Huge iPhoto Library

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by chipchen, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. chipchen macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2002
    iPhoto has been slugging along for a while. Last I checked... (long time ago) my iPhoto library was about 26GB. Well.... I just checked.. and my iPhoto library is now 260GB!!!

    I have about 30k in photos and videos. I use a Canon 7D camera (not in RAW), so the files are pretty large nowadays. But the other thing I can think of is that it has to make multiple size files for iPhone and iPad.

    Anyone else have this large of an iPhoto library?

    Any thoughts on how to tame it?

    I guess I need to go in and delete all the crappy pictures, but that's such a painstaking task.
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Changing the subject...

    ... if you have 30K pictures, you should probably consider switching to Aperture or Lightroom. I have a similar sized library as yours (51K pictures with about 240 GB of data)... and I cannot even imagine how painful that would be in iPhoto.

    Personally, I use Aperture because I like how it plugs into all of the Apple Apps painlessly. I know people who use Lightroom and like that as well.

  3. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    Agreed. They're both great products, it's about which one you like more. You're definitely at a level above iPhoto and should be looking at more robust tools.
  4. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    If you're really into iPhoto (or just don't wanna pay more for Aperture (and btw wait cuz Aperture may be out soon some say)) try iPhoto Library Manager. It helps to split up photos into different libraries, although switching requires restarting iPhoto. I find it just makes it a big more manageable. You can do sorta the same thing by using Option> doubleclick when opening iPhoto, but iPhoto Library Manager gives you some more control over the whole process.
  5. Bluefusion macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2003
    New York, NY
    Definitely consider switching to a more capable app. I vastly prefer Lightroom (though I used Aperture for about a year), and it's also super-cheap: just $80 (formerly $300, I think). iPhoto is nice for a while, but it's just not meant for that kind of volume.

    That said, try them both and see which you enjoy using more. Lightroom is (to me) more intuitive and much prettier, but very modal (you do things one at a time, and can't just fly all over the place); Aperture is more flexible in terms of not dictating your workflow, but ultimately feels more "dense" and cumbersome. The current version of Aperture is a major leap forward, but has been around for a very long time. Hope that helps.
  6. flynz4, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    If you decide to buy Aperture... or even if you just want to evaluate its potential... I strongly recommend getting Robert Boyers ebooks which are very inexpensive... and probably the single best few bucks to spend in learning about photo management. He uses both LR and Aperture, but he seems to like Aperture better. Even just searching his blog is eye opening.

    I think it is I would recommend the organization and file management books to start.

  7. chipchen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2002
    Thanks for the input, folks.

    Wondering though, if anyone else has a similar size iPhoto library. And if they've been able to reduce it at all?

    Can I get rid of the iPhone/iPad size duplicates? Are there places I'm not looking for to get rid of more iPhoto library size? (like iPhoto trash)
  8. Fresh Tendrils macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
  9. chipchen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2002
    Yea, have thought about it. Are there any utilities that would help me split up a current library?
  10. Fresh Tendrils macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    Probably, I tend to use the original library about 90% of the time, so I haven't bothered trying any. You could have a look on BTW the same process works for iTunes. It's useful if you have multiple macs and want to keep a very large lossless + high quality movie library, but also a slimmed down AAC library.
  11. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Once again... with A3, (and I presume LR)... you can have different parts of your library on different drives. You can transfer seldom used projects to an external drive so that you can have your most critical (or currently used) projects with you always... and archived projects could be external... but easily accessible by attaching a drive.

    Sorry to be blunt... but you are trying the drive a nail with a screwdriver. Get the right tools for the job.

  12. chipchen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2002
    Thing is... I don't have projects. I'm not a photographer. (just a guy that likes nice things) My photo library is just family photos that I'd love to keep in one place.

    I guess the main thing is... I need to spend a good amount to time going through an deleting bad pictures. (I tend to snap away)
  13. flynz4, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I am the same way. I have 51K images taken since we got married in '76... till now. The digital images were already in A3. We just scanned (a 4+ year project) all of our analog negatives and slides... and they are now also in A3. Those 51K image masters are all in a single A3 library... but within that library, they reside in over 1000 projects. For us... a project is pretty equivalent to an iPhoto event.

    Within A3... every image master lives in just one single and unique project. A master can only live in 1 project. You can (if you choose) keep your masters on an external drive... and then use smart albums to make collections of your best images that you can keep on your computer. To do this, you would use "Referenced Masters"... meaning the master images would be in a location specified by you (ex: external USB drive)... but your albums could remain within your A3 library. To edit photos, you would need to attach the drive... but you could have many/most/all (your choice) of your pictures with you on your laptop even when the drive is not connected. This is because the albums would contain what A3 calls "versions".

