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Merging two iPhoto libraries

79525 Views 48 Replies Latest reply: Aug 8, 2013 10:44 PM by Michael S Wong RSS
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,650 points)
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    Oct 20, 2012 12:47 PM (in response to DiFe)

    There isn't. Your alternative is to recreate the slideshows.






  • spikeman256 Calculating status...
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    Nov 17, 2012 6:47 PM (in response to Terence Devlin)

    Terence, thank you so much for your very clear and succint replies/input for various problems.  I myself need to merge two libraries...with no need for Aperture, I am clearly going to spend the horribly exorbitant fee of $20 (jk) to purchase the iPhoto Library Manager.


    As someone who has been a computer consultant for over 20 years, I will say this as professionally as continues to shock me and annoy me when I see someone ask for help, get the help, and then they ignore the help.  This has happened for the history of mankind in every conceivable situation...and it continues on.


    The question was asked, "how do I merge slideshows?  (note:  don't waste my time unless you know what you are talking about!!)".  Next, Terence spent a few generous minutes describing in very clear detail how to accomplish this task...again, for the "unbelievably exorbitant price of $70/$70 Euro" (depending on where you live)...the response, "nah...i'm ok...i'll ignore your expertise and do it *my* way."   Good luck.  Yes, I get saving money and being fiscally wise, but $70 to have something resolved the "right" way vs screwing around for potentially hours and potentially losing data/content another way?  Please.  I don't get this concept.  Here's my slightly more rude comment:  less time creating slide shows and more time working would likely generate 70 euro rather quickly.


    Without *any* doubt, every single one of my most successful clients are ones that do *not* nickel and dime every chance they get.  As in every industry, it is wise to spend good money for good tools.



    Thanks again for your help on the boards, Terence (and yes I know my opinion was not appropriate for this board...if it's deleted I will not be offended).    : )



  • DiFe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 17, 2012 8:26 PM (in response to spikeman256)

    Dear spike,


    Since I was classified even offended in your reaction after a month or so, I would comment in short.


    First, my question was "How to put together/merge iPhoto Libraries including all their features?".

    That did not mean merging slideshows together at all.


    Second, I noted "Please, only those post suggestions, who understood the problem:"

    because there are ones who misinterpret like you.


    Third, the suggested resolution was like cracking a nut with a sledgehammer, since

    I wanted to put two libraries together once in a lifetime.


    Fourth, I felt that I could find a workaround. And I have managed

    Remember the movie "The Magnificent Seven"


    With the rest of your comment I totally agree, i.e. Terence is a worthy man.



  • spikeman256 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 17, 2012 8:44 PM (in response to DiFe)



    Thanks for replying to my comment, and I accept your response (no sarcasm implied).


    I happened to mention 'merge slideshows' vs. 'merge libraries' because of how you phrased your question:


              From DiFe:  "...however it does not support merging the rest i.e. slideshows, postcards, etc. Most painful
              for me was slideshows, since I invested a lot to create."


    I thought the point of Terence's response was to keep your slideshows intact since (as you are aware) iphoto library manager can handle the other stuff for a lot less dough.  I think he only suggested the Aperture route to salvage your slideshows.


    I know it was a month ago, but do you remember how you dealt with merging your slideshows?  It would probably come in handy to someone.





  • DiFe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 18, 2012 1:54 AM (in response to spikeman256)

    Dear spike,


    You are right that this part ".. it does not support merging the rest i.e. slideshows" might be read as merging slideshows together.

    Fortunately Terence caught my point and his answer was appropriate and looked bulletproof.


    I solved this merging issue - as I mentioned - ""The Magnificent Seven" way.Instead of buying gun, I bought gunman. I asked one of my friend to merge  my libraries together on a USB drive.


    Since I manage my photos mainly for myself as a hobby, iPhoto would do for me as long as Apple wont give me hard days as it happened during the migration from 7 to 8.


    BR /Dife

  • smarchel24 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 17, 2013 1:22 PM (in response to oemb1905)

    Thank you oem1905, entering pix from old iphoto folder into desktop and then to new  iphoto folder worked smoothly for me!

  • oemb1905 Calculating status...
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    Mar 17, 2013 2:45 PM (in response to smarchel24)

    Glad it worked.  I have done this many times and continue to recommend it as the safest option.  Every other option out there causes lost playlists and other insundry problems.  Take care, -oemb1905-

  • oemb1905 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 17, 2013 2:52 PM (in response to Terence Devlin)

    Right - but the point is and continues to be - nothing preserves those data (which you freely admit!), and the risks of saving some of the data (using the options you suggest) are outweighed by the positive results of maintaining the original source data by manually merging the orginals.  And I realize this is an old post, but in light of smarchel24 responding to my suggestion and thanking me, I will mention that it is semantics.  Books, albums, etc., are very important to some and not to others.  That is, some include those in their definition of meaningful data, and some do not.  I do not care a whit about any of that - and I have plenty of all of them set up - my only concern is the actual original photos.  Others share that concern and this post contains people on both sides of the issue ... 

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,650 points)
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    Mar 17, 2013 3:58 PM (in response to oemb1905)

    Not really sure what on earth you are blathering about. Moving files to the Finder and then importing them into another library i not merging two libraries. It's just movong files about. That's like saying that moving luggage from the trunk of one car to the trunk of another is somehow merging cars.


    Your solution moves some files around. You may call that semantics. I call that significant dataloss that you are not warning people about.


    Merging with iPhoto Library Manager moves files, versions, edit history, metadata - including Faces and Places - keywords, descriptions, albums and so on. It is not perfect, but it is merging as much as possible. Your suggestion is moving the minimum possible.


