18 Replies Latest reply on May 14, 2017 9:19 AM by D Fosse

    Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?

    monteb58

      Hello, what I'd like to be able to do is have one master Lr catalog that two desktop PC can share, or a solution to what I'd like our workflow be able to be.

      We shoot real estate photography, sometimes 3-4 daily. when we return to the office we need to both be editing, so ideally one master Lr catalog on one of the PC's, so that I can create a catalog and start editing one job and my business partner create another catalog and start editing another job. We'd like to be able to look at each others photo's before exporting without having to switch places. I would close my Lr catalog on the PC I'm on and he could open it on his.

      Once edited the photo's need to be exported to a drive that both can access to upload. 

      Thank You

        • 1. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
          dj_paige Level 9

          You can put the catalog file and photos on an external HD and then move the external HD from computer to computer.

           

          However, there is no method in Lightroom for two people on two different computers to be accessing the same catalog at the same time.

           

          it is possible for two different individuals to work in different catalogs and combine the work into a single catalog upon completion. This works best if they two different individuals are working on different photos, rather than the same photos.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
            99jon Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Lightroom is not designed for shared usage and the licence restricts simultaneous use by more than one person.

             

            Of course it’s possible to share a single catalog between two computers by placing the catalog and photos on an external hard drive. Then simply connecting via USB to each machine. There may be a loss of performance and external drives are more prone to failure but many single users share a catalog between desktop and laptop in this way.

             

            The problem with multiple users is that the catalog file paths could easily become corrupted, when switching drives, notably on Windows unless custom drive letters are allocated or mapped.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
              monteb58 Level 1

              Thanks for the reply dj_paige,

              (You can put the catalog file and photos on an external HD and then move the external HD from computer to computer.)

              I was hoping that we wouldn't have to do this, was hoping that with a NAS ,Crossover cable or by networking.

               

              (However, there is no method in Lightroom for two people on two different computers to be accessing the same catalog at the same time.)

              I'm not wanting to access the same catalog at the same time.

               

              (it is possible for two different individuals to work in different catalogs and combine the work into a single catalog upon completion. This works best if they two different individuals are working on different photos, rather than the same photos)

               

              We do need to work in two different catalogs  at the same time, I wouldn't need to combine them into a single catalog as they are two different jobs. however though I would like all the catalogs on the same drive. I'd like them to be on our new PC's internal M.2 drive. All the photo's on the internal HD

               

              Thank You,

              Monte

               

               

              • 4. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                monteb58 Level 1

                Thanks for the reply 99jon,

                I really don't want to have to swap an external drive from PC to PC if at all possible, why wouldn't a NAS or Crossover cable work ?

                 

                (The problem with multiple users is that the catalog file paths could easily become corrupted, when switching drives, notably on Windows unless custom drive letters are allocated or mapped.)

                Would a custom drive letter and mapping work then ?

                 

                Thank You,

                Monte

                • 5. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                  Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  monteb58 wrote:

                   

                  I was hoping that we wouldn't have to do this, was hoping that with a NAS ,Crossover cable or by networking.

                   

                  The only way to do this reliably and without chance of loss of work is to NOT use Lightroom. Best alternative within the Adobe universe is Bridge + camera raw With the images on a NAS share or simple shared folder from one of the machines. This gives you the same develop tools as in Lightroom but employs a browser tool (bridge) instead of a catalog. All your edits and key wording will be visible on both machines. There are other non-Adobe solutions too.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                    dj_paige Level 9
                    We do need to work in two different catalogs  at the same time, I wouldn't need to combine them into a single catalog as they are two different jobs. however though I would like all the catalogs on the same drive. I'd like them to be on our new PC's internal M.2 drive. All the photo's on the internal HD

                    Why wouldn't you want to have the photos in one catalog when you are done? If their in separate catalogs, all of the keywording and adding of metadata is useless, there is no way to search except within a single catalog.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                      monteb58 Level 1

