Monday, May 3, 2010

Photo albums on the iPad

One the advertised aspects of the iPad is how easy it is to view your photo albums. On Apple’s web site, they say, “Your photo albums appear as tidy little stacks you can pinch to preview.”

While viewing photos on the iPad is a natural and fluid experience, one thing that wasn’t obvious to me is how to get my photo albums on the iPad. If you use two of Apple’s products, iPhoto or Aperture, then when you sync your iPad via iTunes you have the option to select specific photo albums to transfer.

But what if you don’t use those two products? In my case, I have over 13,000 photos and I manage them with a competing product from Adobe called Lightroom. I’m not going to switch to using Aperture just because it has a convenient method for putting selective photo albums on the iPad. Surely there must be an answer. And, there is.

In iTunes, when you choose to sync photos to iPad, you have a third option, which is to sync photos from a specific folder. Now this might not seem as useful as what you get from syncing from iPhoto or Aperture where you can pick and choose albums, but it does have one additional nicety. Any subfolders created within this folder appear on iPad as albums!


So, in my case, I have a folder set aside called “iPad” and when I want to sync over several albums from Lightroom, simply create a different subfolder for each album within this “iPad” folder. These albums are then available to be selected for the built-in Picture Frame feature of the iPad’s lock screen. (You can choose the albums to be displayed in the Picture Frame via the Settings app on iPad.)

One important note: if you don’t create a subfolder and instead simply put the photos in the main sync folder, they don’t end up appearing in any album on the iPad after you sync. They just appear in “Saved Photos” along with all your screenshots and other miscellaneous images.

All content copyright © 2009  Brian Stormont, unless otherwise noted.   All rights reserved.