Lightroom mobile: Multiple catalog syncing

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Explorer ,
Aug 13, 2014 Aug 13, 2014

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When can we expect to see lightroom mobile able to handle sync'ing multiple catalogs? As it is with the limitation to a single catalog it is very limited in a real business case scenario...
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New Here ,
Dec 22, 2018 Dec 22, 2018

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Hi Victoria,

Thanks for your response again - much appreciated. It seems like you get caught in the crossfire between dissatisfied adobe customers and Adobe’s product management. I do very much appreciate what you and Rikk are doing to help us out, and I feel sad and dismayed that no one from Adobe is chipping in here on these forums to provide “official” input. It seems like Adobe is no longer interested in hearing the voice of the customer.

Which brings me to Adobe on Twitter - they provide official support via Twitter DMs via @AdobeCare using a tweetbot menu which connects you to a support agent, and they loop in an “expert” if needed. It is practically a chat, with no character limits.

I have sent them at least a dozen videos of the performance issues at various times through these DMs and there is no character restriction. They have sent back the usual suggestions like enabling or disabling the GPU (depending on what the current state is) and then, trying a new catalog with fewer images, trying a new OS version, and finally installing a new LR version, deleting all previews, creating 1:1 previews, adding smart previews, hiding the histogram which I have done with no respite.

I have gone through many other forum complaints with the same theme as myself and a lot of them have been unresolved.

Your responses make me feel optimistic that maybe it is working well for you - please can you confirm that LR Develop does in fact work in a responsive manner for you, with a smallish catalog, after having made local adjustments to RAW photos ? If yes, then I would be happy to add a new thread about performance on the forum.

Thanks again!

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Community Expert ,
Dec 23, 2018 Dec 23, 2018

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FWIW, millions is the exception when I'd start thinking about using a smaller working catalog for active photos and a big archive catalog for searching.

Most of the people I hear talking about splitting their catalog are thinking that 40k is big.
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The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 24, 2018 Dec 24, 2018

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Confirming what Victoria said.  The information provided by support was inaccurate. 

Personal anecdote and FWIW my 380K image catalog performs similarly to my 300 image test catalog. Both are quite speedy.

Additionally, Twitter, while useful for some support interactions isn't the best place to go when you have a detailed performance-related question. Those things are better expressed and solved in more than a couple of hundred characters...
Rikk Flohr - Customer Advocacy: Adobe Photography Products

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New Here ,
Dec 24, 2018 Dec 24, 2018

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Hi Rikk,

Thank you for confirming that LR is speedy for you in the develop module. Much appreciated. Can you also help me with the system config that you are using, so that I can compare with mine?

Ps: i May have mentioned it on my earlier response, but In case it helps anyone else, when I spoke about Twitter support, Adobe’s own support site has a banner on top saying that their regular support channel has long wait periods and users should DM them at the @AdobeCare handle. Once a person connects via DM they are taken through a menu and connected to an exec and there’s no character limit on that interaction.

Thanks

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Community Expert ,
Dec 24, 2018 Dec 24, 2018

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I can willingly confirm that LR works at a speedy pace even with 100K+ catalog on a standard resolution monitor. Some things get a bit slower on my 5K monitor, which is to be expected as it's processing a lot more pixels to service a high res monitor. I'm currently using a 2014 5K iMac as my primary machine, but even my old MacBook Pro is serviceable. My business partner is using a 2010 Mac Pro and equally has no complaints. Decent performance is possible.

Regarding Twitter, I should be telling you that Adobe Corporate has all the answers and the official support channels are all equally comparable but... there's a notable difference between the "support staff" that man the usual channels (like Twitter, phone/chat support, etc.) and the "real" people who hang out here. There's a reason I spend my time supporting this forum instead of the primary user to user forums... and guys like Rikk and some of the main LR engineers hanging out here are the primary reasons. This is where you get it "from the horses mouth", as it were.
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The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 24, 2018 Dec 24, 2018

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I hear you Victoira, and I respect your opinion—otherwise I wouldn't have bought your FAQ books year in and year out.

However, in the day job (pharmaceuticals and medical devices) that has supported my photography since I gave up on F1 back in 186, I routinely see programs able to handle tens of millions of images without a performance issue on Windoze boxes no where near as powerful as some of the computers I possess or the users on this forum possess.

