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zeva

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2023
23
4
Hi, I recently moved from Windows to Mac and have brought over a lot of old photos.

Currently if I open them from Finder it wants to open a single photo. I know I can import to Apple Photos.

I use iphone and have photos on icloud. I don't want to put all these old pictures in the cloud.

I'm also cautious to import to Apple Photos, as Photos seems to have some proprietary setup.

I wish to maintain the photos from within Finder as I can manage the folders easily, keep the images as .jpeg, and move them to a non Mac easily.

Please what app do you recommend for managing photos? If you feel there is a case to import and use Apple Photos, please advise?

Thank you
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,545
943
It's important to note that Apple Photos does not store photos as individual files. It maintains them in one large database file. If you want to preserve file and folder names and structure, you don't want to import them into Photos. If you want to move through a folder of photos without opening each one, you can highlight one in Finder and press the space bar, to use Quick Look. Then you can use the arrows to move up or down the list. To close the photo, just press the space bar again.
 
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Mike Boreham

macrumors 68040
Aug 10, 2006
3,711
1,723
UK
Photos does have a Referenced library mode where the actual jpegs stay outside the library, in whatever structure you want them. So you could put the old photos in a separate Referenced Photos Library.

If you want a Photos library to be iCloud it has to be Managed mode, in which Photos imports them as jpeg (etc) into the Library file. Photos does not use a proprietary format and the jpeg files are discoverable inside the library package file (not that I recommend digging around inside the library file, better to export).

If you use Photos in Referenced Library mode you have to be careful about maintaining the location. Photos does not have the same tools as Lightroom and Aperture for reconnecting with its referenced pics if they lose connection.
 
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zeva

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2023
23
4
Great, thanks @GGJstudios & @Mike Boreham

The space bar quick view is helpful. And it's good do know about the Referenced Photos Library and that the jpegs are discoverable.

I simply want to be able to see and manage photos like in Finder, but be able to hit enter and then scroll left/right and see all pictures within the folder. Please what do you suggest is the best way to achieve this? I see Lightroom Classic might be popular but a free tool without all the editing function will suffice.

Thank you
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68040
Aug 10, 2006
3,711
1,723
UK
Great, thanks @GGJstudios & @Mike Boreham

The space bar quick view is helpful. And it's good do know about the Referenced Photos Library and that the jpegs are discoverable.

I simply want to be able to see and manage photos like in Finder, but be able to hit enter and then scroll left/right and see all pictures within the folder. Please what do you suggest is the best way to achieve this? I see Lightroom Classic might be popular but a free tool without all the editing function will suffice.

Thank you
Adobe Bridge is free. Graphic Converter (not free) is often called the Swiss Army knife for photos. Both will browse your Finder structure of photos, with thumbnails and big previews. These apps keep caches so you have a permanent way of navigating and view your photos. The photos stay in their Finder folders.

For a quick ad hoc method. if you drag a folder of photos onto the Preview icon in the Dock it will open them all as thumbnails with a big preview window, and you you can use the arrow keys to move through them.
 
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smirking

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,741
3,717
Silicon Valley
It's important to note that Apple Photos does not store photos as individual files. It maintains them in one large database file.

That's not exactly true. Photos does store your images inside a package that makes it appear like a single database, but it's not all crunched into a proprietary data format that you can't access. It does take a little extra effort though.

Find your Photos Library file, right click on it, and choose "Show Package Contents". Then look in the "originals" folder. Your images are in there.

Now, it may be hard to find what you're looking for and it's not at all clear to me how Apple is organizing your photos for you, but they're there.
 
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k27

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2018
330
418
Europe
Apple Photos is only OK if you use it the way Apple intended and you're okay with all the limitations. You are locking yourself into the Apple system a bit.

Better DAM-software:

Mylio: Unfortunately quite expensive. But there are sometimes reductions.
A special feature is that you can synchronize data between different devices without cloud.

Neofinder is worth a look.

And DigiKam from the Linux world is also worth a look.

With the above software, you can specify different directories in the file system, which are then automatically monitored (with NeoFinder, you need the Pro version for automatic monitoring; in the Non-Pro version, you have to trigger this manually; Mylio can do this out-of-the-box).

I would stay away from Adobe (Lightroom, Bridge) if privacy is important to you and you don't want to install spy ware. Adobe software builds up an incredible amount of connections ... .
 
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k27

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2018
330
418
Europe
Now, it may be hard to find what you're looking for and it's not at all clear to me how Apple is organizing your photos for you, but they're there.
Then everything is mixed up with strange file names. At least that's how I remember it.

This is not usable and only shows how limited Apple Photos is.

If one can live with the limitations, then OK. But if not, then better use another software right away.
 

ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,636
Indonesia
Hi, I recently moved from Windows to Mac and have brought over a lot of old photos.

Currently if I open them from Finder it wants to open a single photo. I know I can import to Apple Photos.

I use iphone and have photos on icloud. I don't want to put all these old pictures in the cloud.

I'm also cautious to import to Apple Photos, as Photos seems to have some proprietary setup.

I wish to maintain the photos from within Finder as I can manage the folders easily, keep the images as .jpeg, and move them to a non Mac easily.

Please what app do you recommend for managing photos? If you feel there is a case to import and use Apple Photos, please advise?

Thank you
What's your goal?

Do you want to be able to view all your photos form your iPhone without using iCloud Photos?
If that's the case, other than setting up your own web server, you have to use a cloud service one way or the other. Simply pick your poison. You can still use iCloud Drive. On your Mac, you will be viewing the photos from Finder, and on your iPhone, you will be viewing your photos from the Files app. Other options is to use Google Drive or OneDrive with similar concept. You will be viewing your photos using Finder on your mac, and on your iPhone, you will be using the respective apps.
 

k27

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2018
330
418
Europe
I don't like the cloud at all. If end-to-end encryption is offered, I'm less critical of it.

I prefer to store everything locally on my private computers and servers.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,330
12,454
Try "XnViewMP".
It's free.
It will work with your existing organizational strategy (i.e., regular "folder/file" hierarchy).
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,545
943
That's not exactly true. Photos does store your images inside a package that makes it appear like a single database, but it's not all crunched into a proprietary data format that you can't access. It does take a little extra effort though.

Find your Photos Library file, right click on it, and choose "Show Package Contents". Then look in the "originals" folder. Your images are in there.
It is true. The library database is, indeed, one file. The individual elements inside the package contents are not separate files within your filesystem, but rather contents of a single file. While you should be able to safely copy from that listing and pasting elsewhere, I wouldn't recommend editing the contents of the database file, as you could end up corrupting the entire database. You certainly couldn't add imported photos into that structure without risking database corruption, so it's not a valid option for managing photos, as the OP wants to do.
 

smirking

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,741
3,717
Silicon Valley
It is true. The library database is, indeed, one file. The individual elements inside the package contents are not separate files within your filesystem, but rather contents of a single file.

But it's not just one file. It's a package of files bundled together. Each file still has its own distinct identity.

I'm not trying to be difficult here. The reason why the distinction matters is because if something corrupts your Library and you need to rescue your original files, it's possible to browse the archive and retrieve them. What's inside the library package are ordinary source files in *.jpeg, *.heic, and other formats that work as totally normal files outside of the Photos program.

You are correct in saying that it's not a good idea to make edits to the contents inside the photo libraries package. You can and it will work. I've done it, but I can't think of any everyday use case where that would make sense.

Here's what my Photos Library looks like when you inspect the package to browse for the originals.


Capto_Capture 2023-03-22_01-51-58_PM.jpg
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,330
12,454
Smirking has it exactly right in reply 13 above.

The way that Photos (and previously iPhoto) "catalogs" masters within its "database" is why I never used either one as my "photo app of choice".

I prefer to keep photos in a simple "folder/file" hierarchy (created in the finder), and view/edit them with an app that UNDERSTANDS such hierarchy and uses it without complaints.

There are numerous such apps available.
 

DocBashir

macrumors newbie
May 11, 2022
8
0
I prefer to keep photos in a simple "folder/file" hierarchy (created in the finder), and view/edit them with an app that UNDERSTANDS such hierarchy and uses it without complaints.

There are numerous such apps available.
I'm totally with you on not using Photos for exactly these reasons. But what are the methods to use when you want to post some of your photos to iCloud? The only way I know of is to import the ones you want on iCloud into Photos. But managing that is a pain. And is there any app other than Photos that can manage iCloud photos?
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,330
12,454
Doc asked:
"I'm totally with you on not using Photos for exactly these reasons. But what are the methods to use when you want to post some of your photos to iCloud?"

I don't use iCloud.
I don't really use ANY "cloud".
 
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