Indexing your Photo Stream

I originally posted this and realized the first suggestion was unsafe. So, here’s a revision.

If you want to index your Photo Stream into DEVONthink, and you have a copy of Hazel, here’s a technique that takes a few minutes to set up.

  1. Open Hazel, and add this folder: ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub
  2. Create a new folder - I place this in the global Pictures folder and call it “Hazel’s Copy of Photo Stream”. I added two subfolders: “Photo Steam Images” and “Photo Stream Screenshots”
  3. Make these Hazel rules:

for the “copy” rules, I use these options

  1. It is important that the first rule above is first in the sequence of rules for the “sub” folder. I separate .jpg and .png files into subfolders because the .jpgs are shots you take with your iPhone or iPad camera, and the .pngs are screenshots you make on an iOS device.
  2. After Hazel does its thing, index any of these new folders in DEVONthink

Nice tip korm-thanks for sharing! I’ve taken a slightly different approach to this as I did not want to duplicate (backup) the entire photo stream to disk. What I did was index the folder ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub into the database, attach the Synchronize.scpt, and then create this smart group.

The smart group is necessary to avoid navigating all the sub-folders under ‘sub’. I can duplicate or replicate just the individual images that I need in the database without using up 2x hard drive and Time Machine backups space.

Greg, your approach is consistent with what I original posted (index “sub” and create an image-finding Smart Group) but I removed the suggestion because it is very easy to inadvertently cause DEVONthink to wreck a filesystem folder that’s been indexed. That’s fraught - especially if the original folder is managed as part of OS X – unfortunately, iCloud is a fragile implementation and making an error on one machine can propagate with unanticipated consequences on others.

To err on the safe side is the best approach, but I suspect that the Photo Stream filesystem folder is isolated so that changes there are not reflected in the other streams. I’ve noticed that deleting photos from this folder does not delete them from PS, not even from the PS in iTunes on the same Mac. Bad things may still be possible, but it appears fairly safe for now.

I imagine that eventually I will switch to your Hazel approach. I’ve let my PS grow unchecked, initially because it was too difficult to delete items from PS and after that I just got lazy. As a result, I’ve not deleted anything from PS and it’s grown quite large. Once I take the time to get it in check and begin deleting all the unnecessary photos, I won’t mind having it all duplicated with Hazel.

… and the bulk of what Hazel does is a one-time copy. New images are merely appended to the end when they are downloaded.