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UREKA! Here's how to remove iPhoto excess baggage

702 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2013 1:43 PM by guamstyle01778 RSS
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Feb 20, 2013 2:15 PM

With some help from Terence Devlinon a previous post, I was able to figure this out. Some of you may have figured it out already, but I still see some unanswered questions. I'm using iPhoto 11. I'm not sure how earlier versions of iPhoto will behave.


Problem: I had a 58GB iPhoto library that contained only 26GB of photos. Where did the extra 32 GB come from? I needed to recover the space (on my little 128GB 13" retina MBP)


Answer: iPhoto stores both the original photos and modified photos. You can view both of these photos by either


1) going to the File menu, Reveal in Finder, and and selecting "Modified file" or "Original File" (if you haven't modified the file, then the "Modified file" is grayed out)




2) Right clicking on iPhoto Library and choosing "Show Package Contents" and then navigating to it (but the only way you'd know how to navigate to it would be by "Reveal in Finder", since the path is circuitous)


So I have a bunch of modified photos (crops, effects, etc.) and iPhoto stores all the originals,  but I don't need any of them: all I need is my modified files.


So all you need to do, to get rid of the "excess baggage" (I'm calling it this, but you may have need for it) is to export all your photos (with titles and keywords), and then import them into a brand new empty iPhoto Library (hold down the option key and click on iPhoto and create new library). I'm calling the new library "iPhoto No Baggage".


This worked for me and saved me 30GB of space. All the keywords imported.


Downside: All your events are lost (but I don't really organize by events - I go by keywords). Also your albums go pffft! No biggie for me, as long as I have keywords. But I'll have to reconstruct my smart albums based on keywords


Moving forward: So from now on, I'll be editing my new photos in a library called "iPhoto Edit Photos Here", and only after I've made the edits will I import into my main library, which I use to sync to my mobile devices.


Did I miss anything?

MacBook Pro with Retina display, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (113,315 points)

    You could save yourself a lot of unnecessary work by using Photoshop Elements for Mac and its built in organizer. That would only require you to put each upload of photos in a folder with the other folders and link them to the organizer.  Then you could use PSE to edit, add metadata, etc.


    Or use a DAM (digital asset manager) application like Media Pro 1 which can add metadata, basic edits, rename files and a lot more.  You can find out about other DAM apps at the The DAM Forum



  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,765 points)

    As I said on your other thread, it would be a lot less work to just use a different app.

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,915 points)

    Did I miss anything?

    Yes - you are wasting lots of time, losing Non Destrctive editing, losing the capability of reversting to the original and should simply stop using iPhoto and use a porgram that works like you want (like Adobe Bridge for example)


    iPhoto simpy is not the program you want - if you love wasiting time and losing the major advantages of iPhoto continue with your method



  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,915 points)

    au contraire mon ami!


    If you are using the workflow you suggest you do not have non destructive editing - you are recreating the edited photos with the resulting loss of quality and eliminating the aility to revert to the original


    iPhoto simply is not the program you want - if you love wasiting time and losing the major advantages of iPhoto continue with your method


    You do what you want - but do not mislead others into mistakenly following your path



  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,915 points)

    You do what you want - but do not mislead others into mistakenly following your path

    No one here cares what you do - we do care that others who read this forum get accurate information



  • Keith Barkley Level 5 Level 5 (5,140 points)

    It wasn't inaccuarate as much as misguided. It is not a path that is not safe for most less-experienced users of iPhoto. Why kick against the goads? if iPhoto does not do what you want, use another program.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,765 points)

    I'll chime in there.


    There is no excess baggage in iPhoto. The entire premise of your post is flawed. You're trying to solve an non-existent problem. iPhoto is about lossless processing, version control and safe data management. What you're calling a "solution" is because you don't want lossless processing, you don't want version control. You want a destructive work flow. Fine. All you've done is cobble together a worlflow to defeat all the key elements of an iPhoto workflow. You've made extra work for yourself to undo the very reason for iPhoto existing.  What's the point of that? What you're doing makes as much sense as writing a novel in a spreadsheet. It can be done, but why bother when there are other apps out there that are geared to the job.


    And remember: Complexity in the workflow is the mother of dataloss. You will lose data doing this someday. You will get confused between what you've previously exported/deleted /reimported and end up deleting something you wanted to keep. It'll happen because you'll get distracted in the process -  a phone will ring, a child will need attention, someone will call to the door - and you'll pick up from the wrong place in the process.


    The safe way is to use an app designed to work the way you want to.

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,915 points)

    And again that is fine if you are willing to do lots of extra work and give up lossless editing, etc


    and again it is a bad recomendation for most people


    No one here cares what you do - we do care that others who read this forum get accurate information

    There is no excess baggage in iPhoto and rather than spend so much time trying to circumvent it intentional design - it is much better to just choose a program that works the way you want and use it - there are extremely good reasons for the way iPhoto works and it is inappropriate to mislead others into believing that those postive features are aactually "excess baggage" - they are not - they are an integral part of all Digital Asset Manager designs



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