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Lightroom “Mobile” Decoder Ring (and a quote that concerns me from a UK mag)

Mornin’ everybody, and greetings from Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport (I’m between flights on a red-eye flight home from San Diego).

At my seminar in San Diego on Wednesday, there were a number people who were confused about some naming changes Adobe made in the latest release of Lightroom for your Mobile device (earlier this week, we talked about Lightroom Mobile being renamed to “Lightroom CC”). So, for today, here’s our quick Lightroom renaming fiesta decoder ring:

In “Lightroom CC” (the app for your mobile device):

Collections are now called “Albums”
Collection Sets are now available for the first time, but they’re called “Folders” (and their icons look like folders, as seen above)

That matches the naming scheme for these items in the new Lightroom CC (the cloud-storage version of Lightroom), where Collections are called Albums and Collection Sets are called “Folders” and what we know as “Folders” from Lightroom Classic don’t exist any longer because your images are stored in the cloud. However, Adobe didn’t change or update the names of Collections and Sets in Lightroom Classic, so there they are still called “Collections and Collection Sets.”

This is kind of weird for people like me who use Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC the Mobile App (like I do) because depending on which device you’re using, the names for the same things are completely different. I don’t’ really know what to say after that.

So, my question to you is this:

“In Lightroom Classic, should Adobe go back and rename “Collections” Albums and Collection Sets “Folders” and come up with a completely new name for what we’ve always known as “Folders” so at least things are consistent?” 

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Disturbing statement of the week: 
I was reading an article in Digital Camera World (the UK’s leading photography magazine) this week about how Adobe created a “Lightroom Downloader” for CC (cloud-storage) so if a user leaves the Lightroom CC program, they can download their images stored in Adobe’s cloud. This isn’t the disturbing statement – this part is actually good. They wrote:

“Anyone that decides to use the service to get out of the Lightroom CC system should be aware that files will still be available to download for three months after a trial membership has ended, and one year after a paid membership has ended.”

That’s reassuring for CC cloud-storage users. It’s this other thing they wrote earlier in the article that I found a bit disturbing:

“With the announcement of Lightroom CC effectively heralding the end of standalone, downloadable Lightroom services, it’s encouraging to see Adobe still looking after users who don’t want to be entirely locked into the cloud.”

Am I reading that correctly? Could be just their take on it? I dunno – it still kinda freaked me out a bit.You know that whole, “May you live in interesting times” Chinese curse? Well…it sure is an interesting time to be a Lightroom user. 😂

Have a great weekend everybody, and we’ll catch ya back here next week.



P.S. Thanks so much to all the awesome folks who came out to my seminar this week in San Diego. Hands down one of the most fun crowds to present to this year. Thanks for the warm welcome!



  1. Magnus 20 November, 2017 at 03:12 Reply

    I love Lightroom and I have no plans to stop doing that, but Adobe is acting very strange with the Lightroom names. It is plain stupid (sorry) to use different names for the same things. Lightroom already has Folders in what now is called Lightroom Classic (another strange new name).

    To me everything leads to Adobe quitting the old Lightroom. They want us to use the new cloud based version. That will never happen in my case. But Adobe is acting strange.

  2. K.G.Wuensch 18 November, 2017 at 06:45 Reply


    this his just another writer who is confused by the ending of the standalone buyable version and mixes up subscription and cloud (not helped by the previous nomenclature by Adobe and aggravated by the name change).

    As for the name change it only shows that probably Adobe did one thing: They separated the teams that do LR (formerly CC, now Classic) and LR (formerly Mobile, now CC) at a very early stage and with LR Mobile expanding to the Desktop the team that is involved in that decided to give the collections and collection sets names that are more understandable by the users not versed in the LR Classic nomenclature. Since now LR CC on mobile devices does double duty (Main infrastructure app for LR CC, client in the LR Classic environment) this is creating the confusion.

