Lightroom: Keywords don't sync between CC and Classic

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Keywords do not sync correctly: When added on the mobile app (iOS), they do not appear in LR classic and not in LR Web (I deleted the new LR CC immediately, this version does not make sense to me).
Same problem into the other direction: Keywords from LR classic do not appear on the mobile app. 
Attention: At this stage the whole keywording within the iOS app should not be used!
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Kaffeesegler

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Posted 1 year ago

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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Official Response
"I would like to know if it is deliberate or not. "

Oliver - this is as-designed behavior. 

Lightroom Classic uses hierarchical keywords. 
Lightroom CC (all platforms) uses a combination of AI keywords plus user-entered keywords in a non-hierarchical schema. 

When you migrate a Lightroom Classic CC catalog into Lightroom CC there is a one-time transference of keywords from Classic to CC but those keywords are flattened out of their hierarchy.

A hierarchical schema is not compatible for various workflow reasons with a flat schema - ergo there is no syncing of keywords between the two.  The two products are designed for different audiences and workflows. 

There is a feature request for addition of hierarchy in the CC world: https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/keywords-controlled-vocabulary You can add your vote there and include comments. 
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Sylvain Guieu

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If the issue is not technical anymore, what is it ?  - Commercial ? Force people to go full cloud - Resources ? Coast to much to implement.- Strategic ? Store and dilute version improvements and they announcement effects for later. - .... ? 
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Of course it is still the same technical problem. Why they decided not to solve it is anyones guess. Strategic, too much work, commercial, who knows. 
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Antoine Hlmn

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Sylvain, in my humble opinion:

Commercial ? Force people to go full cloud
—> obviously (And I’m tempted to use caps lock)

Resources ? Cost to much to implement
—> I don’t believe it. The could switch to LR CC

Strategic ?
—> Yes, minimal sync capabilities for Classic to push towards LR CC “full cloud”. My guess would be to make the switch to another app as difficult as possible.

Store and dilute version improvements and they announcement effects for later.
—> Not in this case. It might be the case for LR CC and mobile. They must have a roadmap for bigger functions but some updates come with almost no new features.
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Brian Watson

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This is insane (and you’d be just as angry as I am if you had to deal with Adobe’s HORRIBLE customer service for the past 48 hours).

Why can I not, after loving and using Adobe products to support my photography workflows for more than two decades, have the needed functionality from Lightroom Classic and the ability to sync keywords back and forth between my Mac and iPad?

This needs to be rectified now. Like NOW, now.
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Antoine Hlmn

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Brian, I’m as mad as you are, but you’re hurting yourself being mad. Adobe has let down Classic. They’ve given the bare minimum (although I’d say keywords would be part of that minimum) in terms of sync capabilities (and maybe also in terms of improvements).

For me, they keep Classic alive as long as Cloud is in a public/beta phase, but I expect Classic to die (being less and less updated) little by little until they can push everyone to Cloud.
I would advise to keep an eye on other DAMs for when switching will be the only option. (Yes adobe, I think many people stay on LR because we are lazy and used to our workflow).
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Olivenoire

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Hi Rikk thanks for reply.

I understand (too late because it is obvious only after switching but understood)

That is the problem. All is said in one sentence.
2 audiances. But why??
We need cloud. Ok you will have to loose all others functionality.
Ok i want functionality. Ok you will not have the cloud because we think you are part of the other audience.

But WHY?
I need to switch beewten the 2 software because on classic I can easily sort photo without tag or gps data. And I can create smart folder with tag etc etc.
This is MY WOKFLOw

Why an another audience how needs cloud should not be able to simply sort photo without tag?
Can you explain why it is an another audience? No you can’t.

Why because I want a full cloud solution I’m not able to print? You can’t.
I don’t even think about contact sheet I do need.
Of one day we can print it will be explain,1) it is to expensive /complex to implement 2) I’m not in the good audience and people which use cloud do not need such a feature or not understand Lr.

About tag sync:
I have not hierarchical tag in claissic. Do not need.
I have 25 (about) tag label and because it is. It hierarchical it should be simply sync. Hope it will be.

All this is very sad.

