Wednesday, September 21, 2011

From snaps to TV - photo showings

I am an enthusiastic photographer. My photo library is now 100GB big and counting. Yet, when someone visits us I had to use my iMac or laptop to show the photos, and more importantly not every photo I take and import. Well, not anymore thanks for a combinations of technologies and products I have put together. And although I like Apple, I must say that Apple has done very poor job in making the user experience great when it comes to sharing selected pictures on a TV! Apple, take notice and make my experience better! Until then, I will use the system below.

Let's see what my workflow is. See the picture below.
Digital photo to TV flow
  1. I use my Nikon D7000 to take pictures
  2. Aperture running on my iMac imports the pictures to a project. I have folder structure: year/project name under Aperture.
  3. I export pictures I want to share to QNAP NAS
  4. Apple TV 2 running XBMC accesses the NAS via DLNA protocol and shows it on the TV

Let's look at the setup in little more detail:
I only want to show certain pictures. For this reason I use "Labels" in Aperture and tag any picture with a label "NAS". Select only those pictures that have the label and export them to NAS into a folder format: Year/project name. I scale the pictures on export to fit the TV screen, i.e. max resolution 1920x1080px and 100 pixels per inch.
QNAP NAS is running TwonkyMedia server and is configured to look into /Multimedia/Photos folder for pictures. It is then able offer the pictures to any DLNA compliant client. Sadly, Apple TV 2 is not DLNA anything! 
Hence I had to jail-break the Apple TV 2 to run XMBC. There are numerous guides how to jail break and it changes all the time, so I do not want to post the link here. Just Google it. 

So far, this system works fine. I only have photos that I want to share with our visitors via an interface that is easy to use. 
Contact me if you want to know more and get help with the setup.

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