Relationship between albums, catalogs, and hard disk files in Organizer

Explorer ,
Feb 10, 2020 Feb 10, 2020

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As a new user to the Adobe Elements Organizer, we are a little anxious about inadvertantly deleting our actual photo or video files.  As such, we have a few basic questions regarding albums, catalogs, and how they relate to the actual files on the hard disk as follows:

 

FIRST, we are assuming that ALBUMS contain shortcuts to the actual files on the hard disk and that deleting albums and album categories does not delete any actual files on the hard disk, correct?

 

SECOND, does deleting a CATALOG delete the files on disk or just the catalog database pointing to the media file locations?

 

THIRD, when backing up a CATALOG, the user guide makes it sound like the actual media files on the hard disk are also backed up.  This would be a huge backup.  Is that correct or is just the catalog database pointing to the file locations backed up?

 

These are basic questions, but inherently key to preventing any inadvertent loss of original files.  Thank you so much for any assistance?

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Adobe Community Professional , Feb 10, 2020 Feb 10, 2020
Yes to all. When deleting an album, you get a confirmation that the media files are NOT deleted. Deleting a catalog just deletes the catalog folder and its databases. The Elements backup backups the media files as well as the catalog and is able to restore both on previous or new custom location.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2020 Feb 10, 2020

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Yes to all.

When deleting an album, you get a confirmation that the media files are NOT deleted.

Deleting a catalog just deletes the catalog folder and its databases.

The Elements backup backups the media files as well as the catalog and is able to restore both on previous or new custom location.

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Explorer ,
Feb 10, 2020 Feb 10, 2020

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Thank you so much for your quick reply, may we ask two follow-up questions?

 

FIRST, is there a way to backup just the CATALOG without all the actual media files?  If so, could this catalog be re-synched with the file locations on another computer, whether the same or different?

 

SECOND, we did not find anything in the user guide on how to change the default location for the CATALOG file.  Is it possible to change the default location for the catalog file so it will be automatically backed up by our backup software that is only backing up our data drives and not the system drive?

 

Thank you so much for your help!

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 02, 2022 Mar 02, 2022

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What is difference between Album and Catalog?  What does each contain?  How are they treated differently by users? By Elements itself?  Thank you.  I'm new and so lost that I'm afraid to even start using Organizer.

OH, and if I edit photos using Elements, will they be saved to both the original and the file in the Organizer? (Which is silly question because I believe the file in organizer is simply link back to the original...wherever in my harddrive that might be.

Sorry to be pain. Thank you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2022 Mar 03, 2022

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What is difference between Album and Catalog?  What does each contain?  How are they treated differently by users? By Elements itself?  Thank you.  I'm new and so lost that I'm afraid to even start using Organizer.

OH, and if I edit photos using Elements, will they be saved to both the original and the file in the Organizer? (Which is silly question because I believe the file in organizer is simply link back to the original...wherever in my harddrive that might be.

Sorry to be pain. Thank you.


By @glitterophelia

Hi, @glitterophelia 

A catalog is the same as the catalog you buy to visit a painting museum: a book with all the information you need about the paintings, their authors, their catagories, in which room you can see them. That book contains a number of alphabetic lists (indexes) to find anything by name, by date, by topics etc. It also contains small pictures of the paintings to find them visually.

 

The catalog in the organizer is not a paper book, it's in digital form. It's a special folder in your disks which is a kind of toolset containing the main database and its associated files as well as a thumbnail cache storing tiny versions of each of your photos/videos. The catalog folder does not contain photo files, it contains and manages links (addresses) to the real location of your files on your real disks.

The downloader module can either copy files from your camera/card reader to your disk, or if the files are already on your disk, it can scan and recover their real location. In both cases, cataloging new files recovers all the important properties present in the photo files. After that, you can start to enrich your catalog with your own keywords, captions, categories; you can group files by stacks, version sets or albums (more about this later). You can also manage your files on your disk(s)  about the same way you would in the Explorer or Finder.

 

Two recommendations:

- use a single catalog except if there is nothing common between them.

- never use the explorer/Finder to manage cataloged files on your disks (move, rename, delete), do it from within the organizer.

 

Now, about albums.

They are simple playlists you create at will and which are stored within the catalog database. They are simple lists in your prefered sort order pointing to the items you have included in the albums. So, they are used to prepare lists of selected and ordered files to 'export' or to show. They are ways to group several pictures without creating any duplication (you can include a given item in several lists). In a way, they work like assigning a common tag to the items of the group, with the differences that keywords can be stored not only in the catalog but also in the file themselves. Albums are stored only in the catalog. Deleting an album or removing a file from an album does not delete any real file in the disk or the catalog.

 

Be curious and try to use the online help about catalogs or albums. For instance, ask in the text box of the 'home screen' to get suggestions for specific themes.

 

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