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merging multiple iPhoto libraries

AeroBar

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 21, 2009
699
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I have multiple iPhoto libraries on an external drive.

I want to merge them in on Photos library.

I know one option is to open each one as a Photo library and upload to iCloud but I only have a 50 GB iCloud and some of the libraries are larger than that.

There is a third party app called iPhoto Library Manager. I was going to use it to combine all the iPhoto Libraries and then open them with the Photos app.

Will this keep the photos and videos at their original quality?

Is there another method I should use?

Cheers

EDIT: iPhoto Library Manager doesn't work with Mojave so I'm now asking the question about PowerPhotos from the same company.
 

Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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You can just export the images from iPhoto then import them into one Photos library. When you export from iPhoto make sure you export by Event so it keeps them organized. Then when you import to Photos those events will become Photos Albums.

iphoto-export-events-600.png
 

AeroBar

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 21, 2009
699
7
You can just export the images from iPhoto then import them into one Photos library. When you export from iPhoto make sure you export by Event so it keeps them organized. Then when you import to Photos those events will become Photos Albums.

View attachment 814387

Would I have to export each event individually?

EDIT: I'm half afraid to do anything at all because I don't know what will be uploaded to iCloud or if photos will get deleted if I. open a new library
 

Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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Would I have to export each event individually?

EDIT: I'm half afraid to do anything at all because I don't know what will be uploaded to iCloud or if photos will get deleted if I. open a new library
Go to events and select all events then to the export and you will get everything at once.

While doing all this I would turn off iCloud Photo sync until you get this all set like you want and backed up.
 

AeroBar

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 21, 2009
699
7
Go to events and select all events then to the export and you will get everything at once.

While doing all this I would turn off iCloud Photo sync until you get this all set like you want and backed up.

This will export at the original quality?
 

getrealbro

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2015
518
208
I have multiple iPhoto libraries on an external drive.

I want to merge them in on Photos library.
....
EDIT: iPhoto Library Manager doesn't work with Mojave so I'm now asking the question about PowerPhotos from the same company.
I've used PowerPhotos in Mojave to do exactly what you want to do.

I'm very cautious when dealing with large libraries of photos. So I made a copy of each iPhotos library on an external disk in case things went wrong. Then I opened each of the original iPhotos Libraries using Photos, which converted each iPhotos Library to a Photos library. Then I used PowerPhotos to merge/split the Photos libraries. In my case I didn't want one huge Photos Library (1.5TB) so I used PowerPhotos to reorganized them into smaller libraries. PowerPhotos let me merge some libraries and split others to get the photos into reasonable size logical Photos Libraries.

GetRealBro
 
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AeroBar

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 21, 2009
699
7
I've used PowerPhotos in Mojave to do exactly what you want to do.

I'm very cautious when dealing with large libraries of photos. So I made a copy of each iPhotos library on an external disk in case things went wrong. Then I opened each of the original iPhotos Libraries using Photos, which converted each iPhotos Library to a Photos library. Then I used PowerPhotos to merge/split the Photos libraries. In my case I didn't want one huge Photos Library (1.5TB) so I used PowerPhotos to reorganized them into smaller libraries. PowerPhotos let me merge some libraries and split others to get the photos into reasonable size logical Photos Libraries.

GetRealBro

Did PowerPhoto keep the original quality, metadata, format, etc.?
 

AeroBar

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 21, 2009
699
7
Yes... as long as you pick "Maximum" in the export options there.

Before posting here I had emailed Apple Support.

They just responded and told me to look up each library in the Finder >Show Package Contents > drag and drop the each master folder > import to the photo library.

That seems to be a quicker option than exporting but would it keep the same quality and metadata?

I know I'm being silly but I'm almost paralysed about doing anything in case I lose photos.:confused:
 

arkitect

macrumors 603
Sep 5, 2005
5,955
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Bath, United Kingdom
Before posting here I had emailed Apple Support.

They just responded and told me to look up each library in the Finder >Show Package Contents > drag and drop the each master folder > import to the photo library.
Interesting.
I am testing this method out now… obviously using a well backed up library. :)
 
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AeroBar

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 21, 2009
699
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Interesting.
I am testing this method out now… obviously using a well backed up library. :)

Do you have an update?

I only have one external drive and everything I have is on it. I'm going to do copy & paste rather than drag to save myself space and have no need to back up.

