Merging iLife Libraries

The Problem:
One user on in a small business / family network can’t use (with metadata) all the media in a colleague’s or family member’s iTunes or iPhoto Library.

In our family there are three Macs (2 everyday machines and a server). On many work and personal tasks we function as a small workgroup. Unfortunately iTunes and iPhoto do not facilitate the sharing of media libraries (or for that matter the merging of media libraries). For instance, my wife had her own music and photo collection before we got married. Now if I want to browse that collection from my machine, there is iPhoto & iTunes sharing. But I can not add tags or other metadata to photos on her Mac. I can not create smart folders which we both can use.

For our music we moved my collection to the Server and made it like a “media center”. When we get new music we add it to the server. If we want a copy on our own machines we pull it as needed. i.e. for an iMove project. This solution has not allowed my wife to add her collection to the server, nor has it solved the manny duplicates which exist because we like many of the same songs. Now I have found a solution to this: PowerTunes.

Now the same problems exist for our photos. However, there is no real advantage (or software) for hosting the family photos on our sever. But we still need to define a photo capture strategy.

  • When we take new photos, to which computer are we going to download the photos?
  • Where will we have the master library?

I don’t have a complete solution to our photo capture, retention and access needs but iPhoto Library Manager is the only software out there that will let us maintain the metadata and merge our iPhoto Libraries. However, This is a fantastic first step strategy:

  • Consolidate the iPhoto Libraries.
  • Designate an computer to be the Master Library holder.
  • Share that iPhoto library across the network.
  • Back that computer up.

Running and using MySQL On OSX

The best tutorial for running MySQL on OS X is actually found on the MySQL website.

However, there is a really cool System Preference pane that turns on or off the MySQL server/service. This either only works in OSX 10.5 or in 32-bit mode on OSX 10.6.

I downloaded mysql-5.1.42-osx10.5-x86_64.dmg from and the included preference pane works on OSX 10.6.2. (Even though it says it is for OSX 10.5.)

I just installed it without uninstalling a previous version of MySQL. I was brought over to a New MBP from an older MBP running OSX 10.5 (via Apple Genius at the Apple store), which was running MySQL. So I don’t know if the older version is still there somewhere or if the /local/ folder was not brought over in the transfer.

It seems that I have avoided the issues mentioned here:

As far as editing the MySQL databases there used to be an app called CocoaMySQL. But as the link says the project has been abandoned. I heard it rumored on O’Reilley that it was because the app didn’t keep up with changes mad in MySQL past MySQL version 4.0. So CocoaMySQL can still be used on OSX 10.6 with a MySQL version 4 Database, but not with MySQL version 5.

However, there is an new app called Sequel Pro. It is available on Google Code and boast to work on OSX 10.5 with MySQL version 3-5. (I am about to test it on OS X 10.6, though the application was last updated in Dec. ’09, so it should work on 10.6.)

Of course there is always PhpMyAdmin.