Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Feb 9, 2010 10:50 PM by Terence Devlin
jrel678945 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
Ok, please someone tell me this.

I've been fighting this iPhoto battle for years. My problem is that I want to manage my own photos on my external drive where I am backing them up on time machine. I don't want them tangled inside iPhoto's individual users Libraries. Because of this, I uncheck the option that asks if I want them copied to the Library when importing. I understand this means I am using a 'referenced library'.

Why won't iPhoto allow me to delete these referenced files? Why? I know it could do it, but it seems that they have designed it so that it won't. I can see that people might complain that iPhoto is removing their outside files... yes. But make it a hidden option. With red flags and waving hands. Make it a special key stroke. Something, anything please! I want control of my photos.

To top it off, when I import photos with my camera, I would love to use iPhoto because it is concise and straightforward. The problem is that it (again) wants to bury the camera imported photos into the users' iPhoto Libraries. Why no option to import the files from the camera to a specified location (i.e. my external hard disk library of photos)? Why? I know it could, but it won't.

I have lost photos this way. My wife uses iPhoto to import photos and they go into her iPhoto library. When I think that all my photos are safe in the photos directory on my external hard disk (where they belong) I am hurt to find out that there were some lost files hidden in one or more of the users Libraries. Oh the horror!

So in the end, if I want to use iPhoto, I have to import the photos with a different application that will put them in the folder I want. This drives my wife crazy. "Why can't we use iPhoto to import them?" She asks. I say that apple wont let us do it.

She asks "Why can't I delete these duplicate photos, and the ones I don't like? They keep coming back each time we import." Again, I say, Apple won't let us do it. We have to use the finder and look through them one by one, painful and slow as it is.

If there are no solutions to these problems, I am soon to be jumping off the iPhoto bandwagon (Picasa?) and losing a little faith in the Tao of Apple.

Cheers.

Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (68,765 points)
    1 - this is a user to user forum so no one here can answer any "why' questions - only how to do it questions

    2 - iPhoto is iPhoto - why are you continuing to fight it - it works like it works (and by the way is extremely well liked and successful) - basically you have two choices - use it the way it is or use some other program

    3 - No program will meet everyone's needs - but programs that meet lots of people's needs are successful and programs that do not fail - you have a lot of hustpsa demanding that Apple change a very successful program just because you prefer something different

    You either need to use iPhoto the way it works or find another program that works like you want - Ranting to other users about your own personal preferences that do not match most others is futile and a total waste of your time and ours

    One of (the many) things you fail to comprehend is that iPhoto is a relational database and all relational databases must totally control their data - you can not manage the address book database - or an oracle database - or filemaker - etc etc etc - relational databases must be carefully structured and controlled - iPhoto is no different

    LN
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (134,535 points)
    Why won't iPhoto allow me to delete these referenced files? Why? I know it could do it, but it seems that they have designed it so that it won't. I can see that people might complain that iPhoto is removing their outside files... yes. But make it a hidden option. With red flags and waving hands. Make it a special key stroke. Something, anything please! I want control of my photos.


    When you decide to run a Referenced Library you are saying to iPhoto, "Don't touch those files, I'll manage them". So, iPhoto won't touch them on the way in and won't touch them on the way out. Consistency. After all you "want control of my photos". Don't you?

    Why no option to import the files from the camera to a specified location (i.e. my external hard disk library of photos)? Why?


    For that kind of facility check out Aperture. It's a little more expensive. Average out the cost of the iLife apps and iPhoto is a $16 app. For that you get a lot - not everything, but a lot.

    Now, to say that "apple won't let us" is a bit of a stretch. You have a particular way of working with a cheap app. The app is consistent, you're the one that won't use it the way it is designed.

    Is there a reason why you insist on running referenced Libraries? You've heard of sharing, right?

