I am a PSE/ Premiere Elements user. I am considering switching to Creative Cloud so I can manage my Catalog on my Android phone via Lightroom CC. But is this a permanent move? If I hit tough times financially and can no longer afford the subscription fees, would I be able to export my Creative Cloud Catalog back into a PC based version of PSE? Or would I lose my lifelong Catalog forever?
As I see it, PSE has no place in the current 'LR ecosystem'. I think it's not impossible that Adobe may provide a way to kind of 'convert' PSE catalogs to LR Cloud format. Something like using LR Classic to convert PSE catalogs to the LR format (works well) and importing in LR cloud from LR Classic. Expert LR users will tell you if LR Cloud catalogs can be recovered in LR Classic, but I think the answer is no. Even converting from LR Classic to PSE format is not possible.
Sorry to be very pessimistic.
I think you should ask in the feedback forum in the LR Cloud section:
If you don't get an official answer by Adobe, you'll get good advice from expert LR users.
Thank you, those are good thoughts. I'll post in that LR Cloud forum the next time I'm on here. Heck, I'd even consider splurging on a LR Classic purchase as an alternate back up plan for my catalog for an event when I might have to be on/off a Creative Cloud plan. If not, I'd probably skip the cloud altogether due to its long term risks and disadvantages. I'll investigate further.
One other thought: your existing catalog will remain viable for the foreseeable future. If you move onto CC and import the catalog into Lr Classic, you can always return to Elements and easily update the existing catalog. (Importing an Elements catalog into Lr does not affect the Elements catalog.) The AI tools that exist in the latest versions of Elements provide you with relatively easy and semi-automatic face recognition tagging, and the smart tags provide a solid foundation for automatic keyword tagging and search capabilities.
Thank you, and that hopefully alleviates one of my longstanding fears: That signing up for CC would convert/lock my PSE catalog into an irreversible CC product (since CC would obviously be associated with the same Adobe ID that I use to log into PSE already). Hopefully that wouldn't be the case, and I could back out of CC later.
Yes it is possible to convert a PSE catalog.
In the cloud version Lightroom 3 go to:
File >> Migrate From >> Photoshop Elements Catalog
You may wish to tidy up the catalog before starting. For example I decided I didn't need many of my longer video clips in the cloud so I deleted them along with mp3 files before starting the migration. All my photos and albums transferred successfully.
"Yes it is possible to convert a PSE catalog.
In the cloud version Lightroom 3 go to:
File >> Migrate From >> Photoshop Elements Catalog"
I never installed the Cloud version of LR, so that is an interesting piece of information; this totally confirms that it works like I had supposed by converting in LR Classic, then importing in LR Cloud from Classic.
This will not recover the catalog organization from PSE nor from LR Classic. I mean tag hierarchies, stacks, version sets and the same 'albums' properties. There is already so much discussions on the LR forums about the impossibility to 'sync' such organization from Cloud with Classic that I don't think it's even worth installing LR Cloud just to try.
Now, the only question in this discussion is the ability to switch back from the LR Cloud catalog to PSE catalogs. The best workaround would be Greg's solution.
I appreciate the heads up about those known syncing difficulties. Tags and tag hierarchy is my #1 priority, along with captions. My folder structure is minimalist. I have plenty of options for casual photo editing via my Android devices, so tagging hierarchies are literally the only reason that is keeping me within the Adobe ecosystem. And I can currently only manage tags on my single-use PC, with no syncing capabilities. That's what interested me about Lightroom CC. If Google Photos (or another syncing service) permitted manual tagging along with writing those tags to the metadata like PSE does, I'd pay money for that syncing functionality across mobile devices.
Classic is not involved. This is a migration tool in Lightroom 3
To supplement your own tagging LR3 provides A.I (machine learning) tags directly in the cloud.
Very cool. It's nice that LR3 allows manual tagging in addition to its AI tagging. Google Photos only allows their own suggested tags. That's why I'm still with Adobe for the time being. If I figure out a solution within Adobe's ecosystem that would integrate my Android phone and tablet into that workflow, they may even get me as a tentative CC customer. I appreciate the help, thanks.
If you subscribe to Lightroom 3 with 1TB of storage all of your files are automatically available on all devices. Any edits made on the desktop automatically sync to the photos on phones or tablet, and vice a versa. After migrating or adding photos manually you simply download the Lightroom app from Google Play on to your phone and tablet and your cloud photos will appear like magic.
"Classic is not involved. This is a migration tool in Lightroom 3"
Yes, of course. I simply meant that the catalog conversion (in the background and without LR Classic installed) was possible if Adobe decided to implement it. No need to re-program from scratch, simply append two existing processes.
Apart from the obvious marketing goal of Adobe to make PSE users switch to LR Cloud without any return process (same as PSE to LR conversion available but nothing the other way round), it should be clear for PSE as well as LR Classic users that there is no hope to keep exactly the same organization due to the big differences in implementation between computer and Cloud programming and storing. For many users, that's absolutely ok and life is good with the Cloud. For others, there is a strong need to 'sync' and use both systems for another decisive reason: the Cloud solutions today are very limited in functionality today, and those computer users want ('dream'?) to have the best of both worlds at the same time. I would not be surprised if Adobe marketing thinks that it will take time for functionality to be acceptable, and that by that time, the computer based solutions will have lost the battle (especially Elements). Hence, no need to put much efforts into improving sync capabilities. Time will tell.