Browsing with Subfolders included

Hello FastRawViewerTeam,
FRW is a really good program, I tried it right now for the first time after the recommondation on Photography Life and I am astonished of the image display in high quality without any noticable delay.
There is one feature, that I miss and because of that, I can't integrate FRW into my workflow:
I need to cull all images in all subfolders at the same time.
I often have 2000+ photos from one shooting using 2-3 different cameras at once. Unfortunatly my Sony cameras all use the same filenames and because of that, I have to download their data in different subfolders. For fast decision what images are the keepers, I have to see all files in order of shooting, no matter what camera the images are from. The only hassle free way is to load each camera in a different subfolder. In lightroom this is easy, because of the feature "Show photos in subfolders, but there is no way to do this in FRV.
Because of this I can't use FRV, what is really a pity. Maybe you find a way to enable this?

Dear Sir:

thank you for your suggestion. Your request is added to TODO list for version 1.5 (it is already too long for 1.4)

When will Version 1.5 arrive, I've been waiting for this Feature too!?

Sorry, we don't not disclose exact release schedule until we've something to show.

Thanks, that would be great.
I used today FastRawViewer with great pleasure for the first real project. 2021 photos rated with * and ** in about 2 hours. And I am sure this was faster than doing it in Lightroom, despite the special "Library" mode in LR. The transfer of my ratings with .xmp to Lightroom was hassle free. And I am sure the precision of decisions based on detail sharpness of each image was much higher than using Lightroom. I guess, the reason is the user friendly sharperning of the preview in FastRawViewer.
I have another suggestion for an enhancement for faster rating and will open a new post for it.
Thanks a lot!

That would be great!

I second this suggestion!
It's an absolute necessity for me to truly utilize the effectiveness of fastrawviewer.
Thanks ☺

I have the same problem.
Just installed fastrawviewer and searched the option to scan all subfolder and could not find it. Then I searched the forum.
Every date has its own subfolder. Was wondering why this is not included - even picasa had it.

An option to view images in several folders simultaneously is very risky.

Different folders may contain different files with the same names; from our practice, it is quite often. Seeing several identical images with the same or even different names in the same grid/thumbnail might be confusing, and might cause grave consequences while moving images, and mistakes when applying adjustments or ratings/labels.

The other reason is that, unfortunately, modern hard drives and network servers are not ready for such a challenge. Many people have terabytes of RAW files saved in nested folders on network servers. If we allow the flat browsing of nested folders, that is open all of them at once and people will start using such an option for huge collections, it might create serious problems both for hard drives and for network servers. For example, we have and use a 10Gb network and modern SSD hard drives, and still the speed of work with the network is slowed down when it comes to heavy file collections.

I agree - the whole life is very risky.
Just add a checkbox "include subfolder" (default checked) as most programmers would do implementing this "risky feature".

Dear Sir:

We don't see it this way.

LibRaw, could you please just do it anyway? Just put a warning dialog on it informing people of the concerns you shared here, which are totally valid. People don't have a problem with that. People have a problem with you making that choice for them and giving them no option. Yes, there are many people with multi-TB NAS systems, but there are way more people who operate with much smaller quantities of photos, and you're making them unhappy.

Dear Sir:

as also answered in E-mail reply, this is does not as simple as it sounds. Nested folders view works fine if you have fixed file list and no file operations (as in Lightroom: separate import step, so file list not changes while you browse Lr catalog). Many file operations in 'subfolder flat view' are becoming very non trivial, for example:

  • Move files to _Rejected: multiple _rejected folders should be created (or not?)
  • Quick copy/move file to Subfolder: multiple subfolders should be created in different folders? This is definitely not expected
  • Simple copy/move to another folder: should subfolder structure be preserved or not?
  • Copy/move to some folder that already part of flat subfolder view

There are a lot of such minor points (most of them are related to file copy/move operations) that prevents easy implementing of flat subfolders view. The only real solution is to disable

a. Folder refresh while browsing in this mode

b. Any file operations (excluding XMP change)

Is this solution (no file ops in this mode) looks acceptable?

For me, it would be a great help, if it is possible to rate all images in  nested folders at once, ordered by time. I don't need any file operations during rating. Only rating and writing to the xmp. I don't need rejected, just rating with stars and color labels

OK, wish accepted. Such limited mode seems relatively easy to implement (although we need to implement disabling of file ops), added to TODO for 'some future'

Note: sorting by EXIF date (not file date) may be painfully slow on large folder structure because all metadata should be read for all files.

Thanks a lot!!! I use FRW nearly every day with often thousands of images for culling, because LR is so slow :-)
Sorting by fiie instead of EXIF date date is ok too for the first rating

I agree with everyone that want this feature. To be honest, I have been looking through all settings I could find, because I could not believe FRW did not have it already. I consider this a basic feature that is necessary for a proper workflow.

When I go out to work, I sometimes shoot both video and images with the same camera. And some video editing systems needs the folder structure to be intact to work correctly. So I always copy the complete folder structure from my memory cards to my HD (and backup).

My next step is to cull uing FRW. Now, the easy thing would be to point FRW to the top folder I just created for the job. But as that does not work, I have to navigate down to the image folder until I can view anything. This slows down the workflow speed.

Lightroom does not care how many levels of subfolders you have on your drive. However, most Adobe products don't like networks much.

Most people will not use this to check their entire collection in one window. BUT - 
When implementing this feature, just make sure that you do not have to wait for a complete read of all folders until you can move on. So when you start clicking down in a folder structure, it interrupts the read and start again from the new folder you clicked on. You could even add a couple of seconds delay before you start reading so if you navigate quickly, it will not start to read the folder until you reach the destination folder.

Multiple file names being the same: Yes, this is one of the dangers of this, but you could add an extra check on date and time to make sure you separate the images. The odds of two images having the same name AND date and time down to the second is really small. If you add the serial number of the camera into the mix, I think you should be ok :-) Oh - and while thinking a bit more about this - they will exist at different file paths. So if I click on an image and want to change IPTC, you will of course consider the filepath when you do the write. here is no logic in writing to another images filepath. No OS that I know allows you to have to files with the same name in the same folder. Different sub folders - yes. But it is up to you to make sure FRW keeps track of where files are in the file system ;-)
I think your concerns are valid, but there are ways to make sure things work out correctly. And I think the benefits of this feature outweighs the concern.

Finally - thank you for an amazing program. I am developing a post production workflow training class, and FRW will have its own module and be on the MUST HAVE list!

Just a note: same name and same file metadata (file date, file size) and same internal EXIF metadata is a very very common case: it is just copies of same file in different (sub)folders.

Oceanwatcher's picture

Ah, yes. If you have a completely unmanaged library, I would say it is common.

However - they would still have to be in different folders, and as FRW should track what image is in what folder, it should still be possible to keep them apart.

I really hope this feature will make it into the program as soon as possible. My main reason for using FRW is in the culling stage. When you come in from a shoot and transfer your cards to HD, you should make a backup copy. But you do not include that copy when you cull your images.


Svein Wisnaes

Also need this feature....I just contacted support about adding the ability to see subfolders. It's essential for the wedding work I do with multiple cameras/angles and needing to keep them in separate folders, but cull them at the same time/keep them in the timeframe they were shot in. I'm ready to purchase FRV as soon as I see this feature!

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