Using Bridge over a network with others

Explorer ,
Apr 28, 2009 Apr 28, 2009

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Would Bridge be a good solution to set up photo library over a network that can be updated and modified with everyone on the network?

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New Here ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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I am curious about this too. I work in an office where everyone pulls photos from a shared drive. Ideally we'd all be able to search the collection by metadata keywords from our own macs but I'm finding that only the machine that authored the metadata keywords is able to locate/retrieve said files. Am I missing something?

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Explorer ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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I just started researching this and have yet to find if Bridge is the right software for the job. Maybe if you could somehow export your setting and data to a file that people could access along with the photo library it would work.

Have you looked into any other options besides Bridge fior this task?

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Guide ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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Bridge is just a file browser, not a robust DAM (digital asset manager).

It uses the same structure as the Finder.  If metadata is kept in the central cache rather than written to distributed folders along with the image files, only the local machine will see it.

If a server or a removable disk is involved, Bridge will know nothing of the existence of the files when the server is not online or when the removable drive is disconnected.

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New Here ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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I've added specific keywords to a photo on the network using my

version of Bridge and as a test moved the pic to the desktop of a

coworker's machine. When I do a 'file-info' on it, the keywords are

listed - so they are indeed a part of the file. Problem is, her

version of Bridge isn't able to recognize them. I figured that if her

mac can read the metadata keywords, why can't her copy of Bridge?

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Explorer ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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I am not sure why her version of Bridge would not work. I did test changing labels and keywords with another person over the network and the changes are also reflected on his machine.

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Guide ,
Apr 30, 2009 Apr 30, 2009

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Check the settings in Bridge preferences as per the above:

If metadata is kept in the central cache rather than written to distributed folders along with the image files, only the local machine will see it.

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New Here ,
May 01, 2009 May 01, 2009

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What setting do I need to engage? I've tried pointing multiple copies

of bridge throughout the office to a central cache folder on the

shared drive but they still won't recognize keywords that were

authored/revised by other users.

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Explorer ,
May 01, 2009 May 01, 2009

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I am using photos that are on the server and then applying keywords to them over the network. Keywords are never modified locally and then saved back to the server.

I am using the default settings also.

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Guide ,
May 01, 2009 May 01, 2009

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RobPotter wrote:

I've tried pointing multiple copies 

of bridge throughout the office to a central cache folder on the 

shared drive but they still won't recognize keywords that were 

authored/revised by other users.

Yikes!   I'm not surprised that doesn't work!

Sorry, I have to leave immediately and don't have time to elaborate.  Will reply much later tonight.

In the mean time, I'll just insert some boilerplate text in the following message.

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Guide ,
May 01, 2009 May 01, 2009

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This is the boilerplate text I use in connection to saving to a network (please NOTE the part where it explains that normally, it does work, but that it is impossible to troubleshoot someone else's network remotely, and that's why it's not supported by Adobe):

If you are opening files over a network or saving them to a network server, please cease and desist immediately in the event you are currently experiencing problems with one or more files. Working across a network is not supported.


See: 

http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/322391.html

  Copy the CLOSED file from your server to your local hard disk, work on it, save it again to your local hard disk, close it, and copy the closed file back to the server.
 
     Of course, the fact that Adobe does not support working across a network does not necessarily mean it won't work.   It should.

    Adobe's position is that there are too many variables in a network environment for them to guarantee that everything will work correctly in every network, especially given the fact that if something does not work properly, it's probably the network's fault, and Adobe has no way of troubleshooting your network.

  If you can't work locally, you are on your own, and if something happens, you're on your own. If you must work from a server, make sure your network administrator is a competent professional.

When problems arise, a lot of valuable work can be lost.

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Guide ,
May 02, 2009 May 02, 2009

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RobPotter wrote:


…I've tried pointing multiple copies 

of bridge throughout the office to a central cache folder on the 

shared drive but they still won't recognize keywords that were 

authored/revised by other users.

Rob,

As I mentioned earlier that will not work.

Bridge needs to find the cache:

• either in the Central Cache kept on the boot volume of each machine running the application,

• or in each of the folders that contain the individual images.

For the latter, set your Bridge preferences to "use distributed folders when possible":

Bridge_CS4_cache_prefs_2.jpg

These settings are for CS4 and are similar in CS3.  However, if you're on CS3, all bets are off.  Bridge 2.x in CS3 was a dog that should have been fixed for free by Adobe, but it wasn't.  Cache management is the Achilles heel of the application.  Fortunately, CS4 is much better.

