LR Classic is syncing my files. I'm so confused. (LR Classic vs LR CC)

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Hi :)

So ... if you're so kind to... please bring clarity to my brain trying to understand this.

I'm currently licensed to use Lightroom CC as well as Lightroom Classic CC. I'm still in test-features-and-workflow-mode to understand this whole synching thing and LR Classic vs CC. And before realizing that Lightroom CC is the one which allows full resolution editing, I started testing smart-phone picture syncing, using LR Classic CC. (which is where we do our regular editing).

My question: I'm confused because what is the difference between what I'm currently doing in LR Classic (synching phone pictures into Classic) and if I used Lightroom CC (my impression is I should use LR CC for synching)? Is it that my current edits are not full resolution edits? But then my impression was that is not the case.(?) I'm confused! My main reason for the synching is actually so I can add captions to my personal pics real-time before I forget what my thousands of pics are for that I took with my phone. But editing my phone pics is desired as well whenever I do get a chance.

Also to bring even more clarity, someone advised not to use Classic and LR CC on the same computer. What is the idea behind this issue, and the concept/thoughts behind this workflow?

Thank you so much to all who read this and can help me with your input and advice!!!


Liz
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Elizabeth Wang

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Posted 6 months ago

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Phillip Pasteris

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I am using LR CC 2015.14 Camera Raw 10.1
LR version terminology has me completely confused.
I do know that I had two versions of LR on my system and neither worked.  I had to clear out all kinds of preferences and hidden files.  It was messy and took about 4 hours to recover.
I will continue to use this old shoe.
Best of luck!
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Dan Hartford Photo

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Lightroom Classic is the full featured product that has been around a dozen or more years.  LR CC (which we'll call "Cloudy" is a relatively new product with a completely different interface.  Classic is desktop oriented (images and all software reside on your computer).  Cloudy is cloud centric where your original images reside in the cloud but can be accessed through a variety of apps including phone apps, web apps and (confusingly enough) a desktop app. From a feature perspective, Cloudy is a subset of Classic.

Both products use essentially the same technology for editing images but not every editing tool is available in every Cloudy app - however most are.  Both products use what is called non destructive editing.  This means that your original image is not modified but rather a list of changes is maintained behind the scenes and when you look at an image it is using the original image plus the list of changes to show you what it looks like now.  

As it turns out, to perform quality editing , one does not need the full original file worth of data.  One just needs enough image data to fully utilize the number of pixels one has available on the screen.  Therefore image editing can be done using a reduced size version of the original image.  Lightroom calls these "Smart Previews". 

If you are using LR Classic is your prime tool (which is normally the case when folks use both), your original image files are stored on your own computer and to conserve space on the disk drives used by the cloud, LR only copies Smart Previews to the Cloud for use by the Cloudy apps.  In addition, to conserve network bandwidth, once the smart preview is copied to the cloud, in most cases it only needs to keep the list of changes synced between the two systems.

So, if an image is first imported into Classic, and then synced with Cloudy, a smart preview of that image is sent to cloudy and then the change list (history file if you will) is passed back and forth as changes to the image are made in either Classic or Cloudy.

On the other hand, if an image originates in one of the Cloudy apps (for example you take a photo with the LR app on your phone), then the original (full size) image file is stored in the Cloud untill such time as it can copy it to your LR Classic system at which time is placed on disk drive on the computer running Classic.  Once this completes, then the copy in the cloud is replaced with a smart preview.

One exception to all of this is if you have told LR Classic to "MIGRATE"  all your images to the cloud (there's a menu option to do this which contains the word "MIGRATE".  In this case all your original image files are copied to the cloud and those images are then considered as the original image files (not the ones on your local computer).  Most folks who use both Classic and Cloudy do not do this so I'm not going to spend much time in describing it - only to say, please make sure you understand what you're getting into before you press that button if you are contemplating doing this.

So, getting back to your post, 

1)  Use of the Desktop app for Cloudy (as opposed to Classic) is just a personal choice.  However, there are a few features in the Cloudy apps that are not in Classic, such as Sensei filters (e.g. it can find images with certain content by analyzing the image pixels rather than relying on keywords you may enter).  There may be other features as well, but in general Classic has way more functionality than Cloudy.  

