Problems with Mac OS X and Photos

Discussion in 'macOS' started by horation, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. horation macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2007
    I converted from a PC a year ago, and love my Mac (macbook pro 2010 mid 17" version with snow leopard) in almost every regard except for one gaping bloody hole: dealing with photos.

    I take a lot of pictures, and managing my archives is a bit of a job. After a days/weekends shoot, I used to:

    1. look through them and delete duplicates/bad shots, fix orientation
    2. rename batches to fit the date, location, and subject
    3. store them into various folders (chronologically and by event)

    NONE of these simple functions are possible on a Mac in a simple way.

    First, Preview would be the closest program to Windows Fax and Picture Viewer, but it crashes nearly every time I use it. Using the Quick Look (spacebar view) is OK, but doesn't allow one to zoom in to look for detail or to fix orientation.

    Second, Putting many batches of files into the same folder does not work due to duplicate picture names (every camera recharge starts the naming sequence back to xxxxxxxx001, etc.), and for some reason, one cannot batch rename on a Mac with any free software (that I know of). Being dirt poor, there is no way I'm going shell out 20 bucks for something that should be a part of the OS.

    Third, When viewing the icons of the pictures in a folder, one cannot select bunches of images except by shift clicking each one manually. You can shift select large groups while in list view, but that doesn't help when you need to visually see where the breaks in theme are.

    Can anyone explain to me a better way to conquer any of these steps or explain why Max OS X is set up in such a terrible way to deal with photos? This might be my paranoia speaking, but it seems like the interface is deliberately bad to try to "encourage" people to only use iPhoto (which I might have to convert to, but have tens of thousands of images that will need to be reorganized, a full time months long task I would much rather not do).

  2. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    Why not use photo management software? iPhoto will handle all of those issues very easily and will do the organizing. Aperture would do it even better and provide more tools if you're serious about photography. You can utilize your own file structure in both (certainly Aperture; I'm pretty sure that's possible in iPhoto). If that's not an option for you, I'll try to address your issues:

    1) What are you doing with Preview that causes a crash? Not sure I can help here without more info.

    2) There are plenty of free ways to batch rename using Applescript. Take your pick.

    3) You can drag to select a bunch of files in icon mode. Is that the problem you're having? I'm a little confused on this last point.

    Finder is a valid way to organize your photos, but as the library gets very large, photo management software will greatly reduce headaches.
  3. lkirkup macrumors newbie


    Mar 5, 2010
    Loose the Windows bad habits...Learn to use iPhoto.
  4. lanturlu macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2006
    I had the same problem.

    I found my own solution to photo management. I just don't want to iPhoto, even though it came for free on my MBP. No matter what ppl say, I prefer my way of managing my files. All of these you can get for free.

    I use extensively Exiftools for batch renaming, with EXIF info and all.

    Here's a quick script alias I made that renames files the way I want, sets the file date to the EXIF date and set the file permissions properly after I got the files to my HD.

    alias mypics='exiftool "-DateTimeOriginal>FileModifyDate" -r $DIR && exiftool "-FileName<CreateDate" -d %Y%m%d_%H%M%S%%-c.jpg -r $DIR && find $DIR -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \; && find $DIR -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;'

    And a file browser for picture, which allow a few mods and more importantly, a quick way to review and delete pics after a trip: Phoenix Slides, clean and simple.

    To batch modify them, like change the size and stuff like that, you can use Smallimage.

    Hope this helps.
  5. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    And this is easier for you than using something like iPhoto? That's great that you've found a solution that fits your needs, but can you comment on why you chose this over photo management software alternatives? It seems like a lot of workarounds to me, so I'm curious to see why it's an improvement for you.
  6. lanturlu macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2006
    Yes, easier since I'm much more comfortable when I can do something with the command line. iPhoto is a black box to me and I don't like the fact that I can lose my library when going from v1 to v2, as I see reported from time to time on this forum. Most of these cases can probably be fixed/restored, I'm pretty sure that data is not lost, just badly imported / converted, but I don't see this whole "Library" format to be a benefit for me. I'm sure it's good enough for quite a lot of people though.

