Need iPhoto alternative

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by .Logan, May 8, 2014.

  1. .Logan macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Houston, Texas

    I just got back from a long trip and have tons of photos I want to go through. Currently, in Finder using Preview I must double click a photo each time to view it. I want to be able to continuously view photos (with arrow keys) in folders that I've created. I don't like iPhoto as it chooses to sort photos itself and I want to be in charge of file structure.

    In addition to easy viewing of photos in my own folders, it'd be nice if it was EASY to move photos into albums but that those created albums would just be a folder in my photo folder for example. I don't want them to be mysteriously created somewhere else in an application database.

    Editing features would be a plus but not required.

  2. Cadaei macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2011
    Personally I use Adobe Lightroom, I think it's fantastic ! (A little on the pricy side compared to iPhoto..!)

    You have a database file, but files are organized in year/month folders by default, you can also make your own directories.

    If you want something free, there's Lightzone, it's pretty powerful too. ( )

    Cheers !
  3. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    Apple introduced Quick Look with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Surely you're not running something older than that, are you?
  4. .Logan thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Houston, Texas
    Didn't even know about that feature! Thanks! Works great.

    All kinds of small stuff like that in OSX I'm sure I'm missing haha.
  5. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    There is lots of "small stuff" in OS X that really make it a joy to use, but aren't always known. I hope you're making use of gestures. Command-tab is useful. Mission Control is great too.
  6. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    +1 on LR. It's great, and may be able to meet all your editing needs.

    Another application you should consider is GraphicConverter. It does all the conversion stuff, but also a bunch of editing, and is especially good for manipulating metadata. Works with RAW. And you get a sidebar-type browser, and can drag and drop photos from folder to folder, or make new folders, etc more or less like LR. Does geolocation, tagging/keywording, etc. A nice thing is that it can flatten a file structure; you definitely need this if you use nested folders for storage.

    Both these applications have demos, so try them.

    Having said that, your idea of making "albums" that are really just Finder folders is very, very limited. The point behind all the other methods of photo organization is that you can have collections, albums, sets or whatever that can "include" photos even though the original photo is never moved. So "cat haz..." photo can be in a folder/collection/album by date, or in one called "cats," or in one called "junk" without having to duplicate the photo. You can accomplish much of this, even in the Finder, however, by use of keywords (and photo keywords that are part of photo metadata are preferred over Mavericks' tags, which although they can be the same (eg "cat") are stored very differently. And to make best use of them you need a photo app, or other applications that can search with templates and/or saved searches, like HoudahSpot, Leap, etc.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd recommend LightRoom or Aperture. The latter while not seeing a major upgrade is still a nice app and will work well if you are enmeshed in the apple ecosystem, i.e., iPhone etc.

    It also can use the same library of the iPhoto which is a plus.

    LR is a good app and very popular, some people don't like the UI, others don't mind it. I believe LR has a free trial, whilst Aperture does not.
  8. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    If you go with iPhoto or Aperture, use a referenced library. That means the master image files you import via cards or a connection to a camera are stored in folders and subfolders in the file system. This is the same approach that Lightroom uses. I have both Aperture and Lightroom accessing the same set of 56,000+ masters.

    The alternative in iPhoto and Aperture is to do a managed library where the programs put the imported masters inside the database. Much more difficult or any other program to access the files. Hence, I use the referenced library approach.

    Indeed it is much easier to use Aperture with other Mac apps. And you can get the same plugins (3rd party tools) to work for either Aperture or Lightroom. The 3rd party plugins give you capabilities you will never have in Aperture or LR alone.

Share This Page