2)  :"Full resolution Editing" is a red herring.  No matter how many pixels your original image has, if your screen has fewer then all those extra pixels can't be seen anyway.  Of course if you zoom in, say to 1:1 magnification then of course you can see more of the pixels.  However, in real life practical terms there have not been many complaints that editing with a smart preview is inferior to editing with the original full size file present.  I would not consider this as an issue in designing my workflow one bit.  

I don't know if this answers our questions, but hopefully helps.



.  
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Jim Wilde, Champion

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One exception to all of this is if you have told LR Classic to "MIGRATE"  all your images to the cloud
Slight point of clarification here, Dan. You don't (cannot) tell Classic to "Migrate", that procedure is controlled by using the menu option in the Lightroom desktop app.
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Elizabeth Wang

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Hi Dan, WOW Thank you so much for your explanation!
So a few follow-up questions to your reply if you don't mind~ ~

And as background, I'm a photographer who uses LR Classic to edit (for the last 10 yrs), and now wants to take advantage of syncing for captioning my personal iphone photos, for personal remembrance of the significance of them thousands of phone shots. After I get a handle on that, I may explore more. : )

1a) Currently, both LR Classic and LR CC ("cloudy") applications are installed on my desktop computer by default when the hubbie installed. Would it be normal then, of me to keep it that way but never open the LR CC desktop application? (because I would be using LR Classic to do all the syncing... if that's not crazy on my part(?)) To put it simply, would I be crazy to do syncing via LR Classic or is that perfectly normal? (even though I also own LR CC "Cloudy" (which allows full res. editing., which I hear is hyped up.) I'd still be able to be syncing, from within Classic rather than "cloudy", and there's nothing wrong with that? (aside from the purported full resolution difference)

1b) To kick the dead horse, in other w aside from the smart item identification that LR CC desktop app has, (and purported high/full resolution editing), I could just not use LR CC ("cloudy") desktop app if I prefer the enhanced editing features of Classic, since I do own Classic?

2a) Regarding the full resolution difference, is it a true statement then, that this full-res. difference is the exact feature that Adobe Lightroom is advertising is one main feature difference between the two, and yet, you are simply saying from a practical standpoint that practically speaking, there is not much difference, and I can practically speaking ignore that feature altogether?

2b) And along those lines, I'd be comfortable with that for iphone personal photos, but what about say portraits taken with a medium format camera? =D I'm assuming I should try to do a test and see if I see any differences.(?)

3a) You mentioned there is limited screen pixel limitations even with editing in full resolution which can only be seen indeed once zoomed in all the way. I'm happy to hear that screen-wise, it's fine. But then I'm still concerned though-- what about print-wise? I always edit with print in mind rather than screen, and if that's the case am I still ok or do I still have to think about this? Because I heard someone say that the only difference is you couldn't print 20x30 as an example, but everything else is fine? Is this what you would be also referring to, or is that not the same issue.

3b) In other words, to put simply, regarding the difference you're talking about, are you talking quality/color/etc. or are you talking size/resolution/print size?



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Dan Hartford Photo

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1a) Would it be normal then, of me to keep it that way but never open the LR CC desktop application?  yes,  There is no harm in just leaving it installed.  Also no harm in uninstalling it if you never plan to use it.  I find it as a useful tool to see what wound up in Cloudy without having to switch to my phone or tablet.

Not crazy to "do syncing from classic" if that's how you like to consider it.  To sync, both ends must be present and available (both Cloudy and Classic).  Cloudy is more or less always there, running on an adobe server.  So, whenever you have an internet connection and Classic is up and running, sync will happen in the background - unless that is you turn it off or pause it in "classic".  In Classic, you designate which Collections you want it to sync to Cloudy, but everything that show up in Cloudy syncs back to Classic (e.g photos shot with the LR Cloudy Phone app) 

1b) unless you just prefer the Cloudy Desktop app, or want to make use of the sensei filter there is no need to ever use it.  And using it is no different than using the Cloudy web app, iPhone app, or android app.

