Lightroom Import (Part 2)

An issue with Lightroom’s import process is in the implementation of the “Do not import suspected duplicates” option.

If Lightroom identifies duplicate images on my memory card it shows this dialog box. All well and good – it is quite informative. BUT …

Lightroom pauses until I acknowledge the dialog box. That is, it doesn’t get on with making the 1:1 previews of the images it did import. That can take a while and I like to let Lightroom do it undisturbed.

I'm waiting for you!

I like to leave Lightroom doing its import. Most of the time it works fine and I can come back and find it waiting for me to use its magic on my images. But if I forgot to clear my memory card after a previous import (remember that Lightroom won’t do this for me) it detects the duplicates and shows this dialog.

I imagine there are other import errors that necessitate it pausing for user intervention, but this surely isn’t one of them.

I haven’t done any investigation of what Lightroom considers to be a duplicate. the fact they included the word ‘suspected’ in the Import dialog makes me a little wary. I am guessing they use a combination of file name, date-time and maybe image size. But their human factors people (or perhaps their lawyers) made them use the weasel word “suspected” to cover themselves if they get it wrong.

I guess I should consider myself lucky. Less well written software would pause for every suspected duplicate and show an application-modal dialog box. Maybe it would even abort the import entirely. Windows XP does something similar if you try to delete a load of files and one of them is in use.

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2 Responses to “Lightroom Import (Part 2)”

  1. GB-in-TH Says:

    The blog has a post on how Lightroom detects duplicates during Import. read it here:

    The post implies Lightroom does a byte-by-byte check on the image to be imported (if the other conditions are satisfied). That seems time-consuming but should be foolproof.

  2. GB-in-TH Says:

    Further to the above I did a small test. I imported an image to LR. Then I put the card back in the camera and rotated the image 90 degrees. I tried to import the rotated image and Lightroom rejected it as a duplicate.

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