lightroom Classic.

Could someone point me to an explanation as how disk space is used with Classic when syncing with Lightroom CC.

As I loaded photos into Lightroom CC and albums created I saw new Collections appearing in Lightroom Classic. Showing the sync icon to the left. This looked good and worked OK. Collections are pointers so I thought there would be a small hit on disk usage.

I then noticed in Classic the "All Synced Photographs" count seemed to mirror the contents of Lightroom CC. Again I thought that was OK this number is just a count. I them looked into that list and opened Finder to show where these were stored. Low and behold they are held in a package called "Mobile Downloads.lrdata". My understanding is that I had just duplicated all the Lightroom CC photos on my MacBook.

I obviously don't want this to continue. Is there anyway of removing these copies as well as syncing with Classic?

Additionally I took one collection that was synced and turned off the sync. I was warned that this would remove the album from all devices. Sure enough in Lightroom CC that album was deleted. The photos were still on CC under All Photos.

As a fall back I would like to stop syncing with Lightroom CC but retain what I have in CC.

The Classic Preference setting has a Lightroom CC tab. This has a Delete Data button. What exactly does that delete?
 
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The first thing to understand is that while LR Classic and LRCC share many similar capabilities, they are fundamentally different applications.

LR Classic is "desktop-centric", meaning that all the cataloged files physically exist somewhere in the local file system....internal drive, external drive, NAS. All new imports will either already exist in that file system, or are added to it when for example doing a Copy import from camera card.

LRCC is "cloud-centric", meaning all the cataloged files physically exist somewhere on Adobe's cloud servers. Any new files added to LRCC will automatically be uploaded to the cloud (full originals). You can optionally choose to have some or all of those cataloged files stored locally in a location of your choice, but that will be separate from the LR Classic files.

Ignoring LR Classic for now, the LRCC desktop app is simply one "access point" to your cloud storage. There are others such as Lightroom CC on iOS or Android (phones and/or tablets), and Lightroom CC on the Web, and they are all fully integrated members of the cloud ecosystem. Any new images added into any of these access points will automatically be uploaded to the cloud, and from there they will then automatically appear in the other apps (and there are in-app options to control the impact of that downloading on your device's storage space). Similarly edits or other metadata changes will sync automatically to the cloud and back into the other apps.

Getting back to Classic, it's not fully integrated with the cloud in the same way as the other LRCC apps, in fact if you never enable your catalog to sync (and only one catalog can be sync enabled at any one time) there will be no interaction with the cloud. However, assuming you do enable sync in your Classic catalog, you need to understand the following:

1. None of your Classic's desktop-based files will sync to the cloud unless you specifically cause that to happen (by enabling a collection to sync, or by adding photos to the All Synced Photographs special collection).

2. If you do manually set some files to sync, Classic only uploads Smart Previews of those files, not the full originals. After that upload is done, those images will sync down to all your other ecosystem apps, although because the source is a smart preview you'll be unable to, for example, export a full resolution file from any of the ecosystem apps.

3. Once the Classic is sync enabled, every original file in your cloud ecosystem will automatically be downloaded to your desktop into the folder location of your choice (the default is the Mobile Downloads.lrdata, but that can be changed in the Classic Preferences>Lightroom CC tab). But you can't stop that process from happening as long as the catalog is sync enabled.

4. Although many types of changes made to your files anywhere in the ecosystem will sync to all the other apps, keywords and location data cannot sync between Classic and the other apps.


With the above in mind, it should be clear that you cannot stop originals downloading into Classic if the Classic catalog is enabled, and those images don't already exist in the Classic catalog. If that's a problem, the only way to stop it is either disable syncing in your Classic catalog, or don't add new images to any of the apps apart from Classic.

"Delete All Data" means delete all synced assets from the cloud. Obviously anything already "in" Classic will not be deleted from your local storage, but all synced images will be purged from the cloud and so will not be available on your other synced devices.

Personally, I still regard my Classic images as my "masters", so I'm quite happy that any new images that I might add via LR CC or LRmobile or LR Web will eventually be added into my LR Classic local file system. But I also like having all my images up in the cloud as well, so that I can access them wherever I may be without my laptop.