2a) the main reason i don't do image editing in any of the cloudy apps is this.  On my phone or tablet the screen is just too small to do any meaningful editing and I find the user interface more difficult to use with fat fingers and small icons or sliders.  And, if I'm on my desktop, I have Classic right there so why burden myself with the dumbed down interface in Cloudy Desktop and Cloudy Web app.  Of course that is just me.  I'm sure others would say that they prefer the user interface in the Cloudy Apps.  So, any serious editing (e.g noise reduction, masking, sharpening, etc.) I use Classic.  From time to time though I'll tweak WB or overall tone in Cloudy, but not much - and for those purposes, even if I could detect a difference between a full res image and a Smart Preview, it would not matter much,.  Another reason i don't edit in Cloudy is that my desktop system is color calibrated and my phone/tablet are not so color shifts can occur on those devices that are not in the image.

2b)  By all means, test away.  but I'd do any real editing in Classic as explained above

3a)  Not sure what they mean.  Do you regularly make 20 x 30 inch prints from your iPhone?  As far as I am aware, LR Cloudy does not as yet even have a print function so you'd have to extract the image form LR Cloudy and print it using some other means.  

3b) The pixel dimensions of an image don't change between Classic and Cloudy. What changes between them (e.g. with a smart preview) is how those pixels are represented in the data file.  I don't know the specifics of how they maintain edit capability with drastically smaller files but it seems to work.  Other than screen calibration issues, you should not see color shifts, or other artifacts.  Remember an image is made up of numbers representing the color and brightness of each pixel.  Both ecosystems interpret those numbers the same way.  So, size is just pixel count.  Resolution how many dots of color per inch of space and depends on the screen or printer's capability as long as the image file has enough pixels to provide a different pixel to each screen LED or each printer dot of color. And, print size depends on the paper.  If I have an image that is 3000 pixels wide, and print it at 300 dots per inch (dpi) it will be 10 inches wide.  However if I tell the printer to print it 20 inches wide it would need 6000 pixels, which it doesn't have, so the printer will will interpolate colors to provide values for the missing pixels.  

PS I'm leaving town in the morning so won't be responding for a couple of weeks
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To add to Dan's comment above:

1a & b) One way I've seen photogs use Cloudy & Classic is to get a jumpstart on importing images shot on a job before they return to their home/office. for e.g., they'd use whatever tech available to transfer images from camera to their phone/tablet, and then import into Cloudy. I can't recall how they manage the potential impact on their Adobe CreativeCloud (which I'll call ACC for brevity) storage use (you get typically 20GB for free with the most basic sybscription, which can get filled up rapidly if you start uploading full-res raw files via Cloudy apps). If you sync images in Collections via Classic, the large raw files remain on your local disk drives while much smaller Smart Preview files get transferred to your ACC storage. However, with Cloudy, am I correct in thinking by default it uploads the full-res raw files to your ACC storage (unless you enable a preference to keep raws local? Some folks are okay with paying to increase their ACC storage space as a business cost, because then it fulfils a second, important purpose: you get a backup of your raws in the cloud (in case you lose the originals on memory cards and any copies made on portable drives while out in the field or at your hotel). Either way, once the photo (or its Smart Preview) is in your ACC storage, you can then start doing the basic stuff in your processing workflow before getting to your home/office (i.e. mostly culling) or, if you're someone who does this, process one quick image as a thank-you/teaser for your client's & your own social media. However, most pros I've seen say they still do the bulk of post-processing via Classic for the same reasons Dan mentioned (Cloudy just help them save some time on the preliminary steps of their workflow).

3a & b) I don't know what you mean by full-res editing, but AFAIK no post-processing software would load an entire raw file (which can run upwards of 20MB) into memory for processing. That would significantly slow down performance on the average hardware specs you find today. Thus, they would all use a smaller preview file during processing (because there is no negative impact when viewing the image on screen), but then when you export your image to 'bake-in' whatever changes you made, the app would apply your changes to the original full-res raw file and then create a copy based on the resolution/dimension settings you chose in the export dialog (the window where you specify your export file settings). So, you will still get whatever you wish for your print needs. I won't get hung up on full-res marketing...
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James Hess

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There is no Lightroom CC, and there is no Lightroom Classic CC anymore. Those name terminologies are obsolete. You can blame Adobe if you wish. But that's the way it is. Lightroom Classic is the name of the version that has been around for years, and stores images in folders on your computer and manages the catalog locally. Lightroom is now the name of the version that stores your images in the cloud.

