iPhoto file management

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by cycler15, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. cycler15 macrumors member

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #1
    I'm a longtime PC user who just got a macbook. I copied all my picture files to my macbook and opened up iPhoto. I used the "Import to Library" option to load all my pictures. I noticed that iPhoto copied all my photos to a Photo Library file under the Pictures folder.

    Why does iPhoto make copies of the pictures and store them in a separate "file"? This makes it confusing because I have all the pictures that I originally copied but then when I'm in iPhoto, the program is actually accessing the pictures from this separate location.

    - Is iPhoto not able to just read files from a normal folder structure?
    - How do I manage/organize individual picture files if I'm not within iPhoto?
    - How do I burn picture files to a CD/DVD if I can't see the individual pictures when not in iPhoto?
     
  2. Mac In School macrumors 65816

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    Jun 21, 2007
    #2
    Nope. The whole idea behind the current iPhoto management system is that you don't have to worry about file names and locations. Once you import them, get rid of the originals. Let iPhoto deal with file/folder structure for you. It's different, but you'll grow to appreciate it. As long as you can easily find, rename, edit, and tag images anyway you want, there's no need to know or care where they are.

    You don't. Do all your organizing within iPhoto. Folders and file locations won't matter anymore. Do your organizing with events, ratings, keywords, and smart albums... Trust the force!

    Share > Burn
     
  3. cycler15 thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. I guess I may have to try and get used to the way iPhoto works. Like most PC users, I like having total control over my files and folder structure for organization. I guess Mac OS is built for the normal user who doesn't care about all that micro management.

    BTW, are there any other free Mac photo management softwares available that would let me do what I want (i.e. just read the pics from a designated root folder)?
     
  4. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

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    #4
    If you go into iPhoto and then preferences>advanced you can uncheck the "import photos into library. that will add them to iphoto and NOT have iphoto organize them. The folder will be just how you set them up.
     
  5. cycler15 thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #5
    Thanks for that.

    One great feature of Picassa was that I was able to specify a root folder where I organized all my pictures. Anytime I added a new folder or new pics under that main root folder Picassa automatically added them into my picture library.

    Does iPhoto have that same type of option?
     
  6. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

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    #6
    to be honest i don't know. I, like a lot of mac users, just let iPhoto handle the organization.
     
  7. cycler15 thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #7
    Say you have pictures from your camera that you upload to iPhoto. iPhoto creates an event and you manually create a photo album in iPhoto.

    What do you do if say a friend emails you a new picture for that event? How do you load that picture into the iPhoto library but include it as part of the existing event and photo album?
     
  8. Colonel Badger macrumors 6502

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    Jun 30, 2008
    #8
    You just drag and drop it in to iPhoto.

    I know how you feel, having come from a PC recently I freaked initially about not knowing where my photo files were, were named etc. but after a little time I came to appreciate the simplicity of simply plugging in a camera telling it the event and letting iPhoto do the rest. The other nice thing is that iPhoto keeps track of the originals and NEVER applies changes edits to them. You can ALWAYS go back to the originals. It's taken care of for you. Believe the feeling of lack of control WILL disappear. You just have to trust iPhoto.
     
  9. jpace macrumors newbie

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    Nov 12, 2008
    #9
    How do I post a new problem here????????

    I registered here, then went to find a place to post my question and there doesn't seem to be anywhere that I can find to "just post a question" without just picking one of these, so that is what I am doing, and I am sorry if I am off topic. Here is my question:

    Iphoto crashed for unknown reason. I reopened it and old trashed photos appeared "over" current photos. I had to click on duplicate to "see" what photo was actually under it. then I can trash the old photo again. Any idea what is causing this? It seemed to happen after I had to force quit firefox and iphoto and a couple of other apps were open. I accidentally said to restore session for firefox and then I had this problem.
     
  10. skybolt macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 20, 2005
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    Nashville, TN, USA
    #10
    To post a new thread, on the first page of the forum (like this one, Mac Applications) in the upper left you will see a button that says "New Thread". Click on that and you can add your question.

    For your current problem, try a rebuild of your iPhoto library like this: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2638
     
  11. akm3 macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #11
    This is very common for people converting.

