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I have over 45000 photos named and numbered why does IPhoto want to (Import) the photos that are already on my Computer?

14524 Views 32 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2014 8:15 PM by nandhs RSS
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seyffer Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
May 16, 2011 10:23 PM

I have over 45000 Photos named and numbered on my computer, not associated with any program I just call up the files using finder. this way I can see my Photos and the categorised. I have installed Iphoto but why now does IPhoto want to (Import) the photos? they are already on my computer? Is this not using more memory on my system? I have checked where I put the Iphoto library but there are no files to open.?

 

Can any one explain where iphoto puts the files that it imports?

 

Hans

iPhoto '11, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,745 points)

    By default, iPhoto copies the files into the Library. Since iPhoto 7 (iLife 08) the old iPhoto Library Folder is a Package File. This is simply a folder that looks like a file in the Finder. The change was made to the format of the iPhoto library because many users were inadvertently corrupting their library by browsing through it with other software or making changes in it themselves.

     

    Want to see inside? 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.

     

    Standard warning: Don't change anything in the iPhoto Library Folder via the Finder or any other application. iPhoto depends on the structure as well as the contents of this folder. Moving things, renaming things,, deleting them or otherwise making changes will prevent iPhoto from working and could even cause you to damage or lose your photos.

     

    It's not true to say that your photos are currently assocaited with any program. The Finder is a program. You are using the Finder to manage your photos. It's the Go-To app for anything you want to do - email one, print one, edit one, upload one - you access it via the Finder.

     

    Works perfectly well, but rather limited. It treats the photos as files, and doesn't really distinguish between them and Word Processing files or mp3 files or anything else.

     

    Apps like iPhoto (and other examples, like Aperture or Lightroom) are Photo Managers. They are designed to replace the Finder. So, if you use one of these apps, it becomes the Go-To app for your photos. You edit the photos , you email them etc via the Photo Manager. How are where the files are stored doesn't matter, it's just storage.

     

    Are you sure that's what you want?

     

    The plus side with iPhoto is that if you do use it, you have a manger designed to leverage the prticular qualitiies of photos and their standard metadata. Navigation is visual, arrangements are very flexible, you can group, sort, classify and find any photo much faster than you can find files in the Finder. The Library is also available througout the the OS, in every Open.. Or Attach... Dialogue, in media browsers and so on.

     

    The down side, is you have to learn a new way to work.

     

    Are you that's what you want?

     

    You can run a Referenced Library. But I don't recommend it for a few reasons.

     

    How to do it:

     

    iPhoto -> Preferences -> Advanced and uncheck the box at 'Copy items to the iPhoto Library'

     

    Now when you import iPhoto makes an alias in the Library Package that points to the stored file. Note: iPhoto still creates a thumbnail of the image and it makes a Preview of edited photos inside the Library Package.

     

    Issues?

     

    1. You are responsible for file management. That's more work:

     

    You must first move the files from your camera to the storage location before importing.

     

    If you want to delete files then you must first trash them from iPhoto and then afterwards find them in your storage and trash them.

     

    Thereafter, you cannot move the files on early versions of iPhoto at all, on iPhoto 08 and later you may move them on the same Volume or Disk. If you move them to a new volume or disk the aliases my break. If they are on an different volume and you move them the aliases will break.

     

    You cannot rename the files.

     

    Migrating: moving to a new machine, moving the files to another disk are all a lot more complex.

     

    2. You gain no extra functionality from running a Referenced Library. Nothing. This is just storage. You still manage the files via iPhoto. You edit them with iPhoto or via iPhoto's External Editor setting, otherwise you're changes will not be available in iPhoto. You don't save  byte of storage space. IF you do access the files via the Finder or another app, then you risk corrupting your Library.

     

    3.  If you have the Library on one volume and the photos on another you if anything changes in the path to a file (Like if you upgrade your machine, move the files on the NAS or on to another one?) then the alias will break, and you'll have to repair it manually. For every photo in the Library. One at a time.

     

    Why do you want to run a Referenced Library?

     

    Because my photos won't fit on my HD? You can run a Managed library from an external disk.

     

    Make sure the drive is formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

     

    1. Quit iPhoto

     

    2. Copy the iPhoto Library 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.

     

    What if I want to edit them in another app? 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.

     

    How will I access the files if I need them?

    There are many, many ways to access your files in iPhoto:   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-1.jpg

     

    (Note the above illustration is not a Finder Window. It's the dialogue you get when you go File -> Open)

     

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

     

    New Message Window.jpg

     

    There's a similar option in Outlook and many, many other apps.  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 10.5 Create a Media Browser using Automator (takes about 10 seconds) or use this free utility Karelia iMedia Browser

     

    Other options include:

     

     

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

     

    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.

     

    Show File:  a. On iPhoto 09 and earlier:  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.    3.b.

