Lightroom Classic CC: Branding a total catastrophe

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I've used Photoshop since v1.0 in 1990, and Lightroom for some years. I've also been a professional software dev and product manager for 25 years.

It makes a great deal of sense to me that Adobe would introduce a prosumer-oriented, cloud-based photo cataloging and editing application natively supporting mobile workflows. The overly simple slant of Apple Photos and others have left plenty of room for a capable and scalable app+platform targeting less-casual users.

However it's inconceivable to me that Adobe would not see the branding catastrophe of calling that "Lightroom". The announcement video in which Julieanne Kost lays out the differences and argues with a straight face that it "works for both professionals and amateurs" feels tone-deaf, bordering on disingenuous.

Classic" is akin to saying "Yesteryear." It smells like "end of life" and will most surely discourage new professional adoption. It also telegraphs to existing users that this tool, central to so many pro workflows, may not be there in the future. No amount of forum-reply assurances "we plan to keep both forever" can overcome the implication that senior-management focus may have shifted toward greater consumer orientation and that Adobe is paving the way for abandonment of a key pro app.

The language in Kost's video backs this up: unadorned "Lightroom Classic" vs "the All-New Lightroom CC", and so forth throughout, providing a contrapunctal narrative in which at every turn "Classic" represents the old, the manual, the difficult, and the new app (how do I even reference it separate from Classic? I already use "Lightroom CC" (2015), but now "Lightroom CC" is a completely different application. Do I write "Not Classic"? or just ""?) represents the agility and ease of the cloud- and mobile-empowered future.

I happen to come from an industry (feature animation) that got to the cloud long before most, we just didn't call it that in 2005. But in 2017, master data in that industry is still well too large and sensitive to live in public server farms. It's kept on-premises and backed up "manually" as Kost puts it. I have 500 GB of LR master images on an SSD here. I know many LR users have multiple TB of master images. How does Ms. Kost propose one would move those to "the cloud"?

Either Adobe intends to end-of-life Lightroom as a pro app, in which case I'm disappointed, or it doesn't but somehow didn't realize this branding would telegraph such an intent, which would be astonishing.

I hope it's the latter. If so, "Lightroom CC" (the new one, not the one I already have installed) should be given an entirely different name. Or, just call a spade a space: "Classic" is "Pro", and the new one isn't.
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Dan Herman

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Posted 10 months ago

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Dimitrios Matsoulis

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Complete agree, the "classic" part makes me feel very suspicious. I would love to have cloud features in the LR we all know and use instead of getting with classic vs CC comparison nonsense.
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Photo Studio TNK

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I fully agree!
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Gary Rowe

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Nailed it, thanks. I totally agree with this, Something being a 'Classic' is often used as an excuse for when things don't work as you'd expect .. "well, it is a classic" (meaning, please excuse its foibles, it is old and not as fancy as current stuff, you know ...).

37 yrs in s/w development & architecture, and have been with all versions of Lightroom (perpetual license ;) since Raw Shooter.
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Guillaume Boillet

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Exactly this + privacy concerns + 1 TiB quota with AT&T fiber and $10 recurring cost. Very dissapointed. Purchased standalone Lightroom 6 recently. Wished I knew what was coming, I would have certainly gone another route... :(

At the same time I wish them as much success as Nintendo with the NES and SNES Classic!
(Edited)
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Michelle

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I am very concerned as well.  This is not aimed at pro photogs, but more at the amateur.  The pros, with their larger files, and more of them, will be hurt by this new version.  Not to mention those that pay for data ...
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Brian D. Tucker

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Nowhere does she address the issue of limited (metered) bandwidth and the costs associated with that. And how about letting the user store and access their "CC" files from cloud services we already may have subscribed to? 20GB to "try it out" is nothing near what is needed and the unspoken message is that there will be additional storage costs when the 20GB limit is reached. "Classic" is newspeak for on its way out. A major marketing fumble on the part of Adobe. I just don't believe the reassuring words.
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Alessandro Castagnini

