Adobe has just released Version 2 of its Lightroom photo-workflow application:
- Adobe's Lightroom 2 page
- Adobe announcement (long!)
- What's New in 2.0 (a very long list from Victoria Bampton)
- My Lightroom Goodies Page
In conjunction, I am releasing export plugins that I've been working on solidly for the last six months:
- Export Plugin for Zenfolio
- Export Plugin for SmugMug
- Export Plugin for Flickr
- Export Plugin for Picasa Web
- Export Plugin for Facebook
The Facebook plugin is new for Lightroom 2 (and still very “beta”), while the others are totally rewritten versions of the plugins I had for Lightroom 1. (If you are currently a user of one of my Lightroom 1 plugins, be sure to see the section on migration later in this post.)
I'm also releasing Jeffrey's Metadata Wrangler Export Filter, a plugin filter that allows selective control of which metadata is written into exported images, regardless of the kind of export. Export filters (what Adobe calls “post-process actions”) are an officially supported replacement for the “piglet” plugin infrastructure that I developed for Lightroom 1.
Plugin installation is much easier with Lightroom 2 than it was with Lightroom 1. I've written up general instructions:
However, with my plugins, you need to pay attention to the install just the first time, because I've built into each the mechanism for self upgrade. When a new version is available, you can upgrade with the click of a button. See details here.
Old 1.x Versions
My old Lightroom 1 plugins still work in Lightroom 2.0, but I no longer support them.
I have been working on these new versions pretty much non-stop for the last six months, which explains why I have not been particularly responsive to issues related to the 1.x versions (sorry).
Just to give a feeling for some of the capabilities of the new plugins, here is a screenshot of part of Lightroom's export dialog, with my new Export-to-Zenfolio plugin active as the main export, and my Metadata Wrangler filter enabled as well....
There are many other new features not shown in the dialog above, such as little touches like an estimated time for the upload to complete (an example of which is shown at right).
Title and captions now exclusively use the preset templates I previewed in some of the old plugins, but also, with most of the new plugins, you can now use the same templates when creating “auto destinations”. These allow you to specify the upload destination dynamically, e.g. “upload to a gallery with the same name as the master-image folder.” (I'll write about this in more detail another day.)
I'd like to write more here about the little features I've added – I'm proud of how polished some of these plugins are – but I've been working on them so much lately that I've left myself little time to prepare for this announcement. Add in there the fact that I just flew half way around the world to visit my folks for the summer, and have been trying to enjoy my boy enjoying life, and it's been hectic trying to get ready in time.
If it hadn't been for my mom and my sister watching Anthony a lot since I arrived, I'd have never been able to get things ready in time, such as this announcement, a full writeup on Installation and Management of Lightroom Plugins, the writeup on the Metadata Wrangler, etc.
I do need to mention a few important points about the new plugins...
The Lightroom 1 versions of my plugins are totally separate from the Lightroom 2 versions, which means that the “uploaded to...” history accumulated while using the Lightroom 1 versions is not used by the Lightroom 2 versions. However, once you're ready to switch to the new version, you can migrate the upload history via the “Plugin Extras” menu item for each new plugin...
That brings up an “Extras” dialog that allows you to import data from the old plugin into the new plugin. It also provides an option to clear out old plugin data (which you should do only after migrating any upload history you want to preserve!). These options work on the current catalog, so if you have multiple catalogs, you must migrate each catalog independently.
Also, once you've moved your workflow to the new plugin, you should flush the old plugin's preferences (which are stored per computer, not per catalog). This is especially important for the SmugMug, Zenfolio, and PicasaWeb plugins, since the old preferences contain login credentials. (The new plugins save only encrypted login credentials in the preferences.)
Especially early on, I expect a lot of version churn with these plugins. I've been working on these for ages, but the new plugins have had little real-world testing beyond my own, so I'm sure that once they're out in the wild, bugs will be discovered and reported (and fixed) at a fast clip.
Because I expect rapid changes, and I don't want out-of-date plugins to remain in use, I've built an expiration into the plugins to encourage (and, eventually, force) an upgrade to a newer version. With the one-click upgrade described earlier, this should be of minimal inconvenience.
More to Come...
I've run out of time to prepare for this announcement, so I'll leave the presentation to other plugin features for a post another day. In the mean time, give them a try and let me know what you think...