  3. Patrick 18 November, 2017 at 04:35 Reply

    I’m seriously thinking of renaming everything myself. I’m going to rename my “library” to “light box”, my “folders” to “boxes with negatives”, and my Lightroom to “dark room”. It will make matters way more simple, efficient, and organised again, going back to the good old analog flow of photographic work. Bye bye digital labyrinth.

  4. Rick Mili 17 November, 2017 at 21:19 Reply

    Frankly, I don’t care what they call it as I am weaning myself off Adobe products. I’ve had enough of their jerking around loyal customers (which I have been since V.1) who aren’t interested in their subscription model and cloud-based software.

    I am currently learning Luminar (new version just released) and will also take a look at the other contenders. Adobe had lost my loyalty.

    • K.G.Wuensch 18 November, 2017 at 07:07 Reply

      No company deserves loyalty, your own knowledge and your images though do – as with “weaning” from the Adobe products you are tossing a lot of knowledge and experience and there are no guarantees that whatever alternatives you choose will be around in the long term. Not meaning to sound doom and gloom but two of the main DAM contenders are single developer companies.

      Companies like On1 and the company formerly known as MacPhun (I refuse to adopt the new name) are trying their very hardest to cater to guys like you – but look at the consequences of doing that, both have released software which isn’t fully production ready (Luminar isn’t anywhere close and On1 should have probably added one or two more betas at least) and which maybe losing them the competitive edge they had in the niche they found for themselves. By your very own logic: “Do they deserve loyalty”? They at least have shown themselves not to be loyal to their own concepts.

      Also don’t forget why Adobe (and PhaseOne partially) have gone subscription. First they could add functionality to their products which themselves incur recurring costs and then in an almost saturated market no company can live off new sales and sale of updates (if the take-up of the updates isn’t mandatory) and keep improving on the existing programs (as they are a very mature code basis development speed grinds to a near halt under the premise of having to retain major parts of the existing program)..

  5. Charles Putnam 17 November, 2017 at 19:40 Reply

    Hopefully, Adobe won’t be that….stupid…to go 100% cloud based. As you pointed out on The Grid (and the KelbyOne webinar), photographers that have over a gig in images, Lr CC isn’t a smart choice

  6. LogicallyCynical 17 November, 2017 at 11:56 Reply

    I am just old enough to believe when there isn’t a cloud in the sky, you’re all screwed. I don’t trust “cloud” anything. BTW… my Lightroom 5.7 works perfectly still. #moneysaved.

  7. Dwig 17 November, 2017 at 11:41 Reply

    I think:

    1. The new “cloud” version should be named as such and not usurp the name Lr (now Lr Classic) has used for years. As it now stands, Adobe has totally destroyed user’s ability to search for and find online tutorials reliably and what they find will confuse matters are there is no good way to be clear to which version the tutorial applies.

    2. Lr “Cloud” (nee “Moble”): I think it is good that we now have a desktop version, but the legacy terms should be used. To me, there is no legitimate excuse for changing them. The old, now “Classic”, terms work very well. Again, using the same term, each with completely different definitions as is the current case with “folder”, unnecessarily confuses users who access any existing instructional material.

    3. Those at Adobe involved in the renaming of the apps and UI terms should be publicly shamed and should be “the first ones up against the wall when the revolution comes”.

  8. Craig 17 November, 2017 at 11:11 Reply

    ALthough I love this website as it is the first page I read every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I find it odd that Adobe doesn’t provide an overall training manual/video/comparison matrix for shortcuts, etc.

    I love the guest speakers like Coffee Break, but should Adobe issue these training materials?

    Plus a road map would be nice so that users can plan on how they can best use each of the “new” software packages.

  9. Rob Sylvan 17 November, 2017 at 09:40 Reply

    Also worth noting, Collection Sets in Lr Classic don’t sync up to Lr CC, and Folders in Lr CC don’t sync back down to Lr Classic. Meaning, you’ve got to duplicate your organizational efforts in both apps if you want them to be organized the same way.

