Update 30/12/2014: I thought I’d add a summary of key points most people would need regarding iPhoto Shared Libraries, and the future of iPhoto.
- If you’ve installed Mavericks (Mac OS 10.9), or later, then you have to update to iPhoto ’11 version 9.5. Versions prior to iPhoto 9.5 won’t work in Mavericks. If you’ve updated to Yosemite (Mac OS 10.10), then you’ll need to update to iPhoto ’11 version 9.6.
- iPhoto 9.5 does away with the “Share my Photos” and “Look for Shared Photos” features. You can, however, “choose photos to share with an Apple TV”, via iTunes, But, you won’t be able to share your iPhoto Library with other computers, or look for other computers’ shared iPhoto libraries on your home network.
- If you really want to continue sharing your iPhoto library with other computers then both you, and any other users wishing to access the shared library, will need to stick with Mountain Lion / iPhoto 11 version 9.4, or below.
- As sharing iPhoto libraries is no longer a feature in Mavericks and Yosemite, if you’re looking to share photos between Macs, or multiple users, iCloud Photo Sharing (LINK) is the easiest solution, as long as you can overlook concerns over privacy, and you have easy / frequent access to the internet.
- iCloud Photo Sharing requires Mavericks (Mac OS 10.9) or later, iOS 7, and iPhoto ’11 version 9.5 or Aperture 3.5. So, both you, and anyone you’re wishing to share with, will need to meet these minimum requirements.
- Thankfully, Apple have put together a page detailing both recommended, and minimum system requirements for iCloud. Very helpful!
- When someone shares a photo with you via iCloud Photo Sharing, the photo is optimised for the device you’re viewing it on. So, if you view a shared Photo Stream on a pre-Retina iPhone, for example, the resolution of those shared photos may be reduced. Just something to bear in mind if you intend printing your photos.
- iPhoto, and Aperture are soon to be succeeded by the new Photos for Mac app. The overall plan is, you’ll have all of your photos and videos stored in on place: your iCloud Photo Library (currently in beta), and you’ll access that library via the Photos app for iOS, and the soon to be released Photos for Mac. More info here.
Update over and out.
Since the iPhoto 9.5 update, the “Share my photos” feature is no more. It provided a convenient way to view shared iPhoto libraries hosted on other Macs, and move large numbers of photos, between Macs on the same network. The shared library was also accessible from an Apple TV.
In versions prior to 9.5, going to the iPhoto menu->Preferences->Sharing offered the following options..:
With the ‘Share my photos’ option enabled, others running iPhoto (again, pre 9.5) on the same network would have access to the library. The shared library would show up within another Mac’s iPhoto like this:
And, since iCloud came along, there was also the options for Photo Stream:
..which provides a method for getting images to and from all your devices and libraries. This required you had each of your devices set up to use the same iCloud account.
On iOS devices, Apple provided no means for browsing these shared iPhoto libraries. I’ve heard this could be accomplished by installing Plex Media Server on the Mac hosting the shared library, and by using its companion app, Plex Mobile for iOS on an iOS device. Of course, you could always sync your iOS device via iTunes, and have select iPhoto Albums, or the entire library, copied to your iDevice, but on mobile devices we’d ideally want to avoid having to carry around everything. Anyway, that’s how it could be / used to be done. Moving on…
Enter iPhoto 9.5: Goodbye shared iPhoto libraries. Hello to ‘iCloud Photo Sharing’.
Bitterness aside for Apple removing the shared library feature without a word, we now have iCloud Photo Sharing. So if we are to move on, we have to ‘think different’, as they used to say at Apple, and embrace it.
Update 4/6/2014:. I have to add a note here, just to simplify the matter. If you can put aside concerns for privacy, and embrace the cloud…:
Any photos that are precious to you, or that you would like to move to another device, just select them, hit the Share button and make a New Photo Stream. You’re creating a Shared Photo Stream. Just share them with yourself, by entering your own iCloud Apple ID. Add more email addresses if you like, but that’s optional. They’ll go up to the cloud and stay there indefinitely (or until you delete them). No need to worry about backups. You’ll then be able to access the Shared Photo Stream on all your other devices.
You can create a maximum of 100 Shared Photo Streams, which can each contain a maximum of 5000 photos. That’s a lot of photos. And anyone who has photos you want to get your hands on, get them to create, and share a Photo Stream with you.
Import the photos into your ‘master photo library’ at your leisure.
Update 2/6/2014. On the 2nd June 2014, Apple held a developers conference, and announced some changes in the pipeline when iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite are released later this year. Enter the new Photos app, which will be making its way from iOS over to Mac OS, and iCloud Photo Library.
Every photo and video you take now lives in iCloud….at full resolution in their original formats, including RAW files.
We’ll get 5GB free storage, further storage plans start at $0.99 per month for 20GB. I’m not sure if this will affect Shared Photo Streams, and the free space that goes along with that, but the new iCloud iPhoto library will ensure images are kept at their full resolution. (As I understand it, if an image is shared with, and downloaded to, a device such as an iPhone, the resulting image is optimised, or reduced in resolution, for that device….).
Update over and out.
I work to the scenario of a typical family home, where there’s a desktop iMac that everyone uses and, on that Mac, everyone has their own User Account. Dad, within his User Account on this iMac, has a large iTunes library, and collates family photos into a ‘master’ iPhoto library, also within his User Account. That library used to be shared so all family members could access it. But now that he’s updated to Mavericks and iPhoto 9.5, with ‘Share my library’ gone, what is he to do?
