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Lightroom: Auto Import to folders organized by date

26 Votes
Contributor ,
Jun 11, 2011 Jun 11, 2011

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The Auto Import feature could be really useful but it does not allow users to handle files in the same way as the "standard" import routine within Lightroom, and this makes is problematic to use.For example:I use a Canon 7D which auto imports images into the "final destination" folder, then when I open Lr I can run the Standard import routine to apply metadata & presets etc. The cataloguing structure I use is a main folder named 2011, and each new batch of images goes into a separate folder named automatically by the date the image was shot, which makes things really easy.Auto Import does not appear to allow me to replicate this simple and effective workflow, and it would be really useful if it did.Any suggestions welcomethanks for your interest
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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Jun 14, 2011 Jun 14, 2011
If I understand the post correctly, Edward's request is valid. The folder that Lightroom is auto-importing from (the watched folder) does remain empty, in the sense that Lightroom pulls photos out of it when ever it detects a photo in the folder. But the only destination that auto-import lets you specify is a flat folder. I believe Edward is asking for the same destination options that the regular import dialog provides (i.e., the ability to segment folders by date, etc.). -Ben

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Mentor ,
Jun 11, 2011 Jun 11, 2011

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Auto import is primarily for tethering, and the folder must be kept empty.

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Contributor ,
Jun 14, 2011 Jun 14, 2011

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Hmmm, thats not really clear from the software, and even if so. It still leaves the problem of Lightroom not having an effective "auto import" function for when users do want to have Lightroom pull in images from a watched folder (complete with any metadata & presets applied)

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 14, 2011 Jun 14, 2011

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If I understand the post correctly, Edward's request is valid. The folder that Lightroom is auto-importing from (the watched folder) does remain empty, in the sense that Lightroom pulls photos out of it when ever it detects a photo in the folder. But the only destination that auto-import lets you specify is a flat folder. I believe Edward is asking for the same destination options that the regular import dialog provides (i.e., the ability to segment folders by date, etc.).

-Ben

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Contributor ,
Jun 14, 2011 Jun 14, 2011

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I think thats pretty much it Ben. In a nutshell; all the current functionality of the regular "Import" feature, but with the added option of setting a "Watch folder" to trigger the auto import sequence. (A refinement would be the option to alter any keywords just prior to actual import though)

Thanks

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Contributor ,
Sep 16, 2011 Sep 16, 2011

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Any progress on this Ben? It links into the following issue I just posted here at http://gsfn.us/t/2fmos
about importing images from different cameras easily.
I'd welcome your opinion

Thanks in advance

Edward

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LEGEND ,
Dec 06, 2011 Dec 06, 2011

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A good idea from Edward me-thinks, and also I hope Adobe will also allow plugins into the loop, by:

- Providing a hook for import-filters (similar to export post-process actions).
- Support folder and file move/rename, and delete functions.

To catch the stuff that doesn't make it natively...

Rob

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Engaged ,
Oct 10, 2012 Oct 10, 2012

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Lightroom 4 feature requests:

I should like to see a smarter auto import, one that can import from multiple shooting dates and send them to the correct physical folder, or create one if necessary. I would also like to see auto import be able to match an import preset to a certain file type or shooting setting, example being jpeg vs raw, or different import presets for different ISO settings.

Second, I would like to see LR be able to manage and catalog audio only clips. I don't expect any editing captability, but I would like to be able to catalog audios captured live to sync in other video apps since LR already catalogs video files.

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Engaged ,
Oct 10, 2012 Oct 10, 2012

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I would like the auto-import feature in Lightroom to be improved. I have my photos automatically sorted by date by the Lightroom import. However, using the automated import I can not do that, and as I re-sorting the images manually is not really an option for me this makes the auto import pretty useless. It would be great to be able to use it with my EyeFi card!

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New Here ,
Oct 10, 2012 Oct 10, 2012

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Would it be possible to get a "copy as .DNG" or "move and convert to .DNG" option when using the auto import feature? I drop my .CR2 files into a watched folder but they only come into LR4 as .CR2 and it would significantly help my workflow if i had the option to have them imported as .DNGs... I know i can convert manually after import but i am trying to have a true automated import process!

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New Here ,
Oct 10, 2012 Oct 10, 2012

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Why is Auto Import so lacking? Here are just a few things that I don't get considering LR is supposed to speed up my workflow:

1) Only one watched folder can be set up at a time
2) Can't auto convert to .dng or do anything else besides Move
3) Can't dump into a folder that already has media (i.e. I understand the watched folder needs to be empty to start, but why can't I dump the files into an existing folder?)

Basically, I think auto import should be as robust as the import dialog itself with the ability to watch numerous folders and perform any of the currently supported actions (i.e. Import as DNG, Copy, Move, and Add).

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LEGEND ,
Nov 08, 2012 Nov 08, 2012

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Ottomanic Importer
------------------------

* Full support for auto-importing (e.g. multi-folder watching (subfolders too), convert to dng, any target folder structure, ... )

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New Here ,
Jan 09, 2013 Jan 09, 2013

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When configuring an automatic import in Photoshop Lightroom 4 (watched folder), why can I not select that pictures should be distributed to folders by date, as I can do in the regular Import tool?
It seems all imported pictures during an automatic import (watched folder) can only be moved to a single folder. Any ideas?

