Lightroom Classic: Lightroom CC: Sync all CC Metadata with Classic desktop version

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I do not understand why Adobe would have fields on the mobile or CC version that do not sync to desktop Classic version. Can someone please explain? I understand not pushing everything from Classic desktop to mobile/cloud version as it is too much. But FROM mobile/cloud to desktop is a must if this is truly supposed to be a portable product. Is Adobe branching into two completely different products? I can think of no other reason to program them to not sync properly from the beginning. Entered lots of location data on CC and from what I can see, it does not sync and Adobe has no plans to ever sync that metadata even though those fields already exist in Classic version. Would someone please explain WHY?
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bonnie

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Posted 2 years ago

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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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The CC versions (Lightroom CC, IOS, Android, Apple TV and Web) were designed to work seamlessly with one another.  They all contain full access to each other's data and the cloud and were built that way from the beginning. Lightroom Classic was designed as a desktop-based environment originally and had cloud access bolted on very late in its design.  Differences in the way things like Keywords are handled (Flat in CC and Hierarchical in Classic CC) is one example of reasons why it is very difficult to port metadata from one to the other. 
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Janice LaMere

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This is not a real answer. There is NO reason we have to have Hierarchical fields. It makes way more sense to get keywords meshed than to get others only using CC. There are engineers who think creatively, but not often. This was done backwards! 
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Bonnie Giddens

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But what about the location fields? City, State, Country are identical names. Why wouldn't they sync those? It would be helpful if Adobe published a very clear listing of what does and does NOT sync. The marketing literature talks around the reality of what does NOT sync. Help and Forums do not address this thoroughly, only one issue at a time, which doesn't help me to develop a realistic workflow that incorporates using the CC versions.
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john beardsworth

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I agree with you. I wish Adobe would adopt a more pragmatic policy than the "no more than now" line which syncs title, caption, adjustment metadata, flags and ratings but fails to sync other single value fields such as 4 location fields and the GPS value. Keywords are understandably difficult - hierarchies, synonyms, do not export etc - but the existing single value fields sync reliably and it's hard to believe that the others are any more difficult in principle. If you can sync all that complex adjustment metadata, you can sync 4 or 5 little text fields.
(Edited)
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Jim Wilde, Champion

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John, oddly enough the GPS value does sync, just not the 4 location fields.
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john beardsworth

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I stand corrected, Jim. Even less excuse for failing to sync the location fields!
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Jim Wilde, Champion

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Totally agree, John. I get that keywords might be a harder thing to deal with, but location data? I don't understand that one at all.
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Bonnie Giddens

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I'm glad to see others share my sentiment. Has anyone found any sort of comprehensive & clear listing of what fields sync & do not sync that Adobe has published as part of their technical support services? Poking through forums & crowdsourcing technical support is incredibly inefficient. Thank you all for chiming in!
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Rob Flynn

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This is really annoying.  Neither labels nor keywords sync, which I use extensively to organize my pictures on the desktop.  I simply want to be able to filter and browse, and do some light editing on the go, but I NEED these existing organizational tools.  But I suppose I will just have to go through tens of thousands of pictures again and re-tag and label just because Adobe is lazy?

And why are labels being dropped again?  This is not how to you move forward, Adobe.
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Chris Dale

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I am at least glad to know that the sync failure is through technical difficulties and not (as I had thought) a deliberate policy. The update from Classic to CC is fine for image changes and it can't be that hard to update metadata in that direction - it already flattens the hierarchy on the first upload. Coming back from CC (flat) to Classic (hierarchy) I can see might be harder. SmugMug ad Flickr both do seamless metadata updates from Classic, and now they are one, the attraction of CC diminishes if you can update metadata. 
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I also agree that LR Classic and LR CC should do a much better job of syncing metadata. There's already a fairly popular feature request for syncing keywords specifically:
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/keyword-bug 

Be sure to click Vote and Follow on that topic. (This topic shouldn't be merged with that one, since this one is about more than just keywords.)

Adobe has publicly indicated they have no intention of enhancing LR Classic sync. But if enough customers provide feedback, it's conceivable they'll change their mind. The last couple of user surveys had questions about LR Classic sync, so at least someone within Adobe is questioning the party line.  


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Jilleen Moore Campbell

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Workflow Question -  on syncing metadata. I am a new Lightroom user. Through lots of trial and error, I realized I needed BOTH Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic which I now have. As many have discussed, and I have learned through painful experiences, both versions don't always play nicely with one another and are a bit of a disaster.   