    Regards

    TD
  • jrel678945 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    First, thanks for your responses. Sorry if I sounded snarky. Guess that is what happens when you bang your head against a wall

    Terence Devlin wrote:
    When you decide to run a Referenced Library you are saying to iPhoto, "Don't touch those files, I'll manage them". So, iPhoto won't touch them on the way in and won't touch them on the way out. Consistency. After all you "want control of my photos". Don't you?


    Yes. This is the struggle I suppose. I want to use iPhoto as an interface to my photo library. I want it to give me the control to do whatever I want with my photos. Delete them, modify them, resize them, etc. And yes of course, view them.

    Terence Devlin wrote:
    Is there a reason why you insist on running referenced Libraries? You've heard of sharing, right?


    Yes. We actually have soft links setup to use a single shared iPhoto Library. This works well so that any changes/albums I make are immediately available to the other user accounts on our Mac. The problem is that we like to keep our photos in specific directories that are organized on our external drive. When we copy them to the iPhoto Library all the work we do on them (modifying etc) does not affect the 'actual' original files. It only affects the iPhoto copy. Again, this goes back to the fact that we want iPhoto to be an interface to our photos.

    LarryHN wrote:
    One of (the many) things you fail to comprehend is that iPhoto is a relational database and all relational databases must totally control their data - you can not manage the address book database - or an oracle database - or filemaker - etc etc etc - relational databases must be carefully structured and controlled - iPhoto is no different


    I imagine that in this relational database there is a pointer to the location of the original file. Or is the entire file stored in the database? If the file is stored in the database, I can understand this would be a bit more difficult to implement (deleting referenced files, that is). However if only a pointer to the file location is stored, it seems it would be easy to allow the program to delete the referenced file. Plus, it should be faster if the database only stores the link, right? Storing the entire file in my experience can slow the performance. If it stores the link, deleting the file referenced by the link should have no adverse effects on the integrity of the relational database contents.

    LarryHN wrote:
    You either need to use iPhoto the way it works or find another program that works like you want - Ranting to other users about your own personal preferences that do not match most others is futile and a total waste of your time and ours


    Yes, they are my own personal preferences as a user. They are functionality I would love to see in the iPhoto product, and I was hoping there was a slim chance that they do exist and that I was just overlooking them. You have made it clear that the product I am looking for to provide an interface to my photo library is apparently not iPhoto. That is too bad. All it would take to please me as a user is for two simple functions:

    - Ability to delete referenced files.
    - Ability to import from the camera to a specified location.

    Also, I am sure that my needs do match the needs of others. I am not alone with these issues. I have come across similar issues before in my search for these answers. Perhaps others will chime in on this thread.

    I will check out Aperture.

    Yes, my question has been answered. The answer still remains - "Apple won't let us do it". I'm really hoping there is a big 'yet' at the end of this.
  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (128,850 points)
    Welcome to the Apple Discussions. If you're not shooting raw files Aperture may not be your best solution as it's designed primarily for raw file management. There are a number of DAM (digital asset management) applications that will do what you want and do it well. You can find out all about them at the DAM Forum.

    I use Media Expression as my principle DAM application and iPhoto fro special projects like books, calendars, etc.

    EM lets you create and manage your own folder system. It's catalogs contain thumbnails of the source files and lets you rename the source files, write keywords and other annotations to the file.

    EM will also catalog text, Word, pdf, movies, audio tracks and other types of files. It has some minimal editing capability with version control.

    Visit the DAM forum and get a sense of what the various applications offer.

    Happy New Year
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (68,765 points)

    Terence Devlin wrote:
    When you decide to run a Referenced Library you are saying to iPhoto, "Don't touch those files, I'll manage them". So, iPhoto won't touch them on the way in and won't touch them on the way out. Consistency. After all you "want control of my photos". Don't you?