I think it's also fair to say that Adobe's original intent was that users would use Classic OR LRCC, not necessarily both. The workflow for a "both" scenario isn't naturally fluent, though it can be done. It really all depends on what you are wanting to achieve by using Classic and LRCC together.

Hope the above helps, come back if you have more questions.
 

Les T

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Hi Jim,

Many thanks for your detailed answer. Most of which I understood. Your description of how you use Classic as the "master" and CC for pulling in iPhone photos is what I'm after.

My main stumbling block is how CC albums and resulting Collections on Classic are handled. I upload photos into CC from a folder on my MacBook which is already known by Classic. These appear in my All Photos list on CC on my MacBook and iPhone. I then create an album using CC and populate it. The album appears on Classic as a synced collection. I'm assume that it puts a copy of the full original file in All Synced Photographs.

If I then take that synced collection and disable the sync in Classic it removes the album from my iPhone???

Is there a way of disabling syncing in Classic at the catalogue level and not the album level to stop all cloud interaction with Classic. I haven't found that switch.

If I don't want to duplicate originals in the Mobile Download package it sounds like to keep Classic and CC clean its best to completely disable syncing between them. This may mean that I have to use the Delete Data option and start my CC load again from scratch. I assume that would delete the originals in the Mobile Downloads package.

I remember now one of the intro YouTube videos mentioning that its best go with either Classic or CC!

Regards,
Les

ps: Starting again my be a good idea. I was roughly reproducing my Classic collection and folder structure in CC via albumns. Perhaps I would embrace the 21st century and rely on the AI search functionality to give me exactly what I want to look at on demand ;).
 
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Hi Jim,

Many thanks for your detailed answer. Most of which I understood. Your description of how you use Classic as the "master" and CC for pulling in iPhone photos is what I'm after.

My main stumbling block is how CC albums and resulting Collections on Classic are handled. I upload photos into CC from a folder on my MacBook which is already known by Classic. These appear in my All Photos list on CC on my MacBook and iPhone. I then create an album using CC and populate it. The album appears on Classic as a synced collection. I'm assume that it puts a copy of the full original file in All Synced Photographs.
You need to clarify what you mean by uploading from a folder "already known by Classic". Do you mean the images in that folder are already in the catalog, or do you simply mean you're adding new images to LRCC which haven't yet been imported to Classic even though there are other images in the same folder which HAVE already been imported into Classic. If the latter, then yes the originals will eventually download into Classic, physically into whatever folder location is specified in that Preference that I referred to in my first post. They will obviously be added to All Synced Photographs, which is a special virtual collection, referencing the files from the physical folder (so it's incorrect to think in terms of "a copy of the full original file in the ASP").

But if the files you add to LRCC are already in the catalog, the outcome depends on whether those files have already been synced from Classic. If they HAVE already been synced, LRCC will understand that and will then upload the full original to replace the initial Smart Preview that Classic uploaded. Nothing happens in Classic other than it's made aware that the original is now uploaded instead of just the SP.

But if the files which exist in Classic have NOT been already synced, LRCC will upload the full originals, but when the cloud servers try to download them to Classic, duplicates checking in Classic SHOULD detect that the file already exists in Classic, and so Virtual Copies, not originals, will be created in Classic and stacked with the original. But only the VC will be synced (i.e. it will show the sync icon on the thumbnail and will be added to the ASP collection).

Yes, if you create an album in LRCC and populate it, that album will appear in Classic as a synced collection.

If I then take that synced collection and disable the sync in Classic it removes the album from my iPhone???
If you mean disable the sync for that collection, then you would get a warning message which would give you the option to keep the photos in All Synced Photographs, and thus still synced with the cloud, i.e. it would just remove the collection/album from the cloud.

Is there a way of disabling syncing in Classic at the catalogue level and not the album level to stop all cloud interaction with Classic. I haven't found that switch.
Yes, simply pause syncing (hover the cursor over the ID Plate area above the Navigator, wait for a down arrow to appear by your name, click to show the Activity Centre). The first line in the Activity Centre will be "Sync with Lightroom mobile" and to the right will be the standard "pause icon". Click on it to stop all sync activity from Classic, but ongoing sync activity between LRCC etc. will continue.