Each member of the family has their own Apple ID and iCloud account, which is a suitable arrangement, as the kids are all in their teens.
But, since iPhoto 9.5, Dad needs to revise the following:
- a convenient means for other family members to get their photos into his master library
- a way to share select Albums, or Photo Streams, to the Apple TV
- with the 1000’s of photos taken on his fancy camera, sort the good photos from the bad on his laptop, and copy over large numbers of images to the ‘master’ iPhoto library.
Having a look at the Preferences in iPhoto 9.5, Sharing and Photo Stream has been replaced with a single iCloud panel:
Note: On a ‘master’ iPhoto library, it might be best to leave that My Photo Stream option left un-ticked because, if the library is being shared around the home, it ensures that those lesser photos taken on your other devices are not automatically added and shared, and the carefully maintained library remains just that. Photo Sharing, however, is a ‘curated’ stream of images.
1) Getting other family members’ photos into the ‘master’ iPhoto library.
Dad creates a new Shared Photo Stream for each family member. Once the family member has Subscribed to the Photo Stream, they can then selectively add their photos to the stream, which will be automatically downloaded to Dad’s ‘master’ iPhoto library.
2) Sharing an iPhoto Library with an Apple TV
There are three sources for getting photos to the Apple TV. Two of those sources are via an iCloud account: ‘My Photo Stream’, and iCloud ‘Photo Sharing’. The other source is an iPhoto library (not stored in iCloud, in other words), shared using Apple’s Home Sharing, which is activated via iTunes using an Apple ID.
Sharing an iPhoto Library, with an Apple TV, only, is done through iTunes. It doesn’t require iPhoto to be running, only iTunes. First you’ll need to ensure Home Sharing is enabled and you’re using the same Apple ID in both iTunes and the Apple TV’s Home Sharing settings. On the Mac hosting the ‘master’ iPhoto library, you can enable both Home Sharing and “Choose Photos to Share with Apple TV” in iTunes from the File menu->Home Sharing.
And you’re not required to use iPhoto in order to share images with an Apple TV, a folder of images will do.
On the Apple TV, Home Sharing is set within Settings->Computers.
Note that, the Apple IDs you use for Home Sharing, iTunes Store purchases, and iCloud, on any given device, can be different. I mention this because this flexibility can be used to your advantage in a home environment. Yes, it gets confusing. Apple IDs are used for purchases and, other services, such as iCloud and Home Sharing, have to be activated, and ‘bolted on’ to an Apple ID. Here’s an article on the matter that might help explain things. But, in short, you might want to use the same Apple ID for Home Sharing on all your family’s devices. But they’ll probably each want their own Apple ID for iCloud. This is all a subject within itself, and best saved for a forthcoming article…
You can enable / disable both ‘My Photo Stream’ and ‘Photo Sharing’ on an Apple TV by going to Settings->iCloud->iCloud Photo Settings.
3) Copying large numbers of iPhoto images between two computers.
As an alternative to using Photo Stream to share large numbers of photos between computers, which could be a bit of a strain on your internet bandwidth (but, judging by Apple’s My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing limits, this is entirely doable, and won’t count against your iCloud storage space.), the best idea that comes to mind is as follows (remember, the scenario is that Dad, has a laptop which he uses to sort his 1000’s of images that he’s taken whilst on holiday, before copying the good ones over to his ‘master’ iPhoto library).
On his laptop, he sorts the best photos within iPhoto, organises them into an Album, selects the Album, and chooses File->Export. He exports them to a folder on his Desktop.
Now, on the iMac that’s used by the family, he needs to enable File Sharing in order to connect to it, from his laptop, over the home network. And, he enables Screen Sharing, too, just for convenience… To enable File Sharing and Screen Sharing, go to the Apple Menu->System Preferences->Sharing.
On the left hand side, select, and tick the box where it says File Sharing, and make a note of your “Computer Name” and “computer-name.local” on the right. Then, select Screen Sharing on the left, and tick the box. The default settings should do fine here (as long as Dad’s iMac User Account is an Administrator account).
Now, on Dad’s Macbook, in Finder’s Menu Bar at the top, he goes to the Go menu->Connect to Server, types in the “computer-name.local” of the iMac, clicks connect, and types in his username and password for his iMac User Account. Once connected, he navigates his way into his iMac Home Directory, then drags the folder of images from his Macbook Desktop over to his iMac Desktop folder.
Once they’ve copied over, he can now use Screen Sharing from his Macbook to control the iMac screen (assuming nobody else is currently using it!) to import those photos into iPhoto. In order to use Screen Sharing, and make it easy to access for future use, I recommend putting the Screen Sharing app in the Dock. To do this:
In Finder , go to the Go menu->Computer, and navigate to Macintosh HD->System->Library->Core Services and locate Screen Sharing. Drag Screen Sharing into your Dock.
In order to control the screen of the iMac from his Macbook, Dad clicks on Screen Sharing in the Dock, types in the ‘computer-name.local’, and types in his iMac username and password. He can now control the iMac screen, launch iPhoto, and File->Import to Library to import those photos from the iMac’s Desktop.
Embracing the future, and in order for all our devices to be ‘reading from the same page’, meaning having the ability to utilise iCloud Photo Sharing, all your devices will need to be updated to either Mavericks, iOS 7, and of course, iPhoto 9.5. Do check out Apple’s articles on iCloud: My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing limits and iCloud: iCloud Photo Sharing FAQ.