                      Thanks again dj_paige,

                      Maybe I've been doing it wrong and have a real mess ? What Iv'e been doing is open Lr,  File, New Catalog, I put in the address for the job. it's in a folder called Lightroom. ( This PC>Local Disk ( C: )>Users> monte> Pictures> Lightroom ) I have all the Lr Catalogs for every job in this folder. I import the photo's I use drive E: for the Destination with a file structure for each agency and agent. a sub folder of this job goes under the agent. Then after I edit they get exported to the E: drive under that agent and address in sub folders edited for HAR and Virtual Tour, two different size requirements. if I need to find photos for an agents listing I can go right to it through File Explorer, if they need something differant, resized or ? I open the catalog re edit or ? export it with the changes, maybe a new sub folder called sized for ?

                       

                      Monte

                      • 8. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                        monteb58 Level 1

                        Thanks for the reply Jao vdL,

                        ( The only way to do this reliably and without chance of loss of work is to NOT use Lightroom. Best alternative within the Adobe universe is Bridge + camera raw With the images on a NAS share or simple shared folder from one of the machines. This gives you the same develop tools as in Lightroom but employs a browser tool (bridge) instead of a catalog. All your edits and key wording will be visible on both machines. There are other non-Adobe solutions too. )

                         

                        This sounds interesting, how would I find out about this and other solutions ? I really like lightroom and Photoshop, but open for other solutions. I'm just really trying to find solution so we can both be doing our work from two PC's as if they were one. We would not be needing to be in the same catalog at the same time. Some programs like Quick Books is easy, we both can do invoicing at the same time.

                         

                        Thanks again, any more info would be greatly appreciated !!!

                         

                        Monte

                        • 9. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                          Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Monte,

                           

                          bridge comes with Photoshop but you have to install it yourself. If you have CC just do it from the creative cloud app. Adobe has some training videos online here: What is Adobe Bridge? | Adobe Photoshop CC tutorials and here: Customize the Adobe Bridge workspace | Adobe Photoshop CC tutorials . There are many videos online and here I found a nice looking text: Bridge CC Tutorials - What Is Adobe Bridge that explains quite in depth all the options and how it works. It is not dissimilar to Lightroom in one sense except that there is no catalog, it really is a file browser. People that deal with enormous amounts of images in multiuser settings generally swear by a product called Photomechanic but there are several others like that.

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                            monteb58 Level 1

                            Thanks Jao vdL,

                            I'll check it out

                            Thanks again,

                            Hope to find a solution to help get our job done easier  and faster. it's a new business venture and is going very well. hard to keep up with all the editing and deliverable's get to bed a a descent hour, get up and do it again the next day.

                             

                            Monte

                            • 11. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                              dj_paige Level 9

                              monteb58 wrote:

                               

                              Thanks again dj_paige,

                              Maybe I've been doing it wrong and have a real mess ? What Iv'e been doing is open Lr, File, New Catalog, I put in the address for the job. it's in a folder called Lightroom. ( This PC>Local Disk ( C: )>Users> monte> Pictures> Lightroom ) I have all the Lr Catalogs for every job in this folder. I import the photo's I use drive E: for the Destination with a file structure for each agency and agent. a sub folder of this job goes under the agent. Then after I edit they get exported to the E: drive under that agent and address in sub folders edited for HAR and Virtual Tour, two different size requirements. if I need to find photos for an agents listing I can go right to it through File Explorer, if they need something differant, resized or ? I open the catalog re edit or ? export it with the changes, maybe a new sub folder called sized for ?

                               

                              Monte

                              The whole point of Lightroom's Library Module is that it gives you more powerful tools than folders and File Explorer to organize and find your photos. You are using Lightroom very inefficiently ... it may meet your needs, or maybe the more powerful features of Lightroom would help you in ways that you aren't thinking about right now.

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                                JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                The Lightroom catalog must be on a hard drive that is local to the computer running Lightroom. There is no way to trick Lightroom to function otherwise. Some users try to get away with putting the catalog in dropbox. But under that workflow still only one user can access the catalog at any given time. And it's very easy to corrupt the catalog if another user tries to open it while it is still updating. If multiple users is critical to your operation then you should consider something other than Lightroom.

