/ Managing files storage using LR and external drives
Can anyone offer any advice on how to manage a Lightroom catalogue and the storage of associated files when using external storage?
At the moment, I let LR organise my storage but all the files are held on my laptop (and backed up regularly!). I am thinking of upgrading to SSD and moving a lot of my storage to external units, but obviously I cannot then access the files through LR when on the move as the external units will not be connected.
How do people manage large image collections using LR and external storage?
Cheers lots and hope this makes sense.
Depends what you mean by 'access the files'.
I would tell LR to store its catalog and preview cache on the SSD, then let it build the full cache with the external drive connected. You should then be able to browse photos and pull selections together whether the drive is connected or not. Editing/ exporting files will still need the drive connected.
Adam's approach is probably best, you don't actually get much speed benefit from having the image files themselves on the SSD.
If you want to work on a particular set of images while away, or are importing images on the go, you can use the 'Export as catalog' and 'Import from catalog' options. This creates a new LR catalog and a copy of the original images, which can be edited then remerged with the main library.
LR5 has significantly improved handling for external drives, worth checking out the Beta.
Good knowledge; smart previews sound like they could be a massive boon!
I store my LR Catolog (LR spelling!) and previews on a SSD (a separate one from my OS SSD).
Another neat trick I use for Catalog back up (and one which allows careful network/remote Catalog access) is to put it in a Dropbox folder on your SSD. But make sure you turn off uploading all the preview files to Dropbox!.
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