[This post is part of our ongoing series introducing Photosmith 2.0]

The original version of the plugin allowed a few options, but our users wanted more. More control, more flexibility, and better integration into their workflow. Photosmith, is, after all, designed for workflow enhancement, so it’s certainly reasonable to ask for more.

The other highly requested item was the ability to sync your existing Lightroom photos into the the app. We’ve gotten a lot of email from people (some angrier than others…) that they expected this in 1.0, so I wanted to give a brief history of why v1.x only has one way sync. When we initially set out to make the app, we were just looking for a tool to use in the field – to take pics with our camera, load and rate on the iPad, and then sync with LR when we got home. It simply wasn’t in our sights to send pictures TO the app. We had ~80 beta testers in v1.0. No one even requested it, so we didn’t give it much thought.  And then we launched 1.0, and many people bought the app – many times without reading the app description, and so were dissapointed. Just because we didn’t have a need doesn’t mean that others don’t, and boy did they let us know. Unfortunately, to make that happen required a large re-write of some existing code, so we had to wait until we were ready to tackle that.

And v2.0 was our opportunity.

Publish Services

Publish Services were introduced with Lightoom version 3.0. I’ll admit, that as a Lightroom user and casual photographer, that I looked at them, but really didn’t give them much thought. For those like me, the one sentence overview would be: Publish services allows you to configure a destination for your photos (for example, Flickr, Facebook, etc), and once that destination is configured, you can publish whatever photos you associate with that publish service. Once a picture is published, it’s tracked so you don’t have to worry about duplicates, merging, etc.

And the more I thought about this, I realized that this was perfect for Photosmith. Except that we don’t want to be limited to just pushing from Lightroom – we want to go both ways, in a full, two-way sync.

And so that’s what we did – Photosmith’s Lightroom plugin v2.0 is now based on Published Services.

Publish Services is able to integrate the sync process into Lightroom, rather than being a simple popup as it is in v1.x. Essentially, any folder you create in the Photosmith publish service is just another collection. Add the photos you want to sync to that collection and the plugin does the rest. If you add photos to that collection on the app, then they’ll be synced back into Lightroom.  Once Publish Services has been setup and “paired” with your iPad, there’s nothing left to do except hit Sync when you’re ready.

Export…

What’s that? You don’t want to use Publish Services and just want to send over a few images to Photosmith? We took care of that too!  Just like you can Export To Hard Drive, you can now Export To Photosmith. Select your iPad from the dropdown, set your options (JPG full resolution, JPG full screen, RAW, etc.), and just hit Export. The plugin will convert your images (if needed), and send them to Photosmith on the iPad via WiFi. As they are sent, they’ll show up automatically within Photosmith. Of course, your iPad has be connected to the same WiFi network and Photosmith running; sorry – them’s the rules.

Quick, easy, and (yes, I’ll admit…) pretty darn convenient. In fact, it’s much nicer than I ever expected it to be. I don’t bother using iTunes to get my images loaded anymore.

As an added bonus, you can save the Export session as a User Preset, saving your iPad and image settings. When you’re ready to export again, just right click on your images (or select File->Export) and select “Export to Photosmith”, and it’ll do the rest. Literally, three clicks to load your Lightroom images on your iPad.

If you export the same image again, then not to worry. Images are tracked between the two, so that you won’t have duplicates. In fact, if you export the same image again, any metadata/keywording changes you’ve made will be kept in sync in both places.

Sync Options

Everyone like options, and it seems that pro photographers especially love their options. So we adding a bunch of them in as part of the sync process.

You can now select metadata presets or develop presets that get set upon import. You can even decide the order in which things get applied (preset first, and then your new data, or other combinations).

The new plugin represents a lot of new work, built on the logic of version 1.0 of the plugin. It’s much more integrated and makes for a much smoother workflow. We sure you’ll be simply delighted!

Posted in: Current Progress | 15 Comments

15 Responses to “Meet v2.0: All new Lightroom plugin”

  1. Steve says:

    Can not wait!!!

  2. That looks great!! I bought Photosmith but haven’t ended up using it because I upload straight into LR. Now I’ll be able to send chunks of my catalog to Photosmith and sit on the sofa to edit them!

  3. CK says:

    Hi I’m in the same boat as Victoria. Bought it but will only use it once it can dual sync.
    In this regard I would really appreciate a small guide on how this would work best;
    What Victoria and I will be doing is syncing a batch of pictures and once tagged via photosmith and synced back, we will want to move onto the next batch.
    Will the pictures be deleted from photosmith when they are removed in lightroom from the published folder? If so then that will be the way to go I assume.
    Thanks

    • Chris Horne says:

      CK-

      Yes, we will be creating several user guides and plan to create several videos showing how to do the types of things you’re talking about.

