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Using Lightroom on a Cloud with Two Computers / Different Cities

Mar 17, 2012 5:47 PM

Tags: #file

I would like to use Lightroom on two Macs in two different cities.  What I would like to do is move photo files to a Cloud system such as Dropbox work with them on a computer in city A then travel to city B and work on them with a different computer.  I think this is possible if I also place the .ircat file for the pictures I'm working with in the same folder / Cloud system.  Will this work?  Thanks

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 17, 2012 5:50 PM   in reply to RDB_Mac_LR3.5

    The catalog has to be local.

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 5:04 AM   in reply to RDB_Mac_LR3.5

    Yes, but it also replicates the previews.lrdata. Have you enough space on Dropbox?

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 1:42 PM   in reply to RDB_Mac_LR3.5

    50Gb isn't many flash cards? Also the previews.lrdata can be big and a lot of files can change, so you'd also need the bandwidth. But assuming that's all OK, when you want to leave city A and close LR, you would then have to leave that computer on so  the local catalogue and previews can sync up to the cloud. And in city B, you'd have to wait for the  sync down to the local machine. Otherwise there's a risk that in city B you'd open LR and be working on an older version of the catalogue. It can be done, if you're careful and increase your backup, though it might be easier just to carry a big portable hard drive.

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 2:02 PM   in reply to john beardsworth

    I don't think he has to sync the previews. At least since Lr3 they are

    independent from catalog.

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 2:18 PM   in reply to Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață

    They've always been separate and I agree he doesn't have to sync them - but it will happen automatically and impact his Dropbox space and bandwidth. Maybe there's a way to tell Dropbox to ignore them?

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 2:27 PM   in reply to john beardsworth

    Yes, there is: move only the .lrcat into the dropbox part of your hard disk. Leave the previews folder outside, i.e. In a separate location not next to the catalog.

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 3:07 PM   in reply to Cornelia-I

    Is that a paid option, Cornelia? I'm assuming that the OP will simply leave the lrcat on Dropbox, never copying or moving it.

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 3:12 PM   in reply to john beardsworth

    No, not a paid option.

     

    When you install dropbox it creates a folder on your hard disk.

    Only things or subdolders you put into it via explorer will be synched.

    Dropbox does not automatically grab all your stuff...

    The 2GB you get for free would never be sufficient for that.

    While it may last for one .lrcat of some 150'000-200'000 images.

     

    Cornelia

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 3:28 PM   in reply to Cornelia-I

    I thought I'd heard there was a new option to point Dropbox to any folder. That said, I couldn't find it. So you're simply copying/moving the catalogue onto Dropbox, which would work - and isn't much effort.

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 3:30 PM   in reply to RDB_Mac_LR3.5

    It seems like you say you travel between these two cities. If so why don't you just put your photos and catalog on an external hard drive, stick it in your briefcase and take it with you?

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 3:42 PM   in reply to john beardsworth

    If I read Victoria Bampton correctly in her new LR4-missing FAQs, you need to create a symbolic link inside the dropbox folder to tell the LR catalog where the previews are... (see page 335).

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 7:52 PM   in reply to Cornelia-I

    You can indeed make a symbolic link. The link needs to be in the same folder as the catalog file, or Lightroom will simply create a new one, right there in the Dropbox folder.

     

    I think you're pushing it a bit though because each time the catalog is closed (and it needs to be closed before you leave), it will have to upload to Dropbox entirely. For a large catalog, that could be 2GB at a time-which over time is a lot of bandwidth back and forth, and a lot of waiting on it to download. A baby G-Tech drive with catalog and photos would probably work out better..

     
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    Mar 20, 2012 5:26 AM   in reply to john beardsworth

    They've always been separate and I agree he doesn't have to sync them

    Yes, the previews themselves have always been separate from the catalog. But the "preview directory", i.e. the database tables that linked the images with their preview files, has been inside the catalog until LR3.