5mn reading this help content show clearly adobe is killing itself.
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Karl Günter Wünsch

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Let me explain why the failure to carry over keywords in the synchronisation is a big problem for me! I am a nature photographer, often hiking many miles to remote locations to photograph rare orchids. There usually (the area being nature reserves) is no or very bad cell coverage. Often I am meeting up with fellow orchidophiles or meet groups in the field - several times I have had chanche meetings with reknown experts. On such meetings you start exchanging information about locations and often show pictures of recent or not so recent discoveries, usually showing photos because they help. Several times I had made false determinations - no „Sensei AI“ will be able to distinguish an Ophrys aymonii x aranifera hybrid from an Ophrys insectifera x aranifera hybrid but the experts often can and will correct the mistakes - so I need to update the keywords on the falsely identified orchids. And there I am, I can open up a paper notebook, write down the image identification (name, date, time) and make a note of the correct identification so that weeks later when I return to my office PC I can go through those notes - just because Lightroom CC can‘t update the keywords of images synchronized from Lightroom Classic CC collections. Very very stupid!
(Edited)
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clarijoh

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Karl. I have found that information recorded in the “Title” and the “Caption” fields do sync. You may find this to be a work around although I agree it would help if the keywords did also sync.
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Andrew Giffin

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The best yet ridiculous workaround I've found is to do all my editing and metadata in Lightroom Classic "CC," add the name of the folder in Lr as "title" metadata, export as jpgs, and import to Photos on a Mac, which *does* sync keywords with iCloud, and then... the Apple Photos app on an iOS device can actually do a decent search with that!

That plan is obviously not useful for many reasons, especially with being able to find recent photos I've spent time tagging from a desktop while mobile. There is no ability to do the reverse with Lightroom CC (which would also be how any normal user would expect it to work), and no reason for pros to use Lightroom as a one-and-only tool if such a fundamental capability we rely on simply doesn't work.

This is a glaring problem with the Lightroom workflow Adobe. We'd love to use your mobile app but this method of not using it is what it's come down to in the meantime! Please address this so we can move forward together with CC as an actual professional tool.
(Edited)
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I investigated writing a plugin that would sync keywords from LR CC back to LR Classic. Unfortunately, the Creative SDK (Software Development Kit) provides access to all the other metadata fields -- title, caption, capture date, flag, and rating -- but, inexplicably, not keywords!  

If it provided access to keywords, it would be straightforward to implement a plugin that synced from CC to Classic, handling the mapping from flat back to hierarchical keywords nearly seamlessly.  Adding keywords to the Creative SDK would only take a few hours on the part of Adobe engineering.  So please add your vote and constructive opinion to this bug report: 
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/creative-sdk-provide-access-to-lightroom-cc-k...
(Edited)
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Lewis Craik

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It certainly does feel like Adobe are going out of their way to make the experience of using CC Classic and CC together as bad as possible.
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Antoine Hlmn

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I don't think it is on purpose, but what's obvious is that cloud/sync integreation on the working LR (aka classic) is still in beta stage and won't evolve anymore. Just the bare minimum to show "no, classic is not discontinued". Even though it seems to be... Buisiness decision. And it is understandable that the integration of new technologies (AI, sync, cloud, ...) in a dynosaure (LR classic...) is quite difficult without rewriting everything...

--> So why not rewrite everything and ensure the users are more trapped whitin the system in order secure recurrent revenues? This all makes sense and is understandable!

However, the new LR is also still in beta, does not respond the photographer's need (it's designed as a mobile app) and is obviously designed to secure the recurrent revenue, BEFORE delivering a decent software.
If the new LR were a great software, integrating all the working concepts of classic, whit additional features of sync, AI, web integration and all this... why not ? But it's not! It has too many flaws and omissions.

Now LR is divided in two, unfinished softwares:
1) Classic, which I belive a lot of people will still be using because it corresponds best to the photographer's need, which is SLOW and on which the sync integration is POOR (/bad/horrible).

2) The newly written LR which is not finished yet, which does not respond to the photographer's need and which first goal seems to be to 'trap' the user's in the 'cloud' ecosystem in order to make it as difficult as possible to switch to another software.
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Antoine Hlmn

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@Karl, I'm not trying to divert the attention... I'm trying to find a rational explanation for the many issues LR is suffering from, starting from this one. This topic has been created 11 months ago, is maybe one with the most "me toos" or at least the most dabated one, and is parked as "answered".

