Previous 1 2 Next 18 Replies Latest reply: Sep 6, 2011 3:47 AM by Terence Devlin
lapunkd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I just switched back to a Mac after a hiatus with a Vista PC.  I have all my photos organized into folders based on a very specific and personal organization system in which I am able to quickly find the original file for any of my 20,000 photos.

 

I'm already very annoyed by iPhoto's lack of support for a truly robust "referenced" file mode, since if you turn off the copy on import option, it actually really does still copy your photos the moment you make any changes, and deleting from iPhoto doesn't delete the original referenced file, etc.

 

The thing that is truly aggravating, that will likely make me never use iPhoto if there is no work around is that in regular (non-referenced) library mode, upon importing photos, it puts them all in these asininely named folders that are completely indistinguishable from each other.  It's nice that in the GUI the photos are grouped by their original folder rather than by idiotic "events" that are otherwise arbitrarily created upon import from a camera, but when you want to go find the edited photo file to place on a thumb drive, or to upload through a dialog box on a website, or any other of the thousand tasks you're not able to do in iPhoto, you have to go searching through all these ridiculous folders.

 

Is there a way to change the naming conventions of these folders?  Is it possible to make iPhoto store photos in file folders named based on the "Event" their contained in in the GUI?  I might consider using iPhoto if there is some way to change this, because I do like a lot of the editing functions that are not in Picasa, and Picasa has built-in cross functionality with iPhoto libraries.  Props to Google for ensuring interoperability, major negative points to Apple for making iPhoto into some kind of ivory tower.


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (60,410 points)

    You need to either learn how to use a database (iPhoto is a SQL database program) or use a file manager instead

     

    You can not "Make" a database program adhere to your rules - you must use its structure

     

    Aggressive attacks will not help - you can use iPhoto or not - but expecting the world to stop and immediately implement your personal demands is truly asinine - iPhoto is a very versatile and powerful photo management database used by tens of missions of people - while there is nothing wrong with your file management plan it has no where near the power of a database application like iPhoto - I can find all photos of my wife and my daughter in France in 2007 instantly - as I can of my dog and my grandson in California - or any other search criteria you can think of - your system simply can not do anything close to that

     

    In any case you need to make a decision - no one here cares what you do - and there is no need to attack or threaten us cause it is simply asinine - we are here to help people use iPhoto - not to change people's minds - and we have exactlly the same power as you to change the program - zero

     

    iPhoto is what it is - you decide to use it or not

     

    LN

  • lapunkd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Larry,

     

    I'm not concerned about finding photos within iPhoto. I agree that its database capabilities are strong.  But it is not designed (out of the box, at least) to be user friendly to anyone who wants to access their photos from outside of iPhoto.  There are many, many things which you cannot do from within iPhoto, which requires you to access the actual file on your hard drive.  Not only can you not browse through the file system in Finder, if you access the file system through a dialogue box in other programs or web pages, you have to navigate through the inarguably arbitrary folder names like "20110521-163141" to find your photos.

     

    I think you'd be hardpressed to tell me that Apple has more robust database management capabilities than Google, and yet Picasa can be operated both in a fully managed library mode, as well as a file-referenced mode which allows users easy access to their photos both inside and outside of the program.

     

    I'm sure there is a way to toy around with how iPhoto handles its databases, which is why I asked the question.

     

    I would be happy to tinker with it, but I'm no SQL expert, so I was hoping someone on this forum might have some pointers about where to start.

     

    Thanks for the help.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (128,190 points)

    I don't think that iPhoto is the right app for you. You really should use one that makes you happy, not one that doesn't work the way you want.

     

    The important thing to remember about Referenced Libraries - regardless of what app you use - is that they are only about file storage. They add no functionality at all.

     

    if there is no work around is that in regular (non-referenced) library mode, upon importing photos, it puts them all in these asininely named folders that are completely indistinguishable from each other.

     

    I'm not sure why a folder system named by the date and time of import seems "asinine" to you, it's quite clear to me. But of course, how these folders are named doesn't matter at all. Why?

     

    but when you want to go find the edited photo file to place on a thumb drive, or to upload through a dialog box on a website, or any other of the thousand tasks you're not able to do in iPhoto, you have to go searching through all these ridiculous folders.

     

    No you don't. There is never a reason for you to search through those folders. Ever. Take a moment and learn how to use the application.

     

    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

     

     

     

    (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

     

     

    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.

     

    Is there a way to change the naming conventions of these folders? 

     

    No, and as the above demonstrates, there's no need to.

     

    Is it possible to make iPhoto store photos in file folders named based on the "Event" their contained in in the GUI?

     

    DItto.

     

    Props to Google for ensuring interoperability, major negative points to Apple for making iPhoto into some kind of ivory tower.

     

    iPhoto is not an ivory tower. Prety much every app on your Mac will interact with it. The library is available in Media browsers and every Open dialogue in the entire OS. There are published APIs for doing this. Google, for some reason, won't use these and so rely on unsupported hacks for their "interoperability", which means that you can find yourself locked out from your Library every now and then, as the app is updated and Picasa is slow to update.

