Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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I have a MacBook Pro, while my wife has a PC. We have a NAS device on our network where we store all of our pictures. This gives us the ability to both view our photos from one simple location, without having to copy them back and forth to each others machines. It does, however, make it difficult when trying to find good photo editing software.

On the PC, my wife uses Picasa and it works great with this setup. The best part about it is the ability to "watch" folders for changes. If I upload new photos, she automatically gets them in her library, and vice versa. I've downloaded Picasa for the Mac, but found it very buggy. The organization isn't always 100% accurate, and sometimes the thumbnails don't match up properly with the photos themselves. Plus, performance has always been severely lacking when compared to the PC version.

Normally, I use Lightroom or Aperture for serious photo editing. However, it's nice to have something like Picasa for general photo viewing, or to make simple touchups or share photos to Flickr or Facebook. I've tried iPhoto on my Mac, but it lacks the "watched folders" feature, which is a real dealbreaker for me. Does anyone have any recommendations for good photo organization and editing software? Like Picasa but better executed on the Mac? What about Photoshop Elements? I've heard good things about it, but haven't found out if it has the watched folder feature. I've seen Adobe Bridge, but that doesn't give me the ability to make simple edits in the same program.

I'd really appreciate any recommendations you can give!

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possible duplicate of What system should I use for photo management and sharing over a LAN? –  Itai Mar 5 '12 at 2:03
    
I don't have a similar setup to test on as you, but there's a free trial of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 available here: adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/… . Looking at this forum post, it seems folder-watching is a feature of Elements, even if it doesn't work for some reason for this particular user: forums.adobe.com/message/4172768 –  Edd Mar 7 '12 at 14:55
    
This is funny. No votes up, 4 votes to close, and no answers. So a bounty was started. –  dpollitt Mar 7 '12 at 15:27
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2 Answers 2

Instead of hunting down perfect solution with bunch of different software

Why don't you:

  • Install Lightroom on both systems (call Adobe about PC/MAC user licensing, not exactly sure if they will let you use your license on different OS, download trial versions for each OS and use your serial number on both, see if that works, if not call and complain)
  • Create Lightroom catalog for all your images
  • Store that catalog somewhere on the NAS device
  • Then just load the catalog from each computer

And take some time and show your wife how to use Lightroom.

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To add: Sharing to Flicker, Facebook, Etc or just browsing the images is all possible with Lightroom. Also, check out the new version of Lightroom. Version 4, I've heard some great things about it. Although, I haven't tested it yet. –  Alen Mar 8 '12 at 5:06
    
I got Lightroom 4. Seems to be much faster and I like the new blacks/shadows/highlights/whites sliders. Seems like you have more control. –  Matt Giesbrecht Mar 8 '12 at 5:08
    
I've heard great things about it at the Flickr forum i regularly visit. However, this is from Adobe Forums on LR4 being very slow! –  Alen Mar 8 '12 at 5:17
    
@MattGiesbrecht I guess this is possible with LR4. –  Alen Mar 8 '12 at 5:48
    
Who knows if the dark image is original or not though... –  Matt Giesbrecht Mar 8 '12 at 5:50
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You can create a "watched" folder in OS X using Automator, Folder Actions or with an app like Hazel

There are examples on the Mac Automation blog. You can then set that to import to iPhoto or Aperture.

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