Essentials:

How to share your Lightroom with other computers!

I have a few people that work on our photo library and it became very clear very quickly that with RawShooter getting farther away from reach that some workflow work-arounds would need to be addressed yesterday.

So, I took things into my own hands and came up with a little short-time fix until Adobe can sort out how they want to handle the features related to network access. Oh how I miss RawShooter and the way it stored the image changes in a tidy little sub-folder.

This is a batch file that will automate the copying and shuffling around of your Lightroom related data. It has a nice little menu and some basic backup features.

Read through it and make changes as you see fit. I may be making some little tweaks as I start to use it more in a production environment. In any case there is a time-stamp in the header of the batch file so you know you know what the latest version is.

To use this batch file simply goto the bottom of this article and download the file. It is a ZIP file so you will need to unzip it before you can use it. Also, please open the batch file with Notepad and give it a quick read so you can make any changes.

code    
@echo off
 
TITLE Adobe Lightroom – File Copier
SET RAND=%RANDOM%
 
:: Tom McGuire – www.pinwire.com
::
:: Leave these comments in here so you know what this file is doing.
::
:: Full information at: http://www.pinwire.com/authors/2/Tom-McGuire
::
:: This is a batch file that connects to mapped network drive and manipulates
:: Adobe Lightroom information so that you may share your changed image
:: attributes with other users.
::
:: I am not responsible for any loss of data or negative effects that happen
:: from you using this batch file. Always backup your data before installing
:: or using any new software.
 
:MENU
cls
color 9F
Mode 80,25
echo =======================================
echo =                                                                             =
echo =                      Adobe Lightroom – File Copier                          =
echo =                    By: Tom McGuire – www.pinwire.com                        =
echo =                           ver:6:02 PM 1/7/2007                              =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =====================================
echo =                                                                             =
echo =            (1) to UPLOAD LOCAL Lightroom folder to NETWORK                  =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =            (2) to BACKUP LOCAL Lightroom folder                             =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =            (3) to DOWNLOAD NETWORK Lightroom folder to Local                =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =            (4) to BACKUP NETWORK Lightroom folder                           =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =            (5) to read Tom’s Articles                                       =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =            (6) to read the QUICK-START HELP                                 =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =            (7) to EXIT this utility                                         =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =====================================
echo.
SET USERCHOICE=
SET /P USERCHOICE=Type Your # Choice Here-^>
:: /I makes the IF comparison case-insensitive
IF /I ‘%USERCHOICE%’==’1′ GOTO PUT
IF /I ‘%USERCHOICE%’==’2′ GOTO LOCBACKUP
IF /I ‘%USERCHOICE%’==’3′ GOTO GET
IF /I ‘%USERCHOICE%’==’4′ GOTO NETBACKUP
IF /I ‘%USERCHOICE%’==’5′ GOTO TOMSITE
IF /I ‘%USERCHOICE%’==’6′ GOTO HELP
IF /I ‘%USERCHOICE%’==’7′ GOTO EXIT
IF /I ‘%USERCHOICE%’==’q’ GOTO EXIT
IF /I ‘%USERCHOICE%’==’x’ GOTO EXIT
IF /I ‘%USERCHOICE%’==’m’ GOTO MENU
 
:EXIT
cls
echo Closing in 2 seconds…
ping -n 2 127.0.0.1>nul
exit
 
:PUT
cls
color 4E
Mode 80,25
echo.
echo ====================================
echo =                                                                             =
echo =           We will now DELETE your NETWORK Lightroom data folder             =
echo =           and replace it with the one from your LOCAL drive.                =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =           !! ALWAYS MAKE BACKUPS OF YOUR FILES !!                           =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =           Press any key to continue or CTRL+C to quit…                    =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =====================================
pause > NUL
rd /S /Q p:\Lightroom
cls
color 2A
md p:\Lightroom
xcopy /E /Y /H /R /F c:\lightroom p:\Lightroom
GOTO MENU
 
:LOCBACKUP
cls
color 4E
Mode 80,25
echo.
echo ======================================
echo =                                                                             =
echo =           We will now COPY/BACKUP your LOCAL Lightroom data folder          =
echo =           and append a random number to the folder name.                    =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =           Make sure to remove old backups or you will run out of            =
echo =           drive space very quickly.                                         =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =           Press any key to continue or CTRL+C to quit…                    =
echo =                                                                             =
echo ====================================
pause > NUL
color 2A
md c:\Lightroom-Backup-%RAND%
xcopy /E /Y /H /R /F c:\lightroom c:\Lightroom-Backup-%RAND%
GOTO MENU
 
