"Automatic wireless Lightroom syncing of 27,000 images to iPad2" Sun 13-May-12 11:45 PM by PAStime
I have found an automatic and wireless method for synchronizing my family collection (on a Windows 7 machine) of some 27,000 images onto my 16 GB iPad2. With this setup, if I make an adjustment to an image in Lightroom 4 (e.g., decrease exposure slightly), the change is automatically synchronized via WiFi wireless onto my iPad2 via essentially a few clicks.
I thought I'd share this with you in case it might be of interest and for any suggestions for improvement. BTW, the setup of this requires what I would call intermediate to advanced IT skills.
1. Set up Smart Collections in Lightroom. I have one for every year of the past 11 or so years and the smart collection rules are a) any image in a path that begins with "2012" (as an example) and b) image must be of .JPG type. (My flow in post of processing NEFs concludes with an export of JPGs to the same folder as the NEFs. I don't export boring test pictures etc.).
3. Install Photo Manager Pro on your iPad and set up and start the ftp sync server.
4. Install SyncBackSE on your Windows machine and configure it to automatically sync via ftp image updates based on file changes.
It takes a bit of effort to get it all set up but once done it works like a charm. As I make tweaks and add images in Lightroom, all of the changes are automatically collected by the Smart Collection. I then Publish them in Lightroom and then update the iPad2 with SyncBackSE. SyncBackSE examines the iPad2 (via wireless ftp) to decide what changed and new files need to be uploaded.
I am able to get 27,000 images onto a 16 GB iPad2 with plenty of room to spare because I have Collection Publisher configured to downsize images to the native resolution of my iPad2 (not a byte more is transferred than necessary). Image quality is excellent.
Photo Manager Pro is a significant improvement over the feature-less and lethargic iPad Photo manager.
One really important consideration: SyncBackSE is set by default to perform "safe" file copies (via ftp). Disable this as it doesn't work with Photo Manager Pro. Safe copies are when SyncBackSE copies the file over with some temporary name (e.g., SBSE_7688.89J and then renames it to 12345.JPG if the copying is considered to have completed correctly. The problem is that Photo Manager Pro's ftp server does not permit the deposition of files other than .JPG. The fix is easy: in SyncBackSE disable safe copying.