Sharing photos at home over wifi; I give up

  • Posted: 21 March 2013 11:17 AM

    This’ll be a long one so I apologize; I’ve been researching solutions for this for days and trying lots of different ideas and still come up empty, so please bear with me. :)

    Here’s the situation and what I want to accomplish: I’m the photographer in the family, have just upgraded to Aperture 3, and do all of my photo editing, sorting, and backup on my iMac in my studio/attic. My wife picks which photos she wants to get prints of or share with family, but wants to do that task with either our iPad or our MacBook from the comfort of the couch (and not the freezing/hot attic). iMac and Macbook are both running Lion (10.7.2), and the iPad has the latest, and I have an iCloud account. iMac has Aperture 3 and iPhoto 11 and MacBook has iPhoto 11.

    I’m beginning to think that trying to include the iPad in this scenario is a fool’s errand. Accomplishing this task was one of the reason’s we bought an iPad, but I have to say I don’t think it works.

    Here’s what I’ve tried:

    Share iPhoto library: You can turn on sharing in iPhoto on the iMac and then view shared libraries on the MacBook’s iPhoto. Aperture cannot share, and both copies of iPhoto need to be running for this to work at all. Since I’ve upgraded to Aperture and it shares a library with iPhoto I can’t run them both at once.

    Home Sharing through iTunes: Seems like this is the ideal solution since all the commands are there in iTunes, but it will only share photos with an AppleTV. No other Apple device can see photos shared this way.

    iOS apps: I’ve tried a bunch: Blinq, AirShare, PhotoSync, Splashtop. All are very slow and tedious to use and feel like kludges. Splashtop was the only one that seemed to work, but it is basically just a remote desktop app, s you are just using Aperture on your iPad; ok, but pretty slow and the Aperture interface isn’t designed for a touch screen. iPhoto for iOS won’t connect to any shared libraries or albums so that is out.

    Photo Stream: Just tried this last night. Marginal success, but only automatically works with newly imported stuff. With a 16MP camera I may fill up my iCloud storage pretty quick. While you can view Photo Stream on the iPad, I discovered that images distributed to iOS devices are resized to make them speedier which means they aren’t suitable for uploading to Shutterfly or any other service. It worked on iPhoto 11 on the MacBook, so this may be the way to go moving forward, though it might fill up my MacBook really quick.

    So anyone else have any ideas or successes? This whole process has always felt like there is a huge whole in the whole iOS/OSX sharing ecosystem, when it’s so easy to share movies and music, but not photos. Apple is relying on syncing for photos, which is fine if you shoot a couple of photos a week on your iPhone, but if you have an Aperture library with 30,000 photos in it it becomes a non-starter. I’m hanging my hopes on Photo Stream at the moment but I would welcome any other ideas. Thanks.

    Mike

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    Posted: 22 March 2013 06:01 PM #1

    I polled our Twitter followers for this, too, and while I think some of them might chime in, I figured I’d relay some of those tweets here.

    GeekTechMix writes: External SSD for the Mac, and keep what you need in the Photostream. That’s been my solution for business.

    hifhif writes: Tried Files.app?

    caspercdn writes: I have PQI Air Drive that I picked up for $50. It’s a wifi card reader that comes with a 32g card. Or a wifi HD will work.

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    -Dave Hamilton / The Mac Observer / Mac Geek Gab / Dave on Twitter
    When you find a big kettle of crazy, it’s best not to stir it.

         
  • Posted: 23 March 2013 07:37 AM #2

    Thanks Dave. It sounds like the solutions offered involve just hauling the image files around physically or serving them up from a networked drive. I guess if that’s the solution, what’s the point of using Aperture or iPhoto for that matter?

    I’m testing out manually using Photo Stream, but that looks like more trouble than it’s worth. It’s more akin to a sync solution, than a sharing one. I just end up with more copies of images scattered about.

    I’m not sure where the Apple design team’s head was at on this one. You can share movies and music anywhere anytime, but when it comes to photos, it’s sync or bust. And “sync” at an “appropriate resolution” for your device. I wonder if this was one of those instances where they couldn’t guarantee a performance rate and instead just made it not possible to avoid complaints.

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  • Posted: 26 March 2013 01:46 PM #3

    I’m currently trying to use the built-in Screen Sharing function. It appears to work well, though the screen size difference between the MacBook and the 24” iMac make it a little odd. This whole idea got simpler once I gave up on iOS being part of the solution. The true test is whether my wife will use it. :)

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    Posted: 08 April 2013 04:12 PM #4

    ...and how did it go with your better half? wink

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    -Dave Hamilton / The Mac Observer / Mac Geek Gab / Dave on Twitter
    When you find a big kettle of crazy, it’s best not to stir it.

         
  • Posted: 14 April 2013 09:18 PM #5

    So so. See my new thread about trying to order prints. At least she got as far as that when something new cropped up. What a pain. smile

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