If I don't want to duplicate originals in the Mobile Download package it sounds like to keep Classic and CC clean its best to completely disable syncing between them. This may mean that I have to use the Delete Data option and start my CC load again from scratch. I assume that would delete the originals in the Mobile Downloads package.
As earlier, you can stop sync activity with Classic without having to start over. But Delete All Data only deletes the data in the cloud. It would NOT delete originals already downloaded into Classic.

Regarding "duplicating originals in the Mobile Downloads package", many users will want to do that. I have my entire catalog uploaded to the cloud, and all images exist in my Classic folder structure as well. Once you get your head around how it all works it's not as complicated as it sounds.
 
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The first thing to understand is that while LR Classic and LRCC share many similar capabilities, they are fundamentally different applications.

LR Classic is "desktop-centric", meaning that all the cataloged files physically exist somewhere in the local file system....internal drive, external drive, NAS. All new imports will either already exist in that file system, or are added to it when for example doing a Copy import from camera card.

LRCC is "cloud-centric", meaning all the cataloged files physically exist somewhere on Adobe's cloud servers. Any new files added to LRCC will automatically be uploaded to the cloud (full originals). You can optionally choose to have some or all of those cataloged files stored locally in a location of your choice, but that will be separate from the LR Classic files.

Ignoring LR Classic for now, the LRCC desktop app is simply one "access point" to your cloud storage. There are others such as Lightroom CC on iOS or Android (phones and/or tablets), and Lightroom CC on the Web, and they are all fully integrated members of the cloud ecosystem. Any new images added into any of these access points will automatically be uploaded to the cloud, and from there they will then automatically appear in the other apps (and there are in-app options to control the impact of that downloading on your device's storage space). Similarly edits or other metadata changes will sync automatically to the cloud and back into the other apps.

Getting back to Classic, it's not fully integrated with the cloud in the same way as the other LRCC apps, in fact if you never enable your catalog to sync (and only one catalog can be sync enabled at any one time) there will be no interaction with the cloud. However, assuming you do enable sync in your Classic catalog, you need to understand the following:

1. None of your Classic's desktop-based files will sync to the cloud unless you specifically cause that to happen (by enabling a collection to sync, or by adding photos to the All Synced Photographs special collection).

2. If you do manually set some files to sync, Classic only uploads Smart Previews of those files, not the full originals. After that upload is done, those images will sync down to all your other ecosystem apps, although because the source is a smart preview you'll be unable to, for example, export a full resolution file from any of the ecosystem apps.

3. Once the Classic is sync enabled, every original file in your cloud ecosystem will automatically be downloaded to your desktop into the folder location of your choice (the default is the Mobile Downloads.lrdata, but that can be changed in the Classic Preferences>Lightroom CC tab). But you can't stop that process from happening as long as the catalog is sync enabled.

4. Although many types of changes made to your files anywhere in the ecosystem will sync to all the other apps, keywords and location data cannot sync between Classic and the other apps.


With the above in mind, it should be clear that you cannot stop originals downloading into Classic if the Classic catalog is enabled, and those images don't already exist in the Classic catalog. If that's a problem, the only way to stop it is either disable syncing in your Classic catalog, or don't add new images to any of the apps apart from Classic.

"Delete All Data" means delete all synced assets from the cloud. Obviously anything already "in" Classic will not be deleted from your local storage, but all synced images will be purged from the cloud and so will not be available on your other synced devices.

Personally, I still regard my Classic images as my "masters", so I'm quite happy that any new images that I might add via LR CC or LRmobile or LR Web will eventually be added into my LR Classic local file system. But I also like having all my images up in the cloud as well, so that I can access them wherever I may be without my laptop.

I think it's also fair to say that Adobe's original intent was that users would use Classic OR LRCC, not necessarily both. The workflow for a "both" scenario isn't naturally fluent, though it can be done. It really all depends on what you are wanting to achieve by using Classic and LRCC together.

Hope the above helps, come back if you have more questions.
Great explanation Jim. This should be a sticky ! I didn't realise I can access CC from the web. I will investigate.
 

Les T

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Hi Jim,
Thanks to your detailed description I've just about got to grips with how things work.

