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Sync Lightroom Classic and CC Sync Problems - Duplicate Files & Misorganisation

rtfraser86

New Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
Messages
3
Lightroom Version
Classic and CC
Operating System
Windows 10
Hi Guys

I think I've truly stuffed up on this one! This is a Lightroom Classic post, although I'll be mentioning Lightroom CC a lot at the start.

Background
I am a long-time Lightroom Classic user. I've got a "Master Catalogue" of over 50,000 photos. These photos are sorted into a folder structure that I (shoot location and date).

Recently, I started using the "Sync with Lightroom" function in Classic to "back up" specific collections to the cloud. This initially worked alright, but Lightroom CC didn't allow nested folders/albums, so, I was unable to organise the "Sync'd" photos according to how I liked, so I stopped using it.... but then they introduced Folders, and I could make nested structures... yay! (?)

Start of the Stuff Up (unbeknownst to me)
Anyway... I go on holiday, with a new camera, and start shooting away. Every night I was downloading photos from the card onto my laptop, and importing into a Separate, Trip Specific, Lightroom Classic catalogue. All good. But then I started to run out of space, AND was holstered up for 3 days at somewhere with unlimited internet. So I thought, i'd
a) Import the photos into Lightroom CC
b) make a backup on an external hard drive

I got to REALLY liking the ability to import to Lightroom CC , and make picks/rejects from my mobile etc and it all syncs up. You beauty, all looking good. it would take the majority of the 3 days we were held up to upload the photos to the Cloud (250GB), but yeah, this looked good!

Stuff-up continues (unbeknownst to me)
Then i started to run out of space again. After some googling, I found out that, Lightroom CC, bless it's little heart, copies your originals into its own folder structure before uploading to the cloud. After some googling etc. I found out how to move that off to an external drive too.

So now in my workflow, because I was unfamiliar with Lightoom CC, I'd manually copy off the photos from my SD Card into my External Drive to the folder structure that I liked, and then upload. I thought "ah well, I'll end up with duplicates, but if everything goes alright with Lightroom CC, all good, I'll get rid of one set".

Stuff up intensifies (unbeknownst to me)
I get home and boot up the Desktop computer, and you beauty, it Lightroom Classic starts to sync and download all the images I'd uploaded to Lightroom CC into collections under the "From Lightroom" collection. It's not nested, like I set up in Lightroom CC with folders... but ah well, I spent a good 45min adding "Collection Sets" and organising it so I liked. It's stil downloading the photos, but they'll all come in like I want them to, just got to give it time.

Where I start to become aware of the stuff up
Well i quickly start running out of room on my C:\ Drive on my desktop computer. I think that it's the Panoramas I'm making in Lightroom CC while Lightroom Classic keeps downloading (my desktop is 20x more powerful than my laptop which couldn't handle a lot of the pano's I wanted to make).... I think this is a Lightroom CC issue, as it does fill up disk space (as page-file memory) when making Panoramas.

The Stuff Up
I use a directory statistics tool to see my biggest directories... it's a nice little folder called "Pictures\Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata". It's about 100GB and growing.
I go in to discover that it's the originals of the images I synced to Lightroom CC.

So now, i have the following copies of my images I took on holiday
1) On the External Hard Drive where I manually moved them, organised how I like
2) On the External Hard Drive where I pointed Lightroom CC to copy them to upload to the cloud, unorganised as Lightroom CC likes to do that; and
3) On my desktop under "Pictures\Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata", unorganised, because, you know, Lightroom is the bomb like that.

I've started to move the files (in Lightroom) from the "Imported Photos" section which points to the "Pictures\Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata" folder... onto a 4th location, so I can track everything, and to free up disk space on my main boot drive. But, oh no, If I delete anything from the "Pictures\Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata" folder, it'll delete it from Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic

Where to from here
I'd LOVE it if I could have the photos in my Main Lightroom Classic catalogue in their own nested Collection Set. I'd also LOVE it if I could pick up my iPad (and/or iPhone) and make picks/rejects and do some edits, and have it all sync up. I'd eventually like to push some of these to adobe portfolio if I could.

