Adobe applications: Auto Download Linked assets + other requests


First off, I like the look of odrive and the install/cloud storage connections was easy and intuitive. Not like some others I’ve tried, so thankyou! I also love that you have a forum and feature request section, shows you actually want to listen and improve your product.

So, my company (a digital media company with 120+ employees) are trying to find an alternative to Mountain Duck, and I thought I found it with ODrive, however we have one major issue that needs solving. We use the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of apps, and being that we are primarily a video production company, we use a lot of files, often very large files. Our Dropbox is approx 150TB (yes, TB!).

Our artists need to be able to jump between projects where assets are scattered across many folders. One of the great things about Mountain Duck is that when you open, for example, an Adobe After Effects project, Mountain Duck automatically downloads the assets that are used within the project (images, footage etc). This automation can save hours of digging through folders to find the assets required and syncing them manually.

However, Mountain Duck has other issues which I won’t go into that mean we want to find a better alternative.

So, that is our main issue that we would need solving before considering ODrive. I have a couple of others that would like to mention too. I’ll list them all here.

  1. (main issue) Auto download assets associated with Adobe projects (and any other third party apps). Without this fix, it’s completely unusable for our company.

  2. Auto folder download. (It’s a real pain to have to double click on each folder to see it’s contents. Mountain Duck allows you to view folders and contents straight away without having to click in to each one. (Just to reiterate, I found this VERY annoying!)

  3. Better ‘at a glance’ information in the menu bar. Mainly I want to be able to see download and upload rates.

  4. Simplify the dropdown menu. Most of the settings will be used rarely, so I think it would be better to put most of the settings into a standalone window that opens when you click on a ‘Settings’ option. Having them in the main menu looks cluttered.

  5. Having the filetypes as .cloud is horrible and just makes it harder to read the folder/filename. If possible, I would suggest removing this. The ticks are enough information to know what folders/files are synced or not.

I really want to like ODrive, and if these issues were addressed, I think you guys would have an amazing product.



Hi @domburgess,
Thanks for all of the details and kind words!

Since odrive uses the placeholder file paradigm, it limits what can be done, in this regard. 3rd party apps don’t understand placeholder files, so they cannot initiate downloads of dependency files.

See further down for possible ways to deal with this

You can use the right-click->sync feature to specify how you want to expose a folder structure. In your case, for example, you could right-click on a top-level folder, slide the slider all the way to the left to download “Nothing”, and check the “Include subfolders” checkbox. This would expand all of the folders underneath, without downloading any files, providing a visible cloud structure.

The “Save and apply” checkbox is an optional, premium feature that will set a rule on the selected folder so that it will always follow the settings you have set for any new content that shows-up, as well. For example, a new folder is added to the structure will be automatically expanded.

If you want to download files within the structure, you can slide the slider to the right to set a threshold for file size. Anything under the threshold will download. Anything over the threshold will stay a placeholder file.

You may be able to use this right-click->sync feature to expand and download files that are needed in your projects (main issue).


The odrive tray menu will show the in-transit items at the top of the menu under “Syncing changes”. You can get detailed information about exactly what the sync engine has done, including specific rates for each download or upload from the “Sync activity log”, which can be opened from the odrive tray menu → "Syncing changes → “Open sync activity log”

Noted. We’ve gone back and forth on this, but settled on leaving it the way it is, for now, because of how Windows 11 now handles context menus, by pushing them into a “Show more options” submenu item, which, while alleviating some of the issue, it also introduces enough extra work that we didn’t want to add to it with another menu. Also, the options listed are actually used more often than you might think. :wink:

This is an inherent part of the placeholder paradigm that is used, so it can’t be changed for this product.

We do have another, unadvertised product, however, that may work better for your use case and satisfy several of the items above. I’ll have someone from our team follow-up with you on this.

Thanks so much for your quick and detailed response, it really is appreciated and really refreshing. Keep it up!

Alex emailed also regarding your unadvertised product. I’m definitely curious, however unless it addresses the main issue of the downloading assets when a project is opened, then I’m afraid we can’t use it. I’ve responded to him to ask this.

Thanks again.


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