iPhoto and NAS

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jasnw, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. jasnw macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I received a WD myCloud NAS as a present (an asked-for present) to form the basis for a home network storage area. The main item I was planning to put on the NAS are my ever-growing multiple iPhoto libraries. I selected the myCloud based on several good MAC-oriented reviews. Now as I dig deeper I'm seeing statements that iPhoto cannot have its files on a NAS because iPhoto requires that the physical storage of the library be on an OS X filesystem, and possible also a local one at that. So what the heck - is this true, and if so why, and is there some work-around? My plan was to put all of the iPhoto libraries (five of them) out on the NAS and access them from various OS X laptops and iMacs around the house.
     
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #2
    iPhoto (and Aperture) are not apps that are meant to be shared. You would be better off with the library directly attached to the main computer that you use for photo organization.

    /Jim
     
  3. jasnw thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    So I now have two more questions, one practical and the other apparently rhetorical:

    1. What photo organization app can I switch to that WILL allow me to put my photo libraries out on a NAS?

    2. Will Apple ever recognize the fact that there is a large class of home users that would like to put their various media libraries (iPhoto and the iTunes family) on network storage rather than on one of their computers?
     
  4. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #4
    Personally, I use Aperture... but like iPhoto, it is not meant to be shared. From a more practical standpoint... if you are even half serious about photography, do you really want every photo shared? One of the amazing things about a good digital asset manager (like aperture) is the ability to create collections of photos that are rated, key worded, etc, etc. The ability to share your best sorted work... all via smart albums (ex: All pictures taken at the beach with at least one family member, but not the dog, rated 4 stars or above) is a VERY powerful construct. It is easy to make such smart albums, show them on your Apple TV, etc. I am not so sure about sharing them with other computers... it is not something that I do.

    Secondly... if you use a photo application on a NAS, you are likely to be very disappointed, even if you can get it to work. NAS devices are painfully slow. NAS are great devices for many things... especially sharing data... however, using them for an active database is horrid.

    You may want to consider making great collections of your work using iPhoto or Aperture... and then export the best work onto your NAS so that it can at least be viewed by any computer.

    I do hope that Apple will improve sharing in the future... but not to share entire photo libraries. I think that would be a disaster in the making. Instead, I would be satisfied if Aperture had the equivalent of iTunes "Home Sharing" feature, which would allow sharing of the selected albums and smart albums on the home network.

    /Jim
     
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #5
    You have to be a bit more specific. The library or catalog of iPhoto, Aperture and/or Lightroom has pretty much gotta be on a local disk attached to the computer you're running it on.

    BUT the photos can be in other places, and REFERENCED from those libraries. I don't know how you set up those iPhoto libraries, but if you store your photos themselves within that library then you're stuck. If you referenced the photos, and say they're in Pictures or an external, then you could use the NAS, but you're have to re-referenced them.

    That being said, issues can develop, especially if, as you suggest, the photos are shared. iPhoto/Aperture/Lightroom are essentially individual databases, not multiuser databases. Any particular library/catalog (remember, it has to be local) is not gonna keep up with a change in a photo another user made, and unfortunate things may result. And it's not even as easy as say everyone accessing the same Word document; these photo applications are designed to keep track of the changes within their own databases, not write them to the file/photo, since they're non-destructive. You can work around that, but it's a pain. Essentially you would have to make sure everyone imported/edited/exported the photo each time they dealt with it.

    It's rather a chore even when it's just YOU using say one catalog/library on a laptop and then another on the desktop. I use exported and then imported catalog subsets in LR for this, or sometimes just clone the whole shebang.

    And unfortunately, Apple ended an easy way to share iPhoto libraries, which at least would allow viewing by others. Now it's all iClouded. But there are ways to do that, we'd just have to know your intended uses.
     
  6. jonesea macrumors newbie

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    Dec 21, 2013
    #6
    It would appear there are two things being discussed here:

    - Multiple user sharing
    - Remote sharing (NAS)

    One would hope the software packages being discussed here work adequately with remote storage.

    The two are not interchangeable, but are related in function.

    IMHO, if Apple wants to be in an Enterprise setting, they better get their act together with work nicely with remote storage. Working in silo fashion isn't the process for every computer user.
     
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #7
    This is sort of interesting: I couldn't find a consumer product for the collaborative editing of photos. Lots of stuff for sharing, and you could even take one of the shared photos, edit it, and share it back, but no way to work on the same photo. I realize that would take some kind of media server that would allow multiple users, but I could also see that someone with four computers and four people in a family might wanna each edit the family photos and not wind up with 4 different versions of grandpa, as opposed to all editing the same photo of grandpa.

    But perhaps I missed seeing something like that.
     
  8. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    #8
    My Synology speeds aren't too bad but I'm connected by gigabit Ethernet, not wifi. I ran speed tests on various disk storage devices and a USB 2 drive was the slowest, the Synology was about twice as fast, USB 3 was twice as fast again, and my SSD was 5 times faster than the USB 3. I would rather have my library on the NAS than a USB 2 drive. Nothing beats the SSD for responsiveness. I'm fortunate to have enough space on it for my current and near future needs.