     

    b: On iPhoto 11 and later: Select one of the affected photos in the iPhoto Window and go File -> Reveal in Finder -> Original. A Finder window will pop open with the file already selected.

     

    Regards

     

     

    TD

  • Colin Archer Calculating status...

    Terrence great info

    sorry to hijack this thread, maybe I should start  a new one, but I pick up that all my questions will probably relate to this post and you will answer with your knowledge

     

    In the process of wanting to configure iphoto (ilife11) right from the start for my scenario if thats possible

     

    Its actually a reconfigure but I have backup of my current setup so happy to start again but heres the setup and scenario of what I'd like to achieve

     

    I have older mac mini, a buffalo NAS drive on my network,and have just added a 1Tb seagate go flex drive to my mac for Time machine backups

     

    I also have a number of windows laptops at home, kids wife etc who from time to time may want to access the photos

     

    And would also like to be able to access them myself and at a later stage view via apple tv, using ios devices, etc for viewing smart albums slideshows etc

     

    My Tv also has a media server link which allows me to view everything on my NAS

     

    I will organise my photos within Iphoto, my thoughts are to have this stored on the seagate drive, is this wise to be on the same drive as my time machine backup

     

    Do I go for referenced library with photos held in folders on the seagate drive or should I just use a managed library and import them directly to Iphoto, not 100% on the benefits / disadvantages of both systems

     

    And finally which of the options if either or both, will allow me to view the photos on the other devices I've listed in my network setup, Apple TV, IOS devices, and windows laptops

     

    I'm happy to also setup some kind of export / backup of the iphoto library to my nas drive for the other devices if need be - guessing this can possibly done as an automater task from the mac

     

    Hope it makes sense, but certainly would appreciate your experienced views and advice before I make a start and a complete B%%Ls up of the whole thing

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,905 points)

    Basically iPhoto is simply not the application for you

     

    You can not have the iPhoto library on a NAS.

     

    You can not access your iPhoto photos from the PC.

     

    You can not have your iPhoto library (or any other dynamic file) on the same volume as a Time Machine backup.

     

    You can not use your TV media link to view your photos.

     

    Referenced libraries are problematic and are not recommended

     

    You can use Apple TV and you can export photos to a destination of your choice including your NAS. Automating that process is far beyond the scope of this forum. You need to look at Apple Script and/or Automator

     

    You can link your photos to IOS devices

     

    In short you need to look for a different solution which has cross platform capability

     

    LN

  • Colin Archer Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    thanks for the reply Larry

     

    However to my knowledge, I believe you are wrong or have misunderstood what I require

     

    I am fully aware I cant host the iphotos library on the NAS, however nothing to stop me exporting or sharing my iphoto library on the NAS for multi platform devices across my network, backup purposes etc

     

    I can also have my iphoto library on the same drive as my time machine backup, however this may not be advisableshould the drive ail

     

    And I certainly can export the photos to the NAS to be able to see them on other PC's on the network, Apple Tv etc as you have suggested

     

    I certainly am not expecting to find the functionality that Iphoto offers me within MAC OSX to be the same experience from my windows attached devices

  • espanian Calculating status...

    Ok, I ackowledge the disadvantages, but surely one of the advantages (perhaps the only advantage) of using a referenced library is that, if for some reason the 'default' iPhoto Library (i.e. not a referenced library) gets corrupted you will lose all of your photos?

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,905 points)

    thanks for the reply Larry

     

    However to my knowledge, I believe you are wrong or have misunderstood what I require

     

    > no I understand perfectly

     

    I am fully aware I cant host the iphotos library on the NAS, however nothing to stop me exporting or sharing my iphoto library on the NAS for multi platform devices across my network, backup purposes etc

     

    > true which is why I said "you can export photos to a destination of your choice including your NAS."

     

    I can also have my iphoto library on the same drive as my time machine backup, however this may not be advisableshould the drive ail

     

    > incorrect. TM expands until it totally fills its backup volume and at that time you will lose access to your iPhoto library. Plus even if it worked you would have no backup since there is a common point of failure

     

    And I certainly can export the photos to the NAS to be able to see them on other PC's on the network, Apple Tv etc as you have suggested

     

    > yes as I said

     

    I certainly am not expecting to find the functionality that Iphoto offers me within MAC OSX to be the same experience from my windows attached devices

     

     

     

    Ok, I ackowledge the disadvantages, but surely one of the advantages (perhaps the only advantage) of using a referenced library is that, if for some reason the 'default' iPhoto Library (i.e. not a referenced library) gets corrupted you will lose all of your photos?

     

    > that is not an advantage since a corrupted iPhoto library dies not lose any photos. It simply means that iPhoto can not access them but they are still files in the file system that can be accessed via the finder.

