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Sync Bridge photo collections to iPod?

Jul 13, 2013 1:37 PM

Tags: #bridge #mac #scripting #applescript #ipod #collections #ipod_touch #ipod_syncing #photo_syncing #hard_links

I have hunted across the web and haven't even found a page that discusses the question, let alone answers it:


Is it possible to sync Adobe Bridge photo collections to an iPod?


I suspect the answer is no (or at least, not directly).


Ideally, what I would like to do is "sync selected collections" to my iPod, including both ordinary collections and smart collections.


Since I suspect there is no way set up within iTunes or iOS to sync from Bridge's collections, I am looking for workarounds that will allow me to do this.


I've poked around and found that the collections are really just XML documents containing a list of file names (including the full path for each file), and the smart collections are XML lists of criteria.


I have monkeyed around with aliases and symbolic links coupled with iTunes' "sync photos from folder..." dialogue, and it appears that aliases (aka shortcuts) will not work, and neither will symbolic links, but hard links will.


What's needed, then (and I believe this is the only way to accomplish my objective without doubling the hard disk space taken up) is a script/droplet/workflow/whatever that will take the collections from Bridge and create hardlinks for all photos from all collections, in a new directory (with the descriptive title "iPod syncing photos folder with hardlinks of collections' photos"—or maybe something shorter, heh heh.)


I would then have one main directory ("iPod photos") containing subdirectories with names corresponding to my Bridge collections, each subdirectory containing hard links to every photo in its namesake Bridge collection.  Of course the script would have to be rerun before any iPod sync, since any changes to the contents of the collections (or the smart collections) would otherwise not be reflected in the iPod Photos directory.  But it could conceivably work very nicely.


Can anyone scripting savvy point me in the direction of how I might accomplish this?

  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 13, 2013 1:58 PM   in reply to MWildcard

    Can anyone scripting savvy point me in the direction of how I might accomplish this?


    That might be possible but why take such a hard way? You can set iTunes to only sync certain folders when your iPod is connected and you can select all images in the collection and run the Image processor to make small sized files.


    Just select files in the collection, go to menu tools / photoshop / image processor. Set everything you like it to be and choose a particular folder.



    Let it run and you end up with good quality small files that won't hurt your disk space (and your iPod) while still having great quality on that iPod screen.


    The moment you add new files to a collection they are already selected so no big job to run the image processor again I would think?

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  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2013 4:17 AM   in reply to MWildcard

    Thanks for the suggestion.  I gave it a try and there are some major problems with it for my intended workflow:  (listed in order of severity)


    So many users so many workflows, I was just thinking out loud


    1. It opens each photo individually in Photoshop.  Yes, it only opens them for a second—but try running this on 4000 photos.  (I don't have 4000; I have about 12000.  I want roughly a third of them on my iPod.)




    Actions are very useful but sometimes take its time. Personally I always use custom created actions in PS instead of the image processor or if you still have Bridge CS6 the Export panel (which does not start PS but let Bridge handle this job). However 10 or 1000 or even 12 K of images, let it run once overnight and you will be done without needing to look at it


    2. This would have to be run manually, individually for each Bridge collection.


    There you have a point I have no solution for. In a normal folder structure with the originals you could select the main folder, use menu view and select view items from subfolders and you could use one action to run on the whole content. But collections don't work that way and need to be selected one by one.



    3. This would have to be run manually by collection each time I want to sync my iPod, in order to include any newly tagged or collected photos.




    Yes, but that would be a minor effort because when adding new files to a collection you have those files already selected and can run any action on them.

    4. When emailing or sharing photos from the iPod, full resolution images would no longer be available.


    I'm not sure I follow this but I don't know what a full resolution file on your system would mean. I have used a lot of different dSLR since 2001 and currently use an 18 MP dSLR and there is no way I can email those HR files. For me the usual limit per email attachment is 10 MB and my HR files saved in Jpeg Max are around 15 to 20 MB each. My HR archive form the past 10 years contains 65 K of images and needs 500 GB of storage…



    5. I have over 17 GB of photos.  With the large number that are in collections, even medium res copies will take up a large amount of space.  (Hard links will take almost none.)




    First of all, using an action in PS you can also create Safe for Web files that with some study can create fabulous quality just for screen while taking less then 80 KB of file size. Also other options like resizing to 10 x 15 cm 300 ppi jpeg 8 creates relatively small files that depending on content rarely will be above 1 MB each.


    Also I don't rely on collections for archiving purposes because over the years they have proofed to be very unreliable. A collection has its use for me but only on the short term usage and as feed for Mini Bridge in PS.


    I use a real Digital Asset Management application for my archive (in my case Canto Cumulus single user, not very cheap but very good).


    And I'm not sure how a hard link on your iPod would manage you to distribute HR files using your iPod while the files are on your computer but I also have to admit that I still have a lot to learn in the digital world


    I think the key lies in Bridge scripting, at least for the "get collections items" part.  If I can pipe that into a standard AppleScript, Automator Workflow, bash script or whatever, I believe I can manage the rest (creating links, etc. Any tips on Bridge scripting usage for exporting collection items?




    There is a dedicated bridge Scripting Forum with very knowledgable and helpful people, try this:


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