I'd love you to prove me wrong, really... but except trying to understand WHY Adobe behaves like this, I have no other idea for being helpfull as reporting bugs and stating my -personal- observations of the evolutions (or lack of, in certain cases).

Maybe other poeple will read this and think the same, mabe not. Maybe Adobe will read this and react, mabe not. At least I do my part: report the bugs and try to give the devs the tools the LR we are -in the end- paying for. Just saying...
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Hubertus Lemke

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I agree with you all, not synchronizing keywords between LR CC mobile and LR Classic neglects in my humble opinion the very core functionality of LR. I am not a happy customer right now.

My LR (classic) library contains now every single photo I shot in the last 40+ years. For me there will never be a reason to transfer this huge amount of data into the cloud simply because I don’t need to access it very often.

But for actual projects saving the photos in the cloud and having access to the them from a variety of devices is an important feature. With Apples new iPad Pro it would be possible to travel light, which is getting more important every day.

But please ADOBE make it possible, that added keywords are synchronized to LR classic afterwards. I do know that the keyword architecture is different between LR Classic and LR CC. I would even understand if it would be difficult to synchronize the keywords from LR Classic to LR CC. But the other way round must be possible!

Please make it at least possible to synchronize keywords from LR CC (mobile) to LR Classic! This would be at least a step into the right direction.

And just to let you know: apart from these two mentioned functions I am a very happy customer for many years now.

Hubertus Lemke
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Hubertus, be sure to vote for this feature request too: 
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/creative-sdk-provide-access-to-lightroom-cc-k...

With just a few hours of engineering, Adobe could enable plugins to sync keywords. (Of course, it would be better if Adobe built that in, but so far they've said explicitly they won't be adding new features to sync between LR Classic and CC.)
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I have a similar issue and trying to determine the cause. I'm using LR Classic 8.0 to upload images in a synced collection to the Cloud. When I go to LR Web (https://lightroom.adobe.com/) I can see all of the pictures in the collection, but only some of the images are showing the keywords assigned using LR Classic only and NOT LR CC. Some of the keywords were added after the collection was synced, but that shouldn't matter correct? If I apply Develop module edits to any image file in that collection the changes do get synced to the Cloud and can be seen in the Web view. I did install LR CC 2.0.2, but only to sync my custom camera profiles to the Cloud.

I forgot to add that this synced collection is now visible inside LR CC 2.0.2, but I have not applied any edits, keywords or added images.

Any ideas?


(Edited)
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Thanks John, so this has nothing to do with LR CC? Smart Previews and Save Metatdata to File were NOT used with any of these image files before or after Sync to Cloud with LR Classic. What's the best way to get the current keywords in the LR Classic catalog up to the Smart Preview files in the Cloud?
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Jao van de Lagemaat

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The only way is to unsync them all from CC, delete all smart previews if you have any, and do a write metadata to files. Then add them back to the sync and let them upload.
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john beardsworth

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Keywords entered in any LRCC app will appear in all other LRCC apps. Keywords from Classic only sync if metadata has been saved to the original/sidecar at the point a smart preview is baked. So syncing of keywords from Classic is accidental - Sync's code to generate smart previews simply processes the original, metadata and all.

You say you haven't entered the keywords in LRCC though, and since you say you didn't Save Metadata to File, my guess is that the keywords would not normally have come from Classic. So I am unclear why you have a mixture of some with, some without!

If the files are TIF/PSD,  keywords which you had applied to raw files could have been written to those TIF/PSD files as part of Edit In > Photoshop. LR would have carried those keywords over into the smart preview which it uploads.

One caveat is if the files have been synced for a long time - the keywords may have have been uploaded by earlier sync code which was abandoned. But this a wild guess, based on something I suspected was happening a year ago.

As for "What's the best way to get the current keywords in the LR Classic catalog up to the Smart Preview files in the Cloud?", you cannot get the keywords up to join these existing synced photos. However you could just sync them again - so unsync the photos, Save Metadata to File, delete any local smart previews, and then sync the photos again.