    • Linda Quinn 17 November, 2017 at 13:51 Reply

      Definitely worth noting. I was reading through the comments before posting, and this was exactly what I was going to post. I’ve had to make FOLDERS in my LR CC Mobile that match the counterparts on Classic — not an efficient work-around.

    • Tom Lloyd 19 November, 2017 at 10:43 Reply

      Just checked this one Rob,
      I use the Windows 10 version, may be different with iOS; however, collection sets do sync with folders in LRCC and vice versa. Might be worth trying again.

      • Rob Sylvan 19 November, 2017 at 12:11 Reply

        Tom, you should check again as things are confusing with the naming situation. To clarify:

        – Collection Sets in Lr Classic (on Mac or Win) do not sync in the form of Folders in Lr CC on iOS, Android, Win or Mac (and Folders in Lr CC on any platform do not sync back to Classic in the form of Collection Sets).

        – Albums in Lr CC will sync with Lr Classic as Collections (and vice versa).

        – Folders and Albums do sync across all Lr CC platforms only.

  10. Graham Goodman 17 November, 2017 at 08:19 Reply

    It’s one of my biggest bugbears with Adobe, the User Interface inconsistency from application to application.

    In the case of Lightroom, it goes beyond names for me. Why are the shortcuts different between Classic and CC? If I want to crop in Classic, I use ‘r’. But, ‘r’ in CC is Radial Gradient. To crop, I have to use, admittedly more intuitively, ‘c’.

    You can only make backward compatibility a priority for so long before you have to accept your product is drowning in legacy. While people will always complain about the unfamiliarity of revolution, they will also complain when evolution has them stuck in the Dark Ages. The unintuitive mess that is the Photoshop UI is a great example of how Adobe is not brave enough when it comes to product development.

    • vincent-b 17 November, 2017 at 09:36 Reply

      >Why are the shortcuts different between Classic and CC?

      Because it’s a new software. They give themselves the occasion to start fresh. that’s the “why”, that’s not an opinion or means I’m embracing it.

      Personally I’m being patient. I don’t even know how to cull efficiently as shift+x qnd shift+p don’t work anymore. I don’t even consider LR CC like a fully finished software. It lacks so much at the moment. But it is so, so cool. Synced everywhere with my RAWs, I was dreaming of that for the last 15 years. I already save a lot of time because I work on 3 locations.

      As for the naming of collections and folders I coldn’t care less. We’re talking about 3 levels of objects that can be named differently while you’ll always understand what they do. Like you, I’m bummed about Adobe inconsistencies between apps like PS and AI, AE and Pr, but I know it’s like this, they’re huge software with history, they already share libraries which is fantastic, I’ll live with the rest.

      You seem to be hard on Adobe for not being brave on Photoshop but also for being brave on Lightroom, and at the same time criticize people who “will always complain about the unfamiliarity of revolution, they will also complain when evolution has them stuck in the Dark Ages” I’m not following you 🙂

      Cloud based LR is better off with a fresh start, it’s a different foundation. i’m very happy it exists, I’m happy it’s released now even if incomplete, I find that using LR CC and Classic at the same time is really easy.

  11. Kathleen 17 November, 2017 at 07:41 Reply

    NO! Adobe please don’t rename anything else. haha. Btw, I’m looking to buy a thanksgiving deal to Adobe Photography Plan this Black Friday. As far as I can see they haven’t changed the old plan name on Amazon yet. Hope this doesn’t further confuse things when people buy new plans on Amazon.

  12. Paul Parkinson 17 November, 2017 at 07:28 Reply

    The bottom line is the Adobe screwed up the naming of the cloud product. All they are doing now is making it worse with this renaming of folders and albums and collections and sets, let alone the confusion surrounding Classic CC.

    It would make a LOT more sense for them to put their hands up now and admit their mistake, change Classic back to just Lightroom CC and come up with a new name for the cloud product.

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