iPhoto question . . importing folders with subfolders

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by curtisinoc, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. curtisinoc macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Coming from a pc to a mac . . . I have my photos (lots of em) on an external hdd, which I'll be importing to iPhoto. My photos on hdd are currently categorized in a "year" folder with subfolders.

    For example:
    I have a "2010" folder with 50 subfolders inside, which are all specifically named: "kids hockey tournament", "easter", "christmas" etc . . . I have each year dating back to year "2000" categorized this way and lots of subfolders are named the same on all of those years: subfolders such as "easter, christmas" are in each "year" folder (not sure if this will cause problems in iPhoto)

    Question:
    In iPhoto, is there a way to import all of my photos and keep this organization the same? I've been searching for answers and I'm getting conflicting answers and thought I'd ask here.

    Thank you
     
  2. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    #2
    I suspect you'd be better off with something like Picasa (free), or PSE (not free but much more capable than Picasa or iPhoto) , both of which allow you to keep content in its current folder structure.

    Now, you can do this with iPhoto, but I suspect you may have problems as it seems to be happier when yo let it organise things itself, plus it will still want you to create events (Easter 200, Easter 2001, etc). No harm in trying if you already have it I suppose, make sure copy items to library is unticked (preferences >advanced) before you start importing.
     
  3. curtisinoc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    what does this feature do?
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

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    #4
    It does mean, that NO (ZERO) photos will be copied into the iPhoto Library file, the file (package) they would normally go into.
     
  5. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    #5
    If you tick "copy items", then all your photos end up in iPhotos folder structure,on the disk wherever you designate your main iPhoto library to be. You cant see the structure normally and you wouldnt want to anyway. The organization is one you put on the top of that, by creating "events" called Easter 2003, Christmas 2007 etc. And , if you mess with the folder structure, Steve Jobs will personally come round and visit harm upon you. Plus, you wont be able to access your pictures as iPhoto wont know where they went.

    If you don't tick it, then your photos stay wherever they were initially.

    I use iPhotos folder structures, but if I was starting again I'd probably use PSE.
     
  6. curtisinoc, Mar 29, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011

    curtisinoc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    sorry, but still a bit confused . .

    (see below post)
     
  7. curtisinoc, Mar 29, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011

    curtisinoc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Thanks for this explanation.

    Coming from a PC, I'm guessing the biggest difference is this:

    On a PC, I'm used to "opening" a folder: "my pictures" and see a bunch of folders inside with more folders within those folders etc...and when I double click on a photo, it opens with another program (picture viewer etc...)

    I guess what confused me is that iPhoto is the "folder" where all my pictures reside and also the "viewer" (correct??).

    Question 1: In other words, if I go to "finder" and try to find the "folder" structure for where all of my photos exist . . will I find a folder with all pictures inside? I'm guessing the answer is "no" . . . and if this is the case, how do I back up all of my photos onto an external hdd? Does this have to be done within 'iPhoto" export feature or is there a "main folder" within "finder" that contains all of my photos that I can "copy/drag & drop" onto an external hdd??

    Question 2: If you tick "copy items" while importing photos from an external hdd into iPhoto, will there be "duplicate" copies of each photo existing on my computer (internal hdd)? In other words, if I import 100 gigs of photos onto iPhoto from an external hdd, will those 100 gigs of photos take up 200 gigs of space on my iMac?



    I'm so confused....:confused:
     
  8. gwinanthony1985 macrumors member

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    #8


    I had the same problem...very confused..
     
  9. curtisinoc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    It's starting to make a little sense to me now (the folder structure and behavior of iPhoto). . . . . . I think. Can someone answer this please?:

    Scenario:
    1. I import/drag & drop one (1) photo into iPhoto from an external hdd, using the "managed library" method ("copy imported items to the iPhoto Library" is checked). This photo is originally 2mbs in size. Will this photo take up 4mbs on my Mac after it's imported?

