This topic and subtopics describe legacy functionality in FotoStation. While it is still possible to use this feature, it is scheduled to be discontinued in July 2021.
What are offline archives for?
When working with media files (images, movies and sound), especially large files, you may not always want to have the files stored on a disk that is directly accessible. It may be better to store the files on for example CDs, DVDs, or other types of removable media. Other times, a slow network connection may make real-time access to an archive less practical.
Even if the files are not easily accessible, it may still be practical to be able to see a thumbnail (or preview) of the file and to search for files by their metadata. This is where the Offline manager in FotoStation comes in handy. It lets you add offline resources to an archive. This implies that low-resolution copies of the files (thumbnails and previews) are added to an archive, and are searchable and to some extent modifiable, while the high-resolution master files can be stored safely on removable media. When you need access to the high-resolution file stored on the removable media, FotoStation will display a dialog requesting the removable media complete with information about where it can be found. This information is entered when the offline resource is created.