The different explain this divergence in performance, you ask?  In the real world of medical and pharmaceutical science we do not use open source freebie crap such as SQLite.  Our systems are built on Oracle, DB2, or MS SQL.

I have used systems built on full referential database platforms with 4th- or 5th-level referential integrity (so as NOT to create duplicate or triplicate images as LR still does with 8.1) which handle upwards of 60 million images for a Phase III Clinical Trial oncology drug with instant response and no crashing.

How much would it cost...really!...for Adobe to build Lightroom on a firm foundation instead of some garbage they downloaded for free off of the internet?

I for one, would gladly pay at least double what Adobe lifts from my checkbook each month just ot have something which I could use.

This holiday week, in the quiet of the Okavango Delta, I am going to try ON1 Photo Raw 2019 migration facility.  If it works, good-bye Adobe.  (ON1 is using MS SQL...not SQLite.)

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Community Expert ,
Dec 24, 2018 Dec 24, 2018

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I don't claim to be an expert on systems managing 60 million images, and there's a reason why not... Lightroom isn't targeted at that audience. And while you'd be happy to pay double, most Lightroom users wouldn't.  So if you can find a ready-built system that is targeted at that audience, go for it! Use what works for you.

The Lightroom groundwork was laid more than 12 years ago when Adobe was breaking new ground, so it is certainly possible they'd make different decisions based on the information that's now available. On1 clearly has a lot to thank Adobe for in that regard, as they've been able to base their decisions on concrete information, rather than guesswork. 

Let us know how you get on with the migration tools. In my experience, they rarely live up to the hype, but I live in hope that someday I'll be proven wrong. Maybe this is the year!
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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New Here ,
Dec 25, 2018 Dec 25, 2018

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Hi Victoria, thanks for the clarification about the hardware. I’m using a 15” Retina MBP for LR as I’m mostly on the move. Do you think that’s the reason why I’m facing these performance issues with the develop module? As soon as I go to the develop module and make any edit, the CPU spikes to 150-200-400-600% with each edit that I make.
Should LR only be used on desktop Mac OS systems?

I’ve tried various steps such as disabling GPU, not upgrading to Mojave, reinstalling LR, disabling writing edits to XMP and so on, to no avail. That’s when I went down this tangent of splitting my catalog.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 26, 2018 Dec 26, 2018

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The Retina display certainly requires a lot more processing power, because it's having to process a lot more pixels in order to show them on the screen. That's true of retina desktop computers as well as laptops. I'd leave GPU enabled when using a retina screen, as that's an issue the GPU is designed to help with. 

Have you started that new thread yet? Let's troubleshoot there, rather than cluttering up in inboxes of people who are interested in multiple catalog syncing.
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 08, 2019 Mar 08, 2019

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+1 for multi-catalog synching to Lightroom CC.  My use case involves having two catalogs that I maintain.  One for my personal photos and the other for my photography business.  I do not ever want to co-mingle these images, and my approach to organizing and keywording them within their respective catalogs is entirely different.  Therefore, I'd like to be able to synch Collections from both catalogs (personal and work) to Lightroom CC under a single Adobe ID.  Thanks!

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LEGEND ,
Mar 17, 2019 Mar 17, 2019

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I totally agree! I use Lightroom CC on two different computers for 2 different purposes and can't sync my favorites from both across to my phone, I wish there were a solution, this has been a problem for 5 years already!!

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 18, 2019 Mar 18, 2019

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I am guessing you mean Lightroom Classic. Lightroom CC allows for multiple computers of the same catalog that both sync. It does only allow for a single catalog per Adobe ID however. 
Rikk Flohr - Customer Advocacy: Adobe Photography Products

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New Here ,
Mar 18, 2019 Mar 18, 2019

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LR Classic=Lightroom. Nobody I know uses LR CC nor do I want to use a half assed raw editor that syncs everything to a cloud. I want LR Classic to return to Lightroom CC and focus solely on that. Ditch the user friendly CC your money comes from pros. Accommodate or isolate us and watch the product take a hit financially. Other competitors will release a full accommodating program in the end which will address OUR needs. Getting ready to abandon Adobe altogether at this point.