To help me appreciate whats happening in the two applications I have completely deleted my Lr CC data and removed all synced data from Lr Classic. Then stopped Lr Classic syncing at the catalogue level.

I had originally loaded 2k images into Lr CC (ie the cloud). This was too many to keep track of what was happening. After the clean down I loaded up a folder of images of 143 images. This folder was already in my Lr Classic catalogue. This went fine and the folder disk storage on my MacBook and in the cloud just about matched up.

I then turned on catalogue sync in Lr Classic. As you describe the "All Synced Photographs" started to fill up with the 143 images. What I also noticed was that in the Lr Classic side panel (Library) is a section called "Other Lightroom mobile Device". This also started to contain photos. Initially they looked to be the same contents as the All Synced Photographs but after the sync was complete it contained 8 images less! It was easy to find the difference.

What I believe is happening is its file type dependant and it dictates what is held in the package Mobile Downloads.lrdata. The 143 images are of 3 file types, JPG, DNG and RAF (Fuji raw file). The 8 images that were the difference above were all RAF files. When I used Lr Classic to show me the images in Finder they showed in the original folder. My understand is that these had been loaded correctly and Virtual Copies (or Smart Views) has been create to converse disk space. However The JPG and DNG images were shown to be in the Mobile Downloads.lrdata package. These were a copy from the original folder within Lr Classic. The DNG were full size of approx 30Mb each. The DNG copies concern me the most as I've shot mostly DNG files for the last 4 years.

Considering the DNG files I have a copy in the original source folder in Lr Classic, a copy in Mobile Downloads.lrdata and in the Lr CC cloud.

My question is whether this behaviour is a bug or a "feature"? My full Classic catalogue has images going back to 2001 and contains JPG, NEF (Nikon raw,) RAF and DNG files. Holding two copies of DNG files on my MacBook is too much of an overhead. If its expected behaviour then I would keep Lr Classic and LR CC separated - no syncing. To be fair, as you mentioned, Adobe have made it plain they are expecting us to use one or the other. Any linkage issues may be considered as a low priority as they build up Lr CC functionality.

Once again thanks for your patience, time and effort on clarifying a difficult subject.

Regards,
Les
 
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My question is whether this behaviour is a bug or a "feature"? My full Classic catalogue has images going back to 2001 and contains JPG, NEF (Nikon raw,) RAF and DNG files. Holding two copies of DNG files on my MacBook is too much of an overhead. If its expected behaviour then I would keep Lr Classic and LR CC separated - no syncing. To be fair, as you mentioned, Adobe have made it plain they are expecting us to use one or the other. Any linkage issues may be considered as a low priority as they build up Lr CC functionality.
Well, it's certainly not a feature, but I doubt that Adobe would be very interested at this time in chasing it as a bug.....I suspect they'd simply say this is one of the problems that might happen if you try to cobble together a LRCC + LR Classic workflow. At the moment I think their advice would be to use Classic OR LRCC, but not try to integrate both together.

When I was doing all my testing on these situations, most of the time everything worked as I outlined, though I do recall one test out of the many where the duplicates detection failed and I did end up with the downloaded originals duplicated in my Classic folder system. I couldn't reproduce that problem, despite many further tests, so I don't know what conditions might trigger it.

It sounds as though you've hit the same or similar problem, so my advice to you would be to clear those duplicates out of your Classic catalog (deleting them from disk), while keeping sync active. That should in turn delete them from the cloud.

Going forward, if you definitely want to use both apps together, I would sync the images first from LR Classic, wait until the smart previews are uploaded, and only then import (add) the same photos into LRCC if your goal is simply to get full originals up into the cloud. LRCC will do that, and there then should be no changes within Classic, i.e. the cloud will let Classic know that there are now a copy of the originals uploaded, not just the SPs, but there should be no duplication of them in your Classic folder scheme.

But I can't offer any guarantees, all I can do is tell you how I see it working on my own system. I do generally import first into Classic, sync to the cloud to get the SPs up there. Then I can process those images on whatever device I want to, when they are "finished" I'll add them to LRCC to get the originals uploaded. That "workflow" is working OK at the moment, but there's no certainty it will continue to work in the future unless/until Adobe officially supports it.
 

