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Working from multiple computers with one Picture Database

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  • Working from multiple computers with one Picture Database

    ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac (both version 5 and version 6) can work from one computer with multiple databases. Even the help text shows "Creating and Switching Between multiple Databases" and talks about "Possible use cases for multiple databases". That's all good and fine ..... except I would far prefer to be able to work on ONE Database from multiple computers.

    Problem: ACDSee does not seem to support that scenario. At least the Help Text never talks about it.

    Here is why I think this is needed:
    I have all my pictures on a fast, external drive. It is connected to an older iMac with a big screen located in my "office". So most of the time I work on it when I work with my pictures. However, from time to time I like to take my external disk to the living room so that I can view and organize new pictures while the external drive is connected to my MacBook Air laptop. This is where ACDSee seems to be challenged. As soon as the external drive is connected to the laptop and I fire up ACDSee the app works with a different database. One which is located on the laptop. As a result I no longer have all my keywords, Ratings, etc. I am aware of the "Embedding Database Information" process. However, that only saves the information (sort of like a backup) but as I understand it, ACDSee still works with the actual database. So embedding the information does not really help in my situation.

    To dig deeper into this I did some testing and found the following:

    The initial work-around I found was to save my Database files (com.ACDSystems.ACDSeePhotoStudio6 (version 9.0).mediaDatabase) (com.ACDSystems.ACDSeePhotoStudio6 (version 9.0).mediaDatabase-shm) and (com.ACDSystems.ACDSeePhotoStudio6 (version 9.0).mediaDatabase-wal) in a folder on my external drive. And then, when I start ACDSee on either computer (while it is connected to the external drive, of course) I simply have to IMMEDIATELY go to File>Database>Open and point to the database file on the external drive. ACDSee will then restart, using the database on the external drive.
    Turns out, I actually have to do this only once on each computer as ACDSee does remember which database I have been using. And since I always use the same database regardless of the computer I am on, that database gets updated as I work and is therefore always up-to-date again, regardless of the computer I am using.

    Bottom Line:
    It is simply the help text which never addresses the "One Database used by multiple computers" scenario. The app can work that way. So it would be useful to:
    • Add the appropriate text in the Help Guide. Something along the lines of:
      • Copy the database to the external drive,
      • Give it a slightly different name (I changed mine from com.ACDSystems.ACDSeePhotoStudio6 (version 9.0).mediaDatabase to com.ACDSystems.ACDSeePhotoStudio6 (External Drive).mediaDatabase)
      • Go to File>Open>com.ACDSystems.ACDSeePhotoStudio6 (External Drive).mediaDatabase
      • Perform the above steps once on each computer
    • Have a preference option setting that says something like "Use the database which was used the last time" (similar to the "Default Start Folder" preference) instead of "always refer back to the database in user>Library>Application Support>ACD Systems>ACDSee Photo Studio 6> on the computer being used." NOTE: ACDSee does use the previously used database when it re-opens. But having this option visible would make it clear to users that it can work this way.
    Once the suggested steps mentioned above have been taken one can attach the external picture drive and then use ACDSee with the one and only picture database on the external drive.

    ....hope this makes sense.
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