It's hugely disappointing that Adobe have made this decision.
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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"The only way is to unsync them all from CC, delete all smart previews if you have any, and do a write metadata to files. Then add them back to the sync and let them upload."

Thanks Jao that procedure works to get the current keywords in the catalog up to the Cloud. The only way I can see to remove the files uploaded by LR Classic from LR CC is to 'Delete' them from LR CC. I deleted a single image from LR CC just as a test to make sure it wasn't deleted from the LR Classic catalog or hard drive. It wasn't deleted from either, but it was removed from the synced collection in LR Classic.

"You say you haven't entered the keywords in LRCC though, and since you say you didn't Save Metadata to File, my guess is that the keywords would not normally have come from Classic. So I am unclear why you have a mixture of some with, some without!"

John, I think what happened is that I added keywords to some pictures before adding all of them to a synced collection. I then proceeded to add keywords to other pictures in the collection, which as stated will NOT automatically sync up to the Cloud.

So what happens if I open LR CC Desktop, which will cause it to download and sync all of the LR Classic Smart Previews in the Cloud? Does that now prevent updating keywords in LR Classic as outlined above or will it still work? I'm reluctant to try it as I've sent the collection Web share link to others for review and I don't want to screw it up!

"It's hugely disappointing that Adobe have made this decision."
John, I couldn't agree with you more! I have no intentions of using LR CC at this time except for testing purposes. IMHO it's not ready for prime time use by professionals and serious amateurs who need the tools available in LR Classic. It can't be that difficult to add sync capability to LR Classic so that it can sync keywords properly AND custom camera profiles.
(Edited)
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john beardsworth

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"So what happens if I open LR CC Desktop, which will cause it to download and sync all of the LR Classic Smart Previews in the Cloud? Does that now prevent updating keywords in LR Classic as outlined above or will it still work? I'm reluctant to try it as I've sent the collection Web share link to others for review and I don't want to screw it up!"

It has no impact., Todd. Keywords still won't sync between Adobe's servers and Classic - they only get to LRCC accidentally as described above. You can carry on adding keywords in Classic, but they won't be synced.

Though I have been very enthusiastic about LR Mobile and liked how it let me take work away from the desktop, I agree with your comments about LRCC's suitability. I treat LRCC as "LR Mobile on my laptop" and do get a little value from that. There are obvious issues syncing keywords between Classic and LRCC, such as keyword hierarchy, but I can imagine more than one compromise solution that I would prefer over this decision to fail to sync metadata properly.
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Peter Obermeier

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Meanwhile I consider to switch from LR CC Classic to LR CC, then all is in sync. I have already bought the 1TB plan, but I would like to have a good backup of all my post processing steps. I mean a catalog similar to LR classic. Last year Victoria mentioned in Adobe forum that there is a local cache. Is this enough as a backup?
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john beardsworth

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No. It's purely a local cache and you can't do anything with it. But maybe start another thread - this is about keywords failing to sync.
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Peter Obermeier

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Hi John,
thanks for quick answer. Will search if there is a new answer to this question. 
I am aware that this is the Sync thread. The missing sync of keywords or the missing overall sync is the reason why I consider the switch from Classic to CC. Adobe is improving LR CC more and more and meanwhile it is quite good and perhaps a possibility to get rid of all these sync trouble.
:-)
Peter
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Ethan Isenberg

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Here's a partial solution, though incomplete: 

If you're main desire is to create a gallery with up-to-date keywords, consider getting a SmugMug account.   I have their basic plan at $47.88/year, and there are plug-ins that allow you to sync a gallery with LR Classic, using the publish service.  You can edit keywords, titles, or captions on either end and have them sync to the other.  Visitors can sync on a keyword (i.e. person's name) and see all photos to which it applies.

