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Author Topic: Sharing LR between Mac Os X and Win 7  (Read 4169 times)

Alexandre Buisse

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Sharing LR between Mac Os X and Win 7
« on: March 13, 2011, 07:26:34 am »

After the recent acquisition of a macbook pro, my current setup is as follows:

- The main machine is a desktop PC running windows 7, with a couple of big drives containing both the lightroom catalog and the actual photo files on a separate partition.
- The mobile machine is a mac laptop, using a local copy of the lightroom catalog and accessing the files on the windows machines via a smb share since they are both on the same local network. Of course, as soon as the laptop is unplugged, all the photo files become inaccessible.

I would like to be able to use lightroom on both machines independently and have them synchronize with each other at regular intervals. This is fairly straightforward to do with chronosync, but the main issue is that both LR catalogs do not refer to the photo files in the same way: for the windows machine, it's simply a local folder, whereas the mac has to access it via another path referring to the mounted smb shared folder. It would be a pain to have to fix the broken link every single time I launch lightroom on a different machine than the previous time!

The obvious solution would of course be to put the files on a NAS so that both machines see them in the same way, but limited finances at the moment make this a difficult option. Has anybody else encountered a similar problem in the past? Is there an easier/cheaper solution than the NAS?

Thanks!
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howardm

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Re: Sharing LR between Mac Os X and Win 7
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2011, 08:46:45 am »

I'm not in front a machine that has LR installed right now but a first thought might be to create an 'alias' (similar to a symbolic link for you Unix guys) on the Mac that points to the SMB share and add a 2nd top-level drive that points to the alias.  So on the PC, you use 1 top-level drive and on the Mac, you use the other but in fact, they point to the same object.  This is OK since LR would see them as different from a file hierarchy point of view.

Alexandre Buisse

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Re: Sharing LR between Mac Os X and Win 7
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2011, 01:42:25 pm »

Thanks for the idea, but wouldn't that lead LR to believe there are two copies of the images (even though they are actually both pointing to the same files)? I am just worried that changes to one of them would not be propagated to the other. Unless all of the LR information lives in the xmp sidecar which would then get updated?
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howardm

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Re: Sharing LR between Mac Os X and Win 7
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2011, 12:11:36 am »

right, it would require you use xmp sidecar's.  another downside is that keywords and the like would have to be restricted to one machine since those are always kept in the .lrcat.

Ultimately what you want is for the 2 paths to look the same.  it might require an alias on each machine to essentially camouflage the true directory structure.

john beardsworth

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Re: Sharing LR between Mac Os X and Win 7
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2011, 04:19:55 am »

Remember xmp sidecars do not contain pick flags, stacks, collections, virtual copies, history steps and should not be treated as a proper backup of your Lightroom work.

I recently heard of someone using Dropbox to keep his work in sync across a couple of machines. His library was in the Dropbox folder, so he was even synchronising the previews folder. I've not experimented with this approach though.

John

John.Murray

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Re: Sharing LR between Mac Os X and Win 7
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 06:07:03 pm »

From your description, I'll assume that the images are in a local shared folder on your windows 7 machine.  I'd recommend you simply map a win 7 drive letter to that shared folder.  So, if the share is named 'images' and your win7 machine is named 'pc' you could:

net use p: \\pc\images /persistent:yes

now, repoint lightroom on your windows 7 machine to  to drive p:

you will still need to manually update the lr database, as lightroom will not allow you to open it across a network.  if the db is within the share you created, a simple copy should take of that - obviously be carefull and keep track of which db is the most current and update the stale one.....
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 06:12:07 pm by John.Murray »
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