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Disagree... the CC version is there since “forever” (for who was using the cloud already like myself), now Adobe, simply released a desktop app as well.
Furthermore, in CC will go whatever you decide to put there for mobile use (if needed, otherwise you’ll keep things in the classic only as usually) via the collections.
For me a priceless service: I’m always around and my wife shows pics to the client on iPad or I simply send them a private web link. They put all the stars, flags, comments they want and in real time I have their choice on my MAC and LR Classic...
We need to use things for what they’ve been built for ... not complain all the time :)
My two cents, of course...
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Gabriel

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My thoughts exactly. This was a big disappointment, and for me it's clear that I need to start looking for an alternative to everything Adobe. The "Classic" app might live another year or two, but it doesn't  look anymore as a safe bet for my photography workflow. :(
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Bob Smith

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I agree with the sentiments expressed here however I'm encouraged by the fact that I AM seeing significant performance improvements in "Classic".  I will likely enjoy a program like the new CC version but I NEED what is now "Classic"
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Anthony Blake

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Also try migrating a catalogue, just tried!!! First issue needs 1.4 TB of disk space to copy the images before uploading to the cloud. That was fairly easy to sort as its possible to change where this temp storage is. Then still can't be done as it need more than 150 GB of space on OS drive to store previews and catalog info!!!




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Matthew Dwyer

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TOTALLY AGREE!
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Anthony Blake

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Looks like Afinity might be way to go.
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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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Stan Burman

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I wonder how many consultants and focus groups were needed for the naming.
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Photo Studio TNK

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The short list was "classic" and "has been". "Has been" was preferred but classic was chosen because it was better fitting the logos.
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Michael Johnson

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Agree - feels as if Classic really means End of Life coming.
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Alessandro Castagnini

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Hopefully is not... there’s no comparations between the two sofware: I love both (I used the cloud with LR since they starts the mobile apps), but I cannot really do without the now called classic
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Cristen Gillespie

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> Agree - feels as if Classic really means End of Life coming.>

You mean like Classic Coke? <BG>
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Timothy Spear

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The name Classic, and the focused improvements really say a few things things; all of which say the product is EOL.
The name Classic implies this is the end. Everything from Coke, the PGA and many other marketing examples can be given.
If Adobe really wanted to state the two products will live on, the could have called it Lr CC and Lr Premier, or Lr Professional, or Lr Local...
Second, the focus on what users have requested, they suddenly ignore their own vision and do what customers have asked for years? That means one of two items, they either have a new product/executive manager who has a customer focus, or they lost the product visionaries.
Third, my perception of the improvements are low risk and a good step in the right direction of code cleanup which could potentially be shared with the other Lr CC team.

None of these are are deal killers. None of them are bad per se. Even the bad marketing and name confusion is just laughable, but really does not mean much in the grand scheme of things. Even the premature release of Lr CC, does not really bother me much. It really does broadcast where Adobe is thinking. Which I think is good.

Here is the problem. Look at Lr CC. Look at how the feature set is developed which depends on the cloud.
From the very tight integration and syncing features, which is very robust for a first release, Adobe has therefore invested significant resources in this endeavor and must consider it a core design choice. They have also made it clear, by the very rapid growth in features for Lr Mobile, the new Lr CC which is tightly tied to Lr Mobile, and the minimal improvement in Lr Classic, that Adobe believes a full cloud solution is the future. Therefore, Adobe has made it obvious that they are going to make all products very tightly tied to their version of the cloud.

Having spent days figuring out solutions, and then even more time getting everything out from being held hostage by Apple iTunes and Google Docs, I am not going to voluntarily sign up to be held hostage again. Especially when you consider I was not even paying Apple or Google a penny anymore just to maintain what they had already captured. (Yes, I am still stuck with MS Office, but the price point is low enough and the benefits high enough for me to not see the bars).
Adobe is planning to not only charge for the software subscription, which I found of dubious value since I have no interest in Lr Mobile, and even less in Lr CC now, they want to charge me to store my photos? From a practical perspective, I am going to keep Office 365 which provides me 1TB of storage, why would I want to spend another $120 bucks a year at a minimum? It just does not make sense (I have almost 1TB in images, and I am about to import a lot more from my wife's library).

The practical aspect for me, is I have canceled the auto renew on my photography plan. I will let the current subscription run out, and do some research on alternatives before deciding. But Lr is not longer the automatic solution.

