PhotoSync For Windows Home Server – Beta1

Once again, I had an itch that only some software could solve – what I wanted didn’t exist, so I wrote it…

Since our new arrival, I’ve wanted an easy, reliable and automated¬†way to share photos with friends and family (and anyone else who wants to take a look at the cutest baby ever ūüôā ).

I could have just created a share on my home server and done it through IIS, but I really didn’t want to waste all the bandwidth on my cable modem, so I really needed an external server to host everything.¬† I usually use¬†Flickr for this, but with all the photos coming in, it was getting hard to upload them all manually.

Since I have started using Windows Home Server (WHS)¬†to store my home media and photos, I thought it would be really nice to have a way to automatically synchronize the photos on WHS “Photos” folder to my Flickr account.¬†Since WHS is still in beta, there is not a 3rd party application to do this – so I decided to write PhotoSync for WHS (probably also has something to do with my constant pursuit of learning cool new products and their SDKs).

 

Some general features & notes:

  • PhotoSync will monitor your WHS Photos folder (or any sub folder you select) and automatically upload the contents of that folder (and every sub folder) to your Flickr account.
  • Since you get to select the ‘base folder’ you can, for example, create a /Photos/Private and a /Photos/Public (or /Photos/Flickr)¬†folder in WHS and just point PhotoSync to the /Public folder – this makes sure your public photos go to Flicker and the private ones do not.
  • PhotoSync can be configured to automatically upload new photos on any scheduled basis (the minimum right now is every 15 minutes)
  • There is a WHS Console GUI Tab to configure everything, and check upload status information.

 

Installation:

  • Download the msi file (link below)
  • Follow the steps from the WHS help file to install an Add-In: (don’t worry, it looks like a lot of steps, but it is painless)
  • On a home computer, right-click the Windows¬†Home¬†Server task tray icon, and then click Shared Folders.
  • In Shared Folders, double-click the Software folder.
  • Double-click the Add-Ins folder.
  • Copy the .msi file to the Add-ins folder.
  • Close the Add-ins folder.
  • Right-click the Windows¬†Home¬†Server task tray icon, and then click Windows Home Server Console.
  • Type the Windows¬†Home¬†Server password, and then click Next.
  • Click Settings on the console.
  • On Windows¬†Home¬†Server Settings, click Add-ins.
  • Click the Available tab.
  • Click Install to install the Add-in.
  • Click OK on the Installation succeeded dialog box to restart the console.
  • Reconnect to the console. If your new Add-in includes a console tab, the new tab now appears on the console.
    • Once you have PhotoSync installed, you can go to the WHS Console Tab to configure it
    • The first time you run PhotoSync, you will need to configure it to “link” to your existing Flickr account:
      • You will be prompted with a brief instruction screen, read and hit continue
      • PhotoSync will launch the web browser to the Flickr Login screen, login as normal
      • You will be asked if it is ok to Link WHSApps PhotoSync to your account you need to verify this, and give it write permissions
      • Once you’ve done this Flickr will tell you it is Linked, and prompt you to close your browser.
      • Once you close the browser, you will see a button in PhotoSync that says “I have completed linking Flickr“, click it and you will see a message telling you it linked ok and is ready to go.
      • Note: Due to the strict security on IE7/Windows 2003 server, you may see a few alerts during the web browser step.¬† This is normal, just read them and respond accordingly

    Using PhotoSync:

    • Right now there are only two configurable options in PhotoSync (don’t worry, I’m already working on additional features!)
      • PhotoSync folder – this is the root folder PhotoSync will upload photos from.¬† It will include all sub-folders too
      • Sync Schedule – this allows you to configure how often PhotoSync will check for and upload new photos. If you enter anything here under 15 minutes, it will default to 15 minutes.
    • There is also some status information that tells how many photos total are in sync, last sync time, and how many photos were uploaded in the last sync.
    • That’s all there is too it – nice, simple, and reliable.¬† Simply copy your photos to your configured WHS folder, and PhotoSync does the rest!

     

    As I mentioned, I have several additional features planned for the app, but please share any suggestions or comments you have in the comments here, or send me a message.  I hope you enjoy PhotoSync!

    (Note: All the normal beta disclaimers apply here.  It seems stable and works great for me, but it could catch your PC on fire, or make your dog bark all night :-).  If you find any problems, please let me know)

    Download PhotoSync for WHS here (1.5 MB)