Lightroom Mobile: I would like to synchronize over LAN/Cable instead of internet

133 Votes
Community Beginner ,
May 30, 2014 May 30, 2014

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LR mobile sync is extremely slow. Giving me an option to sync locally would be excellent. And I'm sure very useful for professionals travelling in areas where internet is limited/non-existent or expensive and time consuming.Come on Adobe. If this is designed for professionals this slow sync and data usage issues on global data roaming....? It simply isn't practical. The product as is can't be recommended as is.(please also add keywords, ratings, labels to app functionality)Thanks!
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124 Comments
Participant ,
Dec 05, 2019 Dec 05, 2019

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I don't consider it an "edge case", but the fact that Adobe hasn't done anything to solve it in the years we've been harping on them leads me to believe that they think it is, as far as their overall goals are concerned.

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New Here ,
Dec 05, 2019 Dec 05, 2019

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I can see how my post might have felt like it was pointed at you. Sorry 'bout that. Obviously no point in complaining at you, and I can see that you are just trying to help.

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Participant ,
Dec 05, 2019 Dec 05, 2019

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No problem - I really didn't make it clear in my original post that I didn't feel that way. Thanks for being considerate, regardless.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 06, 2019 Dec 06, 2019

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I am not a coder, but after a 25 year IT career I've learned that: syncing the same dataset both locally to another computer AND over the internet AT THE SAME TIME is unbelievably difficult to achieve and rife with danger to your data. Adobe wisely stays away from taking a chance on losing all your images. It has to be one or the other, and I, for one, am SO glad it's the Cloud, it makes my life SO much easier. End of line.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 06, 2019 Dec 06, 2019

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You apparently never work in an area with limited or no internet connection.  All Adobe has to do is provide a REAL "Export as Original" with all the included XMP data and with IpadOS you can transfer the edits in the field to a PC.  Not a great solution but workable in situations where internet is unusable.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 06, 2019 Dec 06, 2019

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Thank God, no, and I hope I never do!

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LEGEND ,
Dec 06, 2019 Dec 06, 2019

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I actually like being out where there is no cell or internet service.  Very refreshing.

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Participant ,
Dec 08, 2019 Dec 08, 2019

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Yes an export with settings would help too. But that would also need the limit of 15 files to export at once to be removed. That would be the offline solution.

And for slow/bad connections the "only upload smartpreviews to the cloud " option.

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Explorer ,
Dec 10, 2019 Dec 10, 2019

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Oh my god ! New update of LR Ipad ! It is now possible to import directly in Lightroom, and export DNG !!! Oooooo ! Wonderfull !!! I tested with 200 CRAW files and word fine ! Good job Adobe ! Very good job !  Thanks for this update !!!

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New Here ,
Dec 10, 2019 Dec 10, 2019

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I just exported some raw files in Lightroom Mobile as dng files and then airdropped them to my Mac in tact! I really appreciate that Adobe would make Lightroom more usable to a wider range of folks. Thank-you. It would be awesome as well to have full keywording function & transfer. 

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Explorer ,
Dec 10, 2019 Dec 10, 2019

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With this new update, the ability to synchronize the folder (album) on demand would be perfect to 😉

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LEGEND ,
Dec 10, 2019 Dec 10, 2019

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I'm sure it's no reflection on your IT experience but...you are conflating two entirely different issues.   Whilst maintaining multiple versions of a singe dataset is fraught with technical difficulties... this concept has absolutely NOTHING to do with the reason why a local syncing option is unavailable on LRM. The decision to leave LAN syncing out of mobile is an ADOBE business stratagem NOT a technical issue AT ALL. (I worked as a OS developer for many years)  I made a post about this over three years ago on this very thread.
Whilst the cloud may work well for you there are many many scenarios where it is sub optimal or downright useless.

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New Here ,
Dec 28, 2019 Dec 28, 2019

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Without wifi, it is not possible to transfer images, captured by the Lightroom camera and imported directly to Lightroom on the iPhone, to another iOS device (iPad) by direct connection. Images from the camera roll can be imported but images already in Lightroom cannot. This is a problem when using the Lightroom camera (on the iPhone) in the field, with no wifi, and needing to edit those images on the iPad. All devices are running iOS 13.3. The only alternative is to use another camera such as Halide which imports to the camera roll.

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Explorer ,
Feb 11, 2020 Feb 11, 2020

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Feature request; please add syncing raw files from LR CC to LR CLASSIC with a USB-C cable on the iPAD instead of via the Cloud. And the ability to only use syncing via the Cloud for the Collections via Smart Previews. Uploading and downloading 80 GB raw photo files through the Cloud when using my iPad during travel is too slow, it takes forever to upload and when I come home forever to download. The whole process slows down my workflow instead of improving it.