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New Here ,
Feb 13, 2013 Feb 13, 2013

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Modify the Auto Import function so that files picked up from a watched folder can be sent directly to an existing folder. As the function currently operates, Lightroom creates an auto import folder, into which files from a watched folder are transferred. After the import is completed, files must then be moved from the Auto Import folder to the location where they are to be stored.

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Engaged ,
Mar 30, 2013 Mar 30, 2013

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+1 on this. I too have an eye-fi card and would like the auto import to be able to organise by date just as the regular import does.

Thanks

Tim

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New Here ,
Jan 29, 2018 Jan 29, 2018

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Allow 'Auto import' and 'Lightroom Mobile' imports to be organized by date and for the user to specify the date format, like in the ordinary import dialog.

This makes importing consistent, provides better overview and simplifies the import process, allowing user to drag the folder to main folder structure.

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Engaged ,
Jan 29, 2018 Jan 29, 2018

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Why are we missing the option to create sub folders by date in the auto import settings?
It should be a quick fix to provide a similar feature as it is available in the standard import.

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New Here ,
Jan 30, 2018 Jan 30, 2018

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bump !

@admin:
do you think it's a good idea to merge new posts into a DEAD threat ?
This one here is 7 years old without any progress - so it might be righ that the topic matches, but this way the feature will never be released.

Please do not merge anything into a topic that's older than maybe a year or two.
Thank you !

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New Here ,
Jan 30, 2018 Jan 30, 2018

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Hi Ben,

are you still working for Adobe ?

Sevens years ago you exactly understood the problem - why haven't anything been done for that ?

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 30, 2018 Jan 30, 2018

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@Ralf Bruechmann,

Yes, it is. 

This particular feature request has accumulated 19 votes over the past 7 years.  How do we know that? - because all of the threads requesting the same feature have been accumulated and counted as a group (see the top of the page).  If instead there were 19 disparate posts scattered across 7 years, would Adobe have any easy way to determine the strength of support for a particular feature.?

Whether it is a Problem which links to a bug, a Question that links to an answer, or an Idea that links to a Feature Request, aggregating them makes it easier for customers to find definitive answers.  If you are searching for "Auto-Import Folder Organization?" would you rather find a single thread that contains the whole of subject including Votes for, comments made by Adobe Staff, and potential workarounds, or would you rather search and find a dozen or more posts that might contain no answers, or only partial answers? 

Adobe's system for tracking issues and requests works best when a single bug, feature request, or point of user confusion tracks to a single source of customer-supplied information.  That way, when it is fixed, implemented, or answered, everyone on the thread receives the answer.  Let's say for this thread, that 19 people have asked and that another 25 (following) are interested in the answer. Let's also say that Adobe implements the features, with a single post to this aggregated thread, they can notify everyone of the implementation-regardless of how long ago they made the post.

The length of time a thread has been active (or in this case inactive) matters less than the total and continued support of a request.  A chorus is always louder than a single voice. 


 

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New Here ,
Jan 30, 2018 Jan 30, 2018

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Okay - it makes sense from a categorizing point of view, but:

why does nobody work on a solution ?
As this feature is allready implemented for "normal" imports it shouldn't be difficult to implement this for auto-imports, too ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 09, 2018 Feb 09, 2018

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Ben is indeed still working for Adobe. It'll be a matter of priorities. In 7 years, this issue has only managed to garner 19 votes, which means not many people care, so it hasn't made it to the top of the pile.
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ and Adobe Lightroom - Edit Like a Pro books.

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 10, 2018 Feb 10, 2018

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And, Ben's role at Adobe has changed from what it was...

That isn't to say it isn't a valid idea just not one a decent number of users have piled onto.

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Engaged ,
Feb 10, 2018 Feb 10, 2018

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What would we need to do to get this feature request to the top of the pile? I reckon that many users would appreciate it once they knew about it and this minor implementation was made to make it more usable

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Engaged ,
Apr 21, 2019 Apr 21, 2019

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Love this idea. Can we get it some love, please?

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 19, 2020 Nov 19, 2020

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LATEST

On the issue of feature requests and bugs....

Had a quick chat with a friend with decades years of experience in UX. The challenge from their experience is summed up by discovering that forward looking companies don't typically look backwards. Old bugs aren't on the table.

There's a challenge here because the user community eventually loses motivation to report. Some people don't know how to report. Or, you find a work around, you just cope with it, you decide not to do that, you move to another product.

Fundamentally, there needs to be an internal champion who is prepared to take on the challenge and own the problem. In the ideal case, they have enough product experience that they could be seen as a subject matter expert for the product. 

They all use a voting / count system to figure out whether to pay any attention to an issue/bug. So to paraphrase, every vote counts, you need to  vote.  

This forum is the place to be the squeaky wheel.

But don't squeak just to vent, you need to articulate the problem in repeatable steps, what is the observed outcome, what did you expect to happen and what is the (business/design) impact?

Use a numbered list to define the steps you went through.

Developers need specific scenarios and use cases to test. They need to find bugs in a methodical repeatable way. They need enough detail to find the edge cases.

There's also the challenge where the end user and the internal developer don't use the same terminology....

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