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Better options for network drives and session caching

I'd like to see some better options for network drives, including better integration with Windows and macOS's built-in drive connections, speculative caching and better RAM utilization while connected to a network drive (especially SMB shares).

I (along with many other photographers) store work on a storage server. I typically connect over a 10Gb dedicated connection, but sometimes connect over 1Gb or even wi-fi. We typically store photos on a dedicated storage server because they can offer increased resilience against drive failures and better file sharing within a LAN.

Most urgently, I'd like the ability for PM6 to predict and preemptively load photos in the same contact sheet before the user scrolls over them. Right now, I have to manually scroll through the entire contact sheet one page at a time and wait for the filenames to turn from red to white (presumably indicating that they or proxies have been loaded into memory), so opening a new contact sheet can take 10 minutes that I have to be paying attention and scrolling through. Alternatively, if PM6 preemptively loaded as much of the contact sheet as it could into memory as soon as the sheet was opened, it would mean that the end-user experience would be a lot smoother as I moved through the photos.

Specifically, I'd like to propose that PM6 use as much of the memory as it can (defined in the settings as the maximum memory allotment) to load in as many files or file proxies as it can when the contact sheet is opened. Failing that, I'd like PM6 to at least load the contact sheet to local storage (NVME drives are growing in popularity, which could make up for performance deficiencies in this instance - it'd be a whole lot faster than 10Gb or 1Gb networking).


You can start working with the files while they're still pre-caching. You don't need to wait for them to turn from red to white. However, browsing a contact sheet on a network drive is always going to be slower because the connection is slower.  

That said, we'll check to make sure pre-caching is still working as designed because it should be loading proxies without you having to scroll over to them. 

Thanks Marziah, if the files haven't turned from red to white, then PM6 crashes when reading from a network share if even a single photo is tagged, coded, or otherwise modified. That's really why I'd like PM6 to preemptively cache as much as it can because once they do turn from red to white, it's quite snappy and usable, but before, it's a sluggish gross mess.

It is already supposed to be pre-caching, so we'll look into this to see if we can identify a bug. Meanwhile, I'm going to turn this into a support ticket to see if we can work out if there's something else going on in your case. 

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