The process is taking a long time.
 

arkitect

macrumors 603
Sep 5, 2005
5,955
5,817
Bath, United Kingdom
Do you have an update?

I only have one external drive and everything I have is on it. I'm going to do copy & paste rather than drag to save myself space and have no need to back up.

The process is taking a long time.
Sorry for not getting back.
It all went well, it "Updated" the library that I had added the folders to as per the Apple Support instructions.

Then this message popped up.
Screenshot 2019-01-07 at 11.48.30.png


That's where I get cold feet… When Apple start talking about "Deleting Items…" I don't want to mess up with this, so I'll leave it for another day. The last thing I want is for my Master library to start updating on all devices… aaaargh.
 
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AeroBar

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 21, 2009
699
7
Sorry for not getting back.
It all went well, it "Updated" the library that I had added the folders to as per the Apple Support instructions.

Then this message popped up.
View attachment 814527

That's where I get cold feet… When Apple start talking about "Deleting Items…" I don't want to mess up with this, so I'll leave it for another day. The last thing I want is for my Master library to start updating on all devices… aaaargh.

I got that pop up when I copied my Photos Library from the MacBook to my external drive.

In a rare moment of not being panicked about my photos I did what it said and when it the app opened all my photos and videos were there.

I didn't think that message will pop if I'm simply importing the master folder to an excising library.

Anyway my first folder has copied so I'll try it now myself.
 
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arkitect

macrumors 603
Sep 5, 2005
5,955
5,817
Bath, United Kingdom
I got that pop up when I copied my Photos Library from the MacBook to my external drive.

In a rare moment of not being panicked about my photos I did what it said and when it the app opened all my photos and videos were there.

I didn't think that message will pop if I'm simply importing the master folder to an excising library.

Anyway my first folder has copied so I'll try it now myself.
Fingers crossed it works 100%.
It seems an easier method…
 
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Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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That seems to be a quicker option than exporting but would it keep the same quality and metadata?
No... and that is why I did not suggest it. That will give you the unedited originals and any changes you may have made along the way will be lost. For me, that would have been literally hundreds of hours dating and organizing photos.

I still think the export it the best way to go.
 

getrealbro

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2015
518
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Did PowerPhoto keep the original quality, metadata, format, etc.?
Absolutely. BUT... I have NEVER used iCloud* to upload/share photos/videos. So I have never had any of my photos/videos dumbed down.

PowerPhotos uses Photos to do the actual imports in small batches. So if you are copying/moving a hundred or so photos/videos from one Photos library to another, PowerPhotos may open/close the receiving Photos library several times.

GetRealBro

*With a 4Mb/s dn and 600Kb/s up internet connection, sharing our 70GB 2018 Photos Library via iCloud is a non-starter.
 

AeroBar

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 21, 2009
699
7
No... and that is why I did not suggest it. That will give you the unedited originals and any changes you may have made along the way will be lost. For me, that would have been literally hundreds of hours dating and organizing photos.

I still think the export it the best way to go.

My concern had been image quality and meta data. I hadn’t considered any editing I may have done so thank you for pointing that out.

The majority of these separate libraries would have no editing at all but the library that had been the main iMac iPhoto library may have some. I’ve never had much time until now to be able to do editing other than rotating a picture or something minor but I’ll have a look just in case.

However, I did import a sub folder into my new Photo library a few minutes ago as test. In the masters folder it was 2018>01>sub folders divided by days and time.

It actually contained photos from Christmas Day 2017 even though in iPhoto they are dated correctly. It also imported some photos that do not show in iPhoto at all.

EDIT: there are two folders called modified and originals.

Are modified the edited photos? It seems to be a large amount of photos and a quick look in a sub folder shows photos I would not have edited.

What are originals?
 
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Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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there are two folders called modified and originals.
Yes... originals are the masters (unedited) and the modified is the edited versions. The problem with both these folder copy methods is you will lose your event/album organization also.

Whereas the export method will get you all your edited photos along with the events/albums you had setup.

There is no harm in making external backup of both iPhoto libraries then try out all these different methods on new Photos libraries to see what end result you like best.
 
Last edited:

getrealbro

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2015
518
208
PowerPhotos basically automates the export/import process while maintaining the organization of the library e.g. albums. For example, you can copy or move an album from one Photos library to another by simply dragging the album.

Step 1 - Convert the iPhotos libraries into Photos libraries by simply opening each iPhotos lib with the Photos app.