To do that, I'm thinking of starting again. I'd delete all photos from location 2), 3) and 4), as well as Lightroom CC, and just import them to Lightroom Classic, and using the "Sync Collection" option to upload them to the cloud. But I've done a whole heap of edits and picks, I'd love not to lose that.

Any help with the way forward would be much appreciated!
At this stage I cannot believe I pay $25AUD a month for this! If I had unlimited space and let my computer go, I'd end up with 4x copies of a recent 250GB photo holiday, 1 of which I manually managed myself, and the other 3 that Lightroom decided to make..;. NOT counting the originals stored on the cloud!.
 

rtfraser86

New Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
Messages
3
I forgot to say, in the "Pictures\Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata" folder, Lightroom CC is now making duplicates (i.e. I'm getting files like _DSC3124.ARW and _DSC3124-2.ARW... W-T-F?!
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2017
Messages
421
Location
UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
I forgot to say, in the "Pictures\Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata" folder, Lightroom CC is now making duplicates (i.e. I'm getting files like _DSC3124.ARW and _DSC3124-2.ARW... W-T-F?!
Hi and welcome!

I'm pushed for time right at the moment, will revisit this later (or others will) but in response to your final comment above, open the Lightroom Cloud on your desktop, then settings (top right, cloud symbol, gear cog at the bottom) and change the setting in Local Storage so it doesn't store the additional copy there.
 

rtfraser86

New Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
Messages
3
Thanks Paul
Hi and welcome!

I'm pushed for time right at the moment, will revisit this later (or others will) but in response to your final comment above, open the Lightroom Cloud on your desktop, then settings (top right, cloud symbol, gear cog at the bottom) and change the setting in Local Storage so it doesn't store the additional copy there.
Thanks Paul

I should clarify - I have all settings in Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic to not store local data.

For Lightroom CC I have unticked "Store a copy of all smart previews locally on C:" and "Store a copy of all originals at the specified location"
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Hi
Coincidentially, I am just back from a holiday with 40 GB of photos stored on my laptop and went through the same process of transfering over the originals by card including sidecar files for each. I have also ended up with three copies of many of the files:
LR to LRCC issue2.png

plus the backups on my server. Not clear why the temp folder and the CHRIS_TAB_PRO (my laptop).
A really unhelpful structure in LR Classic:

LR to LRCC issue.png

Cleverly (?), the import from card into classic only shows some of the files cannot see the logic it has used. Thought it may have been pictures that were previously rejected but as many are 4stars it won't be that.
I think my answer is to delete the whole lot from LR mobile and reimport the files from the card generated folder.
While the LR Classic book does help a bit, any guidance on how to sort this out painlessly and to avoid in future would be helpful.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
11,807
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Recently, I started using the "Sync with Lightroom" function in Classic to "back up" specific collections to the cloud.
The fundamental issues you ran into all came about through jumping head-first into a new process without first understanding how it all works, exacerbated by the variations in the syncing "rules" between the old (Classic) and new (Lightroom Cloud) applications. There are good reasons why Adobe don't recommend trying to integrate both Classic and "Cloudy" into the workflow, and although it is possible to do so it is essential that you first know and understand how it all works.

So, your initially thinking of using Classic's sync function to create a backup of the selected images in the cloud is wrong. Classic only syncs Smart Previews to the cloud, good enough for online viewing, sharing, and even most editing....but useless as a "backup".

But then I started to run out of space, AND was holstered up for 3 days at somewhere with unlimited internet. So I thought, i'd
a) Import the photos into Lightroom CC
b) make a backup on an external hard drive

I got to REALLY liking the ability to import to Lightroom CC , and make picks/rejects from my mobile etc and it all syncs up. You beauty, all looking good. it would take the majority of the 3 days we were held up to upload the photos to the Cloud (250GB), but yeah, this looked good!

