As more and more households and agencies use NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices as a central storage repository, it’s becoming increasingly frustrating that there is currently no affordable cross platform, multiple user photo sharing software.I’ve recently written a Workshop for Computer Active magazine (there’ll be a link here when it’s published on their site but it will be in the newsagents in the coming weeks) explaining how to share a photo library across multiple platforms and devices using Google’s free Picasa software. However, this method is not without its drawbacks. Namely, whilst the photos can be shared, only one person can edit them at any given time and ratings, meta data and comments added by users isn’t viewable on any machine other than the system they were entered on (the data is stored locally, rather than with the raw photos).
So, it’s far from perfect but does at least let different users view the same central set of images (which is quite enough for some). However, with the imminent release of Apple’s (by the way, I only just read they are now bigger than Microsoft – the iPod certainly did have some ‘Halo’ effect!) iLife 11, I can’t help keeping everything crossed they implement support for a truly shared photo library. This of course wouldn’t solve the PC/Mac/Linux compatibility issues but it would still be a bonus for existing iPhoto users with 20,000+ photos they’d like others in the house to view, without hogging their MacBook for hours at a time!