For those using both Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic, can you share the most effective workflow that you use?

Here is what I have figured out so far. 
1 - Download new photos to Lightroom CC ( I heard in a training, that if you upload to Lightroom Classic they will not sync with Lightroom CC).
2 - In Lightroom CC - rate all photos with stars and checkmarks, etc.
3 - In Lightroom CC - Add Keywords (After doing this in CC with 2,000 photos, and syncing with classic, I found out the keywords don't upload to Classic.) If I do this in Lightroom CC will the keywords be added to the metadata on the web? OR do keywords need to be done in Lightroom Classic, or do I have to do it in both places?
4 - Should I add the Title and Caption for my photos in Lightroom CC or in Lightroom Classic and why?
5 - Then Switch to Lightroom Classic and sync the photo's and then add the metadata, creator data, and location to all of my photos as this feature ISN'T available in CC and is only available in Lightroom Classic.
6 - Then add my watermark to all of my photos in Lightroom Classic, as this feature is also NOT AVAILABLE  in Lightroom CC.
7 - Image hardening? What do you use for additional protection of your photos?

From this point, what is the best way to get all of my images uploaded onto my website?
Do I try and do it from Lightroom Classic OR Lightroom CC.
Which keywords and metadata will the crawlers on google pick up when trying to index the images?
Will it pick up the keywords in Lightroom CC OR Lightroom Classic?
Should I even bother putting keywords into Lightroom Classic? Does anyone know these questions?

Is there anything in my workflow you would suggest doing differently or add anything?
Has anyone on here used the Plug-ins suggested above to sync their keywords or other data? I think it is called the Photographers Toolbox?

Any other things you would suggest as a newer user to Lightroom? Did I forget anything?

Any insights you could provide would be greatly appreciated!
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Bonnie Giddens

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I look forward to hearing responses to this. You highlight some serious issues with the metadata that I have also stumbled across. I personally do almost EVERYTHING in Classic. I upload all my photos into LR Classic on my desktop. I only work in CC if I want to do some basic photo editing on my laptop and I can't be at my desktop. It does sync the exposure, etc. settings from CC to Classic. I also lost tons of work using the Location fields in CC, which do NOT sync to Classic. So I avoid CC for metadata. My concern is that Adobe may be trying to push everyone to the stripped down version, CC. They've already moved Classic to the BOTTOM of the app list on Creative Cloud. If that is the case, I would really like to know that NOW. We will lose so much of our work. My work is more historical than for business and we have photos very organized for about 100 years and to think of losing that metadata and organization makes me sick. Please continue asking these questions.
(Edited)
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Jilleen Moore Campbell

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Bonnie, thank you for your response. I am also doing a lot of historical photos and digitizing old photos as well as for commercial purposes. Any advice you have on older photos and historical photos and organizing them, I would love to hear about!
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Bonnie Giddens

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I have just finished 2 family projects so I'm "developing" my methods along the way. I am best able to locate old photos when my folders are organized by year. I will also need to start sorting by family lines as I get more photos in each year folder. I scan them in with the year as the first part of the file name so it is easy to sort, drag, & drop them into appropriate folders. I've found it easier to do that and then sync the LR folders rather than trying to import into LR and then organize into folders, but that would work just as well. I was using keywords for people a long time ago, but have found the "people" mode helpful when I'm looking for photos of a specific person within a folder. LR can't manage to find someone in the entire catalog though. It gets very bogged down. If you click on people, name one photo with the person you are looking for and then "find similar" for just that person, it does a decent job of finding the right person. Most of my photos are about people. My system doesn't work as well for a building or other subject. I was recently looking for specific historical farm activities in the photos and I do not have a way to find that without sifting through lots of photos. I did recall the approximate age of the people in the photos I was remembering so that helped. Please keep sharing. I'm learning from everyone!
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Jim Wilde, Champion

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There are various ways of using Classic and LRCC together, but it would probably be very helpful if you could explain why you think you need to use both. Knowing that would make it easier to provide advice.
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Jilleen Moore Campbell

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 Jim Wilde - I will probably try and do most things on Lightroom Classic after conversations with other Lightroom users, BUT when I need CC is when I am on the road for consulting for long periods of time and want to continue working, editing, and adding my photos, and adding photos to my social media accounts. I would like to upload high-resolution images to the web (which I found can't be done IF I upload to Classic first, I can only see previews - still trying to figure that out). I also need an easy way to get my photos to my website developer to put on my website (though I just found out about a plug-in directly to WordPress that may help with this.) Does that information help at all Jim?
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Jim Wilde, Champion

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Thanks for the extra clarification.