If you use Lightroom Classic then you can create collections and choose to share those collections with Lightroom. Those collections will be shared as smart previews, NOT full-sized images. If you also use Lightroom, and import images directly to Lightroom, those images will be downloaded to the cloud as full-sized images. Those full-sized images in the cloud will impact your allotted cloud storage. Smart previews shared from Lightroom Classic will not impact that allotted storage.

Only you, the user, can determine which version is best for you. It is not recommended that you try to use both versions on the same computer. Yes, it can be done. However, they don't work very well under that configuration. And if you try to do it you will likely become very frustrated because things aren't going to work as you think they should.

If you are considering migrating a catalog you have been using in Lightroom Classic, I would suggest that you think about it very carefully. Doing so pretty much means that you are committing to using Lightroom as your primary program moving forward. And some who have tried doing this have become frustrated. Be certain this is why you want to do before doing the migration process. I have not done it, and probably will not do so. But that is simply my personal preference.
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Only you, the user, can determine which version is best for you. It is not recommended that you try to use both versions on the same computer. Yes, it can be done. However, they don't work very well under that configuration. And if you try to do it you will likely become very frustrated because things aren't going to work as you think they should.
I don't really understand this comment, Jim. In what way do they not work well under that configuration? From my own experience, running Classic and Lightroom Desktop on the same system causes no issues at all, and nor would I expect it to. After all, they do not communicate with each other, they only communicate with the cloud server application. There might be some timing issues if you were trying to edit the same file at the same time on the same system using the two different apps (though why would anyone want to do that?), but apart from that what problems are you envisaging?

Whether there's any point in running both apps on the same system at the same time is a different question, but I don't see much harm in doing it even if there's usually no reason to. I tend to do most of my "processing" in Classic, but there are occasional times when I will have both apps open at the same time and have never encountered any problem.
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If you also use Lightroom, and import images directly to Lightroom, those images will be downloaded to the cloud as full-sized images.
Jim, Thanks for your help... just for my clarification, when you refer here to Lightroom, could it also be referring to when I am using the Lightroom app on my phone which is configured to auto-import from my camera roll into my iphone's Lightroom app, which I assume is "cloudy", which thus are full-sized images... which...

1) First of all, do I have all of the above correct?
2) ... which... thus I am editing full-sized images even though on my desktop computer, I am using LR Classic to access those files
3)... which... thus is impacting the storage space I have on "cloudy"?

Thanks in advance!
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Yes, "Lightroom" is the name of the cloud apps, but in order to differentiate between the various devices/systems it's usual to add another word, so LR Web for the browser app, LR Mobile for the phone/tablet app (which may be further sub-divided to include iOS or Android) and LR Desktop (which again may be further extended to show Mac or Windows). 

Lightroom Classic (or simply Classic for short), is the current name of the original Lightroom that is based on the images being held on local drives.

Regarding 2 and 3, it's best to get clear in your mind some of the differences between Classic and the Lightroom cloud:

1. Classic uses selective up-sync to the cloud, i.e. the user determines which of the Classic images to sync. Then, when the user enables images to sync from Classic, only Smart Previews are uploaded, not the full resolution images. The smart previews have a maximum long edge dimension of 2560 pixels, and furthermore they do not count against the users cloud space allocation. Answering another question, those smart previews are generally perfectly fine for viewing and editing on mobile devices, but clearly would NOT be good enough for exporting from the mobile device for printing or other purposes which require full resolution.

2. All the Lightroom cloud apps, however, do NOT have a selective sync capability....so all images that you import into any of the cloud apps will be uploaded to the cloud, and will be the full resolution files, and they will count against the cloud space allocation. Whilst it is possible to hold a copy of the full original on the other synced devices, it would be more typical to use the option to store only Smart Previews....however, if the original does exist in the cloud it is possible to download and use that original for editing and/or exporting if required (which obviously cannot be done if the file in the cloud is a smart preview which originated from Classic.

3. Reverting back to Classic again, any images imported/added directly into any of the cloud apps will also automatically download into the sync-enabled Classic catalog, and that will be full resolution copies.