     

    Regards

     

     

    TD

  • lapunkd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    TD,


    You're right, the more I read, I'm finding that iPhoto may not be quite the right program for me, more so that it was 3 years ago when I last left it.

     

    I recognize that there are many ways to access your photos in various OS X programs.  Generally, though,  Apple restricts access to your photos to a few controlled ways.  I understand that this was done at some point between iPhoto v6 and v9 because of the number of people who were poking around in the folder structure and corrupting their database, but that shouldn't be an excuse.

     

    Instead of treating the problem and making iPhoto more open and robust in allowing users and other programs to interact with their raw data, Apple chose instead to treat the sympton by restricting direct access to your own data except through specific programs and plug-ins.  In case you haven't noticed, this bothers me.  It's one of the worst cop outs in problem solving.

     

    The folders names are asinine because they are meaningless to a user.  It's like naming variables in a software program var1, var2, var3, etc.  Yes, the names come from somewhere, as you said.  But for a user, the moment at which they import their photos has no significance whatsoever and bears no connection to the content of the photos or the time and place at which they were taken.

     

    By your argument that a user should never need or want to see the actual image files located in their file structure, this naming may be acceptable.  But your argument is dubious.

     

    What happens if your computer dies and you want to recover all your files onto a new machine without iPhoto?  Suddenly you're left to sort through photos that are organized based on the moment which they were imported into the program.  Not based on the date they were taken, even, which would be more understandable.

     

    Furthermore, I understand enough about databases to know that it isn't technically difficult to name folders based on the content of the "Event" field for each photo, or the "Album" field, or the "Date taken" field, etc.  It's disappointing that Apple has chosen not to give its users this flexibility natively, but I was hoping someone might be able to lead me in the direction of such a workaround here.

     

    Your Automation tips are helpful, thanks for those.

     

    But fundamentally we have different ideas of what's necessary and what's not.  I think it's necessary to control how a program names, stores, and manipulates your files.  You seem content to let iPhoto do all that its own way.

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (120,280 points)

    M

    It sounds like Media Pro 1 is an application that you should try.  You can get a 30 day demo run.  It'll do all you want and much more.  It's my primary DAM (digital asset management) application. I use iPhoto for special projects like books, calendars, cards, etc. 

     

    OT

  • lapunkd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    OT,

     

    Thanks for the tip on Media Pro.  $199 is a little steep considering Picasa does a lot of what I'm looking for for free, but I'm definitely going to check it out.  Dloading the trial right now.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (128,190 points)

    I want to stress that I'm not arguing with you. My only reason for making this post is for others who may read this thread at some point in the future. The points you raise turn up here from time to time and offer the opportunity to illustrate the thinking behind iPhoto.

     

    Neither does anything I say invalidate the approach taken by other developers. There are positives and negatives in every approach.

     

    With respect, you're confusing your files with your data. There is no restriction whatever on the acces to your data with iPhoto. There's a very tiny limit on your access to the files.

     

    Iphoto is a database. It's for folks who want to manage the data and are not so bothered about the files. Like iTunes. Like AddressBook etc etc etc

     

    Here's the leap: A file is not the same thing as the data it contains. Your novel is not that Word doc, but the sentences that it contains. That mp3 file is not the song and that jpeg is not your photo.

     

    So, import the photos, manage the photos, organise them, edit them, work with and use them in any way you want. Think photos. You never need to think files. Connect your camera, import. Everything you do is done via the interface. There is simply never a need to think files. Just think photos.

     

    So this isn't actually true at all:

     

    Generally, though,  Apple restricts access to your photos to a few controlled ways.

     

    Quite the opposite is true: Apple offers you more access to your Photos when using iPhoto (or Aperture) than just about any other method I have found - throughout the OS your Library is there and available in just about every app on your Mac. Even better, that access is organised by iPhoto. Search the iPhoto Library from within the Media Browser or the Dialogue. It's organisied by you on your system and a whole lot faster and more convenient.

     

    I understand that this was done at some point between iPhoto v6 and v9 because of the number of people who were poking around in the folder structure and corrupting their database,

     

    What was done was putting the files in the Library into a package. But here's the thing: the access to the photos didn't change at all. Rooting around in the Library folder was never supported. It was simply never the way to access those files.

     

    Instead of treating the problem and making iPhoto more open and robust in allowing users and other programs to interact with their raw data, Apple chose instead to treat the sympton by restricting direct access to your own data except through specific programs and plug-ins.  In case you haven't noticed, this bothers me.

     

    Well - allowing that you're confusing files with data - this does illustrate a choice by the developers. Picasa, as you mention, allows you access the files (but a whole lot less access to the data) but to do this litters your Hard Disk with hundreds of invisible files created trying to track the location and changes you make. That's a design choice. Swings and roundabouts.

     

    The folders names are asinine because they are meaningless to a user.

     

    With respect, "asinine" is not the same as "meaningless", and frankly, just because you didn't get it a first go doesn't mean that others didn't.

     

    But for a user, the moment at which they import their photos has no significance whatsoever and bears no connection to the content of the photos or the time and place at which they were taken.