    Yes. This is the struggle I suppose. I want to use iPhoto as an interface to my photo library. I want it to give me the control to do whatever I want with my photos. Delete them, modify them, resize them, etc. And yes of course, view them.


    iPhoto is not a photo viewer that can interface with your file structure and let you do what you want - it is a relational database

    You are using the wrong program - try Picassa - it has much less power than iPhoto but it is a simple viewer that works with your photo structure

    One of (the many) things you fail to comprehend is that iPhoto is a relational database and all relational databases must totally control their data - you can not manage the address book database - or an oracle database - or filemaker - etc etc etc - relational databases must be carefully structured and controlled - iPhoto is no different





    - Ability to delete referenced files.


    iPhoto does not do this not do this - it only manages its library - nothing outside of it

    - Ability to import from the camera to a specified location.


    You can do this using Image capture or other programs and then import from there (either referenced or managed) to iPhoto - iPhoto does not do this

    LN
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (134,535 points)
    It sounds to me like you can achieve what you want with a managed Library

    We actually have soft links setup to use a single shared iPhoto Library.


    Hold down the option (or alt) key key and launch iPhoto in each account. From the resulting menu select 'Choose Library' will do the same thing.

    The problem is that we like to keep our photos in specific directories that are organized on our external drive. When we copy them to the iPhoto Library all the work we do on them (modifying etc) does not affect the 'actual' original files. It only affects the iPhoto copy.


    Is this so that your original files are untouched and preserved?

    Um, you know that iPhoto +always preserves the original file, right?+ So when you edit a file in iPhoto you can still revert to the original, export the original etc simply because iPhoto performs all your edits on a copy of the original.

    Regards

    TD

    Message was edited by: Terence Devlin
  • jrel678945 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I have considered using a managed library again, and I've tried it for a while before. We kept all our photos on the same external drive, and just had iPhoto copy them to to its library when they are imported (managed library).

    The problem with this was two-fold.

    1. When we imported new pictures from our camera, they went straight into the managed library and not onto our external drive. Yes they could be exported each time they are imported, but this is tedious and I don't trust anyone but myself to make sure this is being done. I don't want to have to manage my family anymore than I have to when they are on the computer.

    2. Keeping the library on my internal hard drive did not fit my budget. Sure it might be possible to keep my iPhoto managed library on my external, alongside my own directory structure of photos, but this is duplication of space and is silly and does not solve problem 1 above.

    The bottom line is that I don't want to give up my photo directory structure I have on my external hard drive. It helps me stay sane.

    If iPhoto allowed me to import photos from my camera to a specified location, then I actually wouldn't care so much about the other issue (inability to delete referenced photos). The reason they are tied so closely is because of this scenario:

    - I use image capture to import my photos from my camera to my desired location
    - I fire up iPhoto and import from my directory structure of photos

    This seems pretty easy, but each time I do the import, any changes I made (like removing duplicates) are un-done since I am re-importing. This results in all my duplicates and unwanted photos showing back up each time someone imports new pictures from our camera.

    I could import my pictures from the camera to a new directory each time, and only import that single directory to iPhoto, but image capture doesn't make this process easy and I can't trust that other users will honor this (again, back to managing the family). iPhoto's import does this well by importing to a new Roll directory each time, but it won't let me import this Roll directory to my external drive.

    Oh the madness.

    If only iPhoto would let me import pictures from my camera to a specified location, and at the same time import them into my library (and honor the copy to library on import flag) then life would be great.

    Until then, I'll be jumping through hoops and keeping my eyes out for a better solution from iPhoto, or a better product.
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (134,535 points)
    I don't mean to argue or dispute with you, so when I post now, I'm honestly trying to see if there is a way to achieve what you want simply, and with as little work as possible.

    The bottom line is that I don't want to give up my photo directory structure I have on my external hard drive. It helps me stay sane.


    Why? That's the key question. In your post above you intimated that's because you want to keep an unedited version of the pics. Is that the case? Or - and this is also a perfectly acceptable answer - it is just because you want to?

    Regards

    TD
  • jrel678945 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    No arguing here. This is friendly chat, and is helpful (for me) and I appreciate you taking the time to care about my problem.

    The reason I want to keep my photos in my own directory location is purely ideological I suppose.

