Migrating my Photo Library from PC to iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by KernalROM, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. KernalROM macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2008
    Hey everyone..

    I just purchased an iMac on Saturday

    I have an extensive library of pictures on my PC.. They are all nicely organized into folders.

    I copied them over to my external hard drive and then plugged it into the iMac

    I then opened iPhoto and imported the photos into iPhoto. Afterwards I deleted the photos and am now using the hard drive for time machine.

    It seems iPhoto incorporates the pictures into a database without the folder organization I had. It uses events instead.

    I then downloaded Photoshop Elements trial and I have been trying to open my picures to no avail.

    Do I need to recopy all my photo's onto the iMacs hard drive in their original folders (like I had on my PC) and use these for working with Photoshop Elements or should I be somehow using iPhotos database to pull pictures from to work with Photoshop?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. ltldrummerboy macrumors 68000


    Oct 15, 2007
    If you use subfolders or have your pictures already organized in subfolders, I suggest using anything but iPhoto. It is hands down the worst photo organizing program I have ever used. No subfolders allowed? Maybe they're too complicated for the average user. If you still have your old computer I would suggest just re-copying your "My Pictures" folder over to your pictures folder on your iMac. Then use Image Capture to import pics from your camera into Finder. Aperture is a good photo organizer/editor if you don't mind forking over $180.
  3. Mashiach macrumors regular


    Mar 5, 2008
    In a House Near the Sea
    like ltldrummerboy i do the same thing by just organising my photos in folders within the pictures folder like you with my photos on windows. iphoto seems to want to organise your photos by date you added them to iphoto.
    What you could do though is import each folder one at a time into iphoto and organise them by the event that you specify and so on till all your folders are done. May take a while though.
  4. KernalROM thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2008
    Thanks guys...

    My wife likes to use photoshop to play around with our photos... iPhoto, although it has a cool interface, doesn't have the editing abilities that photoshop has.

    Seems the problem was the program, not my Mac!


  5. skybolt macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2005
    Nashville, TN, USA
    In iPhoto preferences, set Photoshop (or whatever) to be the default external editor, and then when you click to edit, that program will open, you can edit, and the photo will be saved right back where it came from. Just don't do anything to/with your photos in finder -- you will render iPhoto unable to find your photos at all. As suggested, importing from your PC folder by folder will preserve the work you have already done, then let iPhoto organize for you -- that is its job and it does it brillliantly!
  6. cwilson71 macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2008

    Excellent response. It is important for the switcher to decide whether they hand the reigns over to the apple applications or if they still want to control things like file names and file folders they way they did in Windows. I decided to let iTunes and iPhoto just deal with everything. The only thing I bother with is batch changing photo names to match the events and I am happy.

    I imagine in a professional environment you would definitely want to keep photos in a folder in which case I would stay away from iPhoto especially if the files were shared on a network.
  7. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    I agree with you, purchased and LOVE Aperture 2.0
  8. KernalROM thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2008
    thanks everyone...

    Unfortunately I have over 300 folders filled with photos so importing 1 at a time is impractical...

    I do still have my photos stored in their original folders on my PC and have moved them over to my iMac via the network...

    When I orginally moved the pics over, I had imported them into iPhoto and then deleted the folders...

    Now I will keep them on the share folders as to have access to them from all users..

  9. trevis macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2008
    I also keep photos in folders. This is useful so that any OS can access them
    via file sharing.
    You can import photos into iphoto without actually copying them into the database: Iphoto will create links to the original location of the photos.
    If you edit anything, it will save edits in the Modified folder in the library package.
    If you select iphoto library file in the Finder and select "show package contents" from the menu, you'll see that this is just some directory structure with actual images copied there or links to the original locations, there are also some supporting files, thumbnail pictures and Modified folder.


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