Local Photos library and server Photos library

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Narked Diver, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. Narked Diver macrumors regular

    Narked Diver

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    #1
    Hi,

    My wife's photos library is currently stored on an external hard drive as it would take up the majority of the hard drive on her Mac book pro

    From what I understand I can pay to have the original version of her photos stored in iCloud and then have a reduced quality / size version stored on her MBP which would hopefully mean that she could carry her photos around with her without the need for the external hard drive

    What I'm wondering is can I set up a version of her photo library in OSX server that contains the original version of the photos that she can automatically connect to when she is on our home network

    I guess I could set up 2 photo libraries and she can pick which one she choose when she starts photos but I would prefer to automate the default library depending on whether she is on the OSX server network or not otherwise I can see me getting a phone call every time she is at a friends asking me why the system is saying it can't find the server version of the library ;)

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    1 Finite Place
    #2
    Here's what I've set up for our Mac portables and iOS devices with our server - I'm not sure if this will work in your situation...
    The Mac server hosts the High-res Originals/System Photos Library and is synced to iCloud Photo Library - on the Mac portable the library is just referencing the optimized iCloud library.
    But if we want to organize the main high-res library (aka master library) we can just point to the server stored library and make any changes and organizational edits we need and it syncs and it looks the same wherever we use it.
     
  3. Narked Diver thread starter macrumors regular

    Narked Diver

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    #3
    That's pretty much what I'm after but I'm hoping to find a way to avoid my wife having to press the option key to select which Photos Library she wants to use

    Ideally when Photos is opened it would detect if her laptop is connected to our servers network and if it was it would open the library hosted on the server and if not it would open the library on her laptop but I might be hoping for the impossible ;)
     
  4. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    1 Finite Place
    #4
    right, with this option you wouldn't have to select between different libraries. it would just sync from the main iCloud photo library (originals stored on Mac mini) and the Macbook would just reference the optimized library so everything syncs back.

    The only other thing I could suggest is a symlink / alias on the dock that points to the other Photo Library on the network storage system?
    without the use of something like policies or configuration profiles I doubt there is much of an ability there.
     
  5. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #5
    You may not appreciate that iCloud Photo Library is not simple file storage - it's a multiple-concurrent-user image editing database. Any edits/additions/deletions made by any device connected to the library are stored in iCloud, and synced to the other connected devices (little different than iCloud Contacts).

    Yes, you'll get the space savings you describe by using iCloud Photo Library, if you select "Optimize Mac Storage" in Photos preferences. Note, though, that this is "managed" storage - Photos preferences notes: "...Originals will also be stored on this Mac if you have enough storage space." Photos/OS X monitors available space on your Mac, and adjusts the library accordingly. If space is plentiful, it'll keep full-resolution versions. If space is tight, it stores reduced-resolution versions (optimized for the quality of the display - if she has a 15" Retina MBP, that should be 2880 x 1800 - equivalent of 5mp). If an image hasn't been viewed in a long time and space is tight, only a thumbnail image may be kept (if you access the image and have an internet connection, a higher resolution version will be automatically downloaded). The only time the MBP would not have access to full-resolution images when editing would be when it has no internet connection. When not connected, any edits made will be synced with iCloud the next time you connect.

    I strongly recommend against maintaining two libraries and switching between them. They will be out of sync. You'll have "What happened to my photo/what happened to the edits I did on my MBP???" One of the principal benefits of iCloud Photo Library is synchronization - "your photos everywhere." Take advantage of that, don't undermine it.

    You seem to be hung up over the idea that the images on your wife's MBP will be reduced resolution. As I noted above, iCloud Photo Library is designed so you will have full resolution images when you need them - all you need is an internet connection.

    To use the strategy you describe (iCloud Photo Library plus automatically connecting your wife's MBP to a local server) and not have a problem with synchronization, both the library on her MBP and the library on your server would have to sync with iCloud. However, there is no known way to sync a local server with the iCloud server (server/database mirroring) - you have to treat all computers and devices connected to iCloud as clients, with iCloud as the only server.

    If you a wanted full-resolution copy of the iCloud library just for the sake of backup - no problem. Setup Photos on another Mac that has the space, and set the preference for "Download Originals to this Mac." Just don't treat it like a local server. When at home, she could sit at her MBP, or at that other computer, and whatever she does will be synced to the other, via iCloud.


     
  6. Narked Diver thread starter macrumors regular

    Narked Diver

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    #6
    This is the reason I was after a full-resolution copy of the iCloud library - not that I'm paranoid about Apple losing our photos of course ;)

    The next step is to set up a new iCloud account for my wife that I can tie to my UK family account (long story - a 'helpful' relative set up her iTunes account against the American store and we don't have an American address or credit card)
     
  7. jasnw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
    #7
    Slightly off-topic, but not by much, this is exactly what I would like to have running on MY server. Other than concerns about what happens to stuff in "the cloud" I'm an old-school Internet user. I want to keep network usage down to the bare minimum needed, and I want to keep my stuff off of the Internet at large unless absolutely necessary. Adding this capability to OS X Server would be a very nice thing indeed, and one I do not ever expect to see Apple do. Hoping for a third-party solution.
     

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