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"Sync" iPhoto library between two macs

11424 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Jul 12, 2013 2:11 AM by Terence Devlin RSS
anderskam Calculating status...
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Apr 11, 2012 8:06 AM

I have an iMac and a MacBook Pro. The iMac is my my iPhoto central - where I usually import, edit etc. However, I'd like to be able to do some editing, deleting, and general cleaning up of the iphoto library while commuting and using my MacBook Pro. Then I'd like to somehow sync that so that my iphoto library iMac reflects the same changes.

Any suggestions for a strategy/process for this - preferably without using 3rd party applications?


Would this be easier if I used Aperture?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,765 points)
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    Apr 11, 2012 8:52 AM (in response to anderskam)

    There's no way to do this without 3rd party software in iPhoto. Even with 3rd party software it's not especially simple.


    Yes, with Aperture you can export a project from a Library, work on it in another Library and import it back to the main library.






  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (113,325 points)
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    Apr 11, 2012 2:19 PM (in response to anderskam)

    There's an application, SyncPhotos, that will let you sync two iPhoto libraries.  How it works is that it compares Library A and Library B to see what photos are in A that are not in B and, conversely, what photos are in B that are not in A.  It then imports those photos from A into B and those in B into A. 


    There is no other information like keywords, titles and other metadata that gets copied along with the photos.  It's photos only.



  • bootheflyer Calculating status...
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    Jun 23, 2013 4:20 AM (in response to anderskam)

    Hi There

    Bringing this discussion further:

    My MAC Pro cannot host the whole iphoto db of 250GB so I need to sync only a part of it.

    I want to work with it during travels: sorting, "faceing", improving.. Then sync when back at home again..

    Little like syncing my iphone/ipad photos but with full iphoto features.

    Any suggestions on applications that can do this?

    Is Apperiture the way?

    I see a challenge here for Apple because I guess we are many travellers in this situ.


  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,765 points)
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    Jun 23, 2013 4:53 AM (in response to bootheflyer)

    Two possibiities:


    1. Use iPhoto Library Manager to create a new Library. Then use it to move Events or albums to the new Library. Then when you've finished the work, merge the two libraries.


    2. Or use Aperture to do the same thing. Select the projects in Aperture and export them as a new Library. After working on them import the library back to the main Aperture library.



    So there are two ways to do what you want.One uses a 3rd party app, one uses an Apple app that is very much iPhoto's "big brother". It's more expensive and much more powerful. It has a significant learning curve.



  • bootheflyer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 12, 2013 2:03 AM (in response to Terence Devlin)

    Thanks Tererence. Appreciate how you pinpointed my issue!

    I am using iLM now and it works OK so I have managed to merge my DB's.

    (Handling 250GB over an external drive is slow though..)

    But, I cant see that iLM has any rule based functions on syncing.


    Therefore I need to find another app to take the sync project further.. to take back only part of the earlier merged DB to my MACBook. Defining a rule of e.g. two year's photos to carry with me..

    But I will also read new photos to my MacB from the camera's SD so there will be a two way syncing required.

    (Little like syncing my iPad/iPhone.)


    Is "SyncPhotos" (mentioned in this thread) a good idea or do you have other suggestions?

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,765 points)
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    Jul 12, 2013 2:11 AM (in response to bootheflyer)

    Sync Photos will make sure that you have the same photos in both Libraries only. No edits, no edit history, no added matadata, just the original files.


    There is no way to do a two-way sync with iPhoto. End Of. You can first sync one way, then sync the other but they will always be two separate processes with you managing the process.


    You can find all the photos from the last N months, or within any time interval, with a Smart Album. Of course, a simple sort on date will make do that too.


    For feature requests on ILM, post a note to the developer


    iPhoto menu -> Provide iPhoto Feedback for feature requests to the iPhoto team.






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