Will technology ever catch up?

OSX: Sync your iPhoto library to your iPod

Posted by cascadehush on September 25, 2006

So Apple have trundled out another release of the idiosyncratic bloat-ware that is iTunes. Pardon me while I completely ignore it… oh, hang on…

You see I got the update by accident when I forgot to untick the relevant box on the Software Updates nag-bot. It would have all gone unnoticed, except that I wanted to delete the photos from my iPod to make way for some videos. There wasn’t much point wasting the space, the photo collection was a dis-organised mess of dupes.

You see, the only way to get photos onto the iPod was to point it to a directory full of photos. When I bought the iPod, silly me assumed that there would be integration with iPhoto. Nup, no-way. Idiotic Apple. So I pointed iTunes (version 6) to my iPhoto folder and it merrily went away, copying not just the proper images, but the thumbnails and the ‘undo’ copies as well. They were, after-all, image files underneath the folder I had pointed to.

Utterly useless.
(BTW, I will get to my point.)

But tonight, when I was looking, in iTunes 7, for the place to delete the photos, I found the sync photos with iPhoto page. Now I’m almost certain this feature was not there before. I went looking on Apple’s site, and on Google for some mention of this. I paged through the entire iPod + iTunes sub-site for a “what’s new” or some other mention of it. No mention at all. Not a one. Not even really any mention of storing photos on one’s iPod.

This, I think, is the only real interesting new feature for several versions. And now that my photos have finally copied across (it took about 3 hours to process and copy about 4000 5MP jpegs) I can say that it’s totally great. I can browse photos only by album, but who cares. It all syncs up, it works, no dupes. Fantastic!

(I bought this iPod specifically for storing photos, as an ‘in the field’ backup unit using the USB adapter and also to be a pocket photo album)

2 Responses to “OSX: Sync your iPhoto library to your iPod”

  1. ace said

    hey cascadehush,

    just now, I am thinking about buying a 80GB iPod also to use it as an external storage for my hole iPhoto library, so that I have all my photos permanently with me, my music too, and not wasting my internal harddrive for serveral GB of pics.
    Do you think this could work? Do you have direct access to your pics on your iPod or are they only synced by iTunes?



  2. I have tried storing my iPhoto library on my iPod and have a few very rough drafts of my experience which I will eventually post to my blog.

    It’s a fantastic idea, but in reality the iPod is just too slow when used as a storage device to make iPhoto usable. It’s not too bad for just browsing your library, but any time you make changes (add photos, edit comments…) it’s just too slow. Any external drive can be a bit slow, but using my 30G iPod was excruciating.

    There is no communication between iPhoto and the photo browsing feature on the iPod, iTunes has to re-package the photos so you can view them on the iPod. Basically this means that iTunes will read your iPhoto library from you iPod, and then store thumbnail copies in the special way it does so that the iPod can display them. Once you get it all set-up it works pretty well, except for the poor performance.

    Also, you can get an 80G external drive a lot cheeper than an 80G ipod. If you want an iPod, you could get a 80G external drive and a 30G iPod for about the same price.

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