Preview and thumbnail image cache on external drive

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Preview and thumbnail image cache on external drive

Postby NNN636676058250353137 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:26 pm

I searched this forum a while ago to see if any other Mac users had concerns about the size of their catalog file. I was surprised that I didn’t find anything on topic (my apologies if I just missed it), although I did find some posts on other sites. In any case, my .cocatalog file was getting enormous, hundreds of gigabytes, even though I store all my RAW image files on an external RAID.

The large catalog not only uses up precious space on my internal SSD, but it got too big to sync with iCloud Drive and used up a lot of unnecessary bandwidth and space in my backup systems.

So the reason for the huge file was because Capture One stores preview images inside the same file as the database (which is a very Apple Photos thing to do), but I was surprised to see that there is no preference option to locate the preview/thumbnail cache outside of that file, which is actually a macOS package.

I could have reduced the dimensions of the preview files, but that doesn’t entirely solve the problem and kind of negates their usefulness on a 27" iMac.

Anyway, I eventually came up with a solution that works great for me, using the package contents and a symlink. I now store the preview images on an external SSD that I reserve exclusively for caches.

I wrote up the steps on my blog and share the post here in hopes that others may find it useful:

https://www.packafoma.com/blog/2018/10/29/how-to-move-capture-one-preview-cache-to-external-drive/
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Re: Preview and thumbnail image cache on external drive

Postby ben_US » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:09 pm

NNN636676058250353137 wrote:So the reason for the huge file was because Capture One stores preview images inside the same file as the database (which is a very Apple Photos thing to do), but I was surprised to see that there is no preference option to locate the preview/thumbnail cache outside of that file, which is actually a macOS package.


Your workaround is pretty awesome, but I should note that sessions already store preview/thumb caches external to the document. This KB article explains moving from a catalog to a session, if anyone's interested:
https://www.phaseone.com/en/Search/Article.aspx?articleid=1338&languageid=1
Please make a support case for Technical Support with Capture One software:
http://support.phaseone.com and click on Contact Support, then select Technical Support.
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Re: Preview and thumbnail image cache on external drive

Postby SFA » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:44 pm

Interesting.

I have no experience of Macs but one thing that is evident with Windows is that external drives, whether or not they are SSDs, are not especially good at transferring a lot of small files - thumbnails for example or preview files depending on how one defines 'small' - and maintaining anything near their rated speed or the speed of the connection being used.

Is this any sort of issue with Macs?

On another matter, not being a catalog user may not be helping me here, when the catalogue is backed up for any purpose by the system does it normally backup Previews and thumbnails?

What happens when they have been transferred to a different drive?

If they are missed out I guess it's no big deal since they can be recreated but presumably if that external disk is off-line for some reason off-line editing will not be available or C1 will attempt to generate the files on the local drive? Or maybe something else?



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Re: Preview and thumbnail image cache on external drive

Postby NNN636676058250353137 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:23 am

ben_US wrote:Your workaround is pretty awesome, but I should note that sessions already store preview/thumb caches external to the document.


Thanks, Ben. That’s a good point. I know sessions have some other benefits as well, but I prefer a single catalog for my workflow.

With sessions, is there an option to store the preview cache outside of the directory that contains the database file?
Last edited by NNN636676058250353137 on Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Preview and thumbnail image cache on external drive

Postby NNN636676058250353137 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:43 am

SFA wrote:I have no experience of Macs but one thing that is evident with Windows is that external drives, whether or not they are SSDs, are not especially good at transferring a lot of small files - thumbnails for example or preview files depending on how one defines 'small' - and maintaining anything near their rated speed or the speed of the connection being used.

Is this any sort of issue with Macs?


I haven’t found it to be an issue.
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