9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 31, 2016 4:32 PM by Geoff the kiwi

    How to work with my LR catalogue across 2 PCs ?

    YawningAngel

      Hi,

       

      I have an LR catalogue and a couple of TB of images, which lives on a USB drive attached to my main image processing (desktop) PC. I also have a laptop, which is used as a secondary processing machine for use in the field - or when I don't want to tied to my study. I need to be able to access this catalogue, from whichever machine I happen to be using.

       

      I don't want to have to drag the USB drive round with me wherever I go...that would be impractical...ludicrous even...

       

      While LR, on the face of it, appears to want to block me from doing this, I'm sure there is a way past this impasse...? Any ideas?!

       

      Note:

      I am using Windows 10 on both PCs, as well Lightroom CC 2015.

      I don't expect to be able to reach the LR catalogue when I'm away from my home network.

      At no point would I be trying to access the catalogue from both machines, concurrently.

      Any potential solution would need LR on the laptop to see the same drive letter/path as the desktop.

       

      cheers

       

      Paul

        • 1. Re: How to work with my LR catalogue across 2 PCs ?
          Mohit Goyal Adobe Employee (Admin)

          Hi YawningAngel,

           

          Best way would be  to copy all the images and the catalog file on the external device and connect the external device to any machine on which you want to use the Lightroom. By doing this Lightroom catalog will be updated on every use.

           

          And we don't suggest involving the network location while using Lightroom for the better performance.

           

          Regards,

          Mohit

          • 2. Re: How to work with my LR catalogue across 2 PCs ?
            Geoff the kiwi Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            The database is single user only and hence is not suitable for networks.

            The solution I have is to keep the catalog with previews and smart previews on an external drive and images on a second external drive. Having the catalog and files on the same drive can slow down access.

            I travel a lot and use two laptops so just plug in to the one I wish to use.

            Not too inconvenient at all... and relatively risk free when adequately backed up.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: How to work with my LR catalogue across 2 PCs ?
              YawningAngel Level 1

              Mohit,

               

              That is precisely what I want to avoid...! I want to be able to grab my laptop and go and process images anywhere (within range of my home wifi) or sit down and use my desktop PC and work on the same catalog, without having to have a usb drive dangling from the laptop wherever I go....

               

              P.

              • 4. Re: How to work with my LR catalogue across 2 PCs ?
                YawningAngel Level 1

                Thanks Geoff,

                 

                How have you overcome the problem of changing drive letters when you swap one or other drive between laptops...? One of the advantages I see of having the images & catalog permanently on a network share (or some such) would be that I could ensure that the PC & Laptop always sees it (them) as the same drive letter.

                 

                I suppose I could have a local catalog on my PC & laptop that both reference the same set of images. I could then write a batch file to pull the 'master' catalog off the PC before starting LR and send it back after LR closes....perhaps...I'm a bit rusty with CMD batch scripts

                 

                Of course, I'm assuming here that I can have a local catalog referencing remote images...?

                 

                cheers

                 

                P.

                • 5. Re: How to work with my LR catalogue across 2 PCs ?
                  ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

                  To prevent Windows from changing drive letters on you, you need to manually assign the letters and use letters higher in the alphabet, say "L" or higher.

                   

                  You can store the catalog file on a network drive with your image files. You just cannot use the catalog while it is on the network drive. Using batch scripts you could probably do something like:

                  copy the catalog from the network to the local drive

                  start Lightroom

                   

                  :loop

                  wait 10 seconds

                  if exist *.lock goto loop

                   

                  copy the catalog from the local drive to the network drive

                  • 6. Re: How to work with my LR catalogue across 2 PCs ?
                    Geoff the kiwi Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    I use Macs and I number/name my drives with unique identifiers.

                     

                    You can have the Catalog locally and images remote however multiple catalogs creates its own issues.

                     

                    Personally I haven't tried having a catalog accessible from say dropbox so can't comment .......

                    • 7. Re: How to work with my LR catalogue across 2 PCs ?
                      YawningAngel Level 1

                      Hi ManiacJoe...yup.. that would do it...TY

                       

                      What really rankles is that writing it's even necessary in the first place...the 'LR doesn't work with networks because performance' excuse smacks of lazy programming, or a least design. We live in an increasingly connected world - fast home wifi is here to stay..get over it!

                       

                      Actually, to give the devs their due (LR is a great product! I've been a loyal user/purchaser since v2), I suspect that the root of this issue lies with those responsible for the prioritisation of the features that get put into the product. The work to address/work around/solve the cross-network performance 'challenge' would be all under-the-covers, so its no doubt not seen as 'important', compared to the latest shiny new photo processing widget, so gets de-prioritised all the time.

                       

                      I work in the field of software requirements' capture, analysis & prioritisation, and I see the same thing all the time. Development effort to address usability issues (that would benefit existing customers) always gets side-tracked in favour of whizzy new features aimed at attracting new customers...

                       

                      P.

                      • 8. Re: How to work with my LR catalogue across 2 PCs ?
                        ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

                        The prohibition of network access is not about performance. Network access is purposely prevented to stop people from trying to share the database with multiple users at the same time.

                        • 9. Re: How to work with my LR catalogue across 2 PCs ?
                          Geoff the kiwi Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          There was a decision made by the very top people in the area at Adobe (think Knoll, Hamburg, et al) to have a single use database for Lightroom so as to prevent possible corruption of image files. One of the major premises for Lightroom is non destructive editing and protection of image data, allowing two users to access a database is fine but for two users to be then accessing the raw files (yes it is just read only but they are undocumented file types from differing cameras and manufacturers) is too big a risk for all concerned.