    Trust me in that it is better/easier to just 'let go' and let iPhoto manage it. It's hard to do, but it is ultimately easier than fighting with it.

    Or, just don't use iPhoto.
     
  12. Mac In School macrumors 65816

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    Jun 21, 2007
    #12
    Another option is to press and hold the "Attachment" bubble, then select "Add to iPhoto". It will create a separate event for it, but they're easy to merge.

    I agree 100%. I used to use Adobe Bridge to name my photos, and create crazy folder structures, etc. It was very hard to let go, but I'm really glad I did.

    Even though I've moved onto Aperture, I still let the app handle all my file management. After a while, it's not weird at all. It's greatly appreciated.
     
  13. ViperrepiV macrumors regular

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    Jan 25, 2008
    #13


    Man, do I feel your pain! I too was a PC convert, and unlike others on this forum, I just can't let go of my neat, organized folder structure. Plus, my first mac was a Macbook Air with a 64GB SSD, so I am VERY concerned and thus conservative about hard drive space. iPhoto is possibly the most inefficient program in terms of HD space....it is a total hog. I understand the logic behind it, but I just don't like it. It adds an extra layer of complexity when you are a PC user convert, having all your pictures organized in a way you understand, and you have to bring them over into iPhoto-land. So you import it into iphoto, and delete the originals? No thank you, I've heard some iPhoto disaster stories and don't want to risk anything. Also what happens when you want to send someone a picture from a year ago - the original file. How is it named? Where is it located? You have to fish through some funky iphoto folder structure organized into dates, etc to find it. I mean, it's possible to find it, the file is there, but it isn't really the most logical way to go about it. The problem with trusting the program to organize for you, is that when things go wrong, it will be much harder to deal with and fix.

    My first experience with this was helping my dad with his macbook: he imported pictures from a trip, and when he went to find the files to email them it was like, there were like 4 copies of each picture (but not all) scattered around in differnet locations. It was just messy, and he had no idea why all the copies were there. Some weren't rotated properly. iPhoto makes a copy of the image for each change you make, and this includes even just rotating a picture, which is just plain ridiculous.

    But you know, I do see a value i iPhoto, and I do like it for some things. It is a great way to browse your pictures. It has a pretty interface, I like the thumbnails, and I think the slideshow is fantastic, with the ken-burns effect, music options, etc. Browsing your collection in iPhoto is by far superior to browing them in the folder structure with preview. So I use iPhoto in a way that lets me do this, but retain control over the actual files.

    Here is my solution:

    As someone else said, first thing I did upon opening the program is uncheck "copy pictures into my iphoto library" in the preferences pane of iPhoto. This will just display your pictures from the location you put them on your hard drive. It will not make a copy. Let's say you have a folder with pictures in User>>pictures>>Skiing Vacation. Drag the folder "Skiing Vacation" onto the iPhoto icon in the dock and it will add an event called "Skiing Vacation" to iPhoto, referencing the original folder. Now you can browse with ease.

    But I use iPhoto merely as a browsing tool, I don't use any of the edit functions.

    Now this is great for your existing photos, but what about new ones that you need to get off your camera and want to edit? Two ways, the second of which is superior.

    The most basic way is to use the built in OSX app caled "Image Capture", which will transer the pictures off your camera. It won't rename the pictures, it will keep them at the strang names that your camera applies ("IMG_0057.jpg" or wahtever), and you have to change this manually. And I think you can open the pictures with the preview app to rotate and make some small adjustments.

    The way I strongly favor uses an additional application, Adobe Lightroom, which is a fantastic application with powerful but easy to use editing abilities. The funny thing is that it is almost the opposite of iPhoto. Great for editing and importing into folders, etc, but not my favorite for browsing and enjoying my photos.

    With Lightroom, you can import your pictures from your camera, and you can rename them as you like, with many different naming conventions. You select what folder the pictures are placed in (skiing vacation>>originals). The editing functions are far far suprior to iPhoto, and it keeps track of your changes without making copies of the photo for each change, so it is efficient with Hard Drive space. Anyways, once you ar done with your changes, you export your edited photos to where you like (skiing vacation>>finals), and you are done. Just drag the folder into iphoto and enjoy!




