Share iPhoto library between 2 computers?

Groundhog66

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 23, 2009
69
0
CA
I did a bit of research, but I'm hoping it's easier than the results I came up with.

I have an iMac, that had an older version of iPhoto on it (version 8.?). That computer is my main machine, and the iPhoto library contained like 12K pics. Since that older version is not capable of sharing via cloud, I upgraded today.

I didn't have iPhoto on my laptop, so I bought the new version today.

So here's my question...What's the easiest way to be able to access the entire library on my iMac, via my MacBook Air? I was under the impression that they would automatically be accessible via the cloud, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
 

flynz4

macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
3,125
35
Portland, OR
iPhoto (as well as most if not all other DAMs) are not designed to share a library across computers.

Still, I am surprised that nobody has offered slimy hack methods of attempting this yet. Many have tried... many have failed... some have not failed yet.

My personal opinion is to only share those libraries that contain pictures that you do not care about keeping.

/Jim
 

matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
5,024
1,517
Can't you just open your library with your laptop? (sincere question. I'm not an expert on iPhoto)
 

adnbek

macrumors 68000
Oct 22, 2011
1,506
465
Montreal, Quebec
What happens if you turn on file sharing on the computer who's library you wish to share, then on the other computer choose "file>switch library" in iPhoto to select that remote library? Does it work?
 

Groundhog66

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 23, 2009
69
0
CA
What happens if you turn on file sharing on the computer who's library you wish to share, then on the other computer choose "file>switch library" in iPhoto to select that remote library? Does it work?
When I choose to switch library, no other options come up.
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,294
230
Sad to say but the new iPhoto is a step backwards in sharing. Now it's limited to iCloud. Good luck with that.

The older versions had a shared photos feature that worked across your local network (or beyond, with certain tweaks like Share Tool). New iPhoto dropped that. So if you can go back to the older version, do so. But be aware that it's likely your iPhoto library has been converted, so it may not work with the old iPhoto. So you'd either have to reimport, or use a backup that wasn't converted.

The iCloud solution share PHOTOS, not the library itself. It's the functional version of publishing to iCloud. That's good for many uses, since you may not want others to be able to access everything or edit, you just want them to be able to view the photos.

Sounds like you really don't want to share, you want to be able to access the same library from two computers. That's possible, but tricky.

First, depends on whether you store photos in the library or reference them.

Second, be aware that libraries should generally not be on a NAS; iPhoto is happiest if the library (but not necessarily the referenced photos) is a local volume.

Third, you can make use of multiple libraries. You can now do that directly in iPhoto, but to have more control you can use iPhoto Library Manager, which lets you merge libraries. This actually works a lot better with Aperture or Lightroom, cuz both allow you to export a subset as a library or catalog, then reimport that. I don't think you can do that in iPhoto.

Fourth, you could clone your library. Works well IF you are disciplined enough to only make changes on ONE library before you clone it. Otherwise you run the risk of overwriting changes.

Fifth, you could be lazy like me and just run separate referenced libraries/catalogs (I use Lightroom, where catalogs are libraries) on each machine. Since the photos are still in one place, more than one library can make use of them. It only gets tricky when writing metadata, but for my workflows it's always the same, and I just update each machine in turn. When I edit, I always create an edited copy.

Rob
 

Bruno09

macrumors 68020
Aug 24, 2013
2,202
148
Far from here
What's the easiest way to be able to access the entire library on my iMac, via my MacBook Air?
The easiest way to do so is to have the iPhoto Library located on an external hard drive connected to the iMac.

Check the tick box "Ignore ownership on this volume" in the infos window (under "sharing and permissions"), add the external hard drive in your shared folders list in System Preferences / Sharing, and you are done.

You will be able to access the iPhoto Library from any account on the iMac, or from any account on the Macbook Air.

You can test this solution with a small new iPhoto Library.