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DropBox for LR Classic Library

Joined
Apr 6, 2019
Messages
19
Lightroom Version
8.3.1
Operating System
macOS 10.14 Mojave
I've just replaced my desktop & laptop Macs & have 2TB SSD drives internally.

I currently have the LR catalogue in dropbox, which works really well for using LR Classic on 2 computers, but am thinking of adding the library to dropbox too - this will make it easier to import photos when away from home as well as at home. I'm not so keen on the library being on an external drive - a bit of a pain. I have enough space on the computers for the LR library, as well as in dropbox. Will this work ok (I know it will take a long time to up-load the raw files, but they will also be stored on each computer locally too). Will the catalogue be able to 'see' the photo library on each computer ok?

Thanks,

Nick
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2015
Messages
436
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Personally, I'd be a bit nervous of your setup for a couple of reasons:
  • Check out the size of your LRCAT. You will be moving that back and forth to DROPBOX as frequently as you use LR. Check out how DB handles partial transfers e.g. Only 130MB of a 140MB LRCAT is transferred before a failure. Is the original in DB retained or does it pick up later. What happens if you start to download a partial transfer to your other device before this happens?
  • I'd look for something that checks the files on DB to the local files to make sure they are complete.
  • If you don't have unlimited bandwidth on your Internet account, what is implication of using DB as a common sink? At least for myself here in Canada, that would be an issue.
  • When travelling, I've found some resort internet services throttle some protocols and/or destinations like DB. This has meant that it wasn't practical to use cloud based services.
FWIW, when I'm travelling, I normally don't have a lot of time to work on LR. If I do, then I copy the RAW + XMP files to my desktop when I get back home to finish working on them. My home LR Classic and travelling LR 6 on my Macbook are completely independant.

Take this for what it's worth. I'm just concerned about the integrity of your LR files. Since there is more than one, not sure what happens if what gets out of sync with the others since LR does not have a concept of transferring a collection of files in an all or none manner.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2019
Messages
19
Personally, I'd be a bit nervous of your setup for a couple of reasons:
  • Check out the size of your LRCAT. You will be moving that back and forth to DROPBOX as frequently as you use LR. Check out how DB handles partial transfers e.g. Only 130MB of a 140MB LRCAT is transferred before a failure. Is the original in DB retained or does it pick up later. What happens if you start to download a partial transfer to your other device before this happens?
  • I'd look for something that checks the files on DB to the local files to make sure they are complete.
  • If you don't have unlimited bandwidth on your Internet account, what is implication of using DB as a common sink? At least for myself here in Canada, that would be an issue.
  • When travelling, I've found some resort internet services throttle some protocols and/or destinations like DB. This has meant that it wasn't practical to use cloud based services.
FWIW, when I'm travelling, I normally don't have a lot of time to work on LR. If I do, then I copy the RAW + XMP files to my desktop when I get back home to finish working on them. My home LR Classic and travelling LR 6 on my Macbook are completely independant.

Take this for what it's worth. I'm just concerned about the integrity of your LR files. Since there is more than one, not sure what happens if what gets out of sync with the others since LR does not have a concept of transferring a collection of files in an all or none manner.
Thanks, DropBox syncs with the original on the computer - it manages this well. I use this for the catalogue. The only issue is if you try to open LR on the two computers simultaneously - then it produces a conflicted version. If I have poor internet whilst abroad, the originals are on my computer, and sync to the cloud DropBox when they can, so LR continues to work properly.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
1
Lightroom Experience
Power User
I live in Michigan where I use Lightroom Classic on my desktop. I spent the winter in Florida and use a laptop there. I am a photography enthusiast and a Photoshop compositer (as a hobby). 4 months ago I moved all my lightroom catalog files to Dropbox as well as all of my photo files. I am using 1.75 TB of space on Dropbox. The Business Standard Plan costs $450 per year. This is quite expensive, but I am surprised how convenient it has been. I never used both computers at the same time. Once finished using Lightroom any given day, I left it open overnight to ensure that the changed files synced completely. I have fairly fast broadband speed. When I returned home from Florida this week I opened my desktop PC, opened Lightroom and continued working on the files that I was using the week before on my Florida laptop. I seem to be the first person who has tried this "all in" method of using Dropbox and it has worked great so far.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,669
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
I seem to be the first person who has tried this "all in" method of using Dropbox and it has worked great so far.
Thanks for sharing lesser. Yes, I worked like that for years, and as long as you let it fully sync, it's fine. I've needed to trash and rebuild previews a couple of times because they got a little mangled, but that's not a great cost for the convenience.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Messages
9
Location
Altrincham, UK
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Yes, I agree with lesser as well. I tried using Creative Cloud for a while but was constantly plagued by the fact that the sync operation always seemed to get stuck in an endless loop. Has anyone else experienced that and managed to fix it?
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,597
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Yes, I agree with lesser as well. I tried using Creative Cloud for a while but was constantly plagued by the fact that the sync operation always seemed to get stuck in an endless loop. Has anyone else experienced that and managed to fix it?
I've only run into a couple of individual image files. I've removed these from the Sync queue and once the sync reported being up to date, added them back to the queue.