Tim
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Dan Herman

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Agreed on all points, although I'm not sure I have as bleak a view on Adobe's ability to adapt to input, hence I do think it's worth airing these thoughts on these forums.
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Gary Rowe

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Also agree on all points ... but sadly am not so optimistic
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Norm

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I like the new lightroom cc/mobile/classic...the new cc doesnt follow disk size limits and cant seem to move library to external disk. cc/mobile seems to be an improvement....you are right.....cant seem to find a name to call the product that has that problem. 
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Micah Burke

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I believe your Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC catalogs/databases are different.  If you allow Lightroom CC to sync to the cloud, your files will appear as a folder in your Lightroom Classic if it's synced.  I'll test. 
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Ian McLeod

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This is a total stuff up.  Why didn't they just call the new version LR Social and the old version LR Professional??  It's clear LR Classic is End Of Life and Adobe intend to abandon the professional and prosumer market and target the low end consumer / social market instead.  The two don't even work together.  If they worked together and we didn't have this ridiculous 'Classic' EOL flag I would not be concerned.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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They weren't particularly intending them to be used together, but I can't argue that their marketing has been less-than-ideal (ok, a mess).
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cgassler

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Indeed, pity that Adobe cannot afford proper communications personnel
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Carsten Thielhelm

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Hi Dan,
I totally agree with you and most of the other comments: They build a new ("brand new") software, take the name of an established product, which has to be renamed instead!? What a mess!
When I got the hang of it at last my first thought was: this ist the beginning death of Lightroom as we know it so far! Seems it'll be time to look for a new software-solution for the future! Or the decision-makers of Adobe will change their politics, but I'm not very optimistic!
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gregg grossman

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seems to me the bigger issue at the moment is neither lr cc or classic actually work. in my case classic is essentially broken, the develop panel is unusable because after every correction or two the image becomes "unselected" and i have to go back into grid view to find the image i was working on and then reselect it. aside from being tedious this isnt very practical since i shoot a lot of rapid sequences so there's often only very small differences in a series of 10 images ... i guess i could write down the image name before i start correcting but that seems a throwback to the days before computers. 

i've also tried lr cloud ... i have not been able to import  catalogs exported from lr classic  - the error message says this specifically can not be done in direct contradiction to several tutorial videos i've watched ... really? i mean c'mon ... can't even get the most basic functions right? that said, i did just upload a couple of folders and it seems to work ok but i can tell you right off the bat that the key wording tech is unimpressive. it will find basic things like woman, man, bed, chair but type in boots or shoes ... no luck and i've got many images where boots are the image ... asking to find a red beach ball could be a stretch but if you're going to take away the ability to add keywords and NOT import them from metadata you'd better nailed your system. i've got close to 200,000 images - 80% of them keyworded with a fair amount of detail ... why did i spend the time to do this over the years? so i can find things!! 

i can understand bugs in new releases, it happens. but this is a disaster. if adobe is intent on beating apple you can put one in the win column for worst sw release  - this rollout is make apples rollout of FCPX look like the epitome of QA and marketing genius. 
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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A long shot, but what happens if the filmstrip's open, so you can see what's going on? Are the photos still showing there but deselected?

You've tried resetting prefs too, I guess? And the good old "turn it off and turn it on again"?
(Edited)
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Would it be easy to just unplug one for a quick test, just to rule that out? I know it's a bit of a pain but it'd be great to get you back up and running ASAP.
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gregg grossman

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first, i appreciate you being responsive to my issue. thanks ... i've done fair amount of trouble shooting - reboot, uninstall, reinstall, checked graphics driver which are up to date, confirmed my GPU is supported, turned off GPU in LR, closed reopened, uninstalled reinstalled again, disabled plugins, restarted again. 

also worth noting i'm not running anything out of the ordinary on my machine ... no funky beta or dev versions and my machine is as up to date as i want it to be in terms of os 10.11.15 - for graphics / images / video i mainly use adobe products. that said, i do have dxo installed but disabled the plugin. nor have i opened the program since installing LR classic

finally ... i did downgrade but the really bad news is now that version is doing the same thing. unfortunately, some change made to the system was not deleted when i deleted LR Classic. and ... i am 100% positive LR not any other program was experiencing this behavior prior to installing LR Classic a couple of days ago. 

i captured the behavior of both on screen capture videos ... 
https://youtu.be/d5IUpANC-Vc
https://youtu.be/OsB7dv3YbKo

at this point i'm stuck - any help would be appreciated. 
 
