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Syncing files from Cloud to LRC: what happens to dups?

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Nancy Everds

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Premium Classic Member
Premium Cloud Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2021
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64
Location
Seattle, WA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Lightroom Version Number
12.0.1
Operating System
  1. Windows 11
  2. iOS
  3. Android
Hi--I have almost 2000 images from 2 different cell phones--camera roll (work cellphone) and android gallery (home phone) that I have added to LR mobile on my ipad. I would like to get the photos into LRC. Most of them are already in my catalog, but in a very haphazard way and I want to make sure I have all of them.

From what I understand, if I sync my LR mobile albums to LRC, all of the images in the cloud will go into a folder in LRC (either the default or one I pick). What happens to the images that are dups, or does LRC not even consider whether they are dups or not? Thanks.
 
I think this is a complicated question with a lot of "it depends" clauses in the answer. You say your first step was to Import the photos into an LR/Cloudy app on your iPad. So, they would have a file name (which you may not see) and other metadata such as capture date, pixel dimensions, etc. And then somehow copies of these images found their way to your Windows computer through some unspecifed path and you imported them into LrC.

So, first thing to understand is if anything in that path to Windows caused anything on the images to change such as file name, capture date/time, pixel dimensions, etc. The more things that got changed in the process, the less likely it is that LrC will detect that they are the same image. So, let's assume nothing changed.

So, if you turn on Sync in LrC, LrC will try to copy those images (full image file) from Lr/Cloud to Lr/Classic. In general this can be thought of as doing an Import from LR/Cloud using the "Copy" mode to a default folder on your Windows machine. As such, I would assume that the standard "don't import suspected duplicates" would take affect and those duplicate images would be skipped. However - this is speculation on my part as I have not tried this.

But, there are 3 things LrC could wind up doing. 1) skip the dups, 2) import the dups, 3) detect that they are dups and sync changes between what's in LR/Classic and LR/Cloud.

Here's what I would do. Assuming that you believe there are some images in LR/Cloud that you have not copied to LR/Classic, I'd copy ALL the images known to LR/Cloud to your Windows machine using whatever method you did before. I'd then import them into LR/Classic and let the "Detect Duplicates" feature weed out the dups. Now you know that 100% of the images in LR/Cloud are also in LR/Classic. I'd then remove all the images from LR/Cloud using one of the LR/Cloud apps such as the Windows Desktop LR/Cloud app. Once that is done, go into LR/Classic and assure that no collections are marked to sync and that your "all synced photographs" special collection in the Catalog panel is empty. Then turn cloud sync on.

At this point nothing should happen as there are no images in LR/Cloud to sync to Classic, and no collections in LR/Classic marked to sync to the Cloud. Now, any new images you put into LR/Cloudy will automatically come down to LR/Classic (full image). If you want images in LR/Classic to go up to LR/Cloud, put them in one or more collections that are marked to sync (this copies Smart Previews - a special kind of reduced pixel DNG -- to the cloud rather than full files).

Maybe someone else has some other ideas or knowledge but as this message wasn't answered for a day, I thought I'd give it a shot even though my expertise in this area may not be as well developed as others on this forum.
 
This makes total sense. I was having trouble thinking through potential solutions. Yours seems very straightforward. Thank you! I will report back soon about how it went.
 
But, there are 3 things LrC could wind up doing. 1) skip the dups, 2) import the dups, 3) detect that they are dups and sync changes between what's in LR/Classic and LR/Cloud.
As Dan said, there's a lot of "it depends" in this scenario, as we still don't know how the images got into LrC in the first place, which could be a key factor in trying to understand what happens when you turn on sync in LrC. If the images in the cloud are true duplicates as understood by LrC (i.e. filename, capture date and file length are the same), what will most probably happen is that the duplicates will be detected by LrC and it will therefore create Virtual Copies of the originals. This is similar to what happens when running the "Import from Another Catalog" process, whereby with any duplicate images the process offers to create VCs. With cloud sync if doesn't make that offer, but goes ahead and creates them. You will then end up with the original remaining unsynced, but the VC will be synced.

How to proceed next really depends on what the eventual goal is, specifically do you want to end up with only smart previews in the cloud, or do you want to retain the originals in the cloud? If you're happy with smart previews in the cloud, Dan's method is fine. But if you want to retain the originals in the cloud you have to do things differently, there are various methods for doing that. The simplest method (but probably the most tedious) would be in LrC to promote the VC to Master (switches the original and VC around so that the original is now the synced file and the VC is no longer synced), after which you could remove the VC from the LrC catalog. It's tedious because you can only do this one by one. Another thing you could do after running Dan's method (so you now have smart previews in the cloud) would be to then import all the synced images again directly into LrDesktop, which should simply recognise them as the originals of already synced SPs and simply replace the SPs. with the originals. That might be a little more complicated than it sounds as you would first have to isolate the originals in LrC so that you can easily add only those originals to LrD (e.g. by moving them all into a new single folder within LrC, then selecting that folder to import into LrD).
 
As Dan said, there's a lot of "it depends" in this scenario, as we still don't know how the images got into LrC in the first place, which could be a key factor in trying to understand what happens when you turn on sync in LrC.
They got into LRC by making a copy on my local drive and then importing them into LRC.

How to proceed next really depends on what the eventual goal is, specifically do you want to end up with only smart previews in the cloud, or do you want to retain the originals in the cloud? If you're happy with smart previews in the cloud, Dan's method is fine.
I am fine with only smart previews in the cloud, and of only a small fraction of these photos, which I can make after I have everything in LRC. Thanks very much for your explanations!
 
Jim, Thanks for adding more options and info.

Dan
 
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