Les T

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Hi Jim,
Your process of syncing from Classic first sounds interesting and one I had not twigged onto. I've been using Lr since it was in beta and have upgraded along the way. However I've not used the cloud syncing capabilities prior to the current revamp of Lr Classic and Lr CC. I'm currently using the Publishing functionality to download jpgs which I then upload into Google Photos to share.I don't edit on Google Photos.

I've taken advantage of Adobe's offer of 1Tb of cloud storage at a reduced rate. I think I'll try and reproduce your process with my test folder. If it works OK and has limited impact on my MacBook disk storage I'll consider extending it to rest of the 200Gb catalogue. If not I'll keep the two apps separate and disable syncing.

I'm keen to keep up with Lr CC and see how it progresses as its obviously the way the industry is moving and we are only at version 1. It will be interested in see how the AI searching and possible intelligent photo editing progresses pan out. I've seen reference to software that will begin to analyse composition and "artistic" quality of images. How will technology allow photographers to give their own unique interpretation of the world?

I see you are in the UK and here's me thinking you were a laid back Californian in shorts watching the sunset over the Pacific. For me Its another wet and windy day in South Ayrshire not too far from Glasgow.

Thanks again for your help. Much appreciated.

Regards,
Les
 
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Let me know if you run into any problems doing it my way. I haven't yet, but that doesn't mean there aren't some waiting to be found!!

Sunny but cold down here in the South-East.
 

Les T

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Hi Jim,
My testing was successful. Your process worked fine for my test folder of 144 images. DNG and JPG files were not duplicated in Mobile Download.lrdata.

On reflection I think I will stop the syncing and keep Lr Classic independent of Lr CC for the time being. See how Lr CC pans out. Your process requires a load into Classic followed by the load into Lr CC to get the originals in the cloud. Which is what I'll do. Obviously editing and automatically seeing it across all platforms will not be possible. I may load some images into Lr CC before doing any edits on Classic to see if I can re-produce the Classic changes with the CC Edit tools. See how that improves as the version of Lr CC are released.

I'll being having a go at using the advanced search functionality. Found one glitch were I'm used a keyword of Family. It will bring back my Family but also others it considers is a family photo. So its included some friends which are a family but not keyworded as my Family. I changes the keyword to zFamily to display what I was after.

Regards,
Les
 
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The "problem" with the AI search is that it will look at more than just keywords, it does in fact analyse the image on upload and auto tags it (the tags aren't added to the image, just stored internally).....so it might already have added "family" as a tag.
 
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Hi,
Although I'm coming back to an old thread, I want to expose a related problem. I'm using a collection to sync my best pictures with LR Mobile in my iPhone and iPad. I'm not downloading pictures from my phone to LR Classic in my Mac anymore. But when I look at Mobile Downloads.lrdata it measures 6.68 Gb. When I look at the downloaded pictures from my phone I only have 15 old pictures. How can Mobile Downloads wheight so much? As I understand, this is not counting the collections I'm syncing (I understand that I'm only sharing smart previews). Is that correct?
 
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Is it possible that you've previously removed (from Classic) many other downloaded phone pics, but didn't use the "Delete from Disk" option when using the "Remove Photos" command?
 
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If you can't figure it out by eye-balling the images in Finder, the the quickest way to identify the contents using Lightroom would be to right-click on the "Mobile Downloads.lrdata" and select Synchronize Folder. In the first resulting dialog make sure that the "Show Import Dialog" is selected/checked....that will initiate an import of all the files in that folder that it thinks are not duplicates of any existing images in the catalog. In the import grid you can browse the files to see if you can figure out what they are, or you can proceed with the import. Once that import has finished simply browse through the "Previous import" collection in the Catalog Panel to decide what you want to do with them. If you really don't want some/most/all of them, select them then right-click to choose "Remove Photos" and this time use the "Delete from Disk" option.
 
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Hi Jim,
Since the "Mobile Downloads.lrdata" can only be found in the Finder and not in LR, right-clicking on it doesn't show you the "Synchronize Folder" option. Anyway I've found a solution. Right-clicking on the file I've found the option "Show package contents". This has opened three files containing pictures which one day were imported and deleted but not eliminated from the disk. I've simply deleted these files and recovered more than 6 Gb.
 
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