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Engaged ,
Mar 18, 2019 Mar 18, 2019

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I couldn't agree more. Some of us here have been vocal about this for years now, and nothing has changed. Not only that, I've been scolded here on the forums for complaining about the LR CC and Classic CC change and have been told more than once that this is not the forum for that, to which I say "bullS$$t". This is the place. 

Adobe has ruined LR. The work flow between LR Classic and LR CC is a mess. Trying to use an iPad with a camera in the field is a mess, but I've been told here in the forums that it is Apple's fault. Again, I think that's nonsense. Adobe needs to own this. Adobe needs to do user testing with real users in the field to see how the current "work flow" is a complete non-starter, and the LR CC features are wholly lacking. 

I recently did a photo shoot in Honduras. I took my laptop and used LR CC Classic and PS, because LR CC is such a mess. But Adobe for years now has kept trying to put lipstick on a pig and convince us that are complaints don't belong in the forums, and that things will improve with time. Nothing could be further from the truth. The program manager that thought up this ill-advised scheme should be fired publicly. 

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LEGEND ,
Mar 18, 2019 Mar 18, 2019

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I commented on this thread years ago and still get replies on it. Sadly, I don' think Adobe is ever going to overcome this limitation. That's fine. I've moved on. I've been using other tools since last year, and I'm pretty sure that when my plan comes up for renewal this fall that I will choose not to renew. Sad really, but with new tools the that are iterating faster than Adobe is with LR, and at a lower price, there's little point in holding out hope.

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New Here ,
Mar 18, 2019 Mar 18, 2019

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I agree. My loyalty toward Adobe is not worth the frustration anymore. I'm so sick of wasting time with slow software that triples my editing time. I don't even do more than basic corrections and syncing in LR. Spot editing, brush masking I leave to PS as LR is embarrassing slow. They've ignored us for years and I'm ready to put my money toward competitors who care.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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I know this is a very old thread but found it when searching for guidance or suggestions on the net on how to utilize multiple catalogs best because I need to go there. A bit ironic. I too am a long standing LR user. 1.x-2.x. I struggled with the whole single catalog concept since day one and saw it as an expected longer term problem - to be addressed maybe by version 3 or 4 possibly. 😉 But...I drank the koolaid, followed guidance and have been dealing with performance issues, struggling how to figure out how to work with it mobile as well as at home base simultaneous now for years. It's just not intuitive or user friendly any way you do it.  And as many people, I have created a mess. I knew this was coming, and it is here, now and ugly. Up til now it has been working acceptably (mostly except all the known performance problems already stated - and sorry -  but they DO exist, I don't understand how anyone can position it otherwise as a user error) using a single catalog.  
I find Adobe's position LR was never meant to be a pro/business class level digital asset management system and 'beyond scope' of application design a bit strange. Didn't they target professional photographers and as a photo management system? It seemed that way to me. It's not like you can just open a file and edit it using LR tools like you can in Photoshop. LR insists on an import and managing files in order to be used. It was the driving force in the design I thought, you have PS over here to do your major editing, we will just help you do common simple stuff here but our goal here is to 'manage' your files and help your workflow, we will even help integrate it with Photoshop. I guess they didn't mean, be 'really successful with it' maybe?

That being the case - you would think dealing with multiple catalogs should have been expected', (as in "We didn't design this to get 'too big' though") so larger customers will certainly need that.   Especially with what you see in the activity to go to subscription based and Cloud services model. But, I guess, just don't get too successful or we can't support you with any products we have. You want to be a full service cloud company or not? Non professional or casual photographers and users don't really need the power of LR and Creative Cloud suite right. Perplexing.

I didn't come here really to bash Adobe or LR. I guess this just hit an old nerve for me as well. I think it's a great product and tool in many ways. But I too have toyed with looking elsewhere and would rather not. It's  what I know and the editing part is awesome.  It gets the job done and the improvements in a lot of functionality really has been great. I just had to deal with the management part headaches and to me that is it's whole purpose for existence I thought. Photoshop has for the most part always had that covered. But if I can't find the plans to support real working workflow issues I just may be forced to move. 

8MB sized images of the past kept the issue from surfacing but now with 50MB RAW files and 4K video, I quickly need to figure out the multiple file location storage/ catalog / mobile use /non mobile syncing, how do I track were things are at problem now cuz it wont fit on one drive anymore.   Not in version 2020 or 21. That will be way too late. Maybe the focus should have been stop spending resources duplicating Photoshop here and more on it's main purpose of file, process and workflow management. Of course not the 'sexy' part and harder to sell. I would be different if you didn't already have the market leader for editing in photoshop.
 