    I am a software engineer myself, and I know how far I am willing to trust any application with something as precious as my photo collection. They are my wedding pics, births of my children etc. This is nothing personal against Apple. In fact, I tend to trust Apple products more so than others. It is just that with something this important, I want my own control of them ultimately. I don't want them pulled into the iPhoto library with the fall back plan that I can always export them if I'm no longer comfortable with iPhoto (or the fall fall back plan where I can use the terminal and dig them out myself).

    Perhaps I am a bit more anal than others when it comes to this sort of file control, but it is not something I am willing to compromise on for the sake of ease of use.
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (68,765 points)
    I am a software engineer myself, and I know how far I am willing to trust any application with something as precious as my photo collection. They are my wedding pics, births of my children etc. This is nothing personal against Apple. In fact, I tend to trust Apple products more so than others. It is just that with something this important, I want my own control of them ultimately. I don't want them pulled into the iPhoto library with the fall back plan that I can always export them if I'm no longer comfortable with iPhoto (or the fall fall back plan where I can use the terminal and dig them out myself).



    THere is a new concept called "Back Up"

    And although I can not conceive of why you find "exporting" your photos so nasty, you can always go directly into the iPhoto database and get your original photos safely protected and unmodified and/or you can get your modified photos - they are there in the iPhoto relational database

    The bottom line is that you can not do exactly what you want and your choices are to use iPhoto the way it is and request Apple change it for you - iPhoto menu ==> provide iPhoto feedback - to use a different program that works like you personally want or to write a new photo program using your incredible experience and insight and take over the photo world because your so is so much better and retire to the South Sea and collect your royalties while Steve Jobs cries because he was not smart enough to listen to you

    LN
  • jrel678945 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Your tone is very sarcastic and unappealing Larry. Terence and I were just having a civilized discussion here about the finer points of my issue.

    I never claimed to be smarter than Steve Jobs (I happen to prefer Apple products in general), or that exporting is nasty, and I already mentioned that I do backups using time machine.

    I know what my options are. You have made them very clear, thank you.
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (134,535 points)
    Inside the iPhoto Library your pics are stored in exactly the same way as you store them on that external - files inside folder.

    Go to your Pictures Folder and find the iPhoto Library there. Right (or Control-) Click on the icon and select 'Show Package Contents'. A finder window will open with the Library exposed.

    Have a look inside the Originals Folder.

    A very simple way to achieve what you want - ease of import plus a copy of the originals on an external drive is to work the other way round.

    Import to a Managed Library and then, by means of an Automator Action, AppleScript and Folder Actions or even a wee app like Hazel watch that Originals Folder. When an addition is detected to the Originals Folder the script can make a copy of the addition on the external disk.

    That way you have the convenience of having iPhoto manage the files and a copy on the external disk. Better yet (now that I think of it) as deletions from the Library will also trigger a change in the Originals folder, your deletions will be mirrored on the external.

    Worth thinking about?

    Regards

    TD
  • jrel678945 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Great idea Terence.

    I keep my external drive organized by directories that aren't completely mirrored by the structure of the iPhoto Library Originals folder. This may make it a little bit harder to achieve what I'm going for, but worth a try. At any rate, I can certainly do this for new imports from my camera and they can be mirrored to my external exactly as they are saved by iPhoto. This should be easy to setup, and will solve my import problem.

    I'll give it a shot. Thanks!
  • angel.barreiros Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I also have the same issue with iPhoto. I understand the program is designed to work in a very specific way and keeping the managing the original user directories seems not to be possible (as opposite to import/copy first and manage the copies later). I want to keep my photos in a very specific way: [1] one directory per album and [2] album name following the chronological pattern "yyyy-mm-dd albumname". The main reason for this is that I have the photos in a external hard disk where I connect and manage them from different OS, not just OSX, which is not possible by using iPhoto organization. A similar issue existed in iTunes until I configured it to use my directory structure and just reference the music files. Strange to me the same does not apply to iPhoto.
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