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Exposure X Released

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by oldracer, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    A few weeks ago I read a pre-release blurb from Alien Skin Software regarding their new Exposure X package and posted here. My question concerned people's experience with the company and their current products. I got a lot of favorable comments.

    Yesterday I got the product release announcement and poked around their web site a little bit. It is unclear from the web site, but I confirmed with their tech support that it is possible for more than one person to be editing photos simultaneously (though not the same photo). This is a pretty big deal to me because the only way my wife and I can share LightRoom is by using DropBox to "fake" LR into believing that the catalog file is local to the user machine and we have to be very careful to not open LR simultaneously and to make sure that DropBox has completed file synchronization before we switch users. With Exposure X, two people cannot work on a single photo simultaneously but there is no issue with sharing the photo files on a network file storage box like our Synology NAS box.

    There is also a limited capability to automatically import LR catalog data, described here: Moving from Lightroom to Exposure X

    I haven't taken the next step of downloading and testing, but this thing definitely looks like it is or will soon be a worthy LR competitor. I just thought people would like to know.
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Why (and how) would you want to edit photographs simultaneously with the same copy of LR?
  3. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Actually, the restriction is that two people cannot simultaneously access the *.cat file, which in turn means that two people cannot have the app open simultaneously (Edit: to access the same set of photos). This despite the fact that the app comes with three workstation licenses. LR enforces exclusivity by insisting that the *.cat file be local to the machine and not being accessed from a network server.

    As for the "how," I mentioned DropBox just for simplicity. Actually I have set up the Synology "Cloud Station" on our NAS box and identical folder structures on both our workstations. Each time a file is altered on one of our workstations, the cloud client uploads the changes to the Synology box, which in turn pushes them to /synchronizes them on the other workstation. The issue is that this synchronization is not instantaneous, so only one computer can have the *.cat file open at a time. When computer "A" is done working, then, we have to wait a few minutes to ensure synchronization before someone can begin working on computer "B." This also means that if one workstation was not turned on when the other workstation changed the files, we have to be sure to wait an adequate time after booting to ensure synchronization. Actually running this contraption is even harder than trying to explain it!

    There are also transient issues that appear to arise due to the cloud client is accessing the *.cat or other LR files while LR is running.

    In my use case, we travel a lot and after each trip we both want to load our photos into LR and look them over. Then, later, my wife assembles a Shutterfly book for the trip. During this process she is accessing and marking the photos she wants to use and mostly leaving me to post process them. So it is common for us to both want to have LR open simultaneously. Doing these books is quite time-consuming so it also often happens that I would like to do something totally unrelated in LR while she has her copy open to work on her book.

    More generally, any graphics shop will have great difficulty using LR unless they are willing to have and manage separate *.cat files for each user.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Ah, ok - so it's because the LR database is single user then. I can see why this would be a restriction, but I suppose it can worked around by having a workflow that keeps each user to their own .cat file. I don't work in a team so I don't know how practical this is.
  5. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    FYI, DigiKam can share the DB across users if you switch it to a MySQL DB.
    It's RAW editor isn't especially good (I use RawTherapee for editing) but it's a good DAM.

  6. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    I had a similar issue with sharing a catalogue with staff. We switched to individual catalogue creations for each job, instead of a catalogue per month.
    No more problems, and should have done it a lot sooner, as it made it a great deal easier with archiving, as the catalogue is stored alongside the folders for each job. This allowed us to basically archive/move a single folder containing everything, and LR can still locate all files after moving.
    • Like Like x 1
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