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New Here ,
May 02, 2009 May 02, 2009

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Thanks Ramon

I figured my shared-cache idea was half-baked. As for versions, a few of us are using CS3, a few others CS2. I reverted to the default settings on my version of Bridge (CS3), added a test keyword ('dude') to a photo on the network and opened Bridge (CS2) on the mac in the cubicle next to me to search the same volume for that keyword. No luck. BUT - I found that after moving a copy of the photo from the network to the desktop of that mac, it's Bridge CS2 did indeed return the proper result using the 'dude' keyword search. By the sound of your post, relying on CS3-CS2 interaction might be a bit of a pipe dream.

The bossman is seriously considering CS4 - this will add some fuel to the fire.

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Guide ,
May 02, 2009 May 02, 2009

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RobPotter wrote:

Thanks Ramon

As for versions, a few of us are using CS3, a few others CS2.


Good grief!  That's just insane.

The cache files are entirely separate and different in the various versions.  CS4 will not see the cache files from previous versions and will need to build its own cache files, which wll NOT be seen (let alone recognized) by previous versions.  CS3 is in the same situation:  it will not recognize the cache files from previous versions and vice versa. Same applies to CS2 cache files.

The idea of having different versions on different machine recognize the cache files from other versions, wherever they may reside, is absolutely undoable.

== == ==

Now, Bridge 2.x in CS3 was an absolute dog.  It should have been fixed for free by Adobe, but, shamefully, it was not.  Abysmally poor cache management is the Achilles heel of the application.  Fortunately Bridge 3.x in CS4 is much better.

At least make sure you are running Bridge 2.1.1.9.  Earlier versions were lethal, known not only to damage files but even to disappear some of them.

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Guide ,
May 02, 2009 May 02, 2009

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RobPotter wrote:

BUT - I found that after moving a copy of the photo from the network to the desktop of that mac, it's Bridge CS2 did indeed return the proper result using the 'dude' keyword search.

Sure, because at that point, "that" local Mac built its own local cache file (appropriate for the version running on that particular local machine) for the folder where the new file landed!

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Guide ,
May 02, 2009 May 02, 2009

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Just to make sure you understand the incompatibility of cache files between Bridge versions, imagine you have both CS3 and CS4 on a stand-alone machine, not connected to any network.

You look at some files in a folder with Bridge CS3, and a Bridge CS3 cache file is created in the folder.  Then you quit Bridge CS3 and look at the same files with Bridge CS4.  A new, independent Bridge CS4 cache file will be instantly created in the same folder without disturbing the pre-existing cache file, without any interference between the two.

In addition, understand that the cache files of earlier versions are visible, those from the later versions will be invisible to you.

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New Here ,
May 04, 2009 May 04, 2009

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Got it. Thanks for taking the time here Ramon - you've been extremely helpful.

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Guide ,
May 04, 2009 May 04, 2009

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You're most welcome, Rob. 

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New Here ,
Jul 18, 2009 Jul 18, 2009

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Ramon - thanks so much for explainging what Adobe should have made common knowledge. I can't begin to tell you the number of man-hours spent struggling with trying to share a centralized library of images across a local network using Bridge (CS3 and CS4).

We just threw the centralized cache out yesterday due to bizarre behavior and now I know why. Thanks!

But Bridge is still our image browser of choice so here's my next step:

I plan to replicate the existing image library (434 gigs/107k+ images), and dump them all in one folder and on our 2-tbyte mirrored RAID drive.

I will then arrange is so that each copy of Bridge in our network indexes this one huge folder fully the first time.

My assumption is that every time I update the library (which is almost every day) with new images or modified metadata, then whenever one of the designers goes to the library to search, their copy of Bridge should automatically and quietly update in the background, right?

Thanks again,

Steve

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Guide ,
Jul 18, 2009 Jul 18, 2009

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Steve,

You're treading entirely new ground there.  Proceed with caution.

In addition, recent comments by Bridge engineers indicate that the Central Cache is always on, even when you're set to distributed folders.  This has far-reaching implications I haven't though through yet.

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New Here ,
Jul 23, 2009 Jul 23, 2009

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Steve

Post the reults of your test to this forum. If it works for you I'd set like to implement that setup here in our office. (sounds like we have the same common goal)

Thanks!