      Do note that we support sending over just a jpg of your original images to the iPad, yet syncing the full metadata back and forth. This really expands the usefulness / size of the iPad when you don’t have to store raw files on the device….

      Please see my response to DrHogie below on the delete issue.

      -chris

  4. DrHogie says:

    I’ll echo Victoria and CK’s comments somewhat:

    My biggest hangup for Photosmith right now is I’ll dump the pictures from my cameras to my iPad, then sync them over via the plugin — but then have to manually delete them from the iPad. The way I envision my workflow is for the iPad/PSmith to be the middle man: where I can dump my pictures, process them, and then dump them into LR and be wiped from the iPad. Two-way sync would mean I can dump chunks from LR into PS and work on them from the couch (like Victoria said) which would be incredible.

    I remember reading in the past that you couldn’t get access to delete the pictures from Photos.app — has that changed?

    • Chris Horne says:

      Dr Hogie-

      No- that has not changed. Apple still won’t allow any app delete photos that exist on the iPad. We have one or two ways to help out in that area, but our hands are still tied.

      The best I can suggest is to use Apple’s Feedback page: http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipad.html and request the ability to delete Photos App images from within other apps. Apple listens to numbers, so if enough people complain, they’ll make it possible.

      -chris

      • Christian Kurmann says:

        Hi Chris,

        Thanks for the frank replies. I’ve logged an issue with apple for all the good it will do. For now I have another thought though;
        Could we not use Photostream via publishing service? I believe pictures fall of the back of the 1000pics list when new ones are added to the photostream. This would do the trick of deleting. The issue that remains is how PS (Thanks Dr Hogie) will recognise the pictures and relate these to the ones in lightroom. This sounds awfully close to “workaround” but work it might.
        If this idea has already been discussed in your forum please just let me know and forget this comment.

        Thanks CK

        • Chris Horne says:

          We considered that. There’s several problems, though – namely in the tracking of images. When we push things through Photostream, it’s really hard (impossible) for us to reliably track which images are where. Thinking about it, it may be possible for us to embed some metadata into the jpg before pushing to Photostream, and then retrieve that again within the app, but I’d really have to do some exploring before committing to that.

          The other issue is just bandwidth and iCloud itself; not everyone likes to use a service where they depend on someone else. I’m also not sure if we can push directly from a Publish Service to Photostream on a Windows machine (but I could be wrong).

          What you’re proposing is certainly a possibility – we’d just need to explore it further.

          • Christian Kurmann says:

            Final comment on this, and I understand that you may not be able to answer due to apple confidentials;
            I believe iOS5.1 will allow deleting of single pictures in the stream as well as pictures outside the stream. (I have not double checked this though and due not know fi only manual deletes now work)

      • Ben says:

        What about storing the jpeg sync’d LR > Photosmith within Photosmith’s own storage space so you can maintain full control? I know there are limitations on how much memory apps can use but what about storage space? Is there a reason the Photos.app has to be used during LR > Photosmith sync?

        • Chris Horne says:

          We’ve gone around and around on that design decision. I don’t want to say too much because while I have some big ideas for > 2.0, I don’t want to spill the beans before then.

          In short, there are some distinct advantages of using the Photos app:
          1) Once your photos are sent over, they’re there. Even if Photosmith crashed and burned, you could still get to them. I’d love to say we never crashed, but we’re still seeing the occasional problem on iPad 1′s.
          2) You can use those photos in other applications. We realize there’s a world outside of Photosmith :)
          3) It fits very well within the existing processing engine we have. We can certainly reference from multiple sources, but to update all the code for that will add another month of development time.

          The advantage, like you said, is complete control. Right now, we’re just not willing to add another month to release of 2.0 for the ability to be able to delete locally. That may change in the future, but we have bigger fish to fry at the moment.

          • Ben says:

            Makes sense. Regarding the point about having access to the photos from other applications you could have an feature in Photosmith to dump selected photos out to the photo app so they’re accessible elsewhere. I’m sure you’ve thought of that already though. Anyway minor point at this stage, glad to see your thinking about it and I’m sure you’ll come up with a great way to implement it later. Thanks for entertaining my question.

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  6. Lewis Craik says:

    This update looks great guys, can’t wait for it to go live!

    FWIW I have mentioned the deleting images issue to Apple on the feedback form.

  7. Jamie says:

    Hey,

    I would just like to say that you guys have done some amazing work, in fairness I was one of those that didn’t fully read the app description but I suffered in silence :P

    I am heavily looking forward to the release as I am just about to start scanning millions of old family photographs onto my PC and would love to export small JPEGs of them to the iPad so I can edit the metadata in my own time whereever I am rather than the mundain task of having to sit down and edit them all at the PC.

    As some of them I dont know who they are and can’t take the PC round to parents, grandparents, etc. But I will be able to with Photosmith and go through a few at a time and let them explain keywords to me of who they are, etc :D

    Looking forward to it and keep up the good work!