*NEW MAC OWNER* Confusion about OS X filing system?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by FACT, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. FACT macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2006
    i'm a new mac user who is switching from windows, and everything seems ok except for the filing system. When I first got the macbook and looked around the folders and such I noticed that inside the "pictures" folder there were a large amount of strange files that made it difficult to navigate quickly. I'd like to get rid of these files or at least find out why they're there. Here is a screenshot:


    if anyone could explain this to me, i'd really appreciate it.

  2. comictimes macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    Berkeley, California
    Honestly, I have no clue what all those files are. However, first if you put it into list format it's easier to navigate. Also as to whether you can delete them, there probably are some that you can delete, but I wouldn't take the chance, and instead just store your pictures somewhere else, use iphoto to navigate through your pics, or just learn where within the jumble your personal folder is.

    Sorry I guess this post wasn't very useful, but it's what I do... :eek:
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Those files are used by iPhoto to catalog and manage your photographs. So long as you properly set the date and time on your camera, iPhoto will do a beautiful job handling your navigating your ~/Pictures/iPhoto Library/ folder. If you want to manipulate them otherwise, keep copies of your photos in other folders. Newbies have been known to royally foul-up iPhoto by trying to manage its folders with the Finder.
  4. killr_b macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2005
    In iPhoto you can edit your pictures.
    The originals are always saved in the "originals" folder.
    After you edit a pic, it saves the edited copy to "modified."
    The other files organize the libraries of modded and originals and their respective thumbnails.

    To back up your photos, simply copy the "originals" folder and paste it where you would like. I recommend a second hard disk.


    [edit] you can use color lables to navigate quickly. [/edit]
  5. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    If you look in the Music folder you'll see that iTunes has a similar folder there.

    Don't touch those folders unless you know what you're doing. If you want a picture out of iPhoto, don't go looking for the file, just drag it out of iPhoto to whatever location or application you want it in.
  6. Flowbee macrumors 68030


    Dec 27, 2002
    Alameda, CA
    As said above, that folder is set up the way it is to let iPhoto manage your photo library (in the same way that iTunes manages your music library). One of the hardest adjustments going from windows to mac is letting go of the "windows explorer" mindset. You can sort, organize, and manage all of your photos from within iPhoto. You can attach photos to email from within iPhoto or you can export photos from iPhoto to your desktop or any folder you choose, if you need to. You can set iPhoto to open another editing app (like photoshop) when you double click a photo. Or you can set up any filesystem you want and drag your photos directly from your memory card, bypassing iPhoto completely.
  7. FACT thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2006
    ok its starting to make sense. You're correct in that i'm very used to the "explorer" mindset and that habit will be hard as hell to break.
  8. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    the "folder structure" for iphoto is kind of an exception to the rule for the folders you'll have on OSX.....for the most part OSX foloders will be empty when you create them and will only have what you put in them.

    iphoto has all of those contents because part of the idea of iphoto is that the program is doing all of this folder/file management for you and you basically never deal with those folders directly.......and as others have said, if you are using iphoto, DON'T muck with the folders it creates or the program will all get mucked up

    of course you don't have to use iphoto.........make your own folders and manage your own picture files if you want
  9. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004

    I see from the screen shot that you've using icon view....coming from windows you may find the column views to give you a more familiar view of the file structure....or so some windows users have told me
  10. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I think that iPhoto is one of the few programs that I absolutely abhor the file structure it uses. You see so many database files and other filler in there when you're looking for your Originals.

    Overall, I just sort by kind just like I did on Windows. It works fine for me. That and Spotlight. Who needs a stinkin' Finder?
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Someone who wants to access files.

    Can someone get along without Windows Explorer? Can Taskbar get along without Windows Explorer?

    I don't see a need to show hidden files in non-UNIX areas. Let the operating system do its job. Let the applications do their job. Back up your user area--that's your job. :)
  12. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005

    yes, command prompt :p
  13. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    I'd use an ALIAS for managing the folder. Right click on the folder you want and select Make Alias. This is like a windows shortcut, except much much more robust. It's like a super-duper version of a windows shortuct...

    Move this outside the folder, and then you don't have to go into that folder. Just select the alias of the folder you want...
  14. smwatson macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2005
    London, England
  15. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    The reason iPhoto exists is so that you can work with your photos and not have to worry about the file structure. I have never even looked inside my iPhoto Library folder since I started using it.

    Everything you could want to do with photos you can do from iPhoto in an easier way than rooting around in folders. These include:

    - Managing in albums, smart albums, slideshows, calendars etc.
    - Editing, either simply through iPhoto or by enabling the preferences to edit through professional programs such as Photoshop.
    - Emailing, either by selecting the photos and hitting the "Email" button or dragging the photos into the Mail message.
    - Burning back-up discs with album info and data all intact so that a HDD disaster doesn't wipe out all you albums and preferences.
    - Printing
    - Creative stuff with cards, postcards, calendars etc.
    - Choose a single photo, an album or a bunch of photos randomly and hit the "Desktop" button, it will open System Preferences and let you set the change time etc to rotate your selected photos as your wallpaper.
    - Access shared photos online, you can use iPhoto for Flickr RSS feeds as well as .Mac photocasts.
    - Turning slideshows into movies.

    The possibilities are endless and you don't ever have to open the iPhoto Library.

    If you're absolutely paranoid about how you arrange your folders, you can enable a preference in iPhoto '06 to use your folder structure, it works exactly the same but doesn't auto arrange your photos. I can't be stuffed worrying about naming and placing folders, I just make sure I name the film roll something informative when I import the images and that way when I scroll in the iPhoto library I have a description of the roll flash up on screen as I go.
  16. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I normally just use Spotlight, Quicksilver, and keyboard shortcuts. I just try to avoid using my mouse as much as possible.
  17. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I don't see this as being notably different from Windows; mucking around in the iPhoto folder (which is, by definition, a data folder created by an application and not generally intended for users to directly access) is roughly equivalent to going into your Windows directory and deciding to rearrange things in there. You are going to break stuff, period.

    Many Windows apps have data folders like this, if not even more confusing--ever looked at the Outlook Express data folder, or the folder where Symantec Anti Virus stores stuff? Probably not, because you aren't intended to, any more than the inexperienced are intended to goof around in the iPhoto folder.

    If you want it organized exactly the way you want, don't use iPhoto--just import using Image Capture and store them as you will. There's no thumbnail preview like in Windows, but if you use collumn view you see a preview of the selected image in the righthand collumn.
  18. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Never, EVER EVER look in the Application Data folder and a few other hidden folders in your user directory in Windows. If you thought the iPhoto folder was bad...
  19. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    When I first started using iPhoto I used to store other pix that were not in iPhoto in the pictures folder and finding them proved a nightmare. Then it dawned on me why dont I just put those images in iPhoto and let it manage them for me.

    So now I never even need to look in the pictures folder and all my pix are easily found in iPhoto. If i want to edit them I just drag and drop them into Photoshop or you can do it in iphoto. When you get used to it you will wonder how you managed before. ;)
  20. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Seems to me to have to start the command prompt from Windows Explorer.

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