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Why is my iphoto library grayed out when I browse for pictures to upload on ebay?

6277 Views 32 Replies Latest reply: Feb 11, 2014 11:11 AM by Old Toad RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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WHoovJ Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 25, 2012 9:13 AM

I just started selling on ebay.  When I hit the browse button to get the pics I took of the item, iphoto is lightened and not available to click on.  I have to drag every photo onto my desktop beforehand so I can access them.

iMac (21.5-inch Mid 2011), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,665 points)

    The first one of these is what you want:



    There are many, many ways to access your files in iPhoto:   You can use any Open / Attach / Browse dialogue. On the left there's a Media heading, your pics can be accessed there. Command-Click for selecting multiple pics.


    Open dialogue


    (Note the above illustration is not a Finder Window. It's the dialogue you get when you go File -> Open)


    You can access the Library from the New Message Window in Mail:


    New Message Window


    There's a similar option in Outlook and many, many other apps.  If you use Apple's Mail, Entourage, AOL or Eudora you can email from within iPhoto.


    If you use a Cocoa-based Browser such as Safari, you can drag the pics from the iPhoto Window to the Attach window in the browser.


    If you want to access the files with iPhoto not running:


    For users of 10.6 and later:  You can download a free Services component from MacOSXAutomation  which will give you access to the iPhoto Library from your Services Menu.


    Using the Services Preference Pane you can even create a keyboard shortcut for it.

    For Users of 10.4 and 10.5 Create a Media Browser using Automator (takes about 10 seconds) or use this free utility Karelia iMedia Browser


    Other options include:


    Drag and Drop: Drag a photo from the iPhoto Window to the desktop, there iPhoto will make a full-sized copy of the pic.


    File -> Export: Select the files in the iPhoto Window and go File -> Export. The dialogue will give you various options, including altering the format, naming the files and changing the size. Again, producing a copy.


    Show File:  a. On iPhoto 09 and earlier:  Right- (or Control-) Click on a pic and in the resulting dialogue choose 'Show File'. A Finder window will pop open with the file already selected.    3.b.


    b: On iPhoto 11 and later: Select one of the affected photos in the iPhoto Window and go File -> Reveal in Finder -> Original. A Finder window will pop open with the file already selected.

  • Dar_2323 Calculating status...

    I share your frustation. Been using iOS since around 2006, and for the life of me, I still cant figure out why the programmers make it so **** hard to access your own photos. The above poster gave some options, yet still, none of them follow any logic user based approach.


    I just want access to the folder that my photos are in. Why why why is it so **** complicated.


    Just now, I took a pic of a rare CD cover, edited it with iPhoto and Preview... but I still cant import/assign it to the tracks in iTunes because the pathway is grayed-out. (Hence why I am on this forum, searching for a solution).

    Windows is so much easier as per accessing your own media file pathways.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,665 points)

    Perhaps you'd be less frustrated if you realised what iPhoto is -  a Photo Manager with lossless processing - and what it's not - a file editor.


    There's a key difference. That jpeg is not your Photo.


    The illustration I use is as follows: In my iTunes Library I have a file called 'Let_it_Be_The_Beatles.mp3'. So what is that, exactly? It's not the song. The Beatles never wrote an mp3. They wrote a tune and lyrics. They recorded it and a copy of that recording is stored in the mp3 file. So the file is just a container for the recording. That container is designed in a specific way attuned to the characteristics and requirements of the data. Hence, mp3.


    Similarly, that Jpeg is not your photo, it's a container designed to hold that kind of data. iPhoto is all about the data and not about the container. So, regardless of where you choose to store the file, iPhoto will manage the photo, edit the photo, add metadata to the Photo but never touch the file. If you choose to export - unless you specifically choose to export the original - iPhoto will export the Photo into a new container - a new file containing the photo.


    So, when you "edit" with iPhoto there is no change made to your file. Your decisions are recorded in a database - literally, a list of settings - so there is no edited file for you to access. So that's why there's no "pathway" because your 'edit' is the original file plus your decisions, not another file.


    So, to get an edtied version of your Photo you export from the database - or use one of the shortcuts in my post above, that offer a "quick and easy" access to the edited version.


    And, if you don't want a lossless photo manager, don't use iPhoto.






  • KBayDolphin Calculating status...

    Thank you SO much for explaining this. I am new to the Mac world and have lots to learn. Finally! makes sense now.

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,870 points)



    If you don't like iPhoto why are you using it? THere are many less capabile file managers that you can use that work like a PC and do not give you lossless m=editing, database serach capabilities and infiniant organizational possibilities like iPhoto does - use one of them - or just use the finder and preview - that simple combo meets your needs perectly


    No one forces you to use iPhoto - you choose to - if you choose to use it then learn how to use it.  it is not Apple's job (or anyone else's) to make software that meets yoru personal desires - it is your job to pick software to use that you like  and every  software package is frustration is you do not understand it and learn how it worksand if you do not pick the one for the job you want done - also true of TVs, cars, etc, etc, etc



  • tom3118 Calculating status...

    I've got to disagree with Terence and Larry about how well-founded this frustration is.  I experienced it myself and I am a very seasoned Mac user (although new to iPhoto).