    This method may seem a bit roundabout, but you are just adding powerful app for the editing of photos and then using iPhoto as a browsing tool. Trust me, I have thought long and hard about the best way to sort out this dillema, and this gives me the power I like, with storage sapce effiecency, and with the polish of using the apple programs to browse. The only downside is that you have to pay for Adobe Lightroom, or obtain it in nefarious ways for free. And for what it's worth Lightroom is similar to Apple's Apeture, I just chose the Adobe route.

    Hope this helps.
     
  14. skybolt macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    #14
    Well, I for one think that iPhoto handles the organization brilliantly! Users are not meant to go digging in the finder library as you said here: "Also what happens when you want to send someone a picture from a year ago - the original file. How is it named? Where is it located? You have to fish through some funky iphoto folder structure organized into dates, etc to find it. I mean, it's possible to find it, the file is there, but it isn't really the most logical way to go about it. The problem with trusting the program to organize for you, is that when things go wrong, it will be much harder to deal with and fix."

    You simply use the photo from the app itself. Let iPhoto organize, use iPhoto app like it is meant to be used, and forget that the library is there in the finder. Organize within the app -- Folders and albums and even smart albums -- keeps things nice and tidy. Easy to find whatever you want. It really is a function of letting go of Windows ways and making your life easier. No need to overthink the issue -- just let it go. When you want to send a photo, send it from iPhoto -- don't go making your life difficult by digging around in folders you are not meant to be in. You have named your photos in the app -- that's all you need to know.
     
  15. cycler15 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    #15
    Thanks for the very informative post ViperrepiV.

    I am still trying to figure out the best way to manage my pics. Do I want total control of my folders and files like I'm used to? Or do I want to "trust the force" and let iPhoto do everything for me behind the scenes?

    And I agree with you that iPhoto doesn't seem to manage space very well. If I uncheck the option "copy pictures into my iPhoto library" and I edit a picture, will iPhoto overwrite the original picture? If not, where will it store the edited picture?

    I am still new to Mac OS so I didn't know about the Image Capture app. I plugged in my camera the other day and iPhoto automatically opened, but I wasn't able to drag and the drop the pictures from iPHoto to my desktop. It seems the only option was to import. In fact, with the camera plugged in, I couldn't even see the pictures on the camera using Finder.

    How do I import pictures from a camera if the iPhoto option "copy pictures into my iPhoto library" is unchecked? When I import the pictures, where will it copy it to?

    I read some articles on the web earlier this year that said Google was working on Picasa for Mac and that it should be out by the end of the year. I wonder if there is any new development on this news. Ideally I would love to use Picasa on my Macbook since that app is what I am used to.
     
  16. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #16
    If you edit the picture, it does not over write the original. If you want the original, you can get 'back' to it from the first one. You can undo/revert your changes, or you can copy a photo before you edit it. If you are on the edit screen and hold down Shift, you see the original, un-edited picture.

    It's all still there, just trust it and never, ever go looking around for a specific file. Find it in iphoto and drag/drop it to where ever you want a the photo to be. The desktop, Mail, whatever.

    It really does work, but it is a huge paradigm change from the way 'Windows people' are used to doing things.
     
  17. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a

    cdcastillo

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    #17
    The main reason you had to have them all organized by folders in the PC is because there is no app that matchs iPhoto for organizing on the PC side. You can't trust a PC app to organize the pictures, you have to do it yourself if you want to understand where is what. In the mac YOU DON'T NEED TO DO IT YOURSELF in the finder, instead YOU DO IT IN iPHOTO.

    You don't need to delete the originals, iPhoto asks after each import what you want to do with the originals (keep them or trash them). Even if you delete the originals, the copy iPhoto imported is an original, every change that you apply can be reverted any moment.

    One thing certain about every hard drive is that it will fail someday, that's what you have backups for. It's even easier to backup the iPhoto library (either with time machine or with any other backup app) that to backup the folder structure, e.g. instead of backing up different folders for the originals and the final edits of every photo, the iPhoto library deals with the relation between originals and edits for you.


    You just click on the "email" button in iPhoto (or drag the photo to your email app, or ctrl-click on the photo and choose "show original file"), and voilá, no need to dig trough any kind of folder structure to find nothing.