Step 2 - Combine/spilt the resulting Photos libraries using PowerPhotos. The PowerPhotos interface lets you see multiple Photos libraries at the same time. So you can copy/move individual photos/videos or whole albums between Photos Libraries via drag and drop.

GetRealBro
 

AeroBar

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 21, 2009
699
7
Yes... originals are the masters (unedited) and the modified is the edited versions. The problem with both these folder copy methods is you will lose your event/album organization also.

Whereas the export method will get you all your edited photos along with the events/albums you had setup.

There is no harm in making external backup of both iPhoto libraries then try out all these different methods on new Photos libraries to see what end result you like best.

The events and albums are a mess anyway but Apple supports drag and drop method is not quick as I first thought.

Whereas with your export method I can easily follow and compare what I'm importing to the new library.
[doublepost=1546874095][/doublepost]
PowerPhotos basically automates the export/import process while maintaining the organization of the library e.g. albums. For example, you can copy or move an album from one Photos library to another by simply dragging the album.

Step 1 - Convert the iPhotos libraries into Photos libraries by simply opening each iPhotos lib with the Photos app.

Step 2 - Combine/spilt the resulting Photos libraries using PowerPhotos. The PowerPhotos interface lets you see multiple Photos libraries at the same time. So you can copy/move individual photos/videos or whole albums between Photos Libraries via drag and drop.

GetRealBro

I've used iPhoto Manager before. It was free and I wasn't aware there were paid versions.

What is missing in the free version of PowerPhotos? I. can't find those details on their site.
[doublepost=1546876096][/doublepost]
Yes... originals are the masters (unedited) and the modified is the edited versions. The problem with both these folder copy methods is you will lose your event/album organization also.

Whereas the export method will get you all your edited photos along with the events/albums you had setup.

There is no harm in making external backup of both iPhoto libraries then try out all these different methods on new Photos libraries to see what end result you like best.

What options should I pick in Export?

I was going to work away with what was in the screen gab you posted above but I noticed in the dropdown box with JPEG there is Current and Original? What are these?
 

Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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I was going to work away with what was in the screen gab you posted above but I noticed in the dropdown box with JPEG there is Current and Original? What are these?
Current would give you the edited version and original would give you the unedited masters.
 
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getrealbro

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2015
518
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I've used iPhoto Manager before. It was free and I wasn't aware there were paid versions.

What is missing in the free version of PowerPhotos? I. can't find those details on their site.
If I remember correctly, the free download is a trial of the full version. I don't remember trial period.

GetRealBro
 
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AeroBar

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 21, 2009
699
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If I remember correctly, the free download is a trial of the full version. I don't remember trial period.

GetRealBro

I’ve had iPhoto Manager for a long time. I don’t think it has an expiry.
[doublepost=1546877875][/doublepost]
Current would give you the edited version and original would give you the unedited masters.

Cheers.

Of course now I’m fretting about “what if the edited version of some photos is not what I want”
[doublepost=1546878714][/doublepost]I’ll drive myself demented :p

So current is the correct one to export a photo as it appears on in an iPhoto/Photos library ?
[doublepost=1546880989][/doublepost]iPhoto is not able to export any video.

I can see online other people have encountered this too but I see no cause mentioned. Does anyone know why it doesn’t work?

I have created a smart able with all 2,003 videos - I thought I could use the Reveal in Finder option or drag & drop them to the Finder location but the beach ball is spinning on the screen for the last five minutes.

Do I simply wait or are two methods bad ideas?

EDIT: Reveal in Finder is not an option. 2003 videos are too much for it

EDIT: I had to create smart albums with a smaller number of videos in each. I can export them that way. Quite a few still won’t export that way but I’m able to drag & drop those directly from iPhoto to the Finder.
 
Last edited:

AeroBar

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 21, 2009
699
7
Current would give you the edited version and original would give you the unedited masters.

I have been doing the export from iPhoto/import to Photos for a couple of hours.

I have just discovered that a very, very large amount of the photos I've imported in Photos has had the date changed to 1st of January 2003
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,742
10,525
California
I have just discovered that a very, very large amount of the photos I've imported in Photos has had the date changed to 1st of January 2003
If you do command-i (for info) on one of those same photos in iPhoto what date does it show? None of this exporting should change the date at all.

Now if you had a bunch or masters that were that date, then changed them in iPhoto, then export the masters, you will still see the old date since you gave not exported the edited version. Could that be what happened?
 
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