There are plenty of other differences, mainly centred around the metadata that does or does not sync between Classic and the cloud, but the above should hopefully answer some of your questions.
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Elizabeth Wang

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Hi Jim!

You're awesome. Thanks SO much!
Follow up questions~~

Regarding question/answer 1): To be clear in my head, so I would be fine as long as I don't export from my phone, for print, but I can do so without worry from Classic?

#2) if the original does exist in the cloud it is possible to download and use that original for editing and/or exporting if required (which obviously cannot be done if the file in the cloud is a smart preview which originated from Classic.
#2 follow-up) Does that mean that you can actually export an original full res file from the phone app? How do you even indicate or know what res file you're exporting from the phone?

#3) There are plenty of other differences, mainly centred around the metadata that does or does not sync between Classic and the cloud, but the above should hopefully answer some of your questions.
#3 follow-up) The metadata that you mention... I am actually very concerned about that. Anything I should consider or be aware of? I'm actually trying to figure this all out for the very main purpose of adding captions to my iphone photos, and retain captions/description in metadata.

Thanks for the dialog, Jim! I enjoy it and it is has been so helpful and beneficial to me in a personal way. Thank you!
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#2 follow-up) Does that mean that you can actually export an original full res file from the phone app? How do you even indicate or know what res file you're exporting from the phone?
Yes, you can export an original in full res (if the original is in the cloud, of course, you can't export as full res if all that exists in the cloud is a smart preview that you've synced from Classic). When using the "Share" option on the iOS apps there's a choice of exporting either a smaller 2048 px file, or you can choose "Maximun Available".....using the latter option the app will download the original (if it exists) to the device in order to be able to produce a full res exported file. I think there'll be something similar using the Android app.

Note, however, that export options are limited using the mobile apps (you can't choose quality setting, output format - jpeg only at this time - or colour space) though hopefully they'll be improved soon.

#3 follow-up) The metadata that you mention... I am actually very concerned about that. Anything I should consider or be aware of? I'm actually trying to figure this all out for the very main purpose of adding captions to my iphone photos, and retain captions/description in metadata.
All metadata that you can enter in any of the cloudy apps will sync to the cloud and from there to all the other cloudy apps in your system. However, Classic is a junior partner is this sense, as there are some things that do not sync between Classic and the cloud. The major items that do not sync are Keywords, Location Data, and Face Recognition data. Titles/Captions, however, DO sync so if captions are your current concern there should be no issue.....you can enter/edit caption data anywhere in the cloud system OR in Classic and the changes will sync.
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Phillip Pasteris

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Hi all,

When I go to LR "Help" this is what I get.  LR CC 2015.14 Camera Raw 10.1.

I am too old to change or understand any of the naming strategy.  Apparently I don't even know what I am using. Sorry.
 
All I know is I can rip through 1,500 images in just a couple of hours and get them posted into LR Collections and uploaded to Google Photos with a very useful plug-in.

I apologize for not being the sharpest tack in the box, but I really don't understand anything Adobe is doing now with these "improvements."


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James Hess

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Well, I don't claim to be the sharpest knife in the drawer. I'm 76, and I certainly don't know everything. However, I CAN tell you that your Lightroom is not up to date. Lightroom CC 2015.14 is really quite out of date. If you are paying a subscription then you are not keeping it updated, or you are Creative Cloud Application Manager isn't up to date and is in keeping you advised of updates, or your operating system isn't new enough to allow you to use Lightroom Classic. It sounds as if you are satisfied with what you are using, so I won't challenge anything that you are doing. I'm glad you are getting along with what you have.
But again, all I can tell you is that the version you are using is simply not up to date. Whether or not you are satisfied with that is not for me to decide.
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Dan Hartford Photo

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Don't feel bad about not being up to speed on the whiplash, confusing, and poorly thought out name changes Adobe has dragged us through.  Many Lightroom users, even long time users, are confused by it all so you're not alone.  

However, in order to answer questions posted here and in other Lighroom Forums it is usually important for the us to understand which product and in many cases which version the user is having a problem with.  This is sometimes ambiguous when the question just refers to "Lightroom"  or even "Lightroom CC" as those names have referred to different products at different points in time and in many cases the user - being unaware of this state of affairs - inadvertently uses a name that in fact pertains to a different product than they are actually having a problem with.  I do not fault the user for this but rather fault Adobe for selecting (and changing) names in the way they did.