     

    Again. IPhoto is not the program for you. You either need to change your requirements to meet iPhoto's capabilities or use a different program that does meet your requirements

     

    Do what you want but if you put the iPhoto library on the TM backup volume or upset iPhoto in a referenced mode you will have major problems in the future

     

    LN

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,745 points)

    Ok, I ackowledge the disadvantages, but surely one of the advantages (perhaps the only advantage) of using a referenced library is that, if for some reason the 'default' iPhoto Library (i.e. not a referenced library) gets corrupted you will lose all of your photos?

     

    But you won't. All those files are just stored in the Finder, like you would do them.

     

    And of course, no matter what, the protection against data loss is a good back up strategy.

  • Boerne Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    re: Referenced library...

     

    Does this apply to Aperture libraries, too? (I rarely use the adjustments/editing capabilities of either iPhoto or Aperture. Mostly PSE. However, I greatly rely on organization/tagging/etc. of both Aperture/iPhoto)

     

    Thanks.

  • Boerne Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    But you won't. All those files are just stored in the Finder, like you would do them.

     

    "Like you would do them." Really? I think not. Not arguing the point that you won't lose them, just that the placement of the files appears haphazard. Only if imported with correct time/date info will it remain organized. Otherwise, the files can be seemingly be anywhere in the guts of the package. I know there is logic to it, but best left to iPhoto Manager or other app to figure that out.

     

    Pictures\1951-10-10 Old Slide Scans

    :

    Pictures\2012-01-01 New Year's Day

    Pictures\2012-02-15 Ski Trip

    :

    is a lot easier for me to find than where these files are in the library package. Tell me where those 1951 slides are going to be found in the package of a non-ref iPhoto library? Or am I missing something? Take it easy on me, I have but one dot.

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (113,315 points)

    Colin:

     

    It sounds like you might be interested in a cross platform application like Media Pro 1.  With MP one can store the image files in their own folder organization on a NAS server and access them from either a Mac or PC with Media Pro installed.  Instead of libraries like iPhoto uses MP uses catalogs which contain thumbails of the photos,  the use added metadata and can be used even if the source files are not online (but only to view the thumbnails (up to 640 x 480 in size).  If you store the catalog file on the server with the source files then both PCs and Macs and manage the image collection.  Worth thinking about.

     

    I use MP as my primary DAM (digital asset management) application and iPhoto for special projects like books, card, calendars and slideshow. 

     

    OT

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,745 points)

    By 'like you would do them' I meant that they are stored as files in folders. It has a rational system, and I'm sure you would too, but they might not necessarily be the same system.

     

    It has changed from version to version but in the current versins of both iphoto and Aperture the files are stored by date and time of import.

     

    The biggest reservation I have about iPhoto in Referenced mode is the enormous problem that arises if the link between the db and the actual files is broken. iPhoto has no tools except the Finder, and tediously reconnecting the files - sometimes one by one. (Or, possibly, hacking the SQL database.)

     

    There is no such reservation with Aperture. You can rconnect masters, relocated and conolidate them. These are the tools missing in iPhoto.

     

    Regards

     

     

    TD

  • Boerne Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thank you for this. I'd assumed this to be true. I appreciate you guys sharing all the good info.

    There is no such reservation with Aperture. You can rconnect masters, relocated and conolidate them. These are the tools missing in iPhoto.

     

  • Brian O. Calculating status...

    Terence,

     

    After reading this thread, I would very much like to get your input.  I was about to switch my library to Reference mode because of some recent loss of photos.  I had about 10-12 events where the pics basically disappeared. My wife noticed the missing pics shortly after I upgraded to Mountain Lion. The Events still show up in iPhoto, but the square is simply the same color as the background.  The pic show up basically the same way-- dashed line around a blank square, with the filename right there underneath.

     

    I worked with Apple Support on 4 different occassions, upgrading iPhoto, running every repair option there is, and restoring 4 other versions of the entire Library, but to no avail.

     

    My frustration is that I have Time Machine backups going back years, but they only restore the entire library, and though I went back to versions of the library well before the Mountain Lion upgrade, all versions of the Library had the empty events.  And while I can see the filenames of every missing photo, I can't restore those files.  Time machine can't look inside the iPhoto Library, apparently.

     

    Hence my plan to export all pics to the filesystem, so I can back them up like any other file.  I think I would trade the overhead of file management (I really don't edit many photos at all, or move the files around) for the security of knowing I could restore a file or folder if I needed to.

     

    Thoughts?

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,745 points)

    My thought is that it's a bad idea, and unnecessary.

     

    If you switch to a Referenced Library you gain zero extra capability for a lot more work.

     

    Want to back up just the Master files? File -> Export, set the  Kind to Original and that will produce a folder of your masters. Do that after every import.

     

    Regards

     

     

    TD

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