Move from Picasa to Photos

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 19, 2004
4,599
1,184
Georgia
I'm being tasked with moving a huge library from the Mac version of Picasa into (Apple) PhotoS. Looking online it seems the regular import function in PhotoS will lose a lot of data. Is there a third party tool which will allow me to preserve the following?

- Tags
- Captions
- Locations
- Face Tags
- Albums
- Edits and Originals
- Folders

Mylio looks promising but they just import to their service. I don't see options for exporting to PhotoS. Uploading and downloading 250+GB of picture would be time consuming.

Edit: Even a tool that would require an extra step of going through iPhoto or Aperture could work.
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,284
229
I'm being tasked with moving a huge library from the Mac version of Picasa into (Apple) PhotoS. Looking online it seems the regular import function in PhotoS will lose a lot of data. Is there a third party tool which will allow me to preserve the following?

- Tags
- Captions
- Locations
- Face Tags
- Albums
- Edits and Originals
- Folders

Mylio looks promising but they just import to their service. I don't see options for exporting to PhotoS. Uploading and downloading 250+GB of picture would be time consuming.

Edit: Even a tool that would require an extra step of going through iPhoto or Aperture could work.
I haven't used Picasa in ages, but if it writes that metadata to the files in standard ways (i.e. keywords, captions, locations, and other IPTC metadata categories, that should import just fine. I'm not sure how Photos handles faces; you might wanna keyword them by name, then at least you'd have that if you loose location of the face.

Also, you can replicate albums in Photos by writing a keyword that represents that album, like "Mom's birthday," and then use a smart album to create that Mom's Birthday album in Photos.

I can't remember how Picasa dealt with folders, but I think it was a browser, so it was showing Finder folders. In Photos you can turn off the "copy into" option in its prefs, and then import those Finder folders where they sit, referencing them. But a downside is you can't then sync those via iCloud Photo Library. Again, use the folder name for a keyword, then a smart album, if you wanna maintain the organization, but still copy them into Photos instead of referencing them.

Edits in the sense of adjustments to the image, like say crops, WB, etc, aren't gonna translate. But you could export as a TIFF and import that. Originals are just originals; if you can access them, Photos can import them.

Just try some and see what works and what doesn't.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 19, 2004
4,599
1,184
Georgia
Unfortunately, this isn't my computer. This is for a client and I have to schedule any work. I can't try different things and see what works. I'm looking for a solution that won't require the client to lose years of edits and references. Basically a 100% conversion.

I know that face tags (facial recognition) and albums are parts of the Picasa database. Not stored in the individual picture files. The closest analogy for the folder structure would be Events.

It doesn't have to be Photos. If there is another program for OS X can import all the criteria. That can work.

I'm just trying to find a solution. As Google dropped Picasa support. Cloud storage is out. It's too slow for a database that large.
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,160
5,521
Even though Picasa is no longer supported or updated, it still seems to run well enough, even with High Sierra (on a drive formatted to HFS+, not sure about APFS).

Not sure how you're going to "migrate" much other than the pics themselves, however.
It may take a "3rd party solution", IF any are available.

Aside:
I'm still using Picasa and I find it very handy for browsing and simple editing (I'm not a "pro", nor even a "serious" amateur, just someone who takes photos). I'll probably keep using it until it won't work anymore...

Additional edit:
Picasa is such a user-friendly app, that I'm surprised google killed it.
Too bad they don't hand it to someone to keep developing it...
 
Last edited:

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,284
229
Unfortunately, this isn't my computer. This is for a client and I have to schedule any work. I can't try different things and see what works. I'm looking for a solution that won't require the client to lose years of edits and references. Basically a 100% conversion.

I know that face tags (facial recognition) and albums are parts of the Picasa database. Not stored in the individual picture files. The closest analogy for the folder structure would be Events.

It doesn't have to be Photos. If there is another program for OS X can import all the criteria. That can work.

I'm just trying to find a solution. As Google dropped Picasa support. Cloud storage is out. It's too slow for a database that large.
Tough ask. You can download Picasa here: https://www.techspot.com/downloads/4765-picasa-for-mac.html

Then maybe try some stuff. If it doesn't write keywords and such to images, you're probably hosed (or your client is). I haven't heard of any conversion utilities. Might require some fancy deconstruction of the database to coax stuff out. Like maybe this solution: http://www.smorgasbork.com/2016/12/17/migrating-away-picasa-3/

Good luck.
 

jenzjen

macrumors 68000
Aug 20, 2010
1,734
6
Picasa does not get along with Apple's new file system (APFS) at all - pictures are being cataloged by the wrong date, thumbnails are getting wonky ... worst of all some random image from a website I visited (on a machine that was just clean installed) showed up in my library as a thumbnail for a totally different image

Anyway, my solution was to force my machine not to upgrade to APFS when installing High Sierra ... or you could just go all the way back to Sierra

To prevent APFS when installing High Sierra, see my post https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/can-you-install-high-sierra-and-not-convert-to-apfs.2069134/page-2#post-26010730
 

TC_GoldRush

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2017
281
254
Nevada, USA
Picasa does not get along with Apple's new file system (APFS) at all - pictures are being cataloged by the wrong date, thumbnails are getting wonky ... worst of all some random image from a website I visited (on a machine that was just clean installed) showed up in my library as a thumbnail for a totally different image

Anyway, my solution was to force my machine not to upgrade to APFS when installing High Sierra ... or you could just go all the way back to Sierra

To prevent APFS when installing High Sierra, see my post https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/can-you-install-high-sierra-and-not-convert-to-apfs.2069134/page-2#post-26010730
Pics hasn't existed for over a year... not sure why this guy was still using it.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 19, 2004
4,599
1,184
Georgia
Pics hasn't existed for over a year... not sure why this guy was still using it.
Yea it's an old thread. The guy was still using it because of what a monumental task it is to change it to something else when you have a huge library.

For anyone interested. I imported the folders as into iPhoto. So, they showed as events. Then imported the iPhoto library into Photos. So, they showed up as albums.

Then manually separated originals folders (created by Picasa) out away from regulars. I put all the different originals albums/events into one folder and hid it. I forget if I did this in iPhoto first or in Photos later. One was faster than the other at selecting and dragging multiple events/albums. I think it was iPhoto.

Then I had to manually fix date information in most of the older albums. Although I don't think this was an import issue. As it didn't affect pictures taken with iPhones. Rather older photos taken with digital cameras which appeared to have never been setup with the correct date. I guess those people never thought it would be necessary and probably had VCRs with a blinking 12:00 back in the day:rolleyes:. Also the older pictures where transferred from a Windows before the owner switched to a Mac. That likely also caused date issues. While they sorted by date they used it in the Picasa album title and never fixed the actual files.

All told it was about 60 hours of labor I had to put in. I have no idea how many hours the owner spent afterwards relabeling faces.
 
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