Windows 8 Picture Libraries and Photos App

UPDATE: So I was doing some perusing of the web and found some interesting stuff about the Photos App and Windows 8.1.  It would appear that those who have upgraded to the Windows 8.1 Preview are up in arms.  I ran across a 20 page hate thread discussing changes to the Photos App. From what I could tell; Facebook and Flickr integration as well as Homegroup and Network storage are being dropped from the Photos App.

Those who have upgraded to Windows 8.1 Preview say the photos app only shows pics from the local PC and if one is lucky they can get their SkyDrive pics to show.  A moderator replied (once in the 20 pages of dissatisfaction) with a lame canned response of the reasoning behind the move.  Now you know the internet is like a diarrhea’d elephant and what you read may not always be correct, so one has to sit back and see.  It is the consumer preview and may not be done, or MS has had another brain fart.  The moderator of the forum mentioned SkyDrive is the way to go.  Let’s see, I am nearing 1TB of photos on my network share. How is that supposed to work when I have 25Gb of SkyDrive space.  For me if they drop Homegroup/Network store integration, the photos apps is a throw away.  I like the Facebook/Flickr integration but could live without it.

Sheesh… just after I got all my photos squared away.


As I mentioned a day or so ago, I am in the process of getting my images moved off an old original WHS server onto something that plays well in the Windows 8 eco-system.  That is going quite well thanks.

I am going through the whole Picture libraries on a network share thing as we speak.  If you follow any of the MS forums you will run across many who are having difficulties with Windows 8, Network Shares and the Windows 8 photo app.  I’ll post my set up and observations about Picture Libraries.

Observation:

Patience when it comes to the Photos app.  Many say that the app isn’t finding anything.  From experience I have seen the photos app take an hour to populate all folders with photos from a network share.  Make a mistake with your shared structure (move or rename folders on the networked source) and double your pain.  I moved my folders to a different location; it took a long time for the original folder to disappear in the photos app and then a bunch more time to find and populate the new folder structure.

Here is my Set up:

My Media PC is a Windows 8 PRO machine.  Everyone in the house has logged into this Machine with their MS Account (Sets up Permissions).  We are all grown-ups so I made each account an administrator on the pc.  Also you have to have an account set up on the machine if you want to RDP (remote desktop) into it.  All the PCs in the house that will access the photos are some form of Windows 8, and the Xboxes recognize the share nicely.

Structure on the Media PC:

Photolib

  • I have a root level share that I call Shares.  I share this Shares folder with Read/Write permissions.  You can share this with your Homegroup or with individual MS Accounts as you need.
  • Under Shares I created folders for Photos, Videos etc.  (This Photos folder is what I include in my Pictures Libraries on my client machines in the house)
  • Under Photos I created a sub-folder called HomeServer Photos all of my photo folders will go into this folder and I’ll tell you why…

TIP:  I created the HomeServer Photos sub-folder under the Photos folder because when we use the Photos App it does not display the top level folder, it just dumps all the folders below the top level into the app.  If you are like me and have a bazillion folders with photos in them; the Photos App becomes flooded with stuff that you have no idea if it is local or on the network. Give that sub-folder a name so you can recognized it as being external.

By having that HomeServer Photos sub-folder, when I open the Photos App and click on Pictures library it looks like this:

Photolibfolder

Now I know exactly where those images reside and I can click that folder and drill down through my sub-folders.

Once you get your structure, share and permissions right.  All you have to do is “include” the location to you Libraries on each of the Client PCs.

In my case: In Windows Explorer, under Network I found my Media PC, right click on Photos (not HomeServer Photos) and chose “Include in Library”

photolibinclude

About the Windows 8 Photos App:

If you are not logging in with an MS Account none of this probably works 😦 but if you are there are some crazy things that happen.

  • Your SkyDrive Photos will follow you from PC to PC.
  • If you have “Connected” your MS Account via login.live.com to services like Facebook and Flickr those images on those sites will follow you from PC to PC.
  • Also when you add a PC to your home network and “trust” it (you will get a text message with a code, you go to live.com and enter it to trust the pc); images for your MS Account on that machine will follow you from PC to PC. Note that I installed the SkyDrive app on a Windows 7 pc and it became “trusted” and those photos follow me around now.

PhotoLibHome

Turn on what you want displayed in the Photos App by (with Photos App open) from the Charms menu in and choose settings.

 Under Options… you can turn on/off what you want the Photos App to include.

photolibsettings

 Cool stuff…

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2 thoughts on “Windows 8 Picture Libraries and Photos App

  1. Vivek

    hey…even after doing what u have mentioned….i m not able to share photos to facebook via photos app…..it is giving options only for skydrive and mail apps….i hv checked settings at my outlook account also and everything is fine there…..plz help me through it….!!!

    1. The Windows 8 Photos App is interesting in what it can and cannot do. I hear that it is even less useful in Windows 8.1. Talk in the MS Forums is that Facebook, Flickr and Network Shares are being dropped from the app. (why I haven’t gone to Win 8.1 preview). The reason given really equates to Corporate Politics between FB and others.

      Anyways, the last image above you see Settings > Options for the Photos App. To the right Facebook you can see an options link. Clicking that takes you to your MS account Connections settings for Facebook. This is a Global Setting (People Hub, Photos App etc.), I read on this page “with Photo Gallery and Movie Maker you can share, tag people…on Facebook” No mention of the Photos App. I myself can only share photos on SkyDrive, Twitter, MS HealthVault and others, but not FB with the Photos App.

      Photo Gallery is an alright Photo organizer/quick editor (program) that you can download with the Live Essentials stuff. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-live/photo-gallery#photogallery=overview Windows Photo Gallery uses all libraries as set up above. You can Post to FB with the Photo Gallery, It does Face recognition, has light editing etc. If you choose to install Photo Gallery watch the install closely…it is the Live Essentials package and will give you the option to install a bunch of programs, choose only the items you want/need.

      I personally do all my FB sharing right from Corel PSPx5 or my Win Phone. I use the Windows Photo app to quick browse (view/delete) all photos on my home network or Use it as a slide show on my Surface when I am not using it (like the photo frames we would get in the past).

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