Lightroom: Please can we share Lightroom Catalog edits between PC and a Mac

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  • Updated 7 years ago
  • (Edited)
I use both a PC and an iMac as well as a NAS drive.

I'm not looking for a multi-user concurrent access catalog but a way allow me to keep the actual photos on the NAS drive and be able to transfer edit info between computers more easily.

At present, you can sort of do this between Macs or between PC's but NOT between a MAC and a PC. Mac's don't understand UNC names (if you try and import a catalog with them in on a Mac you get an unexpected error) and PC's insist on adding a drive letter which Macs don't understand.

Using mklink on Windows you can for example map a network share to say "F:\NASMounts\Lightroom", and using OS X automounter I can get the same share to appear as "/NASMounts/Lightroom". However the catalog embeds the full name.

You can transfer a catalog and images successfully by also copying the images, and then importing, but this approach isn't much use for being able to access your photos centrally and keep edit info sync'd between computers.

I'm sure there are lots of possible ways to sync catalog info, but as an interim step how about a configurable "network root" parameter that can be changed in each catalog. Then for the photos, IF they are on a network drive (and we know Adobe can tell it's a network drive) then the catalog only contains the sub directories after the network root.

When you add a new folder in the library, and you choose a network location, the catalog could prompt you for the network root for that catalog folder. Then when you export items in a catalog, the network root could also get exported. On import on the target machine, for each network folder, you could then be prompted to either keep the exported network root, or change it to another.

This would make the catalogs much more portable between computers allowing more flexibility, and could possibly be extended to removable media which will suffer the same problems between Mac and PC,
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Ian Stickland

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Posted 7 years ago

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Rob Cole

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You're not going to like this idea, but here it is anyway:

Use SQLiteroom and change the paths in the catalog to compatible format before starting on the other OS.

I told you you wouldn't like it, but it would work...

Test with exported catalog copy first until you get it right...

Rob
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john beardsworth

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When you move the catalogue between PC and Mac, isn't it just a simple matter of right clicking top level folders and updating their locations? So organise your folders under as few top level folders as possible, using Add Parent Folder, and it's not a big job. No need for importing again, or a plug-in.