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Synology NAS as Eye-Fi server

eye-fi

In theory, the  a digital camera, an Eye-Fi wireless SD card, and a Synology NAS running Photo Station, should be a terrific combination for quickly putting snapshots online without giving up control over the image files (like you would with flickr, 500px, and  friends). One would only need to put together some kind of server software on the NAS that accepts new images taken with the Eye-Fi card and puts them right into Photo Station.

Seriously, how hard can it be?

DISCLAIMER: As always, I take no responsibility for anything that happens because you follow these instructions – but you probably knew that. This is by no means a secure, production-level setup, but just me playing with stuff. Messing with your NAS’s root filesystem, as described below, is always done at your own risk, and the eyefiserver2 python script is not guaranteed to be secured against attacks, either. Don’t blame me. For anything. Ever.

The idea of hosting your own Eye-Fi server without having your pictures transferred all over the internet is not new – and thanks to the work of Jeff Tchang, David Grant, and others, there’s a Python-based piece of Ey-Fi server software that is able to link with an Eye-Fi card and download JPGs straight from the camera to a directory of your choosing. Detailed information about eyeserver2 can be found at http://code.google.com/p/eyefiserver2/.

Installing eyefiserver2

To set up eyesfierver2 on you Synology NAS, you need to

Indexing new pictures

With the above steps, new pictures recorded on your Eye-Fi SD card will be transferred directly into the ‘new’ directory of the ‘photo’ share on your NAS. However, they will not yet show up in a ‘new’ album on your PhotoStation, because the NAS hasn’t included them in the media index yet. Files transferred via CIFS/SMB or AFP are automatically added to the index, but files coming in via NFS or from a program running on the NAS itself (like eyefiserver) are not.

To fix this, add the following to /usr/local/bin/eyefiserver.py:

You may also want to set up appropriate permissions within PhotoStation to the ‘new’ album.

A word on performance

Eyefiserver2 shouldn’t be a drain on your NAS performance at all – but adding images to the index could be. This is because the media indexing service on the DiskStation will automatically create thumbnails and preview-sized versions of your images, so that they can later display quickly within PhotoStation. In the short-term, this causes significant load on the NAS’s CPU.

On my web-facing DS112j, which is about the slowest DiskStation you can buy from Synology, adding a 12MP JPG to PhotoStation including indexing at “normal” quality, takes roughly a minute – enough for casual pictures taken during an afternoon with the kids at home. If you come home with a card loaded with several dozens of pictures from a day out at the zoo, be prepared to wait a bit until they appear on your PhotoStation. Of course, a higher-spec Synology will help there, too.

If indexing lots of image files slows down your DiskStation (e.g. when moving them from your PC or Mac over to PhotoStation), you might also want to have a look at Michael Medin’s article about creating thumbnails via NFS.


8 Comments

Excellent, and much more comprehensive script than others lying around. Thank you very much for this, it is the reason why I bought an eye-fi card!

Thank you very much for posting this!

Posted by Arnaud on 4 Januar 2014 @ 6am

You’re most welcome, glad you could use it.

Posted by ennonymous on 4 Januar 2014 @ 7am

If you do not own a windows machine (for example, i use a chromebook); you can also lift the MAC address from your WLAN router.

Posted by Arno on 27 März 2014 @ 10pm

is there a way of just uploading images (including raw) to a defined drive on the NAS, without photostation integration ?

thanks

Posted by ian on 1 Mai 2014 @ 4pm

@ian: Yes, just put your destination directory into your /etc/eyefiserver.conf, like

upload_dir:/volume1/my/target/directory

You can skip the “Indexing new pictures” steps if you don’t use PhotoStation.

Posted by ennonymous on 2 Mai 2014 @ 8pm

Cant find the os.chmod line in *.py file (which has 608 lines). The closest is this one (line 412):

#if mode!=””:
# os.chmod(imageTarPath,string.atoi(mode))

Any ideas?

Posted by Xylem on 2 August 2014 @ 7pm

Photo station is a massive cpu & memory hog with all the thumbnail creation, is it actually required?

Posted by D on 29 August 2014 @ 3am

Actually, the media indexing is the CPU hog, but Photo Station doesn’t work without it. If you don’t need Photo Station, you can turn off the indexing / remove it from the scripts.

Posted by ennonymous on 2 Februar 2015 @ 7am

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