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New Here ,
Jul 25, 2009 Jul 25, 2009

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I have posted my last two battery of tests as well as a lengthy discussion of conclusions on my blog at: http://imagearchivist.blogspot.com/

While Bridge is not the best tool of choice for maintaining a (large) library of image files to share among multiple users, I believe it can be done -- but with qualifications -- which I also note on my blog as well.

In our department it's important that designers and editors have quick, easy and direct access to the hi-rez images themselves so working offline isn't necessarily important. Also, a cataloging program not only requires additional capital expenditures but represents a fairly serious learning curve as well. In our case a full-blown digital asset management program is in the works for sometime during the coming fiscal year so this is a stop-gap measure only.

Any feedback on my tests or preliminary finds and conclusions would be most welcome.

RobPotter wrote:

Steve

Post the reults of your test to this forum. If it works for you I'd set like to implement that setup here in our office. (sounds like we have the same common goal)

Thanks!

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New Here ,
Aug 20, 2009 Aug 20, 2009

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I believe that using Bridge to share image files on a network is possible. In fact, we're just about ready to golive with our image library on a network -- using Bridge as the browser.

Here's what I've discovered over the past sevral weeks of testing:


As Ramon correctly points out on this forum trying to share a centralized cache is indeed insane. But, as it turns out, it appears that one share cache files across multiple computers; providing these are Macs using CS4 of course. This is not the bext alternative but short of going with a cataloging system -- not always an choice for some organzations -- this is perhaps the only option available.

2. I indexed our image library on my laptop, which took the better part of a day. Organizationally it consists of 56 folders, containing some 104,000 images for more than 434 gigabytes of space.


3. I then copied the cache (and all files) to an external hard drive.
What I copied was on the following path: user>library>caches>Adobe?Bridge CS4>Cache

4. I then went to a second computer -- networked to connect to the central image library drive --  and before launching Bridge I deleted the old cache file, and then copied the new cache file to the second computer. I then launched Bridge, navigated to the image library in the folders panel, clicked on several folders. One-by-one all the thumbs and previews loaded quickly and the metadata was right there as well, allowing for fairly quick and easy searching. And for us "searchability" is the KEY to having a central image library

5. To add mages -- and here's where ity gets a bit klunky -- I intend to add subsequent folders as new images come in to be catalogued. I will then inform the designers that a new folder has been uloaded to the library -- they already have the path -- and that they will need to index that folder to make the images "searchable.

Hopefully this will work on all our designers' machines as well. I'll know more by the end of next week.

BUT, there are a couple of things to consider:

1. Once a folder is indexed it cannot be moved nor can any of the files inside that folder be moved or manipulated in any way. For example, if you returned to a file to add additional metadata, then each user would have to reindex that particular folder on their local copy of Bridge. Having said that, it's not terribly difficult or challenging. In our case, since the image library is permanent once these folders are indexed and "accessed" on each machine that's it. It's the initial indexing that can take so much time.

2. Make sure that permissions are in place before you golive. In our situation just me and my director have read/write permissions. All others have read only. This allows anyone to pull an image out of the library and use it as they see fit once the copy is on their desktop of course. They simply cannot make any changes, additions or alternations in the existing folders and files ON THE LIBRARY DRIVE.

That's it for the moment.

Stay tuned.

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Explorer ,
Feb 05, 2010 Feb 05, 2010

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All,

This thread has been very helpful to me today.  i did not realize when i discovered Bridge that it would have limitations across a network, which was the main purpose for wanting to use it.

Steve (Image Archivist)

While all of the information here has been very helpful as we are needing to do the same thing you are, i am not clear on how you get Bridge to "Index".  i don't see any menu in Bridge for that.  Is deleting the Cache file that is already there and then simply opening up each folder sufficient? Or is there something else that I am missing?

Thank you,

JD

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People's Champ ,
Feb 05, 2010 Feb 05, 2010

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Ideally it should do so itself in the background but using the menu find

once and put a checkmark in front of 'include non indexed files' usually

does get it started for the rest of the content. It can take a while the

first time so just let it run.

i am not clear on you get Bridge to "Index".  i don't see any menu in Bridge

for that.  Is deleting the Cache file that is already there and then simply

opening up each folder sufficient? Or is there something else that I am

missing?

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