    Read Boyer's books... it will become clear. They are the best investment that I can imaging for anyone trying to figure out the steps of creating a photo strategy. If you can afford taking 30K pictures, then you can afford (time or money) reading a pair of $6 ebooks that are 25 - 50 pages each. You will see that there are tools (A3, and presumably LR) that will do this job for you. Exactly. Even if you were to cull your 30K photos to a size that fits in your computer, then it is still too large to ever "use" those pictures. A digital asset manager, or DAM (A3 or LR) is the difference between "storing" and "using" your pictures. There are a lot of people here trying to help you. Take their advice.

  14. chipchen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2002
    Cool, thanks for the info, Jim!

    I'll look into the books.
  15. iKenny303, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    iKenny303 macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2011
    My experience on an old 2007 iMac 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4GB of RAM is that iPhoto slows down dramatically above about 20,000 images / 20-40 GB Library size. Planning to buy a new iMac as soon as they come out, mainly due to the slow iPhoto speed with these size libraries.

    If you want to stick with iPhoto, I highly recommend getting iPhoto Library Manager (ILM).

    I have over 80,000 pictures in multiple iPhoto Libraries (~175 GB total), with a lot of time invested in organizing, and adding ratings, keywords, and faces. ILM allows you to move events or albums between Libraries while preserving the ratings, keywords, faces, etc. As another post stated, iPhoto and ILM make you close and open iPhoto when switching between Libraries.

    The one key feature missing from ILM is the ability to move books, calendars, and cards between Libraries.

    Another thing ILM handles is sync'ing photos to multiple iOS devices. It allows you to export photos to folders and automatically keep them in sync with iPhoto for each individual iOS device. You then sync the folders with your iOS devices. This is much easier than having to sync from scratch with each iOS device (due to there only being a single iPod Photo Cache folder inside each iPhoto Library for a single iOS device).

    Wish Apple would acquire ILM and add its functionality to iPhoto.

    I also have Aperture, but have never invested the time in understanding how its "Library" mechanism differs or coexists with iPhoto. That is long overdue on my to do list.
  16. navajorocks macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2012
    sharing said huge library

    I too, have a large iphoto library. I have sharing enabled and others can view my images, but is there a solution whereby those sharers can actually create folders and download those images to their machines without having to come ask me for it? Will Aperture or LR do that?
  17. Svirchev macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2010
    Tame iphoto

    1. When you download, edit mercilessly. Keep the "keepers", dump the rest.
    2. When you finish dumping, fill in all the blanks on the keepers, labeling names, gps....
    3. Now you can find your precious memories, but....
    4. Make a 2nd iphoto on a separate drive and only keep current material on your hard drive, e.g., stuff you haven't had time to edit.
    5. Now you you can make a slide show (or whatever) for your main computer of the best and most important images.

    There are lots of tremendous ideas in reply to your question, but I do believe that editing is the key.

    Hope this helps.
  18. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    I agree with this post. I use Aperture myself, but I find that I really only edit/share about 10% (if that much) from each "photoshoot" (or Event). If you decide those 10% are the absolute best from the whole shoot, there's not much point in keeping the remaining 90%. Of course ymmv on this approach, but I find it's what works for me.
  19. Tuta macrumors member


    Dec 27, 2007
    Very good advice in here -- I do not have nearly this size library, but I can already 'feel' the pressure of not having been diligent in properly keeping up with my photos.
  20. brilliantthings macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2011
    Why is everyone so keen to make iPhoto work? It's not a good piece of software is it?

    I just bit the bullet and deleted iPhoto and its library.

    Freed up 20GB of my little SSD.

    Very happy.
  21. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    My Library is 250GB. And iPhoto is the worst performing App I have.
    What did you finally got, Aperture or Lightroom?
    Which is the faster one?
  22. brilliantthings macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2011
    For simple photo file management I'm still not convinced you need anything more than Xee working with the Finder file system. It's free and very reliable.
  23. aplnub macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2008
    My iPhoto library is ~ 360GB. My Aperture library is well over 50GB.

    Aperture is for my pro shots and the iPhoto is for photo's my wife wants to access and general stuff.

    I am about to split my iPhoto library because it is painfully slow for me and my wife. I just made a copy, picked an end date, and then deleted accordingly in both libraries.
  24. TwoBytes macrumors 68030


    Jun 2, 2008
    Why is aperture better for large iPhoto libraries?

    Over a good few years, with SLR becoming cheaper, surely everyone will have large libraries. I have a large library as i include the videos taken in the same album as i like to group them in one place. When SSD's are so cheap that they come standard 4TB drives for 100 bucks, i'm sure none of this will matter anymore at which time, the average iPhoto library will be 500GB
  25. tomzinho macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2013
    What about a 'faces' type feature?

    Does either Aperture or Lightroom has a faces type feature?

Share This Page