Cons of cloud transfer:  

  • It eats up too much wifi bandwidth and battery from my iPAD on my travels
  • back at home I do not want to wait untill everything is up in the cloud from my iPad to than download from the Cloud again on my Desktop.
  • I do not see clearly what has been uploaded and what not, plus the raw files are somewhere hidden on my iPAD
  • files imported in LR CC (raw) are different than the ones downloaded from LR CLASSIC folders to collections (smart previews only). It's confusing when you want to delete files, there is a risk of deleting originals.
  • Creative Cloud storage requires the same amount of storage on your hard disc, so it is not truly cloud storage (like online-only on Dropbox)
Instead of importing and working on the RAW files in LR CC, we should be able to work on the Smart Previews instead. So the workflow is the same as if the images are coming from Collections in LR Classic. The raw files should be imported on the iPAD where they are visible on the iPAD folders and easy to copy over to an external drive or computer.

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Participant ,
Mar 02, 2020 Mar 02, 2020

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Well, I finally gave up. It doesn't appear that the combination of Adobe and Apple are going to give us what we want. Apple has opened up the iPad, but even with all of the new features of iPadOS, nothing can fix the Lightroom problem for traveling photographers. At this point, the only solution would appear to be Lightroom Classic for iPad; we're gradually getting Photoshop, Illustrator is on the way - if we yell loud enough, maybe they'd add Lightroom Classic in a few years?

In the meantime, I did some research and decided to give a Surface Go (8GB/128GB) a try. It's nowhere near as fast as any recent iPad, but it does fit in the same space as an 11" iPad Pro, can charge over USB-C, has a decent trackpad on the Type Cover, and it runs a full version of Windows (after you make the free switch from Windows S), so it can run Lightroom Classic.

It takes a while to start LR up, and it's no speed demon once you're in, but for my 20MP Sony and Olympus images, it's actually pretty usable for my purposes. I can import, keyword, and do some adjustments (a bit faster if I let it generate smart previews), and when I get home, I can just export the catalog and import it on my desktop Mac. I did add a 256GB micro-SD card to make things a bit easier, and I can back up to a small USB-C SSD on the road.

Not sure if I would buy the Surface Go at full price ($679 for my setup with an included Type Cover), but I got it on sale for $499, and also was able to save $20 on a year of the Photography Plan with the system purchase, so that brought the full cost down a bit more. I'll bring an iPad mini when I travel instead of the 11" Pro (for reading and web browsing), so the overall weight of my kit won't go up dramatically, and I'll finally be rid of the headache that Adobe is so reluctant to fix.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 14, 2020 Apr 14, 2020

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Carlos, it sounds sounds great in theory. I wonder if you have any secrets how you are able to do that. It is April now and I am still waiting for my photo shoots from August of last year to fully sync to my Lightroom Mobile tablet. Adobe tech support explained it will not happen in the background, but that I need to keep Lightroom Mobile and my screen on. Basically babysit over 30,000 photos. There needs to be better option if Adobe will not be willing to address this major problem... Over a cable or wifi would be a good start until they fix this...

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 14, 2020 Apr 14, 2020

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Also,when you travel to places like Cuba with internet still almost not existent, or you are in a place where data is still very expensive this app sync to the cloud and then back to your devices rather then locally between your laptop and tablet or a phone is really a deal-breaker for me

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 14, 2020 Apr 14, 2020

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I second that.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 14, 2020 Apr 14, 2020

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@chrisb Thanks for the tip about ON1. I will keep and eye to see if the sync process will be easier because Lightroom Mobile is dreadful and doesn't work for me at all. We are in April and I am still waiting for my photo-shoots from August 2019 to fully sync..

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LEGEND ,
Apr 14, 2020 Apr 14, 2020

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What tablet, iPad? I find that LR Mobile sync just STOPS sometimes, (probably a cache issue), and sometimes quitting the app/relaunching it wakes it up. Or log in and out? Or delete the app and install it again? (That would delete the offending corrupt cache file).

Also, on any device, a huge sync can be buggy. Try breaking it up into smaller chunks.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 06, 2020 Jul 06, 2020

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LEGEND ,
Jul 07, 2020 Jul 07, 2020

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LEGEND ,
Jul 07, 2020 Jul 07, 2020

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New Here ,
Sep 05, 2021 Sep 05, 2021

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Reading through the comments it would appear and I'd prefer Adobe ditch LR CC and bring classic to mobile and Linux and allow libraries to be LAN sync (routed -- so works over L3 VPNs) between devices in classic. Allow users to not use your cloud for photos. But it makes sense to use Adobe cloud to sync and backup preferences / profiles / presets. And you could maintain a list of libraries (not the photos or even thumbnails, just the names) to choose to sync locally from each machine. As well as giving the option to push a library from mobile to desktop (Device name) to free that space from mobile. Additionally unless you can convince Apple to fix their broken files app, I'd suggest adding a file copy from SD card (maybe there already is) but yeah files can't handle opening a folder of a few thousand raws so I have to put SD card in computer to copy just a few to a folder then back to iPad folder, kinda embarrassing Apple. After that address bitrot and LR classic (assuming I can run it on Linux someday) will be all I ever need. But at least it's gotten a little better in that I can edit and export from a folder and pause sync. But long term that makes a huge mess. 

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