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Is it easy to migrate from Lightroom

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  • Is it easy to migrate from Lightroom

    As the title states, is it easy to migrate from Lightroom to ACDSee? Most of my photos are in their original form, and I use Lightroom to apply all settings (edits, keywords, GPS etc.).

  • #2
    I converted from Lightroom to ACDSee Pro in . . . late 2012, if I recall. There are no utilities to export the Lightroom database to ACDSee Database. It has to be done manually. You need to remember that the Lightroom settings are proprietary to Lightroom. No one just has the right to make a commercial product to go in and use that information. So the conversion isn't EASY, but if it is planned out and done systematically, it is do-able and worth the effort in my mind.

    However you DON'T really NEED to convert your existing photos to ACDSee, You could just keep Lr around for the old photos and use ACDSee for the new. Lots of people work that way. I chose a full conversion. In a fit of full disclosure, I am a retired Teradata DBA, This is pretty much how I would handle any database migration not just a photographic database. The exact details might differ from job to job, but the broad strokes remain the same.

    PLEASE REMEMBER: This only LOOKS complicated because I tried to write the steps down with as much detail as possible. Don't let my compulsive attention to detail scare you off. Also dont think you have to do this in a day These are old photos, You can take as much time as you want to get them imported into ACDSee!

    The issues that need to be over come are as follows:
    1. How do we get developed images from Lr to ACDSee?
    2. How do we get the information stored in the Lr database into the ACDSee DB?
    3. How do I deal with that transition period where I'm generating new images and I am in-between Lr and ACDSee?
    This is how I did it.
    1. Take your time, do it right, and don't take any shortcuts. If you don't have time to do it right, you probably don't have time to do it over either.
    2. Set a point forward date. Any photo created after that date will ONLY be handled by ACDSee. DO NOT let yourself backslide on this. That will only cause sloppy and time expensive extra work for you.
    3. BACK Up EVERYTHING in Lightroom not just the database, but the actual photos as well. I always found Lr's backup routine a bit misleading. It reminds you to back up the database but forgets to tell you to back up the actual photos as well.
    4. Embed as much of the database data into the photos themselves. Lightroom and ACDSee both have utilities to do this. IF your RAW, tif and Jpg images can store certain data within the file format itself, it is always smart to store it there. You can also store it in their respective databases engines for faster searching, but there is nothing like having most of that info built right into the photo itself. If you have a many thousands photos stored in Lr, this could take a while Lr isn't the fastest photo db in existence.
    5. Take another backup of everything. Yes you just did it, but if you recall, you have just modified the file formats of each photo. But considering how much work that represents, don't be stingy.
    6. Lightroom's development settings are meaningless to ACDSee and any other Lightroom competitor, so any raw photo that is developed and not converted to tif or jpgs needs to be converted to one of those formats exported from Lr and imported into ACDSee. I personally prefer tif files for many reasons but jpg will work.
      1. I exported the lightroom database text information into a spreadsheet format. Just in case. I'm not a heavy database user so I didn't have much that wouldn't fit into the photos embed process, but I did it just in case I needed it.
    7. This can be very time consuming depending on the number of photos you have. I suggest trying to split the work up into logical increments of work. In my case I broke it up into month and year. I had 10 years of photos to move to ACDSee, and from about 2008 on, they were mostly developed raw images.
      1. I exported the jpg images from 2003 to 2008 into 7 export batches, one batch for each year,
        1. Then I imported each batch into ACDSee individually,
        2. I checked the first few batches closely for accuracy and to make sure I hadn't screwed up in some way. After I was comfortable with the process I didn't check so closely. If I had text data I needed to add to the ACDSee DB, I did it here.
      2. For 2008 on, I had a 3 step process
        1. a conversion batch from Raw to tif
        2. If you want you can export the raw images as well, ACDSee can handle them quite readily, but they will look like they did BEFORE you started editing them in Lr. That is why you need to export to tif or jpg with edits.
        3. an export batch from Lr
        4. an import batch to ACDSee
        5. Again the first few batches were checked closely for accuracy.
    8. AS a former DBA it was in my nature to worry about disaster recovery so once I started adding stuff to ACDSee database I started doing backups. They can always be deleted once they are no longer necessary. But they do add peace of mind during transition.
    9. I kept the Lr database and Lr itself around for about 6 months after my full conversion just in case. After that, I realized I wasn't using it any more and got rid of it.
    10. If you plan your steps out and then follow that plan it isn't difficult. And there is no rule that says you have to perform the conversion in a day or a week or a month. The conversion is for your older photos, if the actual conversion takes a year is anything really harmed by that? not really!
    Good luck and have fun (otherwise, what's the point?)


    • #3
      So you know, I expanded on this post and posted it to my personal blog, it's a bit tool long to post here.


      • #4
        Thanks Glen, very informative. I've bookmarked your blog post.