JAlbumLightroomPublisher

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jAlbum Lightroom Publisher plugin

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The jAlbum Lightroom Publisher plugin bridges the gap between Lightroom and jAlbum. Enjoy the best of both worlds and use Lightroom for image management and jAlbum for presenting them.

Overview

This plugin allows you to set up and manage "collections" and "collection sets" within Lightroom which are mapped towards jAlbum gallery projects. Every time you publish from this plugin, new and modified images are exported from Ligthtroom to jAlbum (a folder under the "My Albums" location). Finally, the corresponding jAlbum project is opened in jAlbum for further editing, album making and final publishing to a web site of your choice.

Installing

  1. If you haven't installed the jAlbum desktop software already, do so first.
  2. Download and unzip the plugin from here to a suitable location on you computer
  3. Open Lightroom and open the Plug-in Manager from File->Plug-in Manager
  4. Use the Add button to locate the unzipped plug-in ("jalbum.lrplugin")
  5. Close the Plug-in Manager

Quick start

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  1. Once installed, set up the jAlbum Publish Plug-in service via the new jAlbum entry of the "Publish Services" panel on the left hand side
  2. You will now be presented with the Settings window for this plug-in. We've set up decent defaults, so most users can simply click "Save". If you've used an export or publish service before, then you'll immediately be familiar with most settings.
  3. InitialView.png
    The jAlbum plugin now installs a default collection called "First jAlbum project". To populate it with images, right-click it and select "Set as target collection". Now select images for your new collection and hit "B" to add them to your new target collection
  4. Now simply click the "Publish" button in the lower section of the "Publish Services" panel. The added images will now be published to your new jAlbum gallery project. Once done, jAlbum (if installed) will pop up and show your project.
  5. Once in jAlbum, select a suitable skin, then hit "Make album" followed by "Upload" in order to publish your final gallery to a web server of your choice


Metadata management

Captions, titles, ratings and other metadata you've entered in Lightroom will automatically appear in jAlbum when you publish images from this plugin. (They get embedded as xmp metadata within each image). If you add comments (captions) to images within jAlbum, then this plugin will offer you the ability of importing these back to Lightroom as you publish.

Images are only re-published to the mapped jAlbum galleries when there is a need for that, for instance after changes to metadata (titles, captions etc) or images being edited, but to avoid accidental loss of metadata added by jAlbum, images are never overwritten by default. If you manage all image edits within Lightroom, then you can safely check "Overwrite existing jAlbum files" under settings. This will ensure that the images within the jAlbum gallery always reflects the images within Lightroom. If you don't, the plugin will ask permission to overwrite on a file-by-file basis.

Project and folder management

The plugin allows you to manage any number of flat (no folders) and deep (nested folders) galleries from within Lightroom. To create a flat gallery, simply create a collection or smart collection within this plugin and populate it with images. To create a deep gallery consisting of sub folders / sections, first create a "collection set", then populate it with one collection set for each sub folder. Each collection or collection set at the root of this plugin will map to a unique jAlbum gallery project.

Collection sets can't directly contain images (Lr limitation) so the plugin automatically populates each collection set with a collection called "contents".

Collections may have any name. jAlbum will ignore their names and use the names of their parent collection set for the folder names within the jAlbum gallery. Only collections at the root of this plugin will cause folders to be created.

Here's a sample hierarchy in Lightroom and the corresponding folder tree in the final jAlbum project:
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When you rename collections or collection sets, the change is immediately reflected in the mapped jAlbum projects. Likewise, when you move collection sets around, the new folder structure is immediately reflected in the mapped jAlbum project. No need for another republish operation.

Image ordering

By default, this plugin will impose the image ordering of the respective collections onto the mapped jAlbum galleries on each publish. You can keep a mix of jAlbum-only images and image links and Lightroom managed images within the same jAlbum gallery folder. In such cases, only the Lightroom-manage images will be reordered. If you wish to keep your custom jAlbum ordering instead, simply deselect the "Impose Lightroom's sort order" under settings.

Deletions

Images deleted from the collections managed by this plugin will be deleted from the mapped jAlbum galleries on the next publish operation. If you delete an entire collection or collection set, then you will be asked whether the corresponding files in the mapped jAlbum gallery should be deleted or left intact.

Settings

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Here's a description of the settings unique to this plugin:

  • "My Albums location" - The location where to place the generated jAlbum projects and their images (one sub folder for each project)
  • "Impose Lighrroom's sort order" - On each publish, ensure that the sort order of the images within jAlbum follows the sort order of the respective collection. Untick to avoid having custom sort ordering within jAlbum overwritten as you publish from this plugin
  • "Overwrite existing jAlbum files" - When checked, allows this plugin to overwrite existing jAlbum images with the same name. Unchecked by default
  • "Create collection automatically" - If checked, automatically create collection under newly created collection set. Collection name is configurable (and ignored). It defaults to "contents".
  • "Show in jAlbum after Publish" - Pop up jAlbum and show the generated/updated project after each Publish operation.


Plugin context menu

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When you right-click this plugin you're presented with the following context menu. Some comments:

  • Create Published Collection - Collections created under the root of this plugin (no parent collection set) will map to a unique flat jAlbum project
  • Create Published Smart Collection - Like above, but for smart collections
  • Create Published Collection Set - Collections Sets created under the root of this plugin (no parent collection set) will map to a unique jAlbum project that may hold sub folders (represented by nested Collection Sets)


Collection(set) context menu

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When you right-click a collection or collection set within this this plugin, you're presented with the following context menu. Some comments:

  • Create ... - Creates Collections and Collection Sets under this Collection Set which will map to sub folders of of the mapped jAlbum project
  • Rename - As you rename collection sets, the change is immediately reflected in the corresponding jAlbum folder. (You'll need to make the album again though)
  • Publish now - Trigger a publish operation of the current collection or collection set. Sometimes Lightroom won't enable the "Publish" button, then this menu item always triggers a Publish operation
  • Mark to republish - Lightroom will try to avoid re-publishing already published images. Republishing usually only happens if you edit images, but this option allows you to force the contents of this collection or collection set to be republished on the next Publish operation
  • Show in jAlbum - Trigger jAlbum to pop up and show the related project. Note, jAlbum won't automatically navigate to the right folder.



Duplicating existing collections

If you're a heavy user of Lightroom's collection concept, then you might find it tedious to manually duplicate an existing collection hierarchy from the Collections panel to this plugin. Sadly, Lightroom doesn't offer a well working collection(set) duplication ability, but there is a rescue: The "Collection Agent" plugin by Rob Cole. Simply download and install this plugin. Now you can duplicate existing hierarchies of collection sets to our plugin like this:

  1. Select the source collection set
  2. Select File->Plug-in Extras->Set Copy sources
  3. Select the target collection set within our plugin
  4. Select File->Copy.