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 3 years ago

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Carlos Cardona

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BTW, "Classical" music is mostly yesterday, but it's still awesome! So is "Classic Rock" (only the best music EVER MADE) (speaking as an amateur musician, dance DJ, songwriter, theatre/music critic in college!) Don't Dis "Classic"! You GO Adobe! ;-)
(Edited)
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Hamish Niven

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I honestly think that Lightroom is going the same way the Hyena is - extinct. The Hyena struggles to give birth to a new generation, its backbone, its shape, its structure has become an evolutionary  dead end, and Lightroom is doing the same.
Photoshop manages ACR 10 times the speed of Lightroom. photoshop / ACR does everything the develop mode in Lightroom can do - apart from use your presets.
Lightroom is becoming extinct, unless something amazing can be found.
I wonder if it is the language its written in LUA or just that Adobe cant code to late second decade 21C.
I've used LR since it was RAW converter, that was blisteringly fast, but what Adobe have done to LR is a wonder.
The keywording is still back in the dark ages, the speed is hampered by fast processors and vast amounts of memories, and then calling it a classic - well, the Austin Maestro is a classic - one of the UK's worst ever made cars, but its so old its a classic.
Maybe Adobe are making a new lightroom for us all?
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Christian Fürst

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I am not sure whether Adobe actually INTENDED to create such a mess with a new version of a much beloved and respected software like LR was uuntill version 7.00 appeared. I still hope, they simply messed it up by acident, or someone inside ADOBE mailiciously messed it up to damage LR reputation? And i sincerely hope they will not discontinue this messy sotware but try to repair it. up to now I simply don't see which softare could be used as an alternative regarding editing PLUS archiving and managing.
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Carlos Cardona

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Yeah, they should’ve named it Lightroom Desktop, but they’re not that good at branding. No biggie to me. You?
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Sharon Ong

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I've just migrated my Lightroom Classic library to Lightroom CC. The migration went smoothly enough but I agree with the original poster here that Lightroom Classic is actually the "pro" version (which I need). After playing with Lightroom CC for a day -- my migration was smooth because I'm fairly OCD about folders/ folder hierarchy -- I can't stop thinking of Lightroom CC as being Lightroom Stupid. With Lightroom Classic, which is catalogue-based and non-destructive, I stored all of my image files on an external drive with a folder hierarchy which mirrored my Lightroom Classic folder hierarchy. Even the files within each folder (whether in Lightroom Classic's control panel or on my storage folder for "originals) were renamed in running order with a name that conveyed essential info. Worried about duplicates? No worries, look at my original files, and if there are duplicates or any file is missing, that running order can clear things up quickly. Two or three times, this saved me. There was some kind of conflict with the Lightroom Classic after an update. But no worries, I just deleted the wonky LR Classic library, and created a new Lightroom Classic library and pulled all of my neatly-labelled and neatly-filed originals into the new library. Together with the image files, the folders and folder hierarchy were preserved. Now whose bright idea was it to store "originals" locally using... using DATES? OMG OMG OMG. This makes no sense at all. Even if Adobe has to store the originals locally using dates (wtf wtf, and again, wtf?), surely it wouldn't take that much computing or development to allow the end-user to review the originals by folder? Adobe just has to tag each image file with the folder info (shouldn't that already be there in the metadata?) and give us a way to display the files according to folder/ folder hierarchy. Lightroom CC ("Lightroom Stupid") does not cater to those who want full control over how they manage their originals; you can tell them right off the bat by the ridiculously narrow sidebar for viewing the folder and album hierarchies. It's so narrow you can't even read the folder name (I keep it to within 50 characters, in case anybody is wondering; my naming system is tight and the sequence of the file name elements pre-sorts the folders for me). I am so upset. For now I am going to retire the Lightroom CC and just continue working in Lightroom Classic so that I can manage my files. If you work in photography, isn't the most important thing... keeping track of your originals and where everything is stored? (((((( screaming silently )))))

(Edited)
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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> So how do you check for duplicates (or near-duplicates..

The All Photos view and the Date views only show "real" photos, so that's the place to check for duplicates. If you're in an album, right-click on the photo and choose Show Photos from the Same Date and it'll take you straight there, just like doing the same in Classic would take you to the photo in the folder. Since duplicates or near duplicates would have the same timestamp, they'd be right next to the photo you're looking at.
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Sharon Ong

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Sorry for the multiple outbursts and the duplicate post (thanks for removing it!). I'm going to go chill. Put this down to a learning experience. And go back to using Lightroom Classic exclusively for now. If I need mobile cloud access, I might export a copy of what I need for that onto my desktop in a folder and with everything renamed (eg, with an extra suffix CC or something like that) to avoid confusion, Then the images in that desktop folder can be added to my Lightroom LR as a new album of new images. But that's like a scratchpad; I'd delete those "working" images and it would not form part of the corpus of my Lightroom Classic library.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Chilling sounds good. You need to recover!

You can sync smart previews from Classic to the CC mobile apps, so you don't need to export copies.
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Sharon Ong

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Oh, that's a really good tip, thanks! I will use that fix. It's a pity the Adobe chat support agent (who understood my English perfectly) wasn't able to think of that. Thanks!
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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You're very welcome. I'm sorry we met under such frustrating circumstances.