In terms of options, one thing you could consider is using Classic only. Many photographers have used Lightroom on their travels for many years, well before LRCC was introduced. Yes, it requires taking a laptop with you, but once setup correctly it’s quite slick, and avoids all the hassle of trying to work around the differing syncing protocols in a combined Classic and CC workflow. Everything on your list of things to do can be dealt with (and often more comprehensively) using Classic only. You can also, should you wish to use the “all your photos anywhere” feature of CC, sync all your images from Classic to the cloud. Classic can only sync Smart Previews, not full originals, but they would usually be plenty good enough for viewing on mobile devices or in a browser (and can be edited on those devices as well).

A side benefit is that uploaded smart previews do not count against the cloud storage allowance. Plus, not universally known, it is possible to transfer existing metadata from Classic (which does not subsequently sync) to CC during the initial upload.....so keywords and location data CAN be transferred on a one-way, one-time basis.

However, should you still want to use the hybrid Classic & CC workflow, you obviously realise that some compromises (or duplication of effort) is likely. You’ve said that you want the full-resolution originals uploaded to the cloud, which can only be done by importing them into any of the CC apps (desktop, mobile, web). Once you do that, a copy of those originals will automatically download into the sync-enabled Classic catalog. In terms of how you work after that initial import, it’s probably easier to answer by addressing the various points that you made in your original post:

1.     Download (Import) new photos to LR CC. What you probably heard in the training is that if you import into Classic the images do not automatically sync to the cloud, but they do sync once the user enables them to sync (either by adding them to a collection which has been sync-enabled, or by adding them to the special All Synced Photographs collection). But as mentioned, only SPs will upload, so full originals means import into an LR CC app.

2.     Ratings and Flags: can be done in Classic or any LRCC app, as these settings do sync. If you’re mobile at the time, using phone or tablet works well, and they’ll be waiting for you when you next start LR Classic.

3.     Keywords: the big problem area. Personally, if I was just starting out with Lightroom and had decided on a hybrid workflow I’d probably keyword (simply) in LRCC and hope that the AI tagging improves to the point that the auto-tags are viewable on the web in shared albums. I certainly wouldn’t contemplate entering the same data twice, once into each “system”.

4.     Titles and Captions....same as Flags and Ratings, i.e. enter into whichever system suits you best at the time. No preference, the data syncs correctly no matter where it is input.

5.     Other metadata....copyright syncs, as does GPS data. LRCC has a similar address look-up feature as Classic, so if the image has GPS co-ordinates it will auto-tag some of the Location data.

6.     Watermarks....strictly speaking you can’t add watermarks to your images in any LR version, what you can do in Classic is embed a watermark when you export an image. The mobile version of LRCC also has a watermark feature on export (not as comprehensive as Classic’s), but not the desktop version of LRCC yet.

7.     Image hardening? Not sure what you mean.

For a variety of reasons, mainly to do with the fact that I’ve been using Lightroom since version 1 (and thus all my pre-existing images are keyworded using a hierarchical keyword list, and have all the GPS and location tags set), I’ve developed my own hybrid workflow....though I’m not sure I would use it if I was a power-user. My principal goals of this workflow are to have all my photos available on whatever device or browser I’m using at the time, and to use the ever-improving album-sharing capabilities of the cloud, and having the originals uploaded and available to underpin those goals is important to me as well. Also I want to continue to use the same hierarchical keyword list, at least until such time as LRCC matures sufficiently that I can switch completely from Classic, without double-entry of any metadata.

It basically involves importing initially into LR Classic (my desktop computer is an MBP, so I’d probably take it mobile as well, so I could use the same workflow wherever I was), and optionally syncing SPs to the cloud (depends on the number of images to be processed, if only a few I’d not bother syncing SPs). Then I’d cull and process the keepers to “completion”, mainly in terms of metadata entry (specifically keywords and location data) as edits can be finalised later. Once I’m happy that the metadata entry is complete I select all, convert to DNG, then do Ctrl+S to write metadata to XMP. At that point the metadata is “in the file” and I remove the folder containing those images from LR Classic (which also removes any associated SPs from the cloud). Then I import that same folder into the desktop LRCC, which uploads the originals to the cloud (and reads and imports the metadata that’s in the files) and from the cloud they’ll then download into LR Classic (into my standard date-based folder system). Thus I end up with the same keywords, location data and other metadata in both systems, after having entered it only once (although the hierarchical keywords are flattened in LRCC). 

