iPad Sort Tip

Do you use Lightroom on a Mac? And have an iPad? And want to sort the images you see on your iPad?

Perish the thought.  Unless you also want to use iPhoto in parallel to Lightroom (which makes little sense), that is difficult.

But it is possible.

And you do it as follows. If you are an advanced user, that is!

  1. Install EXIFTOOL (Google it. It’s a great little command line tool that you will need for this).
  2. In Lightroom, make a collection, add your selected photos to that, and sort them any way you like.
  3. Now click the A-Z icon at the bottom to reverse the sort order. (Apple sorts the images in reverse order for some odd reason!)
  4. Export to a folder (While we are at it, use the maximum file size the iPad accepts, 2304 x 1536 pixels)
  5. In the export dialog, change the filename to a number, instead, e.g. a number from 00 to 99. You can select this (rename file) in the export dialog.
  6. Now open a command window, go to that folder.
  7. In that folder, type something like exiftool -alldates=”2010:08:22 13:00:00″ *.jpg
  8. Delete the *-original” files from that folder
  9. Now move that folder to the place where you have told iTunes to sync photos to your iPad (if you tell iTunes such a folder, all folders and photos you put within that folder will be synchronized with the iPad.)

That is all.

That is all? You need to be a computer scientist for this?

Yes, it is a little involved – that’s thanks to Apple mandating that no sorting must be done unless it’s by creation time. or unless you use iPhoto so you manage your photos twice. Or give up using Lightroom, which is what Apple really wants you to do, I suspect.

But at least you now know there is a workaround. And it works like a charm.

2 thoughts on “iPad Sort Tip

  1. Hi, Michael! Thanks for your blog, I read it regularly and really appreciate it! Lots of useful stuff for me.
    I just read about your Lightroom workaround, and I agree, one shouldn’t have to do all this just to sort pictures on the iPad! However, I don’t think Apple is trying to complicate life for Lightroom users in particular — I have an iPad and use Aperture, and I have exactly the same sorting problem on the iPad, so I also have to employ an iPhoto workaround procedure, very annoying! Hopefully, the next version of iOS4 will do better on the iPad.
    Lennart (Swedish reader)

    • Lennart, quite right, the same issue occurs when using Aperture. Apple says “just use iPhoto”. I agree, these are teething pains – I cannot wait for iOS 4. In the mean time, I work around it and it works well – just doing another batch as we speak.

      By the way, I have been to Sweden a few times and loved it. Had a good time, as well as made some nice images.

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