Stuff-up continues (unbeknownst to me)
Then i started to run out of space again. After some googling, I found out that, Lightroom CC, bless it's little heart, copies your originals into its own folder structure before uploading to the cloud. After some googling etc. I found out how to move that off to an external drive too.

So now in my workflow, because I was unfamiliar with Lightoom CC, I'd manually copy off the photos from my SD Card into my External Drive to the folder structure that I liked, and then upload. I thought "ah well, I'll end up with duplicates, but if everything goes alright with Lightroom CC, all good, I'll get rid of one set".
As you now know, switching from Classic to Cloudy for importing isn't going to do anything to alleviate existing disk space issues.....UNLESS you first change the default location for Cloudy's local originals to a different drive. You can do this in Cloudy's Preferences>Local Storage tab. Additionally, it makes little sense to first manually copy from the memory card and then import from that copy. You would save yourself a lot of trouble by setting the local originals location to an external drive, then import directly from the card....Cloudy will initally copy those images from the card to the hard drive location, from where it will then start to upload to the cloud.

If you want an temporary insurance copy as well, by all means copy the images from the card to a separate location, but they can be deleted when you have everything safely downloaded and backed up back at base.

A word about the local copy that Cloudy makes....once the files have been uploaded to the cloud, those local copies will become eligible for deletion (when that happens depends on several factors, though it is generally safe - provided they've definitely been uploaded - to delete them yourself if you're desperate for the disk space).

The Stuff Up
I use a directory statistics tool to see my biggest directories... it's a nice little folder called "Pictures\Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata". It's about 100GB and growing.
I go in to discover that it's the originals of the images I synced to Lightroom CC.

So now, i have the following copies of my images I took on holiday
1) On the External Hard Drive where I manually moved them, organised how I like
2) On the External Hard Drive where I pointed Lightroom CC to copy them to upload to the cloud, unorganised as Lightroom CC likes to do that; and
3) On my desktop under "Pictures\Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata", unorganised, because, you know, Lightroom is the bomb like that.

I've started to move the files (in Lightroom) from the "Imported Photos" section which points to the "Pictures\Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata" folder... onto a 4th location, so I can track everything, and to free up disk space on my main boot drive. But, oh no, If I delete anything from the "Pictures\Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata" folder, it'll delete it from Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic
Hopefully you will have realised by now that when you sync Classic with the Cloud, any images which have been imported into any of the Cloud apps are automatically downloaded into Classic. You do have control over where these downloaded images are placed (Classic Preferences>Lightroom Sync tab), and you can even have them placed into one of the standard date-based folder structures, but you cannot stop that sync download happening unless you stop Classic from syncing,

So with the above in mind, this is how I would use Cloudy on a laptop or tablet on my travels:

1. Import directly from the memory card after first setting the local originals location to a drive with adequate space.
2. Take a backup copy to a removable drive
3. Sync and start to organise as desired into albums and folders.

Back home, I'd start Classic and wait for the new images to be downloaded into my preferred date-based folder scheme (same one I use for all my images). The albums I created in Cloudy would also appear in the Classic catalog, I'd only have to create the collections sets to match the album folders. Because the images are in the same image library as all my other Classic images, they'll be backed up as normal by my regular backup processes.

So I'd end up with:

1. Disposable local copies of the imported images on my laptop/tablet and the temporary copy on the removable hard drive.
2. A copy in the Cloud
3. A copy on my Desktop back at base, integrated with my main Classic image library, and backed up accordingly.

Where to from here
I'd LOVE it if I could have the photos in my Main Lightroom Classic catalogue in their own nested Collection Set. I'd also LOVE it if I could pick up my iPad (and/or iPhone) and make picks/rejects and do some edits, and have it all sync up. I'd eventually like to push some of these to adobe portfolio if I could.
You can do all of that, I do it all the time.