It seems simple to me, LR isn't it, ok, for you successful people here is Lightroom PRO (Enterprise /Studio whatever), decent real database plugin and performance, one higher level up integration for sycning  multiple data sources and separate offline temp field 'catalogs' and managing the on again and off again connection of mobile workforces which of course their customers have been since 1.X. Sure seems your direction is to try and own the creative/design world workflows. 

Anyway, I would be happy to deal with a one-time catalog conversion to a new database schema if required if you solved that problem. It's not like you have had catalog conversions requirements in the past. I believe that's the beauty of a subscription/Cloud model. All my systems will get updated anyway. Your cloud services would certainly look more attractive to me if you did. At the moment, the model just isn't usable.  Last thing the entrepreneurs  you target want to waste time doing.

Or - do they have a product I'm not familiar with that offers or syncs with other true business class DAM systems for those in need if that isn't this product's target market? Maybe I'm just not informed and this has been solved. Search continues.

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New Here ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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Well stated. I'm sure 90% of pros agree with you. I will move on if this isn't addressed in a few months. It will be ugly creating a new file management system but if competitors are ready to sell us a solution I'll have to take it. Thanks for eloquently laying this out. Best.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 22, 2020 Jan 22, 2020

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Hello! 
I'm a Professional Photographer and Photo-Retoucher. I recently ran into a problem using Adobe Lightroom Classic (Which is still my preferred photo software over cc). 
I shoot concerts of up to fifteen acts in a night, and need to be able to separate all of those acts into different catalogues. But I also need to be able to digitally share those catalogues with clients without syncing to a single catalogue. 
If I tired putting all of my work into one catalogue for a weekend, it would take 3 - 5 hours to sync, and then all my bands get all mixed together. So while I'm searching for this one Indie band I shot this one time who needs some AdMat in studio next week, I'm also having to sift through 15,000 photos of GRWAR. AND THAT IS ANNOYING. Meanwhile My Retouching clients are still waiting for photos, even though I have no way to deliver because this last band is taking over two weeks to figure out which photos they'd like. 
Overall, My life would be a easier if I could sync multiple catalogues from Lightroom classic to Lightroom cc. Also a Big Giant Delete All Button, Would also be cool if it was implemented right, Because I also don't want to have to manually delete 15,000 photos off of my cloud when done with a project. 

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Engaged ,
Jan 22, 2020 Jan 22, 2020

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Ever since Adobe created Lightroom CC, and Lightroom CC Classic, I have slowly abandoned Lightroom. I can't use it as a catalog anymore because it's just hopelessly flawed, confusing, and poorly thought out. I hate to say that, because for years I was a huge Lightoom fan and convinced a number of photographer friends to use it. 

Now I use it for editing after a photoshoot, and keep a catalog for that shoot, in the same directory as my raw files in case I ever need to go back to it. But as a way to manage a catalog of my photos, it's just impossible. The editing tools in LR are still fantastic, but Lightroom CC, for me, is an absolute bust, including for the reasons you mention. I really hope Adobe hears this and acts on it, but given the length of time that this has been an issue, I don't think so. 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 22, 2020 Jan 22, 2020

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Scott, if you ignore the cloudy version, what's become more confusing about LR Classic?
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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Participant ,
Jan 22, 2020 Jan 22, 2020

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Have you considered using collections/collection sets and keywording. 

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Engaged ,
Jan 22, 2020 Jan 22, 2020

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That's a great question. To be very honest, it's perception. First, I know that Adobe is pushing to make LR CC the new default application. As such all Adobe's energy will go there. a]And having lived through a number of applications that have been discontinued, my experience is to ween myself off of something that I see being End of lifed before it's too late to try different solutions to replace it.

I have a lot invested in LR. Years of catalogs, indexed images etc. I see it coming, and I'm not going to stay invested in application in which Adobe is clearly divesting. And the cloud is the wrong solution for photographers working with raw images. I'm fine with the cloud once images are published and done, but for the editing phase it's just too much file transfer.

A year and a half ago i tried using my ipad and LR CC during a trip to Europe, and I forever regret it. For various reasons I lost images. And I found out the hard way that you can't load the images directly into LR. You have to first copy them to the ipad, then to LR, then delete the copy so you don't have duplicates.