The caveats:
  • Keywords are flat in SmugMug.  However, if you add one on the site that currently exists in your hierarchy, then when it syncs back, it will match it in the hierarchy.  I'm assuming this will break down in the event that you have more than one keyword with the same name.
  • You currently need to use two plug-ins to sync in both directions.  The official plug-in does a great job of updating the gallery if anything changes in LR.  However, I didn't find it to work at all when syncing changes from SmugMug back to LR.  In order to pull that off, you need to use a 2nd plug-in called Smug Syncback for Lightroom.  (This might be something you don't need, however.)
  • As a result, syncing is not automatic.  To sync from LR -> SmugMug, you either use the Publish command (for photo details or titles, keywords, and captions) or the Smug Syncback plug-in (just titles, keywords, and captions).   To sync back (titles, keywords, and captions), you need to use a command from the Smug Syncback plug-in.
  • Only titles, keywords, and captions can be synced back from SmugMug.  There is no ability to change the star rating of a photo within SmugMug, although the rating is viewable (but not prominent in any way).  You can make other edits to the photo on SmugMug, such as cropping, rotating, and color effects, but those don't sync back to LR. 
  • There's no facial recognition component or even the ability to demarcate a section of the photo to indicate who a keyword applies to, on SmugMug.  (I'm thinking, I might put up some old photos and ask relatives to identify people in the photo.  The most they can do is write in the keyword.  I would need to match it up with someone in the photo myself, using LR.)


(Edited)
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Dan Hartford Photo

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When one first adds an image in Classic to a Synced collection, the keywords on that image find their way to the Cloud version.  However, any subsequent changes to keywords in Classic to dot sync to the cloud and vice-versa.  

One way to "force" your classic Keywords to the cloud is to remove the image from all synced collections in Classic (i like to wait till I verify they are gone from the Cloud version) then add them back to their respective synced collections.  This of course requires them to be re-uploaded which can be time consuming if you have a lot of them.

The other thing I should point out (which I consider a bug) is that ALL keywords sync to the cloud, regardless of the check boxes on those keywords.  So, if you have keywords marked to be excluded on exports, they still are included in the cloud version of the image.  For example "My idiot cousin Fred".  Even though Adobe still says that syncing keywords is not a feature of the products and they have no intention of making it a feature the fact that keywords from Classic do go to the cloud they should at least adhere to the same rules as exporting.

Dan

PS if you think keyword syncing is important please vote for this thread  - DH
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john beardsworth

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"Forcing" is more complicated or accidental than you think - you need to include smart previews in your understanding. When Sync uploads a photo which has no smart preview, it creates one from the original and this new file happens to include any xmp metadata which has already been saved to the original. Any embedded keywords - not necessarily the current keywords in LR - are then parsed by the server.  It's similar if the photo already has a smart preview - again, any embedded keywords just go along for the ride.
(Edited)
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Dan Hartford Photo

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I have 85,014 total images in Classic of which 2,011 are synced to the cloud, yet when I look at the counts in the "Smart Preview Status" metadata filter it shows that I only have 32,010 images of which 2 have smart previews and 32,008 do not have smart previews (53,004 images unaccounted for )  There are no other filters set and my source is "All Photographs".   Based on this I presume it is safe to say that Smart Previews generated by the sync process (as opposed to those you choose to generate on your own) are what I would call "hidden Smart Previews".



Okay, so here's the experiment....

1) starting with an image that is synced in one collection and has a non hidden Smart Preview

Part 1

2) check keywords on image in Cloud
3) add new KW in Classic
4) No sync takes place.  New KW does not show up in Cloud

Part 2

5)  Remove Smart Preview of image in Classic
6)  Add new KW in Classic
7)  No Sync takes place.  New KW does not show up in Cloud

Part 3

8)  Remove image from Sync'ed collection in Classic
9)  Wait for "Sync 1 Image" to complete
10) Verify that image is gone from Cloud
11) Add new Keyword in Classic
12) Add image back to sync'ed collection in Classic
13) Wait for Sync 1 image to complete
14) Check Keywords in Cloud.  All keywords from classic are present, including new ones from this experiment.

Part 4

15)  Remove image from sync'ed collection in Classic
16) Verify image gone from cloud
17)  Create Smart Preview of image in classic
18)  Add new keyword in Classic
19)  Add image to sync'ed collection in Classic
20)  Wait for sync 1 photo to complete
21)  Check Keywords in cloud.  Newest KW not present


Hypothesis based on this experiment and comments in this thread  

If your image does not have a Smart Preview in classic (other than a hidden one created by the sync process), and you remove the image from all sync'ed collections (wait for sync to remove it from cloud), and then add it back to the sync'ed collection, all your classic keywords present when re-added to the first sync;ed collection will migrate to the cloud but will not update thereafter (in either direction).