To do that, I'm thinking of starting again. I'd delete all photos from location 2), 3) and 4), as well as Lightroom CC, and just import them to Lightroom Classic, and using the "Sync Collection" option to upload them to the cloud. But I've done a whole heap of edits and picks, I'd love not to lose that.
As you say, you'll lose edits that way. You can of course move the images in the Mobile Downloads.lrdata (using drag and drop within Classic) to any of your existing folders.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Hi Jim
Thanks for your though, if condescending in places, reply.
Could you please point us to the Adobe explanation of the logic behind the sync process between folders in LR and folders in Classic. Afraid i am cynical and believe that the focus on collections in LR is basically a way of locking us into Adobe and their subscription model.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
11,807
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
I don't understand the question....there isn't a sync process between folders in Lightroom abd folders in Classic. They are distinctly different entities which bear no relation to each other, apart from having the same name.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Let me rephrase the question. Where does Adobe explain the process by which the location of files imported /synced from LR to Classic are placed?

Is the use of the same name, folders, for entirely different entitities just designed to confuse? If they are so different my suggestions would be packets, holders, containers or envelopes. Plenty of options. Anyway they do end-up in folders within Classic.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
11,807
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
I don't know where Adobe explains the process (have you checked the online help), but Victoria details all of that in your Classic Missing FAQ book (page 491 in my PDF version).

There are a lot of confusing names in Lightroom, especially the Folders name. Trust me, Adobe were given many suggested alternatives but they chose to go with their choice.
 
Joined
May 9, 2015
Messages
393
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Trying to figure out the thought process of the Adobe Marketing group's choices of names for things is an exercise in futility. How and why they come up with the names they do is mind boggling at best and just plain idiotic at worst and the instances are numerous. E.g. steal the name "Lightroom CC" from the desktop centric app and all of a sudden apply it to a totally different suite of applications? Name one of the LR/Cloud based applications "Lightroom Desktop"? it just goes on and on.

But, we get used to it and if you deal with different products you should be used to it already anyway. Different apps from different vendors have Albums, Folders, Collections, Sets, Groups, Galleries, Portfolios, etc. all to mean a container for images. In most cases, especially when the images are stored on the cloud someplace, these terms are logical groups of images and not a physical storage construct that one would see in Finder or File Manager if one looked at the actual computer the images are stored on.

In the Adobe world, when they are talking about a physical file path (or as we used to say "directory structure") that one could see with Finder or File Manager they tend to use the word Folder. When dealing with a logical container (like a playlist for images) they use Collection in LR/Classic and Album in LR/Cloud. I guess those marketing folks felt it was better to go with a name more common in other cloud based photo management systems than to be consistent with their own products.

Why they first called their desktop system's database a "Catalog" rather than a "Database" and then when they went all Cloudy chose "Library" is anybodies guess.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
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Many thanks for both your replies. I understand the FAQ paragraphs better now that I have seen (and suffered) the system in action. I future I may well go back to my previous methods which have served me well fo many years.
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
1,063
Location
Hong Kong
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
So now, i have the following copies of my images I took on holiday
1) On the External Hard Drive where I manually moved them, organised how I like
2) On the External Hard Drive where I pointed Lightroom CC to copy them to upload to the cloud, unorganised as Lightroom CC likes to do that; and
3) On my desktop under "Pictures\Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata", unorganised, because, you know, Lightroom is the bomb like that.

I've started to move the files (in Lightroom) from the "Imported Photos" section which points to the "Pictures\Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata" folder... onto a 4th location, so I can track everything, and to free up disk space on my main boot drive. But, oh no, If I delete anything from the "Pictures\Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata" folder, it'll delete it from Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic
As long as LR classic has fully synced with the Cloud there will be a copy of all the photos on your hard drive. Once you have established this and made any desired back-ups you can safely delete the photos from the Cloud. Doing this will not delete those copies on your hard drive. You should then be left with just one set of photos on your hard drive plus whatever backups you have made.

You can then re-organise those photos as you wish in Classic.
 
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