Another place that you can store your catalog file is the Creative Cloud folder on your computer. I've shared catalogs between computers with that before and If you have enough creative cloud storage, you can also use your Adobe Creative cloud to store the whole Lightroom folder including previews. Like Dropbox, the issue becomes one of managing the data files so that everything is up to date in the cloud before you exit one computer and open LR Classic on another computer.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Messages
9
Location
Altrincham, UK
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
That's interesting, Clee - I read online somewhere that you could view the Sync queue by holding down the Option key (on a Mac) and clicking the "Cloud" button in Creative Cloud Desktop. However, I use Win10 and pressing Alt (or any other key!) doesn't have the same effect. Do you know how to view the Sync queue on a PC? If I can eliminate a few "troublesome" files that might clear the logjam. TIA.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
39
Location
Lenexa, KS
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
I recently set this up on two computers with Lightroom Classic and it seems to be working smoothly - but I also use LR on an iPad. I’m wondering how to manage the mobile files that are created on the iPad and synced via the Creative Cloud? They were originally placed on my desktop computer hard drive, but when I tried to move them to a Dropbox folder to sync to both computers and pointed to the folder in the Lightroom Classic sync preferences, I keep getting the message when I open Classic that Lightroom doesn’t have permission to write to that folder and my photos might not sync properly (and they don’t). I can’t see any way to grant that permission. Is there any preferred way to manage those photos using this system?
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,669
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
when I tried to move them to a Dropbox folder to sync to both computers and pointed to the folder in the Lightroom Classic sync preferences, I keep getting the message when I open Classic that Lightroom doesn’t have permission to write to that folder
Which OS are you using nkawoods? I set mine to download to a folder in the same location as the catalog (in Dropbox), but it sounds like you've got some OS-level permissions issues stopping you from doing that.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
39
Location
Lenexa, KS
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Which OS are you using nkawoods? I set mine to download to a folder in the same location as the catalog (in Dropbox), but it sounds like you've got some OS-level permissions issues stopping you from doing that.
I'm using the latest version of Catalina. I see where I can specify storing presets with the catalog (in Dropbox), but there were some warnings about that in your book, and I don't add that many new presets so I think I can manage updating those on both computers as needed. I've scoured your Lightroom Classic book for tips on managing Lightroom Classic on two computers via dropbox (thank you!) and I think I finally have a two computer operating solution that will work for me, but there are lots of little hiccups along the way. The issue I'm having is with photos in Mobile LR that originate on my iPad, and I don't see an option to store that with the catalog in the preferences. I'm currently pointing back to the Lightroom folder in the Pictures folder on both computers for mobile syncing. If I uncheck the box for "specify the location for Lightroom's Synced images" the error goes away, but I have no idea where the images go and how to find them.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,669
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
The issue I'm having is with photos in Mobile LR that originate on my iPad, and I don't see an option to store that with the catalog in the preferences.
That's set in Lightroom's Preferences > Lightroom Sync tab - that's the specify location one you mentioned. That's what you want to set to a folder in Dropbox.

If that still throws an error, I'd check System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy tab > Files & Folders on the left and check that everything under Lightroom Classic is checked in the right hand panel. Other than that, possibly a folder permissions issue. I'm out of the office for the next week or so but our Gurus are great with permissions.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
39
Location
Lenexa, KS
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
That's set in Lightroom's Preferences > Lightroom Sync tab - that's the specify location one you mentioned. That's what you want to set to a folder in Dropbox.

If that still throws an error, I'd check System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy tab > Files & Folders on the left and check that everything under Lightroom Classic is checked in the right hand panel. Other than that, possibly a folder permissions issue. I'm out of the office for the next week or so but our Gurus are great with permissions.
Thank you Victoria! I think I have the problem resolved - I had two different user names assigned to my two Macs, and when I tried to point to a folder in the Dropbox location each computer kept changing the file name to reflect its own user name. I had to go back to one Mac and change the name to match the other one - which was a whole new experience and causing its own wrinkles including a call to Dropbox and an "Advanced Reinstall" of the Dropbox app. But I'm confident things are in pretty good shape now.

You have a wonderful break out of the office!
 
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