Answers to General Questions or Problems asked frequently by users


Q: How can I keep my photos on two computers ?

All your photos are saved in your "iPhoto Library". This library is actually a large number of nested files and folders, although it looks like a single file.

Synchronize! Pro X will keep all the files and folders the same on two different computers, so that you can have your entire iPhoto library available to you on either computer with a minimum of fuss.

The steps below describe how to keep your photos on two computers. It is assumed that you are using iPhoto on Leopard (OS X 10.5) or Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6). There may be small differences in how this is done on other versions of OS X, but the ideas are the same.

Get all your iPhotos on one primary computer.

To get your iPhoto in sync, first get all your photos on one computer. There is no way to automatically merge two computers with different photos - if they are different, you'll need to export some of the photos from one computer and import them to the other.

  1. Connect to the second computer using File Sharing. If you've not done this before, you'll need to go to the second computer and check "File Sharing" on the "Sharing" pane of the System Preferences.
  2. Make sure the two computers are connected to the same network. You can't connect to a computer using File Sharing if they aren't on the same network. The two most common networks are wireless or wired Ethernet. Wired Ethernet (100 base T) is much faster.
  3. Once File Sharing is enabled, the second computer should appear in the left-hand column of every Finder window, in the "SHARED" section. If it doesn't show up, recheck your steps or consult with a friend who is familiar with File Sharing. Click the name of the second computer to show its disks.
  4. Click the "Connect As..." button. Enter your login name and password for the second computer.
  5. Click the name of the home folder on the second computer. You should see the contents of the home folder on the second computer.

Backup your iPhotos from your primary computer to the second computer

  1. Open Synchronize! Pro X on your primary computer. You do not need to open Synchronize! Pro X on the second computer.
  2. Use the File menu to choose New.
  3. Click Synchronization.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Click the icon labeled "Folder A".
  6. Find the iPhoto library in your Home folder. Your Home folder has an icon that looks like a little house. The iPhoto library will be inside the "Photos" folder. It will have the name "iPhoto Library".
  7. Click the icon labeled "Folder B".
  8. Find the iPhoto library on the shared disk from your second computer. To do this, click on the shared disk in the left-hand column of the window, then navigate to the "Users" folder, then your home folder (the home folder will *not* have an icon that looks like a little house, and it will have a name which matches your login name).
  9. This is important. Make sure that iPhoto is not running on either computer.
  10. Click the "Backup" button.
  11. Once the "Files To Copy" window appears, click the "Start" button. Let the backup run until it finishes..

After you've accomplished these steps, the photos are the same on both computers. You can verify this by opening iPhoto on the second computer. If you do this, remember to quit iPhoto before using Synchronize! Pro X to sync the iPhoto libraries.

Change the setup to a "Synchronization" and save it

Once you have the iPhoto the same on both computers, you should do this:

  1. Change the "Setup type" popup menu to "Synchronization".
  2. Check the "Re-open at startup" box.
  3. Save the setup, because you'll be using it over and over again.
  4. Use the File menu to choose "Save".
  5. Give the setup a name, like "Sync iPhoto". Save it to your Documents folder (you can put it anywhere else if you like).
  6. Run the sync one more time, even if you've not made any changes. This allows Synchronize! Pro X to know whether files are deleted from either folder.

Sync any time you change photos on one of the computers

It's important to realize that you *must* sync any time you add or change any photos on one computer. If you change some photos on both computers, you should repeat the steps for getting all your photos on one computer.

To summarize, you can use iPhoto on both computers any time you want. Once you make changes (adding, moving, renaming or deleting photos) on one computer, you *must* sync before making any changes on the other computer.

To sync the two computers, do this:

  1. Open Synchronize! Pro X. The setup for your sync should be opened automatically.
  2. Click the "Sync" button.
  3. When the "Files To Copy" window appears, click the "Start" button. If you prefer not to see the list of files to be copied, uncheck the "Show files to copy" box.
  4. When the sync is done, quit Synchronize! Pro X.
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