Tell me iPhoto is here to stay.

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
I've been debating with myself for a while on whether or not I should use iPhoto to document my pictures (i.e. input info about the pic into the info pane). I really like the idea of, 10, 20, 30 years from now, being able to see the info about a pic.

My question is, how likely is it that, as time goes on, I will be able to transfer my information about my library of pics from computer to computer.

I'm not worried about Apple going away anytime soon. I guess I'm worried about iPhoto going away. If that happens, would I have wasted my time inputting data about my pics?

I haven't been computing long enough to know what the trends are for software.

I don't like changing the actual filenames either. So, I'm stumped.

Any advice from the more experienced out there?
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,817
37
Andover, MA
Given the large and growing user base for iPhoto, it's a sure thing that, should it be dropped in the future, someone will write an app to port any stored info. However, most of the info is stored in the pictures themselves (in the metadata). Organizational info (albums, etc.) is stored in XML files, easily read by other apps.
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
jsw said:
Given the large and growing user base for iPhoto, it's a sure thing that, should it be dropped in the future, someone will write an app to port any stored info.
I would hope as long as Apple is around, they would give us a way to move the info easily. If iPhoto went away, I would assume Apple is replacing it with something else.

[/QUOTE]However, most of the info is stored in the pictures themselves (in the metadata). Organizational info (albums, etc.) is stored in XML files, easily read by other apps.[/QUOTE]

Being the computer idiