Large Photo/Video Library - Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BigMcGuire, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. BigMcGuire, Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018

    BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Is Photos the only app to deal with large photo libraries on the Mac? I have 120,000 videos and photos downloaded to my external drive. My 8+ has 15GB of photos/videos that I've taken since I got it last year. I use Google Photos primarily and have downloaded them all to my external drive (about 150GB).

    I backup my iPhone 8+ to a Photo library folder on my external drive (also to Google Photos, Amazon Prime Photos, OneDrive). Today I tried importing the 120,000 photos/videos and Photos crapped out at about 33GB and just locked up and refused to do anything for hours (even killing it/opening back up didn't work).

    Looked at a few other apps but they didn't seem to be as helpful. I've already backed up my photos to Backblaze B2 - just looking for a library app on my Mac to see them all in one place. Any suggestions?

    Looks like my only options are to try to get it to work with Photos or pony up $$$ for lightroom? (I'm a hobbyist and only shoot with my iPhone now (1-2k photos/mo)).
     
  2. mollyc macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    #2
    Have you looked at Bridge? It’s free and basically a glorified Finder with a little bit of LR thrown in.
     
  3. BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Thanks for the suggestion mollyc!

    I signed up for Lightroom - was disappointed to see my CPU and fans go to 100% as it did 10 photos a second adding them to the Lightroom library. The app started off fast but after 5,000 photos imported, it got so slow, it was locking up - meanwhile the MBP was screaming bloody murder. At 10,000 photos imported, it got so slow it was going to take quite a while to import. I was disappointed also because it stores thumbnails on the OS drive and at 10,000 photos, I had almost 3GB of thumbnails. With 120,000 photos/videos ......

    I tried Bridge - but it doesn't have the all in one place feature like Lightroom - all my photos are in a folder for each day of the year (how Google Takeout does it).

    So, I got a refund with Adobe right away (they honored it! Good for them!). I did hours of reading online.

    I tried Apple Photos 2 more times... now I'm going to import in small batches and it seems to be working. Not doing the massive 120,000 import seems to help - I'm doing it 17k at a time. A little more time consuming but actually working - and free, and everything is on an external drive.

    Wonder how others manage massive photo/video databases?! I just hope that Photos with 120k+ isn't horrible to use. Would love all my photos / videos to be in one "library" - you'd think with the CPU/memory we have today, that'd be possible.
     
  4. BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Well - I spent hours and hours trying to get Photos to work and it kept dying so ... gave up on that and I really don't want to pay subscription. Did not like Adobe pushing its cloud on me either.

    Right now I'm pretty happy with what I'm seeing so far with Photo Mechanic 5. It's an older piece of software but it seems to be doing exactly what I want it to do - and it's not subscription. AND I can have the thumbnail cache db on the external drive too! In less than 1/4th the time that Lightroom and Photos were running (they only got to 10k photos), it has gotten to 30k photos out of the 120,000 and shows no signs of slowing down. The program is even responsive while doing the "ingest" and the CPU fans aren't even on.

    It's expensive but seems to be doing exactly what I want.

    http://www.camerabits.com/
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    You shoot 1,000 photos a month and actually KEEP them? I'd say the first step is to aggressively edit. Keep maybe the top 10% Sounds like you shoot 30 to 60 shots a day. Are they all worth keeping for the rest of your life?

    Lightroom is not bad. If the images are work keeping they are worth the effort to at least crop and adjust the color and exposure

    Organization is a big issue. Let's say you have a photo of Mary and her dog Spot that you took in San Francisco. and 15 years from now to want a photo of that dog she used to have. How do you find it. No, please do not say you filed it by date. That dog lived to be 12 and you take 200,000 photos a year and will have to search manual though 2.4 MILLION photos during the time that dog was alive.

    If you want to ever have a hop of finding a shot when yu are adding 200,000 images per year to the database you need to add "meta data" to EVERY image you keep. That would be keywords and captions describing the content, location and type of photo (sonic, people, travel, underwater or whatever)

    So when you select a library manager you need to consider how good it is at searching a hugh database.

    Look to Adobe. You said you had trouble importing many photos. Well that is because you tried something unusual, no one imports 100,000 at a time. The typical use case is that after a shooting session you upload a day's work to Lightroom. Maybe 1,000 images. Then you go through unselect which ones to keep, Trash the rejects and then go to work labeling and correcting the selects.

    You have a big backlog so every day import what you shot that day, add the data and do the corrections then import some of your backlog. It might take months but this gives you a chance to look at every image and decide which to keep.

    With growth likely to reach into the MILLIONS going with Adobe is worth it. They are the only company like to stay around for 10 or more years and

    With a library so large get software that runs on more than just a Mac. For all we know Apple might not continue making Macs. It is hard to predict the future 20 or 30 years out but with tens of millions of photos you NEVER want to have to change libraries again. I would put my bet the only Adobe will be around in 30 years.

    But really, you need to keep only the best of each day's work. What are you going to do with 10,000,000 photos
     
  6. BigMcGuire, Jun 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018

    BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Awesome. I think this is exactly what I needed. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

    Back in the day when Google offered free unlimited photo storage, I started using my phone’s camera as a second brain storage - I take photos of everything to help me remember things. I can do 1k photos a month but usually do less.

    And yes, I sort by date so my photos are horribly unmanaged. Google helps a bit by making it easy to search for things like people and places. But I’m looking for something other than Google.

    After all these years I’m looking to sort this “mess” because family has asked for photos because I’m the only one that takes tons of photos all the time. For example, my grandma just died and I had tons of photos of her throughout the last 18 years - they used a lot of them at her funeral. Every family birthday I can provide many photos of that person from when they were a kid to present. Family seems to love it.

    Thank you for the post. I agree about Adobe. My wife also wants photoshop too and it looks like with a subscription we can install on two computers And I can finally sort this massive mess and get rid of a lot.
     

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