    To me, the directory + file structure is the way to go, especially with some exiftools scripting. Full disclosure, I'm a very tidy person and I do try to understand what happens on my machines. I tend to do a lot of things manually in a way that is usually incompatible with the Apple way of doing things. I sometimes rename directories, you know, just because I want to. That messes up libraries.

    iPhoto is also a non-free software, I try to stay away from them when possible, especially for something as trivial as file/photo management. Even though I usually get a "free" bundle of iLife with my new laptops, it a matter of principle. I don't want to get use to paid software if I can do otherwise. I do the same for GIMP vs Photoshop, OpenOffice vs MS Office, etc. I actually don't even use OpenOffice, I stick with LaTeX but that's beside the point. When there is a free solution, I use that, by default. If that free option limits me too much, I might go for the paid one, but that rarely happens. Quicktime vs VLC? Please!

    It's more like iPhoto would be a downgrade to me. I have managed photos before I started using OSX and will keep managing photos when/if I don't use OSX anymore. I want total portability and I don't want to be sorry later if I go to a new OS and can't get iPhoto for it. And you can bet that I don't let iTunes "keep my media folder organized" either! iPhoto would have to offer me that option for me to even start to maybe consider using it.

    The Apple hardware is great, in fact, I can't imagine myself buying any other brand of laptop in the near future. OSX (10.4+) is great, it's not perfect but it makes the hardware work well right out of the box. And I know I can go back to Linux on my MBP whenever I want.
  7. iubhounds macrumors regular


    Nov 29, 2010

    I just bought my imac last sunday and since i have a couple of online businesses I have thousands of images i upload in folders sorted by my suppliers and then personal photos.

    From what I see this week, iphoto took over 40,000 images on the download from my external hard drive and sorted them by file name of EACH image, mixing business with personal and mixing up all of my different suppliers.

    Been doing a lot of reading this week, which lead me here and I still dont have a fix.....I need help on a solution, until that time Im shut down adding iventory to my sites during the busiest time of the year.

    Alternative, hook my pc back up and work from there.
  8. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    Ok I understand. I'm certainly not judging your setup, I was simply curious. I wasn't aware the iPhoto doesn't allow a referenced library as Aperture does (haven't used iPhoto in about 4 years) and I agree that that's a drawback. I can completely understand the value of command line tools over the ubiquitous GUI options. I'm not sure if the OP is interested in going this route, but your success provides some incentive to give it a try.

    As for data loss during an upgrade, that's only an issue without a good backup solution. I'm glad that's not your only reason to avoid management software because I don't see it as a commanding one. Sure, there have been issues in the past, but I value the benefits of these tools over that very minor risk.

    Thank you for your detailed response. I think it'll help a lot who aren't convinced that iPhoto, Aperture, or Lightroom are the solution for them.
  9. horation thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2007

    Thanks Dissolve, and apologies for not coming back to this thread sooner. Been on the road, and haven't had time or internet.

    I will probably just break down and devote the time to iPhoto, but to reorganize tens of thousands of pictures is not a task I look forward to. That's because I'm a lazy bastard.

    1. Preview has just been severely buggy with me if I open up more than 1 image. It tends to crash. Not a big deal though.

    2. thanks for pointing me in the right direction, I didn't search for 'applescript' in my previous research, and was unable to find a free way to do it.

    3. I was talking more about holding down the shift key to select a range of photos, but will now drag select. I feel like an idiot on that one.

    Thanks for everything, it's folks like you that keep this forum a great community.
  10. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    I actually learned a few strange things about OS X looking for answers to your questions.

    1) That is a big deal, Preview shouldn't do that. I use it mostly for pdfs and haven't had issues so I'm not sure what's causing problems for you. That's a shame though.

    2) You're welcome ;)

    3) It is so bizarre that shift click only selects the one file you click in icon view. It does not do this in the other views and I have no clue why Apple chose to change the functionality in one view type. Maybe look into something like Path Finder to replace your Finder routine. I'm not sure if it'll solve your problem, but a lot of people like that solution.

    Other than that, read into lanturlu's methods. I know that photo management software isn't for everyone and reorganizing all those photos will be a pain. I also didn't know that iPhoto doesn't allow for referenced libraries (not sure if the new one does). I use Aperture and haven't had an iPhoto library for years.

    Hopefully you find a solution that works for you. Maybe others will chime in with their non-iPhoto workflows. Good luck :)
  11. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816


    Nov 8, 2010
    South Carolina

    Love iPhoto! After spending a solid week learning all the ins & outs, it is a fantastic program. For the novice, they can be up and running with iPhoto in an hour. For advanced management, a couple days. Virtual Albums, etc. very nice App.

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