Lightroom Integration

One of the key features of PhotoPhile is the ability to link with Adobe Lightroom and exchange both photos and metadata changes. To set this up, you need to install a plugin for Lightroom which will add a new Publish service.

Install the Plugin


Add the plugin to Lightroom.

You can download the plugin directly from your iPad. Go to the Info tab and then, on your Mac or PC, enter the URL shown at the top of the Info tab. The plugin will download and you can then install it as usual. Extract the files from the archive and then install the plugin using Lightroom’s Plugin Manager.

Download and extract the plugin zip from your iPad.
Open Lightroom and then go to the Plugin Manager.
Click on the Add button at the bottom of the list of plugins.
Find and select the “.lrplugin” file that was in the downloaded archive.

Once you have done this, a new Publish Service will appear in Lightroom’s left-hand panel. Next we need to create a new published collection. This is all described in detail in Lightroom’s online manual. In brief:


Create a new Publish Service.

Right-click on the “iThing Publisher” Publish Service and select “Create Publish Service“. A configuration dialog will appear.
Enter a description for this service.
Make sure that PhotoPhile is running, and pick your iPad from the list of devices. If it does not appear, click “Scan” to refresh the list.
Set the File Settings and Image Sizing options as you wish.
Click Save to create the publish service.

Remember that an iPad, even the latest and most powerful ones, is a mobile device and has much less processing power than your desktop computer. While PhotoPhile will display large images, they do take a lot of processor power and storage space. It is recommended that you keep the image size in the “Image Sizing” box to a reasonable size for your needs.

Normally this is all that is required to get the service running. On a Windows PC, if you don’t have iTunes installed, it may be necessary to install an additional package called “Bonjour”. This is provided by Apple as a way of identifying devices on a network. If this is needed, the plugin will tell you so. It would usually be installed as part of iTunes for Windows so in many cases it will already be in place.

To install Bonjour, and only if the plugin says this is necessary:

DownloadBonjour Print Services for Windows” from Apple.
Install the package.
Retry the “Scan” button in the Publish Service setup dialog. Provided that Bonjour is running on your PC, and PhotoPhile is running on your iPad, it should appear in the list of devices.

Publish some Photos


Click on the Publish button when you have some photos ready to publish.

Now that the plugin is installed and configured, you will need to select some photos to publish. Again, this is a standard Lightroom feature and is covered in the Lightroom manuals in depth. If you created a Smart Published Collection then it may already have some photos present. If you created a normal Published Collection then add some photos to it manually. Either way, if you select this collection then near the top right of Lightroom’s grid you should see a “Publish” button. Make sure that PhotoPhile is running on your iPad and click Publish in Lightroom. The photos will be prepared and then sent to your iPad. Matching collections will be created automatically in PhotoPhile.

After publishing, all the photos you selected should have moved from the section in Lightroom called “New Photos to Publish” to one called “Published Photos”. This shows that all the changes are in place on your iPad.

Lightroom will track changes to your photos as you make them, and will mark photos as “Modified Photos to Re-publish” if you change any of the items that PhotoPhile is monitoring. Unfortunately it is not currently possible to monitor the “flag” status in this way because Lightroom does not allow this. After you have made some changes, you can push those changes to your iPad using the “Publish” button again.


Two changed photos listed under Modified Photos in Lightroom.

Pull changes from PhotoPhile

PhotoPhile works with changes exactly the same way that Lightroom does. It tracks changes to any of the metadata items that it can share and will mark changed photos with a red dot in the grid. The number of changed photos is also shown against the owning collection in the Collections tab. When you press “Publish” in Lightroom, all of these changes are sent back to Lightroom at the end of the process, and the changed photos are marked as “unchanged” again.

Match New Lightroom Photos

It is possible to make changes like this before the photos have been imported into Lightroom. This is helpful if you are using the iPad as a preview device either in the studio or when working remotely. You can make the changes you need directly on your iPad, for example marking photos as rejected or adding star ratings or captions, just as you normally would. Later, when you import the photos into Lightroom using the original memory cards, you would next add them to a collection that is published to your iPad. When PhotoPhile receives the photos it will match them against those that it already has and will send any metadata that has already changed back to Lightroom.

Normally when photos are published from Lightroom they are assigned a unique number which identifies them to both Lightroom and PhotoPhile, which makes them easy to link when they are next synchronised. For photos which have been added to Lightroom after they have been added to PhotoPhile, this is not possible. Instead, PhotoPhile will identify matched photos based on EXIF metadata. Most cameras will add enough information for photos to be uniquely identified but for some cameras it is possible that certain photos can not be uniquely matched. This is most likely to happen for older cameras where several photos were taken in the same second with the same settings. More modern cameras (specifically those that add any of the EXIF “subSecTime” fields) will not have this problem, nor will shots taken with bracketing of aperture, ISO or shutter speed. We strongly recommend that you test this feature out before using it on a long trip!

To test this out:

Set your camera to Continuous High-Speed Shooting.
Hold the shutter button on the camera for at least a second.
Transfer these photos to the iPad using any method available, such as an Eye-Fi card or an SD/CF card reader accessory.
Once the photos are catalogued in PhotoPhile, make some different metadata changes to each one.
Add the photos to Lightroom using any method available, typically by reading them from the memory card.
Add them to a Published Collection that is linked to your iPad.
Press “Publish” in Lightroom’s Grid. The metadata changes you made in PhotoPhile should now be visible in Lightroom.