How can I take photos on one mac with photobooth and display them instantly on another mac as a slideshow?
September 3, 2008 7:21 PM   Subscribe

How can I take photos on one mac with photobooth and display them instantly on another mac as a slideshow?

I need to take photos on one mac using photobooth and display them on another mac as a slideshow. Any help??

I would like the slideshow to be updated instantly as new photos are taken. I am connecting the computers with an ethernet cable. I have had luck with using the apple photo screensaver and choosing the shared Photo Album folder to do this but it does not update the photo until the screensaver is restarted. Does anyone know another method or program to use so that it will know automatically when a new photo is taken?
posted by austinlee to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I'd use rsync (or one of its many GUI wrappers), set up with a cron job that runs once every few seconds. If you're not familiar with cron and the UNIX backend, there are GUI tools for doing automation as well.
posted by chrisamiller at 7:52 PM on September 3, 2008

I've run into a very similar problem, actually - it seems that OSX doesn't stat non-local directories unless there's user activity in the window. I was using a homemade photobooth script (on an ubuntu machine) and Xee on the OSX machine for display.

The solution was to run an automator action every minute or so that reads the shared directory, and copies the files to a local directory. Point the slideshow program to the local directory, and new files will be pulled into the mix automagically. I can dig around and find it for you, if you'd like.
posted by god hates math at 8:47 PM on September 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

posted by knowles at 3:45 AM on September 4, 2008

Response by poster: Hey god hates math. I would appreciate the action if you can find it! Thanks! I tried doing it on my own but I've never used automator and I am not having a lot of luck.

posted by austinlee at 1:26 PM on September 4, 2008

No problem - I'll dig around tonight when I get home from work and see if I can find it. I'll probably be able to help you customize it for your setup, as well - you'll probably just have to change a few directory paths, and then set your cron to run it every minute or so.
posted by god hates math at 3:34 PM on September 4, 2008

Okay, so here's the workflow that I used in Automator -

1. Get Specified Finder Items (choose the shared directory that has the files you want)
2. Get Folder Contents
3. Copy Finder Items (choose the destination folder that you're pointing your screensaver or Xee at)
4. Save (we'll use autocopy.workflow) and quit automator.

That should do it, for copying the files to a local folder.

As for setting the job to run every minute -

1. Open up a terminal, and type
EDITOR=pico; export editor

(This tells OSX that you want to do the following task, among other tasks, in pico, a very simple text editor. For our purposes, it's much better than ending up in vim accidentally.)

2, Then type
crontab -e
and type the following into the editor window.
* * * * * automator /path/to/where/you/saved/autocopy.workflow
In my case, the path was basically /Users/godhatesmath/Desktop/autocopy.workflow

3. Press ctrl+x, then Y when it asks you to save.

And now, the workflow action should be running once every minute, and you should be all set. It will continue to run every minute, day or night, as long as this particular user is logged in. For this reason, I created a separate user, which may or may not work for you.

Good luck - let me know whether you get it working.
posted by god hates math at 7:05 AM on September 5, 2008

Response by poster: Hurray! I was able to get it to work! Thanks for all your help god hates math. I learned a lot about automator from all this. The funny thing was I actually got it to work using that Xee program and just monitoring the networked folder. Your extra details with automator though may prove to be useful in the future so thanks again. It is very much appreciated. BTW if you want to see it's implementation it is for an art show in Philadelphia that will be up on Saturday. It's at my friends gallery. Here is their website.

posted by austinlee at 7:27 AM on September 5, 2008

Response by poster: Oh, and I tried flickrbooth and it is really cool but I didn't seem like it would update the slideshow until the browser was refreshed. So it didn't work for this but pretty cool little plugin.
posted by austinlee at 7:28 AM on September 5, 2008

That's very interesting that you were just able to get it to work only using Xee - I'm going to guess that you're using 10.5.something? My setup was on 10.4.10 or so.
posted by god hates math at 8:29 AM on September 5, 2008

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