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Guillaume Boillet

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Hello,
I quickly looked at one of the videos and saw you have a filter on "metadata up to date. Isn't it a case that as soon as you make a modification, the image's metadata needs to be modified and thus the image gets deselected?
Guillaume
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Carlos Cardona

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Have you given your Mac the “once over”? Run Onyx (https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/o...), reboot. Not fixed? Run Disk Warrior (https://www.alsoft.com), reboot. Also, try it from another (admin) account, as a test. Can you import from this other account into a new catalog and work? If you can, then maybe it's a preference in your yourusername/Library/ApplicationSupport/Adobe? Check The Lightroom Queen site (https://www.lightroomqueen.com) for instructions on how to reset your preferences. If that doesn't work you could try deleting that entire Adobe folder (reboot), or use App Cleaner to completely delete everything Adobe and reinstall it from scratch (Last Resort!)
(Edited)
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Marius Müller

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Thank you for your post, it summarizes the situation quite well.

I bought all LR versions except one (I got this bundled with a new camera body). Inside LR are not only my photos, but my edits, the version history, smart filters, presets and plugins. It works, but doesn't utilize the computing power I have. It lags. Adobe claims to have addressed these performance issues, although you find reports of new and unsolved issues related to performance even here on feedback.photoshop.com. So "performance" is the new feature (next to "Faster image selection" and "Range Masking for fine selection control"). What pathetic version jump. Bugfixes and some minor improvements. There is no vision for this product anymore. 

Subscription models always comes with the promise of features that are constantly improved and added (instead of queuing them for the next major release). So look at Adobe's own (slim) release notes: Nothing significant happened for two years: http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-lightroom-classic/features.html

Why should it get any better? Neither the name, nor the features of Lightroom Classic CC or the history of Lightroom CC until now suggest any of this. They will replace it with something else and tell us that this is a much better product. 
 
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Harry Stahl

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Is Adobe really going to read this? I don't think so. This last version of Lightroom (classic - btw: terrible naming) is the worst thing in my professional career I have ever worked with. Sorry Adobe - I used to be a huge fan. Now you are forcing me to move over to Capture One Pro and maybe even Afinity Photo. Check them out for speed, stability and security. 
1. I do NOT want all my files in the cloud - can you not understand that? - this is a clear decision to make more money on Adobe side for selling web space (I have over 10 TB of Photos) - I will only use the cloud for selected files.
2. I need SPEED! where is it???? Not in Classic - it is slower than ever
3. I need stability 

Hey Adobe - I would rather have months of learning path on other and much better products before me than getting upset every single day (minute) when I am in front of my Mac working with Lightroom "Classic". 

DO SOMETHING!!!!!
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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> Is Adobe really going to read this? I don't think so.

Yes, Adobe staff read all of these posts. Whether the people who made the recent decisions will get to read it, I'm not so sure.

The good news is you don't have to put all your photos in the cloud, as Classic is continuing to be developed. Sorry to hear Classic isn't working well for you though. If you haven't done so already, make sure you post a thread with the details of the issues you're having, as while some people are experiencing issues, it's also faster for some people, so they'll need to figure out what's causing the problem on your hardware/software/driver combination.
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Lee Jay

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled This release is just crazy to me!.

The branding is just nuts - renaming an existing product and naming a new product the same name as the existing product did nothing but create massive confusion.  I've now studied this at some length and I'm still not quite sure what is what.  And calling it "Classic" just smacks of "EOL" even if you didn't intend it to.  And if you didn't intend it to, why did you do it?

Reports are the the upgrader is upgrading people without a detailed warning about what they're getting into, and in an irreversible way (or at least a way that's not easy to reverse).  Combine that with the fact that it's now rental software, and that's a major screw up.

