Previous 1 2 Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Aug 22, 2012 3:25 AM by Terence Devlin
Aitchb65 Level 1 (0 points)

Mac OS X 10.7.4 iPhoto 11 v 9.3


I have my photos (25,000+) stored on an external HDD in a folder called IMAGES where all the sub-folders become an "event" in iPhoto. This is backed up to a second ex-HDD.

I unchecked the <Importing> box in iPhoto advanced preferences. I add new folders as needed to IMAGES, drag and drop the new images into their new folder “Event” and then in iPhoto IMPORT TO LIBRARY that new "event". iPhoto correctly points to the IMAGES folder on my ex HDD and Photos and Events (sub-folders) show correctly in iPhoto. This keeps the folder on my Ex HDD, as an event and does not duplicate the images.


I have been experimenting with Auto Import and made an alias of the folder “Auto Import” found in “Pictures” in the iPhoto Library (right click and expand package). The alias is now on the desktop and if I drop an image in it, iPhoto, when loaded, imports it automatically BUT it places it is its “Masters” folder in the iPhoto Library on my Mac’s HD. If I drop a folder with an image inside it, iPhoto imports just the image and ignores the folder. It then tells me there is a file/folder that it can’t read (the now empty folder).


I have also just purchased Aperture and I presume that it is iPhoto that imports not Aperture?


So the question is: Can I import photos automatically that do not reside inside “Masters” and will recognize a folder as an event and will not be stroed on my Mac's Hard disk?

iPhoto '11, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,940 points)

    1. You need to really think very very carefully before you run iPhoto in referenced mode (unchecked the <Importing> box in iPhoto advanced preferences), especially when the files are on one drive and the Library on another. If the path to the files changes then you will be fixing that for every image in the Library, one by one.


    For more on that:





    Can I import photos automatically that do not reside inside “Masters” and will recognize a folder as an event and will not be stroed on my Mac's Hard disk?




    You're opting to manage the files. So you need to manage them. You could try set up a folder action or Automator to do the job. Or check out an app like Hazel



    3. If you have Aperture all of this is a non issue. Aperture is a complete replacement for iPhoto. You can import directly from your camera to wherever you want to store the files. It's an option in the Improt dialogue in Aperture. See the manual for more.






  • Aitchb65 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you Terrance for that reply.


    I gather from what you are saying and have said on other posts that:

    1. it is better to let Aperture manage the library.

    2. iPhoto, being redundant should/need not be used.

    3. The iPhoto library in "pictures", should be moved to the external HD where the Images are stored. The old library trashed.

    4. Aperture will import to "masters" all the images in my folder, using the folder titles as events.

    5. If the count is right, I can put my images folder in the trash (actually onto a spare HDD in case!).

    6. I can still use a new alias of the auto import folder on my desktop and drop the photos into it. It will now point to the "masters" folder in the new library, which is now on the exHD. Then in Aperture name the event.


    Is that about right?

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,940 points)

    1. Either app can manage the Library now. But I strongly suggest that you pick one horse and ride it . It's less confusing in the long run.


    2. That's up to you... But I personally don't see a role for it if you have Aperture.


    3. No. Here's the thing. It's all about those pitfalls. As you have a Referenced Library... Moving the library to the external will break the file paths. See? But if you're using Aperture it doesn't matter and there's no need to move the Library as it has the tools to manage referenced files on other volumes.


    4. Not to be rude but RTFM The Import options for Aperture are much more varied. You can import files from the camera and move them whereever you like on import. But the options are many and varied, so I do urge you to read the Aperture manual.


    5. Not sure what you're referring to here.


    6. Again this is unnecessary if you opt for Aperture.






  • Aitchb65 Level 1 (0 points)

    It's Aperture.


    Thanks a million for your input.

  • jodyfors380 Level 1 (0 points)

    Got any magic to make it possible to import photos to iPhoto 11 from an LG Octane cell phone?

  • LarryHN Level 9 (77,015 points)

    Contact LG support or see what Google can find



  • jodyfors380 Level 1 (0 points)

    LG support does not help. After a lot of reading I found that MacBook Air (mid-2011) does not have a slot for memory card. More reading and cussing. What I needed was a memory card reader. Called the Apple Store, none in stock. Finally found one at Office Max. Called the Vivitar number on the wrapping and ended up in India. No help. Called Apple Support twice and finally got the pictures off the memory card in my LG Octane but the first techie didn't tell me all the instructions and I also got 6,800 photos in my library. The second techie told me how to make another iPhoto Library-2, drag my photos that I want to keep into it, and said to throw away the first library. No one seemed impressed by the number of photos my computer found in its hard drive. I was stunned. So there you have it, Apple fans.

  • Bulldawgmom Level 1 (0 points)

    I have been searching and searching and I think ya'll could help me...

    I had a macbook bought a macbook pro.

    I put my 32K photos and i photo on an external harddrive "Seagate goflex desk 2tb")

    This went well, on this external harddrive all files/ photos and events/subfolders are stored perfectly just like original.


    I want to bring all of the photos and events/subfolders, to my macbook pro from the external harddrive. I have viewed them on my pro, but not brought them over.  I have read all the problems, so i want to make sure i do it exactly right when i transfer in.

    Please give me very specific instructions, i will follow them, but you two lost me a little bit in your discussion above.

    I have MAC OS X 10.7.4

    The iphoto is Iphoto 11 Vs. 9.3.2

    I appreciate you taking the time!

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,940 points)

    Are you running a Managed or a Referenced Library?


    A Managed Library, is the default setting, and iPhoto copies files into the iPhoto Library when Importing. The files are then stored in the Library package


    A Referenced Library is when iPhoto is NOT copying the files into the iPhoto Library when importing because you made a change at iPhoto -> Preferences -> Advanced. (You unchecked the option to copy files into the Library on import) The files are then stored where ever you put them and not in the Library package. In this scenario you are responsible for the File Management. 

  • Bulldawgmom Level 1 (0 points)

    THank you, thank you!!  Based on your GREAT description... I am running a Managed Library.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,940 points)

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


    1. Quit iPhoto


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


    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.







  • Bulldawgmom Level 1 (0 points)

    I will follow your instruction..1,2,3...

    I just do not know how to... "Make sure the drive is formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled)"

    Or is that what the instructions (1,2,3) will do? So sorry... i just want to do it right and exactly.  I do not know enough to assume ANYTHING.  Thanks again, and again!

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,940 points)

    Actually, you can ignore that. Just start at 1...

  • Bulldawgmom Level 1 (0 points)


    can you please tell me how to copy the iphoto library off of the external harddrive to the pictures folder?  Sorry, Thank you for your patience! I have been trying!! I know its me, but if you tell me i can do it.

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