If your image does have a non hidden Smart Collection (i.e. is one shown  as "has smart collection" in "Smart Preview Status" column of Metadata filter) removing the image from the sync'ed collection and then re-adding it does not refresh the keywords in the cloud.

I also presume that if the image is in more than one Sync'ed collection, that you'd have to discard the Smart Preview and remove it from ALL sync'ed collections then add it back to one or more sync'ed collections in order to get the Classic KW's up to the cloud.

Let me know if I missed something here or if there are other factors that influence this.
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Olivenoire

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O_0
What a post. So exhaustive. Sorry mine will not help you.
Your post explains perfectly what is totally crazy with Adobe offer:
In one hand : A 10yo+ software whom development is stopped (I mean for cloud functionality)
In other hand a slow development  beta software laking so much feature (print, smart folder, offline search and so on)
Resulting in poor user try to experiment (and share in your case) some information.
Pathetic.

The only happy people are teacher how how sells formation and books to explain how to import, tag and develop photo) and explain in some obscur FB group or forum to not install Classic and CC on same computer.
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Thomas Fisher

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As a new adopter of Lightroom CC, I am stunned that my years of Lightroom Classic CC keywords will not sync properly with this new cloud/mobile platform. Adobe is supposed to be the "Gold Standard" for the industry. I don't understand how the company can disregard such a basic need.
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Antoine Hlmn

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There are updates, but many people feel like it’s “just to keep people happy”, not real updates. And the vast majority of them are in ACR and can easily be “recycled” in classic.

HDR Panos is great, but is not really new, just a process improvement.

Profiles is... ok... a way to apply presets before touching sliders...
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Dan Hartford Photo

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.... And, profiles are really part of ACR as well.
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Antoine Hlmn

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Bottom line, I feel like they are keeping classic alive until CC cloud is mature enough to switch classic down. I don’t see any reason for them to keep developing 2 versions of LR forever.
That day will be without me :-)
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Olivenoire

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We need to put things in perspective. Evolution (?) is very marginal.
LR classic costs a whole 144€/year ti use a software we already own and add some HDR pano (great) and profiles. does it  worth this price to pay???
As usual we will ear from defendant : for this price you have PS (who cares if you don't use it) and CC.  But CC is far from usable (fast but weak or limited or marketed limitation).
Furthermore Mac and iOS version are far from aligned and for example does not synchronise signature
(Edited)
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Antoine Hlmn

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Exactly!
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Dan Hartford Photo

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Alan (and others),

I know about the Sensei engine for finding images in CC.  For example "Waterfall" or "Fred" or "Golden Gate Bridge" but my understanding is that this is an AI search technology at the point of query and does not result in the saving or storage of any actual keywords with the image(s).  And, i infer that the Sensei search not only interprets image content (pixels), but also includes the search of keywords attached to images by the photographer (either came along from Classic when first synced or added by hand in CC). 

Do you have info that the CC Sensei technology also adds actual keywords to images based on analysis of the pixels?  If so that would be quite interesting to know.

Dan
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Jao van de Lagemaat

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Sensei searches both AI keywords and manually added keywords. The sensei keywords are stored with the images as I understand it but they are not user accessible- i.e. you can't actually see the keywords it generates for your images. Being able to see the AI keywords has been a requested feature here but Adobe hasn't enabled that. It would be very handy to see how it categorizes (or miscategorizes) images.
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Dan Hartford Photo

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I don't think I heard that before.  Is there any written info from Adobe that this is the way it works?   
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john beardsworth

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No, but it is correct. You can prove it by testing.
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Olivenoire

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Sad keyword (from sensei)not accessible or automatically visible (like google photo for example). But I can understand. Everybody use sensei to add keyword and finally remove, making no more money earn for Adobe. 
I wonder if keyword can be recorded in file or xmp side file or if it is only in the data base of CC (because of no sync with classic etc limitation.. marketing... segmentation)
(Edited)