    As said before, you don't need to fish trough anything, you share it from within iPhoto. It doesn't matter neither name nor location in the hard drive, you only need to see it in iPhoto to be able to share your photo (and not only by mail, but in any way, like in a DVD, in a .mov movie, publish it to a web page, burn it to a CD, etc.)


    Useless waste of time, once again, no need to go hunting for the files, just email them from iPhoto. If you prefer (or your email app is that difficult to use), drag them from iPhoto to the desktop and attach them from there


    And this helps to redundancy, so it's more difficult to lose your original files, and you can revert any unwanted edit without hassle. At the end of day, iPhoto only keeps 2 versions, the original and the final edit.


    Why don't import them directly to iPhoto?, it won't rename the pictures either, you can rotate the images and make the small adjustements also in iPhoto. And no need to drag the folder to iPhoto at the end since you are already there.


    No argue here, since Lightroom capabilities are superior to iPhoto in many respects, but this is because iPhoto is not on the same league as Lightroom, it is not fair to compare them, if you want to compare lightroom to an apple app, that should be Aperture.
     
  18. cycler15 thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #18
    I use gmail as my email.

    Do I have to drag and drop a photo to the desktop, then attach the photo to gmail, then delete the picture on my desktop?

    I don't want to use the Mac Email app for gmail because I check my email from different computers and I like the gmail function that links email conversations into one thread.
     
  19. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a

    cdcastillo

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    #19
    No you don't. Unless you really want to use only the web interface of gmail, in which case, yes, you do.



    There is a protocol called IMAP that keeps all the email synced between all the computers that you use to read email on. It also keeps the web interface synced. Both gMail and apple's Mail app support IMAP.

    And in the Mail app, just select View:Organize by thread to have your emails organized in a conversation like way.

    I suggest to configure Apple's Mail app with gMail trough IMAP (instead of using POP3). That way you can have the mail integrated on every iLife app.
     
  20. akm3 macrumors 68020

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    #20
    Just to confirm, yes you can sync via IMAP Gmail to Mail.app and it will keep track of all syncing. You can use the web portion exactly like you do today, on any computer, and when you would prefer to use Mail you can. You don't lose anything by having both. (And you gain a couple tricks by adding mail, like dragging files to the mail icon and having them automatically open up, ready to send, and automatically allow you to resize/change the quality of the .jpg on the fly to get the E-mail size you prefer.) (Also, it displays your unread messages with a number so when new mail shows up you know about it)
     
  21. tracijohn macrumors newbie

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    Nov 22, 2008
    #21
    help with transferring photos from old imac to new

    I just got a new imac to replace mine from 2003. I have over 5000 pics on the old and used migration assistant. However, the new imac does not contain the music or photos from the old. What am I doing wrong?
     
  22. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #22
    Nope. Not in Leopard, at least. Just click the attach button, then scroll down the sidebar (if you need to, depends on how much stuff is in there) to Photos to see your iPhoto library and browse through it for the photo you want. Couldn't be easier.

    Of course, in Tiger and earlier, you'd have to do as you mentioned, but that's not a huge problem.

    jW
     
  23. Diaresi macrumors regular

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    Aug 23, 2007
    #23
    I used Windows (and still do, for that matter) up until a bit over 2 years ago when I got my first Mac. I was the same as some other people here - I managed all my music (even though I used iTunes) and pictures manually.

    Got onto the Mac and then just decided to try letting go, and it makes things so much easier. Let iTunes sort out your music and iPhoto sort out your pictures and for me it does them both perfectly. I recently was playing around with Picasa 3 on Windows and it made me realise why I organized photos manually...
     
  24. ViperrepiV macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #24


    I just kind of like the control. I dont really want my photos going into a black box. if i switch back to a PC one day, I want to be able to copy over my photo library in a quick manner. But its okay, its just a question of preference!
     
  25. Commodore macrumors member

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    Aug 12, 2007
    #25
    You can still have the control. You can keep your photos organized however you like, and just uncheck "copy items into iPhoto library" under "advanced" in the preferences. Once you have the photo folder titled, then just import that folder as an event into iPhoto.

    If you ever want to go back to Windows (if you were possessed or something...haha), then you can just export your iPhoto library and copy that onto your Windows machine.
     

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