iPhoto Duplicate Libraries

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by sbisel, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. sbisel macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2012
    After getting a new external drive, I moved my iphoto library, and redirected it to find the photos in the external drive. That worked well for awhile, until i opened up iphoto one day to find none of the pictures there. The photos were still on the external drive, but iphoto was not picking them up. I tried redirecting a number of times, and then putting the photos back onto the computer. none of it worked.

    Then, I pressed control as I opened iphoto, and found three different iphoto libraries to choose from to open. This is not what I wanted.

    Can anyone help me delete or get rid of the extra iphoto libraries, so I can put it all back together? Any assistance you can give would be greatly appreciated.
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I know this isn't necessarily the answer you were looking for but hear me out. I have about 200 GB of photos. If I left them in iPhoto Library, I'd have a huge mess. What I do is keep them organized in folders on an external drive. I then import them to iPhoto Library with "copy photos to library" turned OFF. Now I can have faces, places, events and the like without having a 200 GB iPhoto Library. My iPhoto Library is currently about 10 GB and that includes about 4 months worth of photostream I haven't had time to export, delete and re-import.

    In your situation, I would try opening each of the three iPhoto Libraries it offers you and make sure everything is in (at least two) of them. Make one of them your default and you should be good to go. Then you need to decide if you want to trust your originals to iPhoto or not. I suggest not, based on my experience but it's really up to you. By keeping originals outside iPhoto, you can back them up at will with simple file copy. I back mine up to Smugmug (paid), so if my house is hit by a meteor I only stand to lose the photos that are too old to be in photostream and too now to have been manually uploaded to smugmug.
  3. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Check out iPhoto Library Manager; it should help you get your library back in shape.

  4. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I do not use iPhoto (I use Aperture)... but I am pretty sure that if your library is on an external drive... and if you open iPhoto while your drive is not connected... iPhoto it will create a new empty iPhoto album.

    Someone who actually uses iPhoto can confirm or deny.

  5. mrrjclarke macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2012
    I can't believe I never saw that option until you mentioned it, so very many thanks.
    But, I gather you need to import again every time you add another folder? In picasa you can simply tell it to "watch" a folder and it updates every time you open the program. Can this be done in iPhoto at all?
  6. r0k, Aug 20, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012

    r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Not really. So here is what I do...

    I allow Photostream to create events for each month. At the end of the month, I drag (not export) photos to a folder. I then re-import them and once I'm satisfied I have my originals I can delete the auto-created "March 2012 Photostream" or whatever original event had the photos from my iPhone.

    For my point-and-shoot digicam, I allow Eyefi to create folders for each day. I have to import them in to iPhoto but I only have to do it once. I'm not likely to suddenly discover a new photo from March when Eyefi auto-uploaded them all to my Mac to begin with.

    For my DSLR, I pop in the SD card and create folders as required for all the photos. I never allow iPhoto to grab pics off my digicam.

    For movies, I use image capture to grab movies from my iPhone but I don't import them to iPhoto as the presence of movies is one thing that can slow iPhoto down in a big hurry.

    Lastly, I upload folders to Smugmug for off site backup and mark them all private. I then use Smugmug's "collect" photos feature to allow between 10 percent and half of them to be seen by the public.

    More than once I have considered switching everything to Picasa. There is a problem with Picasa. It is tied to google which wants you to use google+. I really don't want to use google+ for all my photos. Google is trying to be my email provider, phone company, and search engine. I'd rather use another service for my photos even if it costs money. Another issue is that both flickr and picasa may automatically downsize photos depending on how much space you've used. With 240+ Gig of photos, I don't want to deal with anybody's arbitrary limits. Lastly, there is talk that Apple may finally bring back some sort of gallery feature for iCloud. I probably won't use it. I routinely use my iPhone as a document scanner. I don't want my legal documents showing up in any kind of public photo feed.

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