                                1 person found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                                  monteb58 Level 1

                                  Thanks dj_paige,

                                  I'm sure your probably correct that Lr might help in was that I don't know about. it seems that the importing, editing and exporting processes workflow goes ok for us, we are just wanting to use two PC's to be able to get more done. maybe I shouldn't worry about having one master Lr catalog. I have the two PC's networked and we both have access to the exported photos for uploading them wherever they need to go and that might be all we need. it would just be more convenient if after I made my edits and I closed the catalog that my partner could open that catalog on the other PC and check them before I export them. I like it when he can due to I'm a bit colored blind. so we might just have to swap chairs, so he can check my work, I can always edit on the other PC while he's doing that.

                                   

                                  Thanks Jim for the reply,

                                  I hope to work this out as we are comfortable with Lr and our workflow. I just din't know that Lr wouldn't allow access to the catalog from another PC. I don't think having catalogs on two PC's will be a problem we'll just put all the edited photo's one drive that both PC's can access.

                                   

                                  Thank you,

                                  Monte

                                  • 14. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                                    monteb58 Level 1

                                    One more thought,

                                    If the destination drive is the same on both PC's couldn't you have the same catalogs on both PC's ? just update them weekly ?

                                    I do backups of the catalogs regularly on a completely different drive. backups could be completely independent for each PC two separate backup files PC 1 and PC 2     

                                    • 15. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                                      Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      monteb58 wrote:

                                       

                                      One more thought,

                                      If the destination drive is the same on both PC's couldn't you have the same catalogs on both PC's ? just update them weekly ?

                                      I do backups of the catalogs regularly on a completely different drive. backups could be completely independent for each PC two separate backup files PC 1 and PC 2

                                      The problem in such a case is synchronization. Things are bound to have changed in both catalogs. You can't atomically merge two catalogs even if you never worked on the same image in both catalogs. You'll always lose work in one catalog if you do this.

                                      1 person found this helpful
                                      • 16. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                                        widphoto

                                        Hopefully this question falls under this thread. We are using ONE external hard drive to store all RAW images, catalog, and previews - IOW everything needed for LR6 to function under a "shared" user condition. That is to say one hard drive shared between two mac computer environments at different locations running same macOS. Currently, when the HD is mounted and LR started, all thumbnails are blank. Our kluge around this is to delete the previews file and all is well, thumbnails redraw (in time) and we can work. However this is a new behavior which we can attribute to nothing, everything is same/same as a month ago.

                                         

                                        Example: I worked on the HD today, had to delete the previews file to work. Will send the HD back with its owner and he'll have to delete his preview file to work (view thumbnails) at his house. Sounds like preferences to me, but I have already set the entire drive to "Ignore preferences on this Drive".

                                         

                                        Thanks, Russ

                                        • 17. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                                          D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          The problem in such a case is synchronization.

                                           

                                          Not a problem if you use synchronization software and you are prepared to have all assets as a third copy on a transportable drive.

                                           

                                          IOW - three copies of everything, image files and Lr catalog, one set each on the two desktops, a third set on the portable. The portable is just for transport, but there has to be placeholders for everything.

                                           

                                          Then you use the synchronization software to copy modified files from A to portable, and then from portable to B. And back again. The Lightroom catalog is treated as a single file and will be copied every time in its entirety, so it's important to have the normal catalog backup routine in place.

                                           

                                          It sounds complicated, but in practice it works very efficiently. Once it's set up, it requires no particular effort - just two clicks and you're good to go.

                                           

                                          I keep my work and home systems fully synchronized this way, and I can work on either without missing a beat. I've used this for seven or eight years by now, without any problems.

                                           

                                          In addition, this setup doubles as a very secure backup regime. Three copies of everything, one always off-site. It has saved my butt on a couple of occasions.

                                          • 18. Re: Is it possible ? Two desktop PC one Master Lr Catalog ?
                                            D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            BTW I have excluded the previews from the sync. Not because they cause problems, but because they take a lot of time to scan and copy, and are not needed.