  • spikeman256 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 17, 2013 8:43 PM (in response to Jennings Heilig)

    Hey guys, I thought I'd share some notes about using iPhoto Library manager.  I finally purchased it and used it for a project for a client a few weeks ago...I took a lot of notes to justify the expense of the project.  In summary, it is an absolutely *AMAZING* piece of software.  I understand the point of DiFe in that we often try to avoid using an overpowered or overpriced tool when we don't need it, but quite simply, I know of no other software at any price that will do that iLM will do...or as easily.  If you have more time than money and would rather spend 10 or 20 hours or more doing something than spending $20, I guess that is an option to consider...I'm simply sharing my experience in hopes that it helps the software developer as well as anyone who decides to use their software.


    My client had two libraries:
    Library 1 had 9,500 fotos; 252 events; 9 albums; 35 GB.
    Library 2 had 14,000 fotos; 217 events; 7 albums; 63 GB.
    She also had 1 husband that was upset that I charged $1,200 after 12 hours of cleaning up their fotos.
    He makes twice that in a day, so he'll live.


    I was able to use iLM to:
    1 - Find and eliminate dupes in each library individually *before* the merge.  924 dupes found.
    2 - Find and eliminate dupes *between* libaries during the merge.  3,618 dupes found.
    3 - There are multiple ways of determining what a dupe is...after the merge, I also checked for dupes based upon foto dates...this found another 2,291 dupes.  (Note:  be careful with the dupe checker's very powerful, but it can be tricky ain't really have to be involved in the process to make it effective).

    Not only was I able to successfully merge the two libraries with *no* problems that I know of, I was able to shrink the combined library size down from 100GB to 75GB...basically getting rid of about 7,000 dupes.  The dupe checker is one of the key features of this software that shouldn't be overlooked.  Good luck doing such a process manually without this software...ugh!  During the merge, the software was flawless in maintaining all albums and events...absolutely flawless.


    The client also needed me to import about 12 random foto CD's that she had...during this process, the software avoided another 1,400 dupes...btw, when the dupes are found, the sware clearly shows you what they all are and asks you which to delete.  The only flaw I see here is that if you choose to delete a foto that is the *exact same foto*, which do you delete?  The one that is in Event 1 - Trip to Switzerland?  Or the one that is in Album 6 - Stephanie at Ski Resort?  Well, if you decide to delete one, that means one of your events or albums is going to be affected...something to think about.  However, when you weigh this inconvenience to the manual alternative, it probably isn't a huge deal.  It depends on your situation.


    This is simply the pain that someone must deal with when they are the owners of foto libraries that have been mismanaged for several years.


    Manage your expecations when tackling a big project like this...take your time...and always back up your libraries before you begin just in case.  : )



  • spikeman256 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 17, 2013 8:55 PM (in response to spikeman256)

    Oh yeah, just to clarify...some of the things that took a LOT of time was to merely back up and copy 100GB of data around from external drives to a mac laptop to do the merging, and then to copy it back to the external drive and back to their machine again.  Another issue I had to deal with was to make sure each iPhoto library was the same version...this includes Library 1, Library 2, as well as the combined library that I created on *my* version of iPhoto on my macbook.  These updates included having to actually update the OS on one of their machines *before* I could get the new version of iPhoto...I forget exactly what happened there, but it was something that I had to deal with.


    Once I had the routine down, the merging itself went somewhat actual big merge was combining about 13,000 fotos and 6,000 fotos...the CPU was really humming...seemed locked up for a time, but I let it do its thing...these 19,000 files merged perfectly on a 4 year old macbook in about 90 minutes.  : )


    At some point during the dupe deletions, I think there was some issue with emptying trash cans...I think there was an iphoto trashcan, the macbook trashcan, and mebbe even an iLM trash can...I don't remember now, but something to be aware of.


    Final tip...make sure you are *very* diligent in regards to documenting the exact quanity of fotos, albums, events, etc. in each libary before you start...then you have something to check afterwards...there is an iphoto setting that lets you display these totals.

  • DiFe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 18, 2013 3:51 AM (in response to spikeman256)

    My comment is not strictly related to the merging process, but managing slideshows.

    Since I suffered most from loosing slideshows, especially transitions, timings, order of slides after updates, merges, sometimes crash of iPhoto, I follow this practice:

    - I create a slideshow about a tour, holiday, event, get2gether, etc.

    - you may include ken burns effects as well as short clips

      iPhoto does not support stop&go, i.e. wait for a while than animate or vs. so I duplicate or triplicate a photo which I want to freeze before and/or after the animation.

    - When I finish (you can never do that, just stop ) I export it as mp4 (m4v) whichever format you find appropriate.

    This way it can be played on any platform (MAC, iOS, Windows, etc), so it is portable


    Keep in mind, the less the more.

  • Matt Miller3 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 23, 2013 5:37 PM (in response to spikeman256)

    Thnx Spike. Helpful stuff.

  • spikeman256 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 23, 2013 5:47 PM (in response to Matt Miller3)

    You're welcome, Matt.  My memory isn't as great as it once was, so I document what I do in detail so that perhaps it can help others as well as myself if I come across a similar issue down the road.  In my opinion, it's somewhat rare to find a really really great/useful program that doesn't cost much...iPhoto Library manager is one of them.




  • Michael S Wong Calculating status...
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    Aug 8, 2013 3:23 PM (in response to Terence Devlin)



    I know this was a long time ago, but I think the situation remains the same.


    I'm a little confused bu this post. In an earlier post you said, "iPhoto cannot open an

    Aperture Library" and yet in this post you say "Use iPhoto to open the merged



    Am I correct in assuming that because one did "not edit them or make any changes",

    that the library merged by Aperture remains an iPhoto library and can still be opened

    by iPhoto?


    Or other?


    Thanks much,

    Michael Wong.


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