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How should I start with iPhoto?

1838 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Nov 1, 2010 10:56 AM by paulapp RSS
Gerard Perret Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 28, 2010 12:43 AM
Good Morning,

I am a new Apple user, starting after more than 15 years with few Windows machines.

I just got a nice iMac and in addition an iPad for my wife.
I am so happy that I am really thinking to get as well a Macbook in a next future.

Now her are my questions regarding iPhoto:

1) I have transferred all my pictures from my laptop (managed with Google Picasa) into the iMac and stored them into structured Pictures folders.

Then I went to iPhoto to import my pictures and doing a test I discovered that the pictures were copied into iPhoto directory.
I found that there is an option to don’t copy the pictures but keep them as referenced from the hard drive.
I am not so afraid (not yet!!) about disk space as I am coming from a 50Gb to a 500Gb.
From your experiences what is the best option to use with iPhoto?
Copy or not copy?
What are the advantages/disadvantages of both solutions?

2) If I choose to import my pictures and copy them to iPhoto library does that mean that I can remove the original files from the HD (after having burned a backup CD/DVD for sure)?

3) How can I share my iPhoto library, first between different users on the same Imac and in addition how can we share/synchronize the library between my iMac and a MacBook?

Thank you In advance for your responses, this will help me a lot to start to organize my pictures.

+Best regards.+
Imac, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,650 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 28, 2010 12:55 AM (in response to Gerard Perret)
    Welcome to the Apple Discussions.

    From your experiences what is the best option to use with iPhoto?
    Copy or not copy?
    What are the advantages/disadvantages of both solutions?


    Copy.

    *If you don't*

    1. Importing and deleting pics are more complex procedures. You have to to put the files where they will be stored before importing them. When you delete them you'll need to remove the files from the HD yourself.

    2. You cannot move or rename the files on your system or iPhoto will lose track of them on systems prior to 10.5 and iPhoto 08. Even with the later versions issues can still arise if you move the referenced files to new volumes or between volumes.

    3. Most importantly, migrating to a new disk or computer can be much more complex.

    4. Because iPhoto has no tools for managing Referenced Files, if, for some reason, the path to the photos changes then you could find yourself resolving aliases for +each photo in the Library+ one by one.

    My own opinion:

    I've yet to see a good reason to run iPhoto in referenced mode unless you're using two photo organisers

    If disk space is an issue, you can run an entire iPhoto Library from an external disk:

    1. Quit iPhoto

    2. Copy the iPhoto Library as an entity from your Pictures Folder to the External Disk.

    3. Hold down the option (or alt) key while launching iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Choose Library' and navigate to the new location. From that point on this will be the default location of your library.

    4. Test the library and when you're sure all is well, trash the one on your internal HD to free up space.

    If you're concerned about accessing the files, There are many, many ways to access your files in iPhoto:

    *For Users of 10.5 and later*

    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
    Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!


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

    New Message Window
    Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!


    *For users of 10.4 and later* ...

    Many internet sites such as Flickr and SmugMug have plug-ins for accessing the iPhoto Library. If the site you want to use doesn’t then some, one or any of these will also work:

    To upload to a site that does not have an iPhoto Export Plug-in the recommended way is to Select the Pic in the iPhoto Window and go File -> Export and export the pic to the desktop, then upload from there. After the upload you can trash the pic on the desktop. It's only a copy and your original is safe in iPhoto.

    This is also true for emailing with Web-based services. However, if you're using Gmail you can use iPhoto2GMail

    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 later:
    Create a Media Browser using Automator (takes about 10 seconds) or use this free utility Karelia iMedia Browser

    Other options include:

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

    2. *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.

    3. *Show File*: 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.

    You can set Photoshop (or any image editor) as an external editor in iPhoto. (Preferences -> General -> Edit Photo: Choose from the Drop Down Menu.) This way, when you double click a pic to edit in iPhoto it will open automatically in Photoshop or your Image Editor, and when you save it it's sent back to iPhoto automatically. This is the only way that edits made in another application will be displayed in iPhoto.

    Note that iPhoto sends a copy+ of the file to Photoshop, so when you save be sure to use the Save command, not Save As... If you use Save As then you're creating a new file and iPhoto has no way of knowing about this new file. iPhoto is preserving your original anyway.

    2) If I choose to import my pictures and copy them to iPhoto library does that mean that I can remove the original files from the HD (after having burned a backup CD/DVD for sure)?


    Yes.

    3) How can I share my iPhoto library, first between different users on the same Imac


    For iPhoto 09 (version 8.0.2) and later:

    What you mean by 'share'.

    If you want the other user to be able to see the pics, but not add to, change or alter your library, then enable Sharing in your iPhoto (Preferences -> Sharing), leave iPhoto running and use Fast User Switching to open the other account. In that account, enable 'Look For Shared Libraries'. Your Library will appear in the other source pane.

    Any user can drag a pic from the Shared Library to their own in the iPhoto Window.

    Remember iPhoto must be running in both accounts for this to work.

    If you want the other user to have the same access to the library as you: to be able to add, edit, organise, keyword etc.

