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Licensing, catalog and backup issues

pduncanj

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Nov 7, 2016
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Hello

I'm trying to work out whether to get a subscription to the Creative Cloud Photography plan or just buy Lightroom outright. I'm aware of the differences in terms of the general product offerings.

The first thing I would like to know is how the catalog works with multiple computers (I understand that there is a limit of two active devices). I would my 16 y.o. son and I to both be able to use the product under one license, with our own separate catalogs. Will I run into issues keeping separate catalogs, with either or both the subscription and outright purchase products?

Also I'm aiming to set up a cloud backup system to complement my existing Time Machine setup. I want to be assured that my images get backed up to cloud automatically, and preferably my Lightroom catalog too (I've looked at Which Lightroom files do I need to back up? | The Lightroom Queen and I can live with local-only backup of other things such as preferences and plugins).

From the research I've done, it looks like the best product for us will be Apple iCloud Drive (not perfect, and I'm open to other suggestions). If I understand correctly, iCloud Drive will only do automatic live backups of files stored in the Documents folder.

Can I store all my images in my Documents folder, and my Lightroom catalog? Any issues with this?

Finally, any users views on the merits of using iCloud Drive to backup images would be great!

Many thanks

Peter
 
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Welcome to the forum.
How LR is licensed (subscription or perpetual) is irrelevant to the LR app itself. The Perpetual license limits you to features that were available when LR6.0 was released. The subscription gives you access to new functionality added since LR6.0 and to LR mobile syncing. The subscription also gives you access to Photoshop app itself (alone, PSCC is IMO worth the subscription price)
Technically, the LR license is for the user. (i.e. you and only you) You may use it on any two computers that you choose. However. once licensed to you, there is nothing in the license to prohibit other family members from using "your" computer and your LR license. Your 16 y.o. son and you both would be able to use the product under your license, with each computer having a separate catalog file. Adobe is not going to be able to check further than to see that you have LR installed on two computers.
You can have any number of catalog files with LR. Although the recommendation is that you keep one master catalog. I have a Desktop and a travel laptop. Each has its own catalog but periodically I merge the travel catalog file into the master catalog file on the desktop. There are ways to share a catalog between computers, but none are endorsed by Adobe.
If you buy a subscription, you can sync only one catalog from one computer at a time to the Adobe webspace and LR Mobile.
My image inventory cataloged into my LR master catalog file is about 2 TB. For this size, I find iCloud storage impractical. The iCloud Photostream is not the same as iCloud file storage and is not unlimited. You can not store your master images in the iCloud Photostream. iCloud storage for 2TB would be $240USD/year. There are other cloud storage services that are cheaper.
On my desktop I store my image inventory on a 6TB EHD. My LR master catalog file and some recently cataloged images are stored on my primary disk. I use TimeMachine to backup all of my critical user data including my LR catalog file and my image inventory. Time machine backs up several EHDs alternately to one 8TB EHD and then to a Time Capsule with additional USB capacity Since TimeMachine only backup locally to and EHD or a Time Capsule on my local network, I have a second backup app CrashPlan which does offer a cloud backup service (unlimited) for and annual price of $60USD per computer or $129USD for a family plan. I don't expect to use my CrashPlan Cloud backup but it is there is some major calamity destroys my home network.

While I've recommended that you not use iCloud for image storage, it should be recognized that iCloud storage is pretty coarse. You could store your LR catalog file and your master image files in a subfolder inside your Documents folder or your Desktop folder to get around the exclusion of the Pictures folder in iCloud. Apple excluded the Picture folder and the Photos app for a reason.
 

pduncanj

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Nov 7, 2016
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Hi Cletus
thanks a lot for your generosity in taking the time to write this comprehensive reply, it's really helpful.

Cloud backup: I checked out CrashPlan and it looks good. My son wants to keep his stuff private so we'd probably need to have two separate subscriptions. That would be OK though. I could just about get by with a 200GB iCloud Drive allowance, which is only $2.99 / mth. He would need more though.

Why do you use Time Machine for your local EHD instead of CrashPlan for both local and remote? An extra layer of assurance in case one service's software has a big wipeout?

Thanks again!
 
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Why do you use Time Machine for your local EHD instead of CrashPlan for both local and remote? An extra layer of assurance in case one service's software has a big wipeout?
I actually use both Time Machine & Crashplan locally. As I said earlier Time Machine backup to a local EHD and an Airport Time Capsule on my local network. CrashPlan (which is free for local backups) Backs up to the cloud and to another local EHD So, essentially I have 4 backups of my critical user data. (I'm a "belt & suspenders" kind of guy). TimeMachine was useful with Migration Assistant to set up a replacement iMac.

I have a 50GB iCloud plan just to share data files from selected apps between my two Macs an iPhone & an iPad
 

pduncanj

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Nov 7, 2016
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Yep you sure aren't taking any chances! Thanks again.
 

rob211

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Note that if you do a subscription, you need a unique login, and I think it must be an email. That becomes your Adobe account. And then that is used in linking to an iOS device. It could get messy fast if you are sharing such an account. We don't wanna delve into the relationship with your son, but be aware much of his stuff and your stuff would necessarily be commingled.
 

pduncanj

New Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2016
Messages
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Note that if you do a subscription, you need a unique login, and I think it must be an email. That becomes your Adobe account. And then that is used in linking to an iOS device. It could get messy fast if you are sharing such an account. We don't wanna delve into the relationship with your son, but be aware much of his stuff and your stuff would necessarily be commingled.
Oh thanks a lot, that's very good to know, as i still haven't made the purchase!
 
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