iPad Albums Via Publish Services

By Gene McCullagh
July 29, 2010 | Comments: 2

In the previous article, Creating iPad Albums With Lightroom, I talked about using Matt Kloskowski's export presets to create albums for your iPad. This method is accessible by both Lightroom 2 and Lightroom 3 users. However, if you have moved on to Lightroom 3 you can take advantage of one of its great new features--Publish Services. (Thanks to John Beardsworth whose comment on the previous article motivated me to get this article out of draft sooner rather than later!)
A lot of the attention Publish Services has gotten revolves around the link between Lightroom and online services such as Flickr, Zenfolio, SmugMug, etc.. But the other side of this feature is the ability to create links between Lightroom and your drives. And it is this aspect we will exploit here.

Start in the Library module in the left panels. Go to the Publish Services section. There you will see a service entry for your hard drive. Press the Set Up... button to create a new service for your drive.

This will open the Lightroom Publishing Manager where you can set up the service to house your iPad Albums.

In the Publish Service section enter a description of your service. Then choose an export location. In this example I've used my home folder. Be particularly careful choosing this as you cannot change it once the service is created. Work your way through the dialog. The values here are from Matt's preset.

Now the Service has the description you gave it and shows the directory you chose. While you can put images in this directory to publish I usually use this as a reminder of where the images are. I prefer (and recommend) that you take advantage of folders and folder sets to organize the images into the different albums you want on your iPad. So click the + sign next to Publish services and in the section for your service choose Create Published Folder Set...

Give the folder set a name. In this case I've named it after the service--iPad Albums.

This will create our main folder into which we will place our albums. Click the + again and this time choose Create Published Folder...

Give each of your albums a name and make to select the set you created earlier. If you have images selected when you create the folder you can also check the Include selected photos box. Otherwise you can drag and drop images into your folders later.

Once you have your folders set up you can drag and drop images into the appropriate albums (i.e. folders). New images dropped into the folder will need to be published. click on the folder in the Publish Services section and press the Publish button.

Once the task is completed you will see that the images move from the New Photos to Publish section of the folder to the Published Photos section.

Why should we go through all of this trouble? Won't the first method work just as well? The real payoff is once the service and folders are set up then Lightroom will keep all our changes in sync. You can easily remove images from an album. And you can see from the service what state any of the images are in (to be published, modified and ready to publish, delete and ready to be removed, etc.) It's just another (and easy) way to manage your albums.

If you look at your drive you can see the correlation between the folder set and folders and the drive.

Now just point iTunes at the folder created by the folder set and everything works as in the previous article. Except now you have a better way to manage the contents of your albums.

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I'm new to publish services/collections but I'd come up with something similar myself.

Is there an advantage to using a Published Folder Set over setting the equivalent Export Location for the Publish Service?

Hi Lewis!

Publish Services can help manage the folders better and could result in less work on your part.

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