How to copy, then rename catalogue without duplicating the files

New Here ,
Mar 31, 2022 Mar 31, 2022

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Running out of space on my laptop so I decided to move all videos to external drives. I would like to make a separate catalogue for these to preserve the tags, etc, while avoiding the complications of working on the existing catalogue with drives not attached. I'm guessing I could then create two identical catalogues with different names and eliminate photos from one and videos from the other so I only have to keep drives plugged in when I'm working with the video catalogue.

 

I'm afraid if I do backup and restore I will end up with duplicates of all the images and their folder structure and have a big mess. But I can't find instructions for how to copy only the catalogue informatin without the files. And if I can manage to make a duplicate, can I rename it?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2022 Mar 31, 2022

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Hi @sylvia1152 ,

Answer to the question in the title of your post:

Yes, a catalog is a folder which you can move or copy elsewhere in the Explorer without changing its contents. Its location is found under the menu Help >> System information of the organizer.

 

quote

Running out of space on my laptop so I decided to move all videos to external drives. I would like to make a separate catalogue for these to preserve the tags, etc, while avoiding the complications of working on the existing catalogue with drives not attached. I'm guessing I could then create two identical catalogues with different names and eliminate photos from one and videos from the other so I only have to keep drives plugged in when I'm working with the video catalogue.


By @sylvia1152

 

The issue with separating the photos and videos into different catalogs is that you are losing the ability to organize and search from common criteria (album, events, captions or notes...)

I suggest to take the time to examine other solutions to the lack of disk space of the laptop:

- moving all the videos and photos to a small USB external drive as well as the catalog (optional) by backup and restore.

- Keeping the main catalog as well as the most recent and/or important part of your files in the laptop and other files moved to external drives as 'archives'  managed in the same catalog. You don't use backup and restore, you move folder tree branches to the other drive from the organizer by drag and drop of folders in the left folders panel.

 

Also, deleting a big number of files from a catalog may take very long and even abort, so you may have to delete by many batch deleting session.

quote

I'm afraid if I do backup and restore I will end up with duplicates of all the images and their folder structure and have a big mess. But I can't find instructions for how to copy only the catalogue informatin without the files. And if I can manage to make a duplicate, can I rename it?


By @sylvia1152

As mentioned above, copying just the catalog information is just a copy of a catalog folder from the Explorer.

Indeed, a backup and restore does backup both the media files folders and the catalogs (keeping the folder structure if you want). If photos and videos are in different catalogs, whatever their disk location, the contents will be totally different. No mess, no way for combined searches or albums either...

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New Here ,
Mar 31, 2022 Mar 31, 2022

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Thank you for the advice. I think no matter what I do something will get lost. Once the videos are moved to another drive making a separate catalogue will involve re-tagging 300+ files (because the metadata can't be saved on videos); a big enough flash drive will cost many $$; having some files on laptop, some on external drive sounds like a nightmare if the external drive isn't available. I don't know anything about archiving so I will read what I can find about it, if that would sidestep the internal/external divide.

 

I have looked at the catalogue folders (thanks for telling me how to find them). Is renaming as simple as just renaming the top-level folder once I have copied it?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2022 Mar 31, 2022

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quote

Thank you for the advice. I think no matter what I do something will get lost. Once the videos are moved to another drive making a separate catalogue will involve re-tagging 300+ files (because the metadata can't be saved on videos);


By @sylvia1152

The tagging of videos as well as of photos is recorded in the catalog. As long as the catalog manages videos, nothing is lost. So if you use one of the two recommended solutions, you don't have to re-tag your videos:

1 - copying the full catalog and deleting photos will keep your video tagging. The annoying thing is the time to delete photos for catalogs. So, I would not even try to delete them, I would only set the organizer to show only videos. Menu View >> media types. Or I would hide photos. In that case, everything including photo files would be on the external drive. No problem if the the external drive is big enough, otherwise you could take your time to progressively delete photo files by smaller batches when you have time.

2 - Selecting the videos (same menu as above) and moving them to a new folder on the external drive would keep all the tagging but flatten the video folders tree into a single one. If the flattening would be a problem for you, we could suggest workarounds.

 

If you have a single catalog in the default location you can access everything if the external drive is plugged in. If it is not, it's not a nightmare, the files are shown as missing and you only have to plug in the drive if you need to. The thumbnails are available but you can't play or edit your videos.

 

(The issue with the video formats not being able to store all metadata is a problem if you have to export your videos and re-import them in another catalog or another editing software.)

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New Here ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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I didn't realize I had all that flexibility. I'm going to see if your suggestions work. This might resolve all my issues and keep the tags (till I rename the files themselves) and let me get to work on taming 4 generations of home movies. Thank you so much.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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quote a big enough flash drive will cost many $$;

By @sylvia1152

I did not mean a flash drive, I suggested an external conventional USB drive, the kind you need anyway to store your backups. You can find them at reasonable prices today, even nice, very small SSD external drives of 1 TB and more. If you also care about safety and backups, have a look at what's available today.

 

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New Here ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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That's a relief, because I already have the videos on external SSDs so the thought of having to buy yet another drive was not appealing!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2022 Mar 31, 2022

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@sylvia1152 said:

I'm guessing I could then create two identical catalogues with different names and eliminate photos from one and videos from the other so I only have to keep drives plugged in when I'm working with the video catalogue.

 

That strategy will work as long as you follow the other advice given by Michel.  But, as he suggests, the better solution is to move the videos to an external drive (using the Organizer's Folder panel) and connect the external drives when you need them.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2022 Mar 31, 2022

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@sylvia1152 said:

Is renaming as simple as just renaming the top-level folder once I have copied it?

Yes.  But you will have to navigate to a custom location if you don't use the default location.  And the OS will require a new name if you simply copy the catalog folder to the default location. 

 

You can also use the Manage Catalogs dialog to Rename a catalog.  This will rename the folder.

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