    Quit iPhoto in both accounts. Move the Library to the Users / Shared Folder

    (You can also use an external HD set to ignore permissions, a Disk Image or even partition your Hard Disk.)

    In each account in turn: Double click on the Library to open it. (You may be asked to repair the Library Permissions.) From that point on, this will be the default library location. Both accounts will have full access to the library, in fact, both accounts will 'own' it.

    However, there is a catch with this system and it is a significant one. iPhoto is not a multi-user app., it does not have the code to negotiate two users simultaneously writing to the database, and trying will cause db corruption. So only one user at a time, and back up, back up back up.

    and in addition how can we share/synchronize the library between my iMac and a MacBook?


    What do you mean by "Sync"?

    The general term means when two Libraries (A and B) are compared and files in Library A are copied to Library B, while files in Library B are also copied to Library A so that both Libraries are identical.

    This is bi-directional copying and you cannot do this with automatically with iPhoto. No Syncing software is capable of parsing the iPhoto Library in this manner. One or both of your Libraries will be damaged if you try this.

    You can have uni-directional copying - files in Library A are copied to Library B - this is essentially backing up. Obviously you can also copy from Library B to Library A.

    The nearest you can get to syncing is to use iPhoto Library Manager to move files/Albums/Events plus associated metadata between Libraries. This process cannot be automated.


    Regards

    TD
    MacBook Pro 15 2.4 C2D / iMac 20" 2.66 C2D, Mac OS X (10.6), 4 gig RAM/ 4 gig RAM
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,650 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 28, 2010 1:31 AM (in response to Gerard Perret)
    should I be able to use the same library on another machine later (I hane not this MacBook yet) and manage it from two different machines?


    Bst way: put the Library on an External Disk set to ignore Permissions and formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

    Then: Hold down the option (or alt) key key and launch iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Choose Library' and point all the machines at the Library. Note that the warnings about simultaneous access still apply.

    Another concern: A strong warning: If you're trying to edit the Library (that is, make albums, move photos around, keyword, make books or slideshows etc.) or edit individual photos in it via Wireless be very careful. Dropouts are a common fact of wireless networking, and should one occur while the app is writing to the database then your Library will be damaged. Simply, I would not do this with my Libraries.

    Regards

    TD
    MacBook Pro 15 2.4 C2D / iMac 20" 2.66 C2D, Mac OS X (10.6), 4 gig RAM/ 4 gig RAM
  • paulapp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 28, 2010 11:30 AM (in response to Gerard Perret)
    Congrats on your mac.

    Terence already has offered good answers but let me add a few alternative options.

    1. PLEASE set up a Time Machine backup with an External HD. This is a must. Time Machine is a GREAT/easy backup tool.

    2. Try using a free tool called ExifRenamer. It renames photos/videos to date/time they were taken. Obviously this is more useful if the camera's watch was set to correct time. Nevertheless, very useful tool for managing photos. Use small set of photos to experiment. Make sure you backup before experimenting. It can rename many photos in mutiple directories with just a few clicks.

    3. Best time to use ExifRenamer is right when you download photos from your camera. You might want to backup the 5000 photos and than try renaming them with ExifRenamer.

    4. Another tool you can try is 'iPhoto Buddy'. It lets you work with multiple iPhoto Libraries, not just the one default iPhoto sets up when you first boot up.

    Good luck.
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,650 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 28, 2010 11:39 AM (in response to paulapp)
    1. PLEASE set up a Time Machine backup with an External HD. This is a must. Time Machine is a GREAT/easy backup tool.


    I heartily concur

    2. Try using a free tool called ExifRenamer. It renames photos/videos to date/time they were taken. Obviously this is more useful if the camera's watch was set to correct time. Nevertheless, very useful tool for managing photos. Use small set of photos to experiment. Make sure you backup before experimenting. It can rename many photos in mutiple directories with just a few clicks.


    It might be a good idea to detail a workflow for doing this for less experienced users, plus the advantages you see.

    3. Best time to use ExifRenamer is right when you download photos from your camera. You might want to backup the 5000 photos and than try renaming them with ExifRenamer.


    It's a good idea to stress that it cannot be used on photos +inside iPhoto+

    Another tool you can try is 'iPhoto Buddy'. It lets you work with multiple iPhoto Libraries, not just the one default iPhoto sets up when you first boot up.


    What does iPhoto Buddy do that can't be done just by holding the option (or alt) key on launch?

    Regards

    TD
    MacBook Pro 15 2.4 C2D / iMac 20" 2.66 C2D, Mac OS X (10.6), 4 gig RAM/ 4 gig RAM
  • paulapp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 1, 2010 10:56 AM (in response to Terence Devlin)
    I like iPhoto Buddy because it's easy. Makes the iPhoto experience much more seamless. And 'iPhoto Buddy Menu' feature lets me see easily what iPhoto Library is available to open (in case you have multiple iPhoto Libraries on multiple HDs).

    You just have to give it a try to see. It's very useful tool.


    As for ExifRenamer tool, I'm afraid I don't have the time to write good enough workflow but here's a quick intro by the developer that wrote it.

    http://www.qdev.de/?location=mac/exifrenamer
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)

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