The personal blog of Sven Seebeck

Using Smart Folders to Sync Images with Aperture

In the beginning of the week I posted a blog about my second impressions of using Apple’s Aperture and one of the things I like about it is the integration with the OS. This for example makes it a lot easier to get certain image, or a set of images out of the app or for example synchronized with the iPhone/iPad. As I like to use my phone also as a portable portfolio I like to have the control which images are synchronized with the device. I used to export my picks to a certain folder and then point to that folder in the iTunes sync settings. It’s not entirely comfortable, but of course it works. One disadvantage of this approach is, that once I decide to make some more edits and adjustments to one of these images I will have to update the exported version also. In iTunes though I can also choose to access the Aperture library and it’s folder structure with all it’s projects. As iTunes accesses the library directly I don’t have to worry about my recently (or again) edited images and got me thinking how I could take advantage of this…

There are many ways how to organize which images are supposed to be synced with the iDevice, folders, ratings or the whole library. Organizing images into certain folders or projects seemed to be cumbersome as I would need to move the images manually into the specific folder. My next thought was setting up a Smart Folders to a specific rating and sync that one. That didn’t suit my needs so well either as I often have different versions of the same image with the same rating and I don’t want to have the same image twice on my iDevice. Also I might not want to have ALL of my 5-star rated images on the device.

The solution, which worked for me the best was, setting up a Smart Folder set to a specific color label as these are pretty unused.. For example I label my picks for my Black&White images with a blue label and the color images with a red one. To get them synced to whatever iDevice I simply have to point to that Smart Folder in the iTunes sync settings.

This way I can easily control which images to sync and the images are easily labeled with a simple shortcut (red would be for example cmd+1) This way I don’t have to export anything and I can easily control the images and the folder/project structure is untouched and all images stay where they were supposed to be. So far this workflow works like a charm and feels natural to me. If you have ideas or suggestions feel free to let me know in the comments.