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Edmund Gall

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Agreed on the confusion resulting from Adobe's changing of app names. It's also messing up 3rd party course names. I typically recommend creativeLIVE.com to beginners who need to learn how to use Lightroom, but the if I was a beginner entering just Lightroom in their search tool, I wouldn't be clear if the course relates to Lightroom Classic or the mobile (i.e. "Cloudy") app (because it's had names such as Lightroom Mobile, Lightroom CC Mobile, Lightroom CC, and now just plain Lightroom). When they first introduced the CreativeCloud model, I saw a very good course by Jared Platt on creativeLIVE that explained the differences between the Classic structure and the CC/cloud-based structure: but he now has 3 courses there referring to Lightroom CC, and I can't easily tell which one (might have been this: https://www.creativelive.com/class/lightroom-cc-organizing-your-digital-photo-life-jared-platt ).

I haven't seen the following course, but based on the description, this looks like a better option for beginners to get an overview of Lightroom (which they call Lightroom CC) and Lightroom Classic (which they call Lightroom Classic CC), purely because it says it uses the 2019 versions of the software: https://www.creativelive.com/class/intro-to-lightroom-cc-for-beginners-daniel-gregory

Whatever you do, Wendy, I echo Dan's advice above and strongly recommend new Lightroom users buy formal training before fiddling around with the software. If you don't understand the ramifications of the cloud vs classic (i.e. desktop) way of working, you might end up with some unexpected results & risks. And as good as the responses on this forum has been, the average responder won't have time to give the level of detail available to you via a proper in-depth course.

[Btw, Dan et. al., where did that "Cloudy" name come from? I've only seen it on recent posts in this forum - but it wasn't used up to mid-August...]

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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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> [Btw, Dan et. al., where did that "Cloudy" name come from? I've only seen it on recent posts in this forum - but it wasn't used up to mid-August...]

LOL That's my fault, I've used it since we lost the CC's, and it seems to be catching on. I'm sure the marketing guys probably hate me for it, but we needed a way to differentiate between Classic and the cloud-based apps. Writing Lightroom (the cloud-based photo service) is just way too much of a mouthful.
(Edited)
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Dan Hartford Photo

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somebody had to do it since Adobe has no clue how to name their products to avoid confusion.  And I suspect calling the new LR/Cloud eco system just "Lighrroom" was a marketing attempt to fool first time people into adopting the new eco system rather than looking at both.  

Prior to Victoria coining the name "Cloudy" I had started using the terms LR/Classic and LR/Cloud to differentiate the two ecosystems in my blogs, articles and in posts on this and other forums.  But, as Victoria's "Cloudy" nomenclature has been adopted by more folks than mine (no surprise there) I know use it instead. 

It really is a shame that Adobe doesn't seem to understand the confusion and problems these names have caused folks who teach, write articles, create tutorials, books and videos and to the unsuspecting consumers trying to make sense of it all.  

I didn't have a problem with their choice of "Lightroom Classic" to mean the desktop oriented product but they really should have called the new one something like "Lightroom Cloud" or "Lightroom Web" or even "New Lightroom"  to differentiate it from "Lightroom Classic" .
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Phillip Pasteris

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Hi All,

"Fascinating confusion."  I am almost positive that even though I have a CC attached to my version of LR, I don't believe I am wed to the creative cloud(y) whatever that is.  Shotgun????  I don't use any Adobe web services.  Google Photo is fine. 

I have heard some stories that if my ISP is down, I won't be able to run LR.  More confusion???

I captured the start-up screen for LR.  I know that when I had the latest LR version running on my system it was a different start up screen.

In any event, my motto is "If it ain't broke, don't break it!"  Never run two versions of LR.

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James Hess

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That's because you are using 2015.14. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Okay, if you're satisfied then so be it. But that version is several updates/upgrades behind, and really is somewhat obsolete. Having said that, if you're happy then don't worry about it. That version IS Lightroom CC, but that is what it was back then. 
(Edited)