On Windows it works well. LR does not allow its internal library to be maintain on a different volume so that means that Each station on the network must maintain their own set of preview caches. It is also necessary to set the Preferences to Automatically Write changes into XMP. For a Mac, the only know issue is that you cannot delete a file from the NAS. It is an OS X issue. Check the comments made by Sean for more details - I'm a Windows person myself.
Hmm... I think what the others mean is that you can store the image files on a network. But you can't store the LR database there as well (hoping that anyone can access a common set of metadata, keywords, etc).
If you were to copy an existing library (Lightroom Library.aglib) to a network drive and invoke LR by clicking on this file, you get a warning window telling you LR can't have its library on a network.
Just to test this further, I tried to create a new library on a network drive, but couldn't. I can have the image files there. That works.
In case you wonder what I mean by "network drive", I mean the following: I have a MacMini that I use as a backup file server for all machines in the house and have a number of shares defined. From my laptop, I mount one of the shares and try to use it with LR. If the library is located locally or on an attached drive, then I can work with images on the MacMini. But I can't move or create a new library on the mini. LR doesn't let me.
As Dave mentioned above, each user could maintain his/her own set of edits for the common images, but you can't have user A on machine A made edits on image X and then have user B on machine B see those edits of image X. I suppose you could experiment with writing XMP files and have user B read the XMPs to update his version of image X, but that's a kluge. Also, things like stacks and virtual copies would not be sharable.
I have a Copy of LR on each. I have the reular downloads of images from the Camera on the Firewire attached to the DT and the dB for the DT on a separate partition there.
I import to the DT and import to the Laptop. I have write to XMP on.
When I have my laptop elsewhere I can see the image previews and keyword. Do Slideshows and draft print if I want.
I do keep some things not present in both dBs, like special projects for work or a special Powepoint slideshow I built in PSCS2 with organizing in LR (Beta4.1) for a musical.
On the road I can download to an identical folder structure on the Laptop. Do basic edits and keywording and at home move them to the main storage on the Firewire and Ipmort to the DT dB. Select all new imports and Import XMPs.
Does that all make sense?
Don Ricklin, MacBook 1.83Ghz Duo 2 Core, Pentax *ist D
Thanks, Pierre and Don. That means to me that Ana's question is both yes, and no. Yes, you can have a central image repository, but you'd have to create and maintain dual libraries and preview files. Coordinating the two, if edits are made on both machines is currently more than slightly problematical, but could be done.
Until they fix Photo binders are comeup with some other synching mechanism XMP read and writes are the only way short of copying the dB back and forth, but then you have to set up your on process to figure who edited last and which way to copy, etc.
Don Ricklin, MacBook 1.83Ghz Duo 2 Core, Pentax *ist D
" That is correct I can't access the DT db from the Laptop and vice versa. Gotta do two for now. sQlite is a single use dB. So no go for now. "
"... but then you have to set up your on process to figure who edited last and which way to copy, etc. "
If only one person works on the library at one time (for the network-shared version), or if you have two machines (DT/LT), it is especially easy if you are only on one OS (both MAC or both Windows), and use the same User name on both machines. If any of these are different, it gets more complex, but is doable.
KG is my user name, but over a network, it may be worthwhile if all users set up a "LRUSER" account on their system, as that makes it easy to coordinate. Then, use a SYNC software package instead of copying. That software is FREE and will decide which is newer itself. Run once before starting, and run once after. You have then taken the latest version of the library before opening up LR, and you have put the latest one back for the next person once you are done.
MAC Library: Users/KG/Pictures/Lightroom
PC Library: C:\Documents and Settings\KG\My Documents\My Pictures\Lightroom
MAC Synch s/ware: FileSync US v1.1 by R. Charles Flickinger
PC Synch s.ware: Syncback Freeware by 2brightsparks (they do have a pay version as well)
All machines then point to a common Pictures source (i.e. named the same) - whatever your external drive is.
Hope This Helps.
Okay..I understood that image edits are not sharable but can one person make all edits and then can the other just view them and not edit them. We are looking for software that would allow us to store all of our images and then be able to let other view and search the images by keywords. Maybe this is not the software we should look into but it does look good. Hope someone can help. Thanks.
Here is my experience.
1 file server (Old Powerbook Titanium) with 1 version of lightroom pictures.
1 desktop (Imac 20inch) with it's own version of the picture and a sync script to propagate pictures changes to/from the file server.
1 laptop (Macbook), with the same config than the desktop (same path to the pictures -username/pictures/lightroom/-)
The lightroom database and preview file is store on a Idisk (.mac acount) with automatic sync on.
Here how it works :
New pictures are mostly transferd to the laptop, on the road.
Still on the road, I can propagate changes to the pictures to the server by a SSH AFP connexion. Library and preview files are sync using .mac syncing system. It's slow but works.
Back home, On the desktop, I first sync pictures with the file server and sync the Idisk.
Then I can launch LightRoom and work, edit pictures, etc on the big screen.
Before going back on the reoad, I sync everything back, etc...
It works well.
All tags are transfered (colors, stars, keywords, ITPC date, etc.)
For synking pictures, I use UNISON ( http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/docs.html%3Eunison%20web%20site%3C/a%3E),%20simp le%20and%20efficient%20font%20end%20for%20PPC%20and%20Intel%20macs,%20based%20on%20unix%20 binaries.%3Cbr%20/%3E%3Cbr%20/%3EFrom%20my%20experience%20it's%20the%20most%20reliable%20s yncing%20software%20I%20tried.%20More%20thant%20syncing%20from%20A%20to%20B%20or%20B%20to% 20A%20it%20works%20in%20both%20directions,%20realy%20like%20.mac%20syncing.%20And%20it's%2 0free.
I have not as good experience with network. My pictures are on a NAS server (qnap 509), jpg and raw files (cr2). The catalog is local.
When activating the writing of xmp, the only xmp that are written are from cr2 files. All modification made on jpg files are directly written in the file itself. This is a very strange behaviour. Looking far inside the forum and internet, I have found nothing about this.
In Windows (I recommend using a gigabit switch and network cards):
Map your drive from the server to your workstations. Let's say the M: drive is \\servername\sharename
Create a Windows batch file using notpad. In a blank notpad type the following: subst L: \\servername\sharename
Give the batch file a name such as lrmap.bat and save it in a convenient place (desktop or server share.)
Make sure you are not using the L drive. Now run the batch file by clicking it. You will now see your server drive listed as disconnected. Double click it then browse to your catalog (db) file. The catalog will now open in LR. Check your folders and map them through the M drive if necessary or through the L drive if you like that better. Do this on all computers.
You can only work on a catalog from one computer at a time, but if you seperate projects into multiple catalogs you can have people working on different jobs at the same time. Works great for me.