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"Import" duplicates files

New Here ,
Dec 16, 2019

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I bought Elements 2020 for the sole purpose of organizing my photo collection. I started importing images into Elements Organizer and noticed it was taking a long time, so I suspected it was creating copies of files.

 

This Adobe page explicitly says copies are not created:

https://helpx.adobe.com/elements-organizer/using/getting-photos-videos.html

"When you import a media file from a folder saved in the hard drive of your machine, Elements Organizer creates a link to the media file in a catalog. It does not copy or move the original image unless you specify it"

 

When I import files from my NAS, the "Copy files on import" option is grayed out. It's not selectable.

 

Yet, when I went to Back Up my catalog to my NAS, guess what? There's a copy of every single image file I imported, doubling the size on disk! There's a .JSON file of metadata for each image, but there's also an exact copy of the .JPG file as well.

 

None of these images were edited or altered in any way. "Automatically fix red eye" isn't even checked when importing. I am literally just adding the plain file to Adobe and have not interacted with them in any way whatsoever.

 

How can I avoid this? I don't want Adobe to make copies of my image collection, it already takes up a lot of space. Again, I did not (in fact, could not) select "Copy files on import," and there is no preference setting, AND I'm saving the backup to the same drive from which the images originated.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by MichelBParis | Adobe Community Professional

"Maybe I need to take a step back and ask: Organizer seems to assume that I use one computer in life. Is that correct?"

The organizer has been created some fifteen years ago with a single computer in mind. No doubt about it. A number of IT people wanted to apply their network experience to enable sharing catalogs and media on NASs. That has resulted in mostly big disappointments. For instance you can't store catalogs on NASs on Macs (same in LR).

Two compelling reasons explain that situation:

First, from the begining, the rather simple catalog solution with a relational database enabled storing the catalog and database on an external drive that you can share alternatively. Most frequent situation for people using a desktop and laptop at the same time. No license problem. Most economical solution compared with networks.

And now, the solution asked by most young users and chosen by Adobe is to share via 'the Cloud'... Don't expect Adobe to make the organizer compatible with NASs. A few years ago, there was an official answer in the feedback forum that Adobe did not want to support them for PSE.

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"Import" duplicates files

New Here ,
Dec 16, 2019

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I bought Elements 2020 for the sole purpose of organizing my photo collection. I started importing images into Elements Organizer and noticed it was taking a long time, so I suspected it was creating copies of files.

 

This Adobe page explicitly says copies are not created:

https://helpx.adobe.com/elements-organizer/using/getting-photos-videos.html

"When you import a media file from a folder saved in the hard drive of your machine, Elements Organizer creates a link to the media file in a catalog. It does not copy or move the original image unless you specify it"

 

When I import files from my NAS, the "Copy files on import" option is grayed out. It's not selectable.

 

Yet, when I went to Back Up my catalog to my NAS, guess what? There's a copy of every single image file I imported, doubling the size on disk! There's a .JSON file of metadata for each image, but there's also an exact copy of the .JPG file as well.

 

None of these images were edited or altered in any way. "Automatically fix red eye" isn't even checked when importing. I am literally just adding the plain file to Adobe and have not interacted with them in any way whatsoever.

 

How can I avoid this? I don't want Adobe to make copies of my image collection, it already takes up a lot of space. Again, I did not (in fact, could not) select "Copy files on import," and there is no preference setting, AND I'm saving the backup to the same drive from which the images originated.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by MichelBParis | Adobe Community Professional

"Maybe I need to take a step back and ask: Organizer seems to assume that I use one computer in life. Is that correct?"

The organizer has been created some fifteen years ago with a single computer in mind. No doubt about it. A number of IT people wanted to apply their network experience to enable sharing catalogs and media on NASs. That has resulted in mostly big disappointments. For instance you can't store catalogs on NASs on Macs (same in LR).

Two compelling reasons explain that situation:

First, from the begining, the rather simple catalog solution with a relational database enabled storing the catalog and database on an external drive that you can share alternatively. Most frequent situation for people using a desktop and laptop at the same time. No license problem. Most economical solution compared with networks.

And now, the solution asked by most young users and chosen by Adobe is to share via 'the Cloud'... Don't expect Adobe to make the organizer compatible with NASs. A few years ago, there was an official answer in the feedback forum that Adobe did not want to support them for PSE.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 16, 2019

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Do I understand well? If you create an organizer backup, you create a copy of all your files as well as your catalog contents in a backup folder. That's what is expected. With the organizer, a backup is not a simple copy of the catalog folder, it copies everything.

