5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 3, 2009 8:04 AM by BGist
BGist Level 2 Level 2 (265 points)
Quick question - once "Events" was created, I moved all my former "Albums" to "Events" ... so eventually, I deleted my old Albums.

Unfortunately, I didn't quite do this as well as I thought - and I need to look back at the old albums.

This - I thought - would be easy: I use Time Machine connected to a Time Capsule, and ... I went back in time, picked the album and clicked "Restore" ...

Since I'm posting this to the forum, you may guess how this worked out. Unfortunately for me, it would restore the PHOTOS (which weren't actually deleted - now duplicates (?) ) ... but not that album.

Anyone have any success at restoring the Album - or exactly where that Album information is stored ... (in a db somewhere) - because I can always pull out that DB and recreate from scratch - its only about a dozen albums that I need to restore.

MacBook Pro, iPhone 4GB, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • tilman Level 4 Level 4 (1,235 points)
    To restore the entire iPhoto library from TimeMachine, exit iPhoto first. Then use Finder and find your iPhoto Library, and launch TimeMachine, and restore the entire library package. That will bring everything back, both the images, and the database that contains the album information.

    If you run TimeMachine from within iPhoto, it will simply import the old pictures.
  • BGist Level 2 Level 2 (265 points)
    Thats one of the things I'm afraid of - I don't want to overwrite the entire current library - as I've added several hundred photos since I deleted those albums.

    If you look inside the package contents - do you know which of the lib or db or caches file holds the albums?

    I'd just backup my current library and do a restore, and merge appropriately, however my library takes up more than 50% of my harddrive ... so that's not going to be the easiest either.
  • tilman Level 4 Level 4 (1,235 points)
    The album information is not stored in a file or database by itself, but rather, it is part of the bigger iPhoto database. So you cannot restore it by copying or modifying files, you actually need to insert and update individual records in the database. That's not an easy undertaking, but is possible. iPhoto Library Manager is an application that does some of this work, but I don't think it's been updated for iPhoto '09.

    If you want to get an idea for how the information is stored, look at the file AlbumData.xml in your iPhoto library package. That's an XML dump of most of the database contents, and does contain the album information.
  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (128,815 points)
    There's an option in Time Machine to keep both copies of the item. So the current library would be tagged with (Original) on the file name and the restored library would be the normal name.


  • BGist Level 2 Level 2 (265 points)
    Thanks. That's exactly the info I was looking for ....

    As you mention - it is quite an undertaking - so after playing with it for a little bit - I may find it easier to re-create the albums by hand ... perhaps after restoring to an external HDD ...