Adobe's poor implementation of LR and my perception that it was cloud ready with the ipad cost me many photos i'll never get back and left such a sour taste in my mouth that I'll never rely on LR cc again. I'm beyond angry about that, and if i ever hear another Adobe employee tell me it's Apple's fault rather than take responsibility as a company for a very poorly planned attempt to push a cloud solution that wasn't ready, i'll lose my sh*t.

I feel like after a decade or more of being an Adobe LR advocate and years of buying SW and subscriptions that i was used as a guinea pig and Adobe took a huge dump on its users. And frankly Ive not seen a change of course since then. So I'm done. If i wake up one day and can't access my own photos anymore because of changes Adobe makes, at this point I'll only have myself to blame.

I'm also angry about the cloud subscription. I don't mind so much with PS and other apps, but now to access my own collection of photos in a catalog i need a monthly subscription forever. I feel like my own photos are being held hostage by Adobe, and I don't like it one bit, especially bow that Adobe has lost my trust.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 23, 2020 Jan 23, 2020

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I completely get your frustration Scott, but perhaps consider a slightly different perspective?

> First, I know that Adobe is pushing to make LR CC the new default application. 

Honestly... people said that about Adobe Camera Raw when Lightroom was released 13 years ago, and both are still going strong. They're completely different workflows, and at least for the foreseeable future, there's enough photographers in the world to support both. I'm not saying never, because the world of technology changes in ways we don't expect, but there's a lot of photographers who couldn't go to cloud storage anytime soon.

> As such all Adobe's energy will go there.

That's a very common concern, but Lightroom Classic's development team is actually bigger and more enthusiastic than it's been for years. There's separate teams working on the Cloudy apps.

> You have to first copy them to the ipad, then to LR, then delete the copy so you don't have duplicates.

So sorry to hear you lost images. Not being able to import directly was an iOS limitation, but that was lifted a couple of months ago with iOS 13.2, so you can now import directly into Lightroom. Without understanding what happened there, it's impossible to say who or what caused your data loss.

> to access my own collection of photos in a catalog i need a monthly subscription forever. I feel like my own photos are being held hostage by Adobe

Just to reassure you, if you cancel your subscription, most of Lightroom carries on working. You can still view, manage and export all of your photos, complete with their existing edits, and even add new ones to your Lightroom. Just the Develop module and Map module stop working. While I know many people dislike subscriptions, and I'm not a fan myself, photos being held hostage is not an issue.
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The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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Engaged ,
Jan 24, 2020 Jan 24, 2020

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Victoria, I do appreciate your thoughtful response and it's nice to know that I can still see my catalogs even if I unsubscribe to the cloud. However, as for my trusting LR, that trust is gone. I've lost photos, I've been burned badly, and I'm fed up. It's like any relationship, there is a point of no return, and Adobe pushed that point for me. 

Adobe could have very easily made collections or directories cloud enabled without creating two separate versions. But Adobe chose to make LR CC the default and separate it from Adobe CC Classic. Their implementation confused many people in their attempt to push people to the cloud. It was a horrible horrible implementation. So much was wrong with it I don't even know where to start, and I got burned badly. I lost data, irrecoverable data. I lost time, and I lost trust in Adobe. Period. 

Currently, in my opinion, LR is a complete mess. It's still great for editing raw photos, there is no doubt about that, but it's overall a mess. The entire LR CC and LC Classic CC thing and all the confusion around it was self serving for Adobe. It was a push to the cloud which benefits Adobe far more than its users. The last time I was burned like this by a SW company it was Microsoft, when I moved from Windows to MAC, and realized that you can't import a windows PST file to outlook for MAC. It was intentional. It was premeditated and an intentional burn to users who tried to migrate off of Windows to MAC. Data loss, years of emails and filed data, gone. 

This is how I feel with LR CC and Classic CC. The push to CC was confusing at best, with no regard at all for users. It was a push that would benefit Adobe that hurt and confused users in the process. The primary value proposition was not for the user, it was for Adobe. 

If Adobe wants to buy me a ticket to Europe to retake photos from Prague and Germany and Spain, I'll reconsider my anger at this whole mess they created. Otherwise it's all cheap talk. 

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