    Back to the sharing subject, disk space is cheap. You can always edit the photo so your machine then export them to the NAS for sharing. Create various albums and smart albums and let that be your folder structure on the shared device. Other users can grab them and do what they will. They can add their own finished pix to the mix. Your individual iPhoto/Aperture libraries are the gold master but the shared folders are what you want everybody to see.
     
  9. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #9
    The problem with speed tests is that they generally measure sequential transfer rate... which when it comes to a database, is pretty much a useless metric. What you need are high levels of IOPs. This is the area where network attached drives really fail miserably... because the I/O has to transverse the entire TCI/IP stack. Even a network attached SSD or SSD Array would not be very good. If you set up your storage drives as iSCSI... then it could be better, but generally still not as good as a locally attached drive.

    /Ji
     
  10. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #10
    And you can't run an iPhoto Library on a Synology RAID in any case; the libraries have to be on an internal or external (non NAS) Mac HFS+ journaled drive.
     
  11. Michael73 macrumors 65816

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    Feb 27, 2007
    #11
    I have a nearly identical thread going but for iMovie.

    Last week I ordered a new Mac Pro with the 1TB drive. The problem is that my current boot drive that I want to migrate from has about 950GB. In order to free up some space I want to move my 160GB iMovie library, 70GB iTunes library and 125GB iPhoto library over to my Drobo 5D.

    I think every one of these Apple apps have a similar requirement that their library folders not be on a NAS and be on a Mac formatted HFS Journaled drive.

    Not to hijack this thread, but does anyone know if I can move these libraries over to a Drobo 5D?
     
  12. jasnw thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
    #12
    Now we're getting somewhere. What I was hoping to end up with was a single photo collection that resides on the NAS. The one-ring-to-rule-them-all computer (an iMac) would be the primary, if not sole, machine from which edits are made, but others would be able to load new images into the NAS collection from their laptops when they hook up to the LAN. Any users could pull any photos from the NAS collection for whatever use they have (posting to (shudder!) Facebook for example). It would be very nice to share all metadata (faces, albums, etc), but that's nice-to-have only. If that info was only on the OR2RTA computer that could be OK.

    It sounds like this might be do-able, but will require a photo-dectcomy separating the photo files from the iPhoto database. I guess I need to go googling to see what this means and how its done.

    (As for NAS speed, I think I found a local bottleneck that I'm in the processing of removing - an old 10/100 Mbps switch between the NAS and everyone else.)
     
  13. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #13
    I think you're on the right track. I would think this is a good occasion to switch to a referenced library/catalog, which resides on the NAS. Any copy of LR/Aperture/iPhoto could then reference them, and if all editors edit non-destructively, and don't write metadata to the originals, then you'd wind up with original of grandpa and then a few edits of him.

    Also, for this use you'd be better off with Aperture or LR. Aperture is nice in that you would use the same library structure as iPhoto, and you could relocated masters from within. Otherwise you'd either have to manually copy out the masters/originals from iPhoto (and risk losing some edits and/or other metadata), or use a utility like Phoshare or iPhoto to Disk; but beware, more recent editions of iPhoto apparently mess up keyword export if it does it at all).

    LR is much easier to use IMHO with externally stored photos in a folder structure than Aperture, once they are external to the iPhoto library. If someone put new photos or edits of the original photos in say the folder "Grandpa" then it's a simple click to synchronize the folder in LR and voila, there they are.

    Apple no longer has a demo of Aperture, but Adobe has a demo of LR. Give it a try.

    And finally, this is partly a non-software issue. If you get some discipline on workflow by everyone, then you may not have to worry. For example, you could automatically put all originals as they come off SD cards, from iOS devices, etc into the NAS in a drop box that only you, on the Master Computer, can change. If someone wants to edit, they would have to copy it off the NAS, edit, and then drop it into the box when they're finished.
     
  14. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Portland, OR
    #14
    Rather than keeping the originals on the NAS... I would suggest that you keep them local to the iMac (master machine)... and use carbon copy cloner (or equivalent) to move a copy to the NAS. That way you have the advantage of local masters (for performance)... and also would not have anyone else possibly mucking around with them.

    /Jim
     
  15. robgendreau, Dec 28, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013

    robgendreau macrumors 68030

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  16. Steve-Easton macrumors newbie

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    Oct 5, 2014
    #16
    iPhoto Library on NAS

    I have run my iPhoto library on my NAS but you need to create an iSCSI drive which can be formatted appropriately - it work very fast but i have used link aggregation so i effectively have 4 x gigabit ethernet (it still worked pretty well with a single gigabit ethernet connection). There are 2 problems firstly you need an iSCSI initiator and secondly this only works for a single user, but the big advantage is it provides more secure storage of photos as the NAS provides some redundancy and can automatically back up off line.

    I'm now playing with a better solution and am working using a vmware ESXI server and building a virtual mac on it that is just for iPhoto which would mean me my wife and daughter to can just run it on their machines using vmware fusion though it still will not work for multiple users at the same time.
     

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