Author Topic: Storing and using Photo Mechanic Plus catalog on external SSD  (Read 1155 times)

Offline stevejack

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Hi All,
I've been using Photo Mechanic for several years, just to cull files before copying to my SSD.

My workflow exists entirely on external SSDs (with backups to HDD).
So my lightroom catalog and all of my current images are stored on the main SSD and I just connect that SSD to whichever machine I'm using at the time (my Macbook or my iMac).

It takes me around 12 months to fill a 2TB SSD with photos, and once a drive is full, I just copy the lightroom catalog across to the new SSD and start filling the new drive with current work. Whenever I need to edit an old image, I just plug in the SSD that has those files on it.

This has been working perfectly, but now I need to bring PM+ into the mix and I'm not sure how it will go running a catalog from an external drive, with some images not being connected to the machine all of the time.

I have copied the PM+ catalog folder over to the SSD and it opens fine on both the macbook and the imac. I can search the catalog just fine so it all appears to be working at a glance, if an old SSD isn't connected the image preview just doesn't show up in the search results. I've only imported a few folders as a test and I haven't yet scanned all of the folders and added metadata to all of my back catalog until I know that my workflow is going to work without issues.

Does anyone have the same workflow? Is there any reason why I can't store the PM+ catalog on the SSD and plug it into which ever computer I'm using at the time? Am I likely to run into issues in the future?
 

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Storing and using Photo Mechanic Plus catalog on external SSD
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2022, 09:32:44 AM »
Steve,

I have copied the PM+ catalog folder over to the SSD and it opens fine on both the macbook and the imac. I can search the catalog just fine so it all appears to be working at a glance, if an old SSD isn't connected the image preview just doesn't show up in the search results. I've only imported a few folders as a test and I haven't yet scanned all of the folders and added metadata to all of my back catalog until I know that my workflow is going to work without issues.

Does anyone have the same workflow? Is there any reason why I can't store the PM+ catalog on the SSD and plug it into which ever computer I'm using at the time? Am I likely to run into issues in the future?

You will find that you will need to reintegrate your external SSD catalogs if they change (items added/removed) on one computer when you use it on the other computer.  Reintegration doesn't take long though and if you're not making changes, you won't have to do that either.

One optimization: if the images are always going to be accessible when the catalog is accessed, then you don't need to generate proxies at all.  This should save a significant amount of disk space.

-Kirk

Offline stevejack

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Re: Storing and using Photo Mechanic Plus catalog on external SSD
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2022, 06:52:36 PM »

You will find that you will need to reintegrate your external SSD catalogs if they change (items added/removed) on one computer when you use it on the other computer.  Reintegration doesn't take long though and if you're not making changes, you won't have to do that either.

One optimization: if the images are always going to be accessible when the catalog is accessed, then you don't need to generate proxies at all.  This should save a significant amount of disk space.

-Kirk

Thanks Kirk, great info.
I'll make a start on it this week and see how it goes. Sounds like it should be fairly straightforward.