     

    That created a bit of a trouble for those that had a "copy entire catalog" workflow, the OP was talking about. Namely, even if you had all previews built on both machines, copying a catalog from machine A, invalidated the preview cache on machine B, since the "preview tables" were now pointing to different preview files. And we now that building a new cache takes many hours.

     

    Thankfully, in LR3 those tables had been moved to a separate SQLite database (previews.db file in the root of the preview cache).

     
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    Mar 20, 2012 9:02 AM   in reply to RDB_Mac_LR3.5

    I'm with RickBu

    In fact that is what I do

     

    take a passport drive along with me and have the needed photos on that. Its small, quick, light and 500Gb.

     

    Using the cloud is a huge hog on resourses. Maybe when 4G / LTE becomes mainstream and the speeds it promises are true, then maybe the iCloud would be a viable way of working.

     

     

    I've often shot on a 16Gb card, and then put my LR catalog on that. Its  not ideal, but it works and is great for emergency use, and a CF2 card is small enough to be lost in a wallet and a SD card even easier to put away somewhere safe.

    Does limit your library to a small number of photos though.

     
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    Mar 24, 2012 12:03 PM   in reply to RDB_Mac_LR3.5

    Risk #2 is not about sync, it's about corrupting the catalog.

     
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    Mar 24, 2012 2:00 PM   in reply to RDB_Mac_LR3.5

    RDB_Mac_LR3.5

     

    buy yourself a passport drive, a portable a larger internal harddrive for your lap top. If you value your data, dont mess around with your head in the clouds.

     
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    Mar 24, 2012 2:06 PM   in reply to Seán McCormack

    Sean, it's as much about the catalogue being out of sync. In city B, he'd be opening his local copy which would be older than the one closed in A.

     
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    Mar 24, 2012 2:08 PM   in reply to john beardsworth

    the mind boggles, that is flying faster than time?

     
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    Apr 14, 2012 10:14 PM   in reply to RDB_Mac_LR3.5

    Last time you said the catalog is 299MB. You dont need to sync the preview

    cache.

     
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    Apr 15, 2012 1:23 AM   in reply to RDB_Mac_LR3.5

    Hi,

    For instructions you might look at http://www.lightroomqueen.com/downloads/bookexcerpts/lr3excerpts/lr3sa mple-13-movingcomputers.pdf.

    Put simply:

    If not already done, take care that your images inside LR have 1 common [great-(grand-)]parent folder, e.g. like the default-windows MyPictures.

    Copy that over to your new portable drive, as well as the Lightroom-folder with the catalog and previews.

    Open your catalog on the external drive and reconnect the missing [great-(grand-)]parent folder to the one on the same drive.

    Continue working from the external drive, plugged in on both computers.

     

    This leaves you the plugins and preferences separately on both macs.

    But for those you could actually use Dropbox synch, as Victoria Bampton does. Her description about this dropbox use is not part of the free preview reading material, but then you need to spend 14.99British Pound for instant download of her eBook.

     

    Cornelia

     
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    Apr 15, 2012 1:43 PM   in reply to RDB_Mac_LR3.5

    RDB_Mac_LR3.5 wrote:

     

    Ok, I just tried to move some files using the following process:

     

    1.  Add my G-Safe Mobile drive to LR

    2.  Create a folder called "mobile" on the G-Safe Mobile drive

    3.  Drag my folders from the existing location to the "mobile" folder

     

    Many of the files did not move.  I have had this problem in then past using LR file management functions.

    Why did they not move? What sort of error message did LR display to you?

     

    You do never re-import pictures, but maybe catalog records, if need be.

    The sketched workflow for you was that you work entirely on your mobile drive, not on your Macs, meaning that the LR catalog+previews + images to work on are on this G-Safe.

    Once you are ready with your images you may move them within LR to a permanent storage location (which I would expect to be neither of the 2 Macs?).

    But for that you need to get the LR file moves to work flawlessly with your OS.

     

    I am not a Mac expert, but know from forum reading that usually it is a permission problem if it fails on Macs.

    So please investigate this, otherwise you will not arrive at the "clean and 100% fool-proof way".

     

    Cornelia

     
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