Advice needed: In-house photo organization and sharing

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by js81, May 8, 2017.

  1. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #1
    Hey all:

    Not sure if I should post this here in the photography sub-section or in the Mac OS section, but here goes...

    We've been a mixed OS household for a while, but will very soon be all Mac/iOS again (save for my wife's Galaxy S7). Because of this, I'm beginning to rethink my admittedly clunky photo management setup. Please note: I am NOT a photographer, but I take lots of photos. I AM a techno-geek, though.

    Current setup:
    - Everything lives on an HP Proliant server, mirrored and backed up. I download everything either DIRECTLY to the server OR on my Windows laptop and copy to the network share.
    - When I want to browse pics or find something to share, I either just browse that share or use Remote Desktop to utilize the server itself.

    Other than the server, the last Windows machine is leaving. :) I'm thinking about how I can more easily access these photos on our MacBooks. I do NOT want to use the Cloud - sorry, I'm old school, I want everything on MY hard drives. Any suggestions on how I can let these files live on a server and access them EASILY on the MacBooks?

    I'd LIKE to be able to make a Photos library and have it live on the server and access the same library on both laptops. I'm OK with getting rid of the HP and replacing it with an older Mac Pro (it'd be a 1,1 in my price range) or getting rid of Windows Server and going to a Linux distro. I also use this server for Plex, so I need something kind of powerful to do that. Any suggestions on the best way to do this? I'd like to spend no or very little money (if I got an older Mac Pro, I'd sell the HP to fund it). Thanks in advance!
     
  2. bopajuice macrumors 6502a

    bopajuice

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    #2
    I am really interested to read some answers to this post. Good question. I have been an all Apple household for over 20 years, but still have issues with photo management.

    I have backed up and saved iPhoto libraries and now Photos libraries since iPhoto came out. I have almost a terabyte of photos that are extremely hard to manage. The worst part is with every new version of iPhoto, then Aperture, and now Photos, the libraries have to be updated. Very cumbersome and non productive. Hope some others chime in.
     
  3. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #3
    This is exactly why I left all the photo management software that I've ever tried - iPhoto, Picasa, and Photoshop Elements Organizer, to name some names. I found the libraries are more difficult to deal with than simply having the files in folders and such. That said, surely there is a convenient way to have all these pics where they're easy to browse AND easy to keep up with the files - it's 2017, after all! :D

    Ideally, I'd like to be able to click Photos on each of the MacBooks and have the library pulled in off the server. I know this wouldn't work outside of my house/WiFi network, but that's OK. I'd like to be able to make changes while using the MacBook and have those changes made ON the server and its files. That's my dream at least...
     
  4. nagual macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    #4
    Interesting idea, actually, I might need to research on it more. Maybe, I can implement it with my mac server somehow, and if I need to have an access from outside of my network I'll use VPN (iPhones & MBP).
     
  5. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #5
    Maybe owncloud or the forked nextcloud?

    Tried to setup owncloud a few years back to link my son's iMac and Linux computers but abandoned the effort after a very brief try at it; problem was likely about 18 inches in front of the monitor!

    Cheers
     
  6. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #6
    I'll look into these, thanks! I would look into a strictly NAS style OS (I've used openmediavault and FreeNAS in the past), but I'm not sure how either of those would do with Plex. Anyone have any experience with that? All I want is plex media server and the ability to do time machine backups. Anything else is gravy.
     
  7. bopajuice macrumors 6502a

    bopajuice

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    #7
    I use Plex as well on a home NAS. Have you used the photo App they offer? I also have a QNAP NAS. There are several photo management apps offered for use on the NAS but have not tried them.

    I have spent some time exporting iPhoto libraries and saving the photos as jpegs and keeping them in labeled folders. But with almost a terabyte of photos I've barely scratched the surface.

    Also I found two apps that work very well. For finding and deleting duplicate photos I am using an app called Gemini II. For viewing photos I am using Lyn. Finds folders everywhere and makes it easy to browse.

    Thinking about getting rid of iPhoto altogether, but my wife still uses it. She does not like the updated Photos app.
     
  8. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #8
    I haven't tried Plex for it, no. I've shared my pics with via Plex so I can see them on my TV, though. And I go rid of iPhoto years ago lol - don't want to go back to it or Photos. I'll look into Plex for pictures. Thanks!
     
  9. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #9
    Arrgh. Tough.

    But I'd ask about how your photo workflow works, or how you want it to work. Do family members own photos, ie have their own private repository? what editing tools do you wanna use? need to share back to say smartphones? In large part it is a question first of who is doing what and then working the storage around that.

    For example, one person might be using Lr to edit and such, and then putting images into appropriate folders with appropriate access privileges. Then others use say Bridge to access those, or just navigate there and use whatever software they prefer. If the photos were read-only to them, they'd have to save back edited versions, which the Lr user could then deal with.

    I'd also take a look at Mylio. It's pretty good at synching across all sorts of devices, and might be handy solution.
     
  10. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #10
    Tell me about it, lol. You ask for workflow info, so here goes; there's not much of a workflow lol. Pretty much all of my pics are snapshots for posterity kind of things, though I do take those cutesy "monthly" pics of my new baby and those get at least a cursory editing. I use Photoshop Elements (plenty powerful enough for my limited work). And as for who is needing access, it's just my wife and I. Our kids are all small (oldest is 4). As for syncing across devices, it's not really necessary - my wife uses a Galaxy S7 (so Photo Stream is out lol), plus we don't tend to carry many pics with us; everything lives on the server and, currently, we pull things as needed.

    I don't mind to keep up with a "manual" management; I just thought being able to utilize Photos on the MacBooks would be nice, IF I could configure it somehow to pull the library from one place. If not, I guess I'll just have to stick with folders on a network share. Any other thoughts on a simpler, more user-friendly system?
     
  11. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #11
    Frankly, I'd use Adobe Bridge. It's free, and a browser, so you'd just use it to browse what you're already storing on the server. But it can do lots of metadata management, like keywording. Which would make it easier to find stuff. And it could fine with Elements. I'd use Photos selectively; I use it in conjunction with Lr, but only as sort of a front-end gallery for iOS sharing. IOW, I just publish edited JPEGs that I then import into Photos, which then syncs them. And for use with a few applications that like to use Photos.
     
  12. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #12
    As above I use a qnap. You could buy one of the two bay solutions and set it up to mirror the drives.

    Once this is done you can download qsync and it'll automatically download your photos to the nas. This can be done across any mobile device with ease.
     

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