Speaking of rental software, I've always been opposed and have never done it.  I've done support contracts but never rental.  So that's bad news for customers and only good news for shareholders.  I'd probably we willing to suck up the fact that Adobe has a gun to my head and just pay it if any of the packages were what I need, but they aren't.  Not only does Adobe have a gun to my head, but they want me to pay for either Photoshop or 1TB of cloud storage despite the fact that those are completely separable and that I don't want either product.

And as for the release itself, the list of new features and improvements literally includes exactly nothing that I actually want.  Here's what I do want:
  1. Perpetual license or at the very least a rental option just for Lightroom (no PS, no cloud service).
  2. Faster interaction when a 4k monitor is in use.  It can literally take 4-12 seconds just to select an image in the grid (on a decent, quad-core machine with the app and catalog on a good SSD) when a 4k monitor is plugged in.  It's 10 times faster when the monitor isn't plugged in.  This is true even when the app isn't on the 4k monitor!
  3. Control over Photomerge.  I need to be able to manually recenter (and rotate, ideally) and I'd like to be able to assist the merge manually when the automation fails.  It's a nearly-useless feature the way it is.  I almost always (over 90%) round-trip to Hugin because of the lack of centering and rotation.
  4. Integration of Focus Magic's functionality into the Develop module.  This is literally the only reason I ever round trip to Photoshop (Elements 9 editor) - to make a tiny correction to motion blur or focus using Focus Magic's deconvolution.  Yes, I know it's a slow, processor-intensive operation but round-tripping is way slower and more painful, and you have the technology in-house to avoid it.  This can have a more dramatic impact on image quality than just about anything else when there's even 1 pixel of motion blur in an image (I often shoot very, very fast-moving subjects so it's really hard to avoid all motion blur).
The actual release includes exactly none of that.  Combine that with the rental choice and the lack of a reasonable rental option and there's literally no reason whatsoever for me to even consider LR7 or classic or CC or whatever it's called.  Oh, and the cloud option is a non-starter for me (I have 2TB of images, it would take weeks to upload, I work off-line probably 30% of the time, lack of features, lack of compatibility, etc.).

It seems to me like Adobe is abandoning people who care about Photography (because they are a small and shrinking market of dedicated pros and enthusiasts) to cater to people who don't care about Photography (a large and growing market of people who don't care enough to buy Adobe's products anyway since they think Instagram is the greatest image processor ever).

This is a real bummer guys and gals of the Lightroom team!
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Rob Rippengale

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Bad Name Change.

So someone at Adobe thought it would be a good idea to give the name "LightRoom" to an entirely different program and make everyone who uses the actual LightRoom call it "LightRoom Classic" now??? I can only imagine this is intended to trick some new people into using the new cloud-based LightRoom when they read any of the millions of articles that talk about "LightRoom" being a great program. You broke your own name on thousands of websites.

The proper thing to do when one invents a new program paradigm is to give the new program a new name so people using the old program don't have to suddenly adopt a new term for it, and people using the new program don't have any problems looking for information about the new program. How many people looking for information on LightRoom (the new cloud-based version) are going to instead find information on LightRoom.

The term "Classic" by the way, typically means something OLD and OUT-OF-DATE. As much as you might want me to upload all my photographs onto your server, it ain't gonna happen.

Adobe, you really should have left well enough alone and thought up a new name for your new cloudy methodology, a completely seperate app to link your cloud services to LightRoom and Photoshop, or if you must embed it into a LightRoom program, call that program something special. Renaming the existing famous LightRoom is a historic Fail.

I hope you will please consider offering a big apology and changing the name back so we can continue knowing exactly what program the word "LightRoom" indicates on all those websites that worked so hard to provide you free support.
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ivan.planinar

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Totally agree. Classic means yesterday. I was all for LR PRO or anything that makes it more current and PROsumer. To think that dozens of people were sitting in a room, brainstorming the name and all they got was CC and Classic just raised my eyebrows. How much amateurism is everywhere, people actually get paid for *that*?! Speechless. On the other hand, I can't see LR "Classic" going down the drain. So much professionals depend on it.
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matt huesmann

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One look at their threads and everyone is still on CC.. I shoot 1-2000 images at an event - I’m not loading all those to the cloud.
It should be LRM for mobile and LRCC for the normal program. Or Lrpro - agreed. Marketing people must have relatives at Snapchat in the ux department.