Shared iPhoto/iTunes library between desktop and laptop

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by cowm007, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. cowm007 macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2005
    This seems to be a frequent question, but it seems that people are usually trying to share libraries between different users of the same computer. What I'm trying to do is improve my workflow as I travel frequently and waste a lot of time syncing my content.

    I have a Mac Pro desktop which is my main computer. However, lately I seem to travel at least once a week so I need to take my laptop out frequently. It's not exactly fun to have to copy over 50GB of photos/music every weekend to ensure that I have the latest data on it. I also run into trouble now and then when I add music or photos to one computer and I can't figure out which files are missing in which device. Song ratings and playlists are a pain for instance, since they don't transfer over unless you copy the whole iTunes library. But even then, I still need to modify the xml file since the music resides in different locations depending on the computer. iPhoto keywords are also tough.

    I've tried both just copying the whole folders overnight and using the same Library over my home network but they both have big disadvantages. First one takes too much time, and the second one means I won't have the files ready to access on my laptop when needed.

    The other idea I have is to use an external harddrive to house my music/photos. I can access these libraries both locally and over the home network so I can just leave it hooked up to the desktop for access and take it along with me while on trips. But I'm not exactly a fan of having an external drive attached permanently and I'll have to manage my music manually since iTunes has a lot of videos that would take up too much space.

    Can anyone suggest some sort of workflow where I can work on one set of libraries and have both of these synchronized on my desktop and laptop?
  2. thankins macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2007
    I am having the same issue, and spent the morning looking for a solution.

    I arrived at TuneRanger to sync the two computers iTunes lib, but still trying to find the best solution for the iPhoto lib. but haven't found anything. I was thinking maybe automator could accomplish this by copying the files over at night but would force the computers to be on at night.

    Any ideas?
  3. cowm007 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2005
    TuneRanger did the trick for iTunes. Finally a way to keep ratings/play counts and everything in sync. Thanks.

    As for iPhoto, the new packaged library format presents a problem for syncing. The best workaround I've managed is to just use the library on the desktop from the laptop via the network. This way any changes made to the library are consistent. Then, if I travel, I make a blank library on my laptop and work with that. When I come back home, I just merge the libraries with iPhoto Library Manager

    Unfortunately, if I need to access photos while on the road, I have to connect remotely to the desktop to take care of that. I try to copy my library overnight to the laptop when I travel but it's a hassle. Wish there was a better method.

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