New Mac User: Large photo archive from PC into iPhoto

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Wayne77, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Wayne77, Oct 29, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013

    Wayne77 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    #1
    Hello,

    I am a brand new Mac user and am just starting to "get" the concept behind iPhoto vs managing a bunch of folders like I did with my PC. I have an archive I'd like to import, about 7 years worth of photos, roughly organized by year and month. However the folder naming conventions are not entirely consistent (different digital cameras over the years, different import software, etc) and I got lazy at times and didn't rename folders. Also I'm sure there are some duplicates I'd like to get rid of (same file name, different folder).

    Last time I did this, it imported all the photos and created a massive list of events, that didn't seem to exactly correlate with my folder names.

    What is the recommended work flow to import a large library in iPhoto, to minimize all the clean up work? Should I better organize the source archive first then do the import, or does it even matter? Or perhaps I should import as is and then do the clean up in iPhoto (merge events, rename events, etc - but that looks like hours of work I'd like to avoid)

    Also, I must admit that in my "old way of doing things mindset", I've messed up my iPhoto library - lots of duplicates, etc. My wife and I were following a different workflow so her library had some images mine didn't, I was importing using finder, so some images were housed in iPhoto, some weren't etc. So I tried to copy source folders in the iphoto library module from hers to mine (yikes - learned that didn't work very well!) Anyway, at this point I think I'd like to start over (ie clear out the entire iPhoto library and re-import, hence my question above)

    Any advice or thoughts on this would be much appreciated!
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    First off, like you mentioned, by manually moving things into the iPhoto library in Finder you have likely got your iPhoto library all jacked up. If you still have all those photos on another drive and you can start fresh, that is definitely the way to go. Just quit iPhoto and go to Finder and delete the whole library the restart iPhoto to get a new, blank library.

    You don't ever want to mess around in Finder inside that library file. You want to do all your management from inside iPhoto once the photos are imported.

    Also, go to iPhoto preferences and in the advanced tab make sure the box for "Copy item to the iPhot library" is checked.

    You can organize either way, but I find trying to organize events that are somewhat mixed up like yours very trying inside iPhoto. I would try to get your folders as organized as you can then drag and drop them one at a time into iPhoto as you get them fixed up.
     
  3. Wayne77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    #3
    Very helpful guidance - much appreciated. I have started fresh and was able to re-import everything. I don't like how many events it auto created the first time I did this though (I don't need an event for every day, or every week), so I may do what you suggest and drag and drop my folders after I get them organized. Thanks!

    --one thing I haven't figured out is that sometimes the folder name comes through and an event is created based on that folder name, for example "Halloween 2013", but other times if I have a set of pictures in a sub folder called "October", within a folder called "2013" it ignores the folder naming and goes with the auto generated event convention based on date the pictures were taken. No worries though..I suppose if I drag and drop I will have more control of the events created.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    If you look in iPhoto preferences (hit command-comma) there is a setting that gives you some control over how new events are created. I agree with you there should be more control over this.
     

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