It’s not a workflow that would suit everyone, and I have to maintain discipline to do things in the correct order, but it does work for me (mostly....but subsequent significant keyword list changes can be a PITA to deal with in two places!).

I hope some of the above helps.


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Bonnie Giddens

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I am fascinated by your workflow. Would you be so generous as to explain a couple more things?

1. Am I right that you delete the images off Classic & import into CC after metadata work because you want the originals on the cloud? Do you keep a local copy anywhere or trust Adobe with your only copy of your originals? I keep my photos on a single 2TB drive and have a separate backup service to the cloud. These cloud services make me nervous. I've had them limit the file size or type that they back up and I only discover it when a hard drive is failing. You can lose your original full resolution files.

2. What is the workflow to "sync all photographs" from Classic to CC and maintain your Classic folder structure in CC? When I first started with CC I thought I had to create collections to sync and so now I've got a bit of a mess. I'd prefer my photos sync to CC and be organized by the folder structure I use in Classic, not by an additional "Collection" organizational method. Hope that makes sense.

3. Can you recommend a workflow using "Classic only" for when you are on the road? As I understood it, there were 2 options. a) Keep your photos on a portable drive that you could plug into your laptop or your desktop, or b) Download photos to a laptop for processing on the road, then import the photos and metadata files into the catalog in Classic on the desktop when you get home. I could never commit to either of these adjustments in my workflow so I still don't have a way to do this but want to figure it out because I hope to travel more in the near future.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
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Jim Wilde, Champion

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1. I don't "delete" initially, I simply "remove" the folder from Classic....that removes all the images from the catalog, but does not delete them from the hard drive (my internal SSD in this case). I then import the same folder into LRCC, the images are uploaded to the cloud and then synced back down into the Classic catalog, this time being stored in my main folder structure on an external drive. At that point the same images exist in 4 places: the original folder on my SSD, in the LRCC local library (LRCC copies imports into its own space pending the upload), in my main Classic folder structure on my external drive, and of course in the LRCC cloud. There's actually another copy, as I routinely use the "Make Second Copy" feature when I import into Classic, that second copy is on yet a different external drive. And that doesn't include the various backups that I regularly make of my Classic images, including a real-time cloud backup using Crashplan. When my next backup cycle has been run, it's OK for me to delete the original folder from my SSD is readiness for my next import.

I have no reason to distrust Adobe with my LRCC images, but I don't especially regard them as another backup (even more so as there is as yet no LRCC cloud trash-can, so any accidental deletions from the cloud would be embarrassing if that cloud contained my only master copy). I still regard Classic as the place where my masters are maintained, and I'm very careful about backups.

2. There is no way for LRCC to maintain the same folder structure as you use in Classic, which is not unreasonable if you try to imagine the tens of thousands of different drives letters and drive names and permutations thereof used by the "community" which would have to be replicated and maintained on the Adobe servers. So basing the organisational structure on albums (collections in Classic) makes much more sense (and they are of course a much more efficient tool for image organisation). To help you, however, Adobe has recently implemented a method whereby the user can have their existing Classic folder structure duplicated as a Collection Set, with sub-folders duplicated as collections. If you migrate an existing Classic catalog to LRCC, the Collections Sets and Collections would appear in LRCC as Folders and Albums (Folders in LRCC is the equivalent to Collection Sets in Classic). But if you don't migrate, and simply set all the collections to sync to LRCC, the Collection Sets do not sync so the user would have to manually set up the equivalent Folders in LRCC, then drag and drop the albums into the appropriate Folders.

3. That's a difficult question to answer, as there are many different ways of working (more than the two that you mentioned), and a lot will depend upon the user's own setup (e.g. laptop only, or desktop at home and laptop while travelling), and upon the desired goal when travelling (e.g. to deal with new imports only, or access to some or all of the existing catalog). There are probably many posts about the subject on this and other Lightroom forums, so a quick search should reveal more ideas. 

Hope this helps.