     

    Well there has to be some organising principle, the developers chose this one, and as the user never accesses these folders anyway, it's moot. It's like complaining about the colour coding of the wiring in your car - a driver never needs to access that.

     

    What happens if your computer dies and you want to recover all your files onto a new machine without iPhoto?

     

    That's what back ups are for. And if you're specifically thinking of recovering to a machine without iPhoto then you're going to have more problems than the date - what do you recover? Originals? Edited versions? Both? What about metadata? And remember, the date and times of the original photos are safe in the files.

     

    Put another way, I know of no photo app on any system that will allow full data recovery onto another system without that app. The best any will offer is you get your files back. Some won't even give you your originals back. You can't recover your Lightroom catalogue to a system without LR, you can't recover your Aperture Library to a system without Aperture and you can't recover your Picasa Library to a system without Picasa. So, iPhoto is in pretty good company.

     

    However, if you have a back up then recovering a full dataset to a system with iPhoto is trivial. (And is true of these other apps as well.)

     

    Note too: that the case you mention is specifically about Disaster Recovery. Migration on to other apps is perfectly possible (albeit with the same limitations as other apps have too.)

     

    But fundamentally we have different ideas of what's necessary and what's not.  I think it's necessary to control how a program names, stores, and manipulates your files.  You seem content to let iPhoto do all that its own way.

     

    And that's why I say iPhoto is not for you. It's swings and roundabouts. For you, file management is important, for me, data management is. I just prefer to organise my photos rather than the files.

     

    Again, I stress, my aim is not to argue with you but to respond to your points for the benefit (I hope) of folks who may read this thread in years to come.

     

    Regards

     

     

    TD

  • Rocco Corriere Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am also frustrated by the fact that iPhoto does not give the name of the Event to the folder in the Originals folder where the pics are stored as was done in previous versions.  What braniac decided naming the Event folders numerically?  It was much easier finding photos through Event folders.  Is there a fix?

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (128,190 points)

    Not read the thread, no?

  • Rocco Corriere Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I read it, TD, but nowhere does it explain why Apple decided to numerically name Event folders in Originals folder where they were once named as the Event.  You've made it clear that one cannot get around this, but failed to explain why someone at Apple thought this was a good idea.  Did you fail to read that portion of my comment?  How about answering that?  It was so much easier to find photos when folders were named after the Events.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (128,190 points)

    Not read you own post then?

     

    If I read your question correctly you asked two questions specifically

     

    What braniac decided naming the Event folders numerically?

     

    I'm not sure who made the decision

     

    You then asked

     

    Is there a fix?

     

    And, as explained - at length - this is no way to change this, and no need to.

     

    Please qoute me the part of your post where you asked me

     

    to explain why someone at Apple thought this was a good idea.

     

    because I can't see it. That said, as I don't work for Apple I have no insight into why they make the decisions they do. I have do idea why you would expect that I would.

     

     

     

    Then, are you sure you read my post above? Because really

     

    It was so much easier to find photos when folders were named after the Events.

     

    when you make a statement like that it really does sugggest that you haven't read the thread at all. Let me summarise for you:

     

    1. There is no need for you to ever search through the folders of the iPhoto Library. Ever.

     

    2. It's not supported.

     

    3. All of the supported methods are a: safer and b: faster than rooting through the old library folders.

     

    Regards

     

     

    TD

  • Rocco Corriere Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Are you even aware that once you named an Event, a folder was created in the Originals folder with the name of the Event?  I never had to go into the Library folder to find photos.  Which part of that don't you understand, TD? 

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (128,190 points)
    Which part of that don't you understand, TD?

     

    Just the parts that don't make sense.

     

    Are you even aware that once you named an Event, a folder was created in the Originals folder with the name of the Event? 

     

    That never happened. In iPhoto 08 if you named an Event the corresponding folder in the Library was also renamed - not created, renamed. But since iPhoto 09 there is no corresponding folder for Events in the iPhoto Window so that became all rather pointless. (In iPhoto 08, if you moved a photo from one Event to another the file on the HD moved as well, That hasn't happened in any version since.)

     

    I never had to go into the Library folder to find photos.

     

    Then what on earth are you talking about? In your first post you say

     

    I am also frustrated by the fact that iPhoto does not give the name of the Event to the folder in the Originals folder where the pics are stored as was done in previous versions.... It was much easier finding photos through Event folders. 

     

    If you've never had to go into the Library folders, how do you claim "it was much easier finding photos through Event folders"? If you've never had to go into the Library to find photos, what frustration do you feel, exactly? I mean if you've never had to go into the Library to find photos, how can you possibly tell that it was much easier?

     

    Regards

     

     

    TD

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (60,410 points)

    Rocco Corriere wrote:

     

    Are you even aware that once you named an Event, a folder was created in the Originals folder with the name of the Event?  I never had to go into the Library folder to find photos.  Which part of that don't you understand, TD? 

     

    To repeat myself!

    In any case you need to make a decision - no one here cares what you do - and there is no need to attack or threaten us cause it is simply asinine - we are here to help people use iPhoto - not to change people's minds - and we have exactlly the same power as you to change the program - zero

     

    iPhoto is what it is - you decide to use it or not

     

    LN

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