    The iphoto library _is_a_directory_. (try `ls -F ~/Pictures` to verify this).  This isn't a limitation of iPhoto, it's a limitation imposed by the OS!  Apple has gone out of their way to make it not-browseable, presumably, so that you'll use their cute "share" features in their applications (or if I'm being generous, perhaps they did it simply to avoid scaring people with their disgusting mess of database files). Back in the good-ole-days of Microsoft hating, that would have been grounds for an anti-trust case.


    When you plug a camera into a Mac, iPhoto pops up asking if you want to upload.  Saying "you could use a different file manager" or "iPhoto is not a file editor" is completely beside the point if the default behavior is for iPhoto to be a the file manager.  It even prompts you to delete off the device after import.  Useful, but good luck using your alternative file manager then!


    Uploading a photo from a web browser is basic, basic behavior that you should not have to ask on an obscure forum to figure out how to do.  The fact that this thread exists makes me really worry about the Mac OS.


    As a side note, I should disclaim that Terence's technical explanation is sound and correct.  If you edit a photo, there isn't necessarily a stand-alone version of the file on your file system.  We could argue separately about whether or not that's a good design idea, but regardless, if the uploader buries the file in `~/Pictures/iPhoto\ Library/Masters/2012/04/12/20120412-215010/` and then helpfully deletes it off the device, it's pretty annoying that Finder makes it impossible to browse there.

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,870 points)

    Sorry but you simply do not understand


    Yes iPhoto is the default program for handling photos on the Mac. And it s trivial to change that. If you do like iPhoto then select your photo manager, launch iPhoto and in the iPhoto preferences set the action when a camera is connected to launch your choice -- or to do nothing. iPhito works like it works. No one here can change that. TD and I are correct in explaining how it works. That s not an endorsement of iPhoto (although I personally like it and the many benefits that it provides) but simply experienced users helping inexperienced users understand how it works



  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,665 points)



    All of your frustration is down to the fact that, as I said above, you're confusing the photo with the file that contains it. What you want is a file-based workflow. That's not what iPhoto does. If you have a file-based solution you don't get lossless processing. It's the same with other apps - Aperture, Lightroom, et al - and these are the current best practise for managing photos.


    If you want a file-based solution the  correct move for you is to use an App that works that way. If you want a photo based solution, then you need to learn how to use iPhoto.






  • tom3118 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You're not getting my point here.  My problem is not with iPhoto, it's with Finder actively preventing me from opening the iPhoto Library from an "open file" dialog.  You act like having a "file-based workflow" is some kind of choice I made.  Most programs, particularly the ones that aren't apple-proprietary, still use files.


    Furthermore, although you're not wrong, you guys are playing up the file/DB challenge a bit too far.  When I select something from "Media" what I get is a file, so clearly it's not impossible to transparently provide files from the DB.  Sure that file might have to be created at run-time, but that's not relevant to the user.  My recommendation to Apple would be to sim-link all of those "virtual files" in "Media" to the file system somewhere.  They've got a lot of talented developers, I'm sure they could figure something out.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,665 points)

    Oh I'm gettting your point alright, it turns up here every few months. But you're not getting mine



    My problem is not with iPhoto, it's with Finder actively preventing me from opening the iPhoto Library from an "open file" dialog.


    What are you trying to get? If you have edited a file there's nothing there for you to get. That's the key point. An edit in iPhoto is your original file plus your editing decisions as stored in an SQL database. That's what I mean by a database rather than a file based workflow.


    And there's nothing "apple-proprietary" here. iPhoto works with open standard formats, uses an Open Standard database (SQL).


    But your point is moot. This is how iPhoto works. Don't like it? Use something that works the way you like.






  • tom3118 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    > What are you trying to get?

    The file uploaded off the camera, obviously.  If I had made edits in iPhoto, yes, it could be moderately confusing not to see those edits reflected in the file.  But you saying "there is nothing there" is flat-out incorrect.


    > And there's nothing "apple-proprietary" here.

    Please re-read my statement more carefully.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,665 points)

    Apologies if I misread your post:


    Most programs, particularly the ones that aren't apple-proprietary, still use files.


    But that's incorrect too. All the major Photo managers - iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom - now all use data-based lossless workflows. And watch closely: it's coming to just about every other app too...


    And now you refine your complaint: okay, well I want to just get my originals. (And no, that's not at all obvious) Well that's easy, just run a referenced Library. Now you can store your original files wherever you want. Don't recommend it as it happens for other reasons. But really, the solution for you is to use some other app.








  • ITBEMEAGAIN Calculating status...

    I also am having the same issue but I DO NOT use Iphoto - I use ACDSee for my photo editing but when I need to work on a photo using Photomatrix or HD Express 2 I cannot access them - I can open the folder but not the photos.  Granted I've only been a MAC user for a few months and thought the issue was just me but by reading this I see I am not alone

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (113,160 points)
    Apple has gone out of their way to make it not-browseable, presumably, so that you'll use their cute "share" features in their applications (or if I'm being generous, perhaps they did it simply to avoid scaring people with their disgusting mess of database files).


    No. Apple did that becuase so many novices were going into the libraruy and messing with it by renaming, moving or editing  files and thus damaging the library.  And to make it compatible with Aperture, their pro grade DAM (digital asset management) application.



    It even prompts you to delete off the device after import.  Useful, but good luck using your alternative file manager then!



    But you don't have to let iPhoto delete the photos. In fact you shouldn't.  It's smart practice to not let iPhoto or any application delete the photos from the camera. Those are the digital negatives and until you're assured you have them safely stored somewhere else and they are accessible for use you keep them in the camera.



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