    2. Once the photo is imported into iPhoto (if I understand correctly), the photo becomes embedded into the "iPhoto library file" within "finder". From "finder", if I click on the "iPhoto library file", will I physically see the photo inside of that file or is it hidden?

    3. If I copy the "iPhoto library file" from "finder" onto an external hdd, how will that file display on my external hdd? Will I see a photo on my external hdd or will I see a "iPhoto library file" that's only accessible thru iPhoto?

    Sorry to sound so fn confused :mad:, but I think I'm actually getting the concept . . . . slowly but surely
     
  10. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Nope, what you go on to describe is because of the way that iPhoto works, its nothing to do with Mac vs PC.

    And you can still do exactly that with Mac. You could use almost any photo viewer including the ones I mentioned, such as Picasa and PSE (or full photoshop) and have it work that way, plus get stuff like tagging, faces etc overlayed on top of your existing folder structure. Its just iPhoto that wants to hide away all the photos inside its own database structure (which is actually just a very obscure set of folders/subfolders really)

    Sort of :D iPhoto is the viewer, and it looks at pictures inside a "special folder" called a package, which in this case is called iPhoto Library though as far as I know it doesn't have to be the same name, it could be called anything.

    Well ...it depends :D IF you go with the option where all the photos are in that special folder, you mess with its structure at your peril. You can back it up by just copying that entire package, which is akin to copying an entire folder structure by starting at the top most level. Or you could use something like Time Machine and make sure that iPhoto Library package is included which it would be by default.
    If you go with the option where iPhoto uses your folder structure, then you can see all the folders as normal.

    Yep. Normally, if you were going to do that, eg import into iPhotos structure, then once you were happy you had imported everything and backed it up, you'd delete the originals, if you didn't want to take up an extra 100Gb.

    I go back to my original advice, which is if you already have an existing complex folder structure with many photos, you could try using iPhoto with the "do not copy" option, but I suspect you are likely to be better off with a photo editor that was designed to work within your existing folder structure. I may be doing iPhoto an injustice but I think its more of an afterthought in that case.

    Hopefully less so now? :D
     
  11. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    #11
    Strictly speaking the photo is still 2Mb, its just that now you have two of them :D s

    If you have any wish to do that, don't use this method. Apple is aiming this at people who don't want to be messing with folders and if you change anything you'll screw up iPhoto.

    Yes if its a Mac formatted HD. If its formatted so it can be read on a PC as well, I suspect not, I think you'd see a mess of different folders with strange names as I dont think FAT or NTFS supports packages.
     
  12. curtisinoc, Mar 31, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011

    curtisinoc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Tumbleweed . . Thanks so much for taking time to explain this stuff with so much detail !! You just made my Christmas card list !!! :D

    One more question (for now . .:D) pretty please . .

    When I import a photo into iPhoto from an external hdd, will iPhoto create (2) copies of that photo onto my computer (an "original" and a "working" copy?) so it doesn't have to look to the external hdd for the "original" photo?
     
  13. curtisinoc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Tumbleweeeeeeed!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. Tumbleweed666, Apr 2, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011

    Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    #14
    I dont think you've got it yet :D tick "copy' and it will copy it and use that and forget about the HD 'original', dont tick copy, and it wont and it will always use the HD external copy!

    If you tick 'copy, there is no longer any such thing as an "original" on the external HD, the "original" is now the one thats in iPhoto.

    Just to confuse you, if you modify that within iPhoto, iPhoto also keeps the original for you to revert back to :D
     
  15. curtisinoc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    That makes sense.... Thanks again!
     
  16. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

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    #16
    Just remember, that if you don't tick "copy", you will always have to have your external drive connected to view/edit the photos. Also if you delete any pictures from the external, they won't open in iPhoto anymore.

    No, not on your Mac, but you'll have a copy in iPhoto and the original on your external.
     
  17. curtisinoc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Thanks Dave . . I really appreciate the feedback ! I'm sure the "Mac way of doing things" will make sense to me one day :D
     

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