Is there any "easy" way of synchronizing my iPhoto library between, say, my iMac and my MacBook ?

My basic strategy is "modify only on the iMac, make a blind copy to the MacBook" but it's not really satisfying.

Using rsync is not really an option, since it won't synchronize the library definitions.


There is no "easy" solution currently available to keep two iPhoto libraries perfectly synchronized. Solutions like rsync and just recopying the library work OK if you only ever modify the library on one end, but like you said, don't work so well for changes from both sides.

This article at Macworld outlines one way to sync up changes between two iPhoto libraries, using iPhoto Library Manager. It's not a perfect solution, as it won't handle items like books, slideshows, or calendars, and won't reconcile metadata/editing changes to existing photos, but it can at least copy newly imported photos from one library to another while preserving their metadata.


iPhotoSync takes a different approach than just straight "sync". iPhotoSync is more suited to sharing photos among different people's iPhoto libraries. It finds photos in other iPhoto libraries that you don't already have and imports them, either manually or automatically. You can limit it to pulling photos from specific albums or by date.

This avoids possible corruption issues, and since it only ever adds photos it avoids scenarios like my wife deleting a photo from the library that I wanted :)

I just released a new beta at http://www.haystacksoftware.com/iphotosync/

  • Just grabbed this and will give it a try; I've got a MacBook Pro, my wife's got a MacBook, and there's an old iBook G4 in the basement acting as a media server, so it should give iPhotoSync a nice workout. Thanks! – chrish Aug 4 '10 at 12:35
  • Awesome! Please email me at support@haystacksoftware.com with your feedback/questions. Thanks! – Stefan Reitshamer Aug 6 '10 at 20:45

If you can make iPhoto store its data and images in a folder of your choice, you should be able to use a tool like Dropbox for this. You then just have to store the data/profile of iPhoto in a folder snyced bei Dropbox.

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