:GET
cls
color 4E
Mode 80,25
echo.
echo ======================================
echo =                                                                             =
echo =           We will now DELETE your LOCAL Lightroom data folder               =
echo =           and replace it with the one from your mapped network drive.       =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =           !! ALWAYS MAKE BACKUPS OF YOUR FILES !!                           =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =           Press any key to continue or CTRL+C to quit…                    =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =====================================
pause > NUL
rd /S /Q c:\Lightroom
cls
color 2A
md c:\Lightroom
xcopy /E /Y /H /R /F p:\lightroom c:\Lightroom
GOTO MENU
 
:NETBACKUP
cls
color 4E
Mode 80,25
echo.
echo ===================================
echo =                                                                             =
echo =           We will now COPY/BACKUP your NETWORK Lightroom data folder        =
echo =           and append a random number to the folder name.                    =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =           Make sure to remove old backups or you will run out of            =
echo =           drive space very quickly.                                         =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =           Press any key to continue or CTRL+C to quit…                    =
echo =                                                                             =
echo ===================================
pause > NUL
color 2A
md p:\Lightroom-Backup-%RAND%
xcopy /E /Y /H /R /F p:\lightroom p:\Lightroom-Backup-%RAND%
GOTO MENU
 
:TOMSITE
START http://www.pinwire.com/authors/2/Tom-McGuire
GOTO EXIT
 
:HELP
cls
color 9F
Mode 80,25
echo =========================================
echo =                                                                             =
echo =                      Adobe Lightroom – File Copier                          =
echo =                    By: Tom McGuire – www.pinwire.com                        =
echo =                           ver:6:02 PM 1/7/2007                              =
echo =                                                                             =
echo ===========================================
echo =                                                                             =
echo =  1. BACKUP YOUR LIGHTROOM FOLDER!                                           =
echo =  2. Map a network drive to drive P: which contains your photos.             =
echo =  3. Install Lightroom, add photos from your new mapped network drive then   =
echo =     close Lightroom.                                                        =
echo =  4. Copy C:\Documents and Settings\*\My Documents\My Pictures\Lightroom     =
echo =     to your mapped drive. Replace * with your windows profile username.     =
echo =  5. Delete your local Lightroom folder from the location in item 3.         =
echo =  6. Run this batch file and choose #3 to download from the network.         =
echo =  7. Run Lightroom and click ‘Locate Another Library.’                       =
echo =  8. Choose C:\Lightroom\Lightroom Library.aglib. Click Open then Select.    =
echo =  9. All done. Run this batch file and UPLOAD (1) your changes. Then another =
echo =     user can DOWNLOAD the changes to their computer using this batch file   =
echo = 10. Edit this file with Notepad and make any changes.                       =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =               Press any key to continue or CTRL+C to quit…                =
echo =                                                                             =
echo =========================================
pause > NUL
GOTO MENU

It is assumed that you already have a folder on a network accessible server and that you already have access to and that it is shared up for access over your local area network.

It is (sadly) assumed that you are using Windows XP for this tutorial.

Browse to your network server and right click on the share that has your photos in it. Then select map network drive.


In the ‘Map Network Drive’ window choose drive P: (Photos) and make sure to check the box ‘Reconnect at Login’. Click Finish. Your new Drive P: should be listed in your Drive list in ‘My Computer.’

Verify your drive P: is available by double clicking your ‘My Computer’ icon on your desktop or by Pressing the Windows Key + E at the same time. Drive P: should be listed there, probably near the bottom. (NOTE: If you chose a drive letter other than P: you will need to edit the batch file to reflect the different drive letter.)

If you already have Lightroom installed then you don’t need to do this next step.

Install Adobe Lightroom and add some photos to a shoot. The goal here is to get the basic data folder structure generated. It is assumed that you know how to add photos and shoots to Lightroom. If you do not then read up real quick how to do it and then come back to this document.

Now close Lightroom and copy the Lightroom folder from here:
Replace ‘user’ with your own username.
C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\My Pictures\Lightroom

Copy it to: P:\Lightroom

Browse back to:
C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\My Pictures\Lightroom and rename the Lightroom folder to Lightroom-Backup

Now launch the Batch file and select 3 (Download Network Lightroom folder to Local). This will copy the files from P:\Lightroom to C:\Lightroom. It should turn green and start showing a scrolling list of the files being copied.

Launch Lightroom and you will hopefully see a message box titled ‘Confirm.’

Click the ‘Locate Library’ button then ‘Choose’ and browse to the C:\Lightroom folder and select Lightroom Library.aglib and click ‘Open’ then ‘Select.’

Lightroom will open with your data just as it was before.

You need to copy the batch file to each computer you want to share your Lightroom data with.

Conclusion:
We basically moved the Lightroom data to a network server and forced Lightroom to use our new duplicated data at C:\Lightroom. All of this could be avoided if Adobe would implement network access of data and locking of file settings on images that are currently being edited.

Therefore this system is still not a complete solution for working on the image at the same time on multiple computers because changes will only be as recent as the last upload or download from the mapped network drive.

Download Lightroom from here:
http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom/

Enjoy.

 

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