LIGHTROOM - Catalogue File Syncing using Creative Cloud

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
My idea fundamentally centres around having the 'structure' of the actual .lrcat catalogue file changed to that it updates only the changes (like the previews folder). By doing this you could practically store a catalgue 'folder' in a sync'd cloud storage service (e.g. creative cloud via the desktop app).

By having the catalogue file synced locally to PCs you don't have the network latency issues and thought it is not a 'multi user' solution that many are asking for (https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/multi_user_multi_computer) it would solve the multi computer issue and provide a level of backup.

There are similar posts around native 'network' support but I have not seen much on this topic. There is currently nothing stopping someone using Creative Cloud/Dropbox/OneDrive etc but when catalogues are large you end up syncing potentially massive catalogue files every time you make an adjustment (My catalogue file is somewhere above 700Mb).

Other components to consider 
  • ability to store previews away from the catalogue file (e.g. store previews on a non-sync'd location)
  • Common file for defining preferences, folder structures etc
  • Ability to recognise what machine the catalogue is open on and if possible 'map' image paths across the LAN dynamically.
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Richard Thorek

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Posted 2 years ago

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Aidan Wojtas

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The database is SQLite, which stores data in a monolithic (single) file.

There are other options such as Derby Db which store their data in multiple files, meaning it would be easier for a cloud service to simply sync changes.

It would be a significant effort to change the database vendor that Lightroom has used since version 1. There must be a large amount of internal Adobe knowledge about SQLite and how best to use it which would mostly be lost in moving to an alternate database format.

Would you want to be the first user to put your precious catalog into a new format? I don't mean that in a rude way, but genuinely, I think I would be pretty apprehensive about jumping into that.

I believe the future for Adobe will be for the database itself to be in the cloud, and updates to be synced directly to it, like a "Azure DB for Creative Cloud" kind of equivalent. Already a cloud database is what underpins Lightroom Web and Lightroom Mobile.

I like the idea, however hard it sounds, and I like the other suggestions too.
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H. Heigl

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The idea Richard provides is basically the way we all sync the catalogue folder (including the "lock" file") with dropbox or NAS Tools like BTsync on Synology. It only requires that only one copy of Lightroom at a time is running so there are no double-calls on the file at the same time. But that workaround works brilliant if someone wants to edit photos on the mobile computer at a photoshoot or on holiday and than work with the same catalogue on the "Work PC" at home or the office.

And I do not think it would be a big issue to have a button "sync on exit with my CreativeCloud" and when I open LR also have a button "please get my catalogue xyz from my CreativeCloud" as long as there are no concurrent sessions.

that would also minimize the issue with double keywords and not getting rid of them ;-) So hopefully there will be a way. Thanks.