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Author Topic: Accessing catalog from multiple computers?  (Read 1443 times)
rogerxnz
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« on: March 02, 2013, 03:32:55 PM »
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I am trialing Lightroom.

I have a desktop computer and a laptop. I guess if I have one catalog, I can only have it on one computer unless the catalog is in the cloud?

How reliable is it to have a cloud-based catalog?
Roger
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Roger Hayman
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2013, 03:51:23 PM »
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...I have a desktop computer and a laptop. I guess if I have one catalog, I can only have it on one computer unless the catalog is in the cloud?
Roger currently I would not recommend using the cloud for this purpose.
There are ways to use a single catalog on multiple computers.
The best exposition that I know of the workflow entailed is in Seth Resnick's book "Workflow, not Workslow in Lightroom 4".
It is not that complicated and Seth describes several different scenarios for the reader.

BTW the entire book is a revelation for those used to viewing Lightroom just as a RAW converter.

Tony Jay
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l_d_allan
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 08:09:31 AM »
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I have a desktop computer and a laptop. I guess if I have one catalog, I can only have it on one computer unless the catalog is in the cloud?

At first, I thought you were asking about Adobe's license restrictions. If so ... IANAL, but you can have LR on two computers. I don't think you can deactivate an installation like you can in CS4+ That allows you to "roam" among 3+ computers.  

I haven't actually done it, but I've 90% confident that a laptop that was networked to a desktop could freely utilize the catalog on the connected desktop computer (RJ45 or wireless). With Win7, I have a drive on my wife's computer defined as "W:", so I could have a catalog that I use on my computer be W:\Photos\MyRemoteLrCatalog.lrcat

But I am unclear if that is what you are actually asking.

My speculation is you want to be able to work on your laptop while you are away from home for more than a day or so. If not, disregard.

  • My understanding is that it isn't difficult to "import" a "Work-in-progress" catalog from your laptop when you get home from a trip.
  • I wouldn't have my actual, full catalog on "the cloud" (at least not yet), but I might risk having a "work-in-progress" catalog on "the cloud".  Just be prepared that the equivalent of "sidecar files" with the p.p. you did could get lost.
  • In the past, I recall getting help to set up a VPN (virtual private network). Once setup, a drive on a distant server behaved like a local drive (except much slower). I think that gave me the equivalent of remote access to an intrAnet. That might be an option for you, but somebody has to know what they are doing.
  • I confess to being rather ignorant about "the cloud", but my less-than-informed impression is that it is most suitable for ChromeBooks and corporate collaboration.
  • I was pleasantly surprised that the catalog itself isn't nearly as big as I expected, so bandwidth to and from "the cloud" doesn't have to be a "huge pipe". Your RAW, TIF, JPG, etc files typically stay on your local drive.
  • After about six months of actively using LR4, and having about 15,000 "keeper 1+ star" images from mid-2012 and later imported to LR, the optimized catalog is 310MB. If I did the math correctly, that's only about 20kb per image.
  • Note: I decided to try LR for a release cycle, rather than upgrading from CS5 to CS6. I'll probably go back to CS7 when it is available. Hopefully CS7 will finally catch up with LR on print capabilities. Overall, I'm underwhelmed with LR4 for my situation, other than it's print capabilities compared to CS6. YMMV.

Quote
How reliable is it to have a cloud-based catalog?

I have no experience with using cloud storage.

I'm leery ... seems like there is lots of maturing yet to happen. Bleeding Edge of Technology? Also, I got burned when my original photo-sharing site (MyPhotoAlbum) went belly-up, and I had to scrambe to find another host. It was a major hassle. Obviously, that wasn't "the cloud" ...
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 08:23:10 AM by l_d_allan » Logged

retired in Colorado Springs, CO, USA ... hobby'ist with mostly Canon gear ... let me know if you're in the area and would like a free guided tour of our photographically "target-rich environment"
rogerxnz
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 10:02:03 AM »
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Thank you both for your helpful replies. It is correct that I want to access my catalogue from two computers—my desktop and a laptop—and my query was not about licence restrictions.
Roger
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Roger Hayman
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 12:43:35 PM »
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I thought that you cannot access the Lightroom catalog over a networked drive?  However, the image files that are pointed to by the catalog can be on a networked drive.  I may be wrong.
 
My own situation to desktop/laptop is that my image files are on an internal drive on my desktop.  The desktop HD with the images on is is networked to my laptop and assigned the same drive letter as it has in the desktop.   If I want to work on my laptop, I copy the LR catalog file (which is not that large) from my desktop to the laptop.  When I am done working on the laptop, I copy the catalog file back to the desktop.  There is some risk in this method because if you forget to copy back, you could end up working in an out of date catalog.  (If I was less lazy, I would write a batch file that would first create a backup of the catalog file (for safety) and then copy it over, also.)  The method would be the same if I had the images on a networked external drive as long as the drive was assigned the same drive letter of both computers.

There may well be different/better methods of dealing with the issue....
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Hans Kruse
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 03:40:53 PM »
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I am trialing Lightroom.

I have a desktop computer and a laptop. I guess if I have one catalog, I can only have it on one computer unless the catalog is in the cloud?

How reliable is it to have a cloud-based catalog?
Roger


You can access the same catalog from different computers by simply attach a USB drive that contains both the catalogue and the images to different computers. Not at the same time, of course.
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 07:10:50 PM »
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I have a desktop computer and a laptop. I guess if I have one catalog, I can only have it on one computer unless the catalog is in the cloud?
Hopefully you are doing a bit of reading on this.
If you have then you will know that the highlighted statment is essentially a false one by now.
Many photographers, when travelling load their catalog, not necessarily their actual image collection (although this can be done), onto a laptop.
They then travel and shoot, load new images and work on them, keyword them etc, and then export as catalog back to their desktop when they get home.
The benefit is that one can continue to do all library type jobs while away from home, despite the fact that the actual images are safely stored away at home. Even slideshow presentations can be done, from the previews, as long as the previews are the 1:1 variety.
If one needs to bring some images with because they need work in the develop module this can also be done.

However if the motivation for your question is a desire to use Lightroom as a networked application with two users accessing the same catalog simultaneously then this cannot be done.

I have not attempted an exhaustive explanation but hopefully have shared enough information to at least show you some of the possiilities.
Seth Resnicks book enlarges on all sorts of different workflows related to this issue.

Tony Jay
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Persio
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 07:34:41 PM »
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One option to be evaluated is to "mirror" the catalog folder between the desktop and the laptop computers.
There is back-up software in the marketplace that have bi-directional mirroring functionality to keep both copies of the catalog in sync. and this can be done over the network.
Hope this helps.
Persio.
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vfilepp
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 07:06:11 PM »
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The upside is that you can access a catalog on a networked drive. But you must keep the Lightroom catalog file on a local drive, e.g. on your laptop. The downside is that you now have 2 disrete copies of of the catalog, that are not in sync.

But do not lose heart, there is a solution. Assuming that you wish to edit while away, you can make a collection (or some other grouping) of the images you will need access to on the laptop. Export this group as a catalog (be sure to include copies of the image files). When you return import the catalog on your laptop as catalog. It will maintain changes you have made back into your main catalog.

Sorry if my explanation seems a bit obtuse, but here is a video that explains it better: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-lightroom-4/exporting-a-catalog/
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