"AND I'm saving the backup to the same drive from which the images originated."

This is not considered as a backup, which by nature should be on a different physical media (drive). What happens if your original drive is no longer available (crash, theft, fire, flood, user error)?

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New Here ,
Dec 16, 2019

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Thank you for your quick response. I wasn't trying to complete a backup of my entire collection for disaster recovery purposes here. Duplicating files in that context might actually make sense. I was hoping to save the Adobe-created files generated by Organizer so that it can be used from another licensed machine on the same network.

 

There isn't an option to export Organizer files without copying the media files in the entire collection? (It's rather presumptive for Adobe to assume the user doesn't have another copy of the file in an age where cloud storage options come with operating systems, and there are dozens of third party vendors.)

 

In my scenario, I have two computers that need to access these image files, which are stored centrally on NAS.

 

- In Elements Organizer (PC at least), the user isn't prompted to select a location to save the Catalog data during first use.

- It appears to be stored in

C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Elements Organizer\Catalogs\ by default.

- If I want to edit this Catalog from my other machine, Adobe storing its catalog files locally isn't helpful.

- In Manage Catalogs, it specifically says "Network location not recommended."

-- "Not recommended" is misleading. You can't create a catalog in a network location. If I choose a Custom Location and choose a network location, a warning pops up about preferring local hard drives. If you click OK to ignore the warning and "create in the new location", it ignores the selected paths and uses C:\Users\user_name\ instead.

 

As such, my only option seemed to be Backing Up the catalog from Computer A and then Restoring that backup to Computer B. But, as noted above, backing up the catalog duplicates all the files.

 

Maybe I need to take a step back and ask: Organizer seems to assume that I use one computer in life. Is that correct?

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 16, 2019

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"Maybe I need to take a step back and ask: Organizer seems to assume that I use one computer in life. Is that correct?"

The organizer has been created some fifteen years ago with a single computer in mind. No doubt about it. A number of IT people wanted to apply their network experience to enable sharing catalogs and media on NASs. That has resulted in mostly big disappointments. For instance you can't store catalogs on NASs on Macs (same in LR).

Two compelling reasons explain that situation:

First, from the begining, the rather simple catalog solution with a relational database enabled storing the catalog and database on an external drive that you can share alternatively. Most frequent situation for people using a desktop and laptop at the same time. No license problem. Most economical solution compared with networks.

And now, the solution asked by most young users and chosen by Adobe is to share via 'the Cloud'... Don't expect Adobe to make the organizer compatible with NASs. A few years ago, there was an official answer in the feedback forum that Adobe did not want to support them for PSE.

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New Here ,
Dec 28, 2019

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Thank you. This is exactly what I was looking for, althought it's obviously not good news.

This should all be made much more clear in the product description. I wouldn't have purchased a license for the software if I had know that to be the case!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2019

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"

Thank you. This is exactly what I was looking for, althought it's obviously not good news.

This should all be made much more clear in the product description. I wouldn't have purchased a license for the software if I had know that to be the case!"

I understand your point of view but unfortunately, what seems obvious for you based on your personal experience is not clear for the typical Elements user, so there is not much demand for an affordable solution to share both media files and a catalog organization based on a local network.

There is such an important demand for professionals using Lightroom in workgroups but Lightroom 'Classic' does not offer the solution. If you ask Adobe, they will answer that the solution is (or will be...) the cloud-based Lightroom (when it gets more than the minimal features available today). I don't think either that you can find affordable competitors solutions based on local networks. That is a pity since it does mean that most of the developping efforts of Adobe will be concentrated on 'the Cloud' rather than in LR Classic or Elements.

Take the time to browse the feedback forum for Lightroom to see how things are changing:

https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/categories/photoshop_family_photoshop_lightroom

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Greg_S. LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2019

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In addition to the excellent advice you have received from Michel, I think there are a couple of points that need to be explored further. 

First, you say that you were unable to create a catalog in a network location.  There is no reason why you shouldn't have been able to do so (even though it is not recommended - probably because of performance issues).  However, I believe that you have to map your network drive to a drive letter in order to do so.  If your NAS is not set up with a mapped drive letter, I would suggest trying that as a solution to your problem.

 

You can also copy (via Windows File Explorer) the entire catalog folder to your NAS and open the catalog from there (on both computers).  You have already identified the default location of the catalog, and if you have not changed the catalog name, simply copy the entire My Catalog folder to your desired NAS location. 

 

AFAIK, the only problem you would have in using the same NAS catalog on both computers is that you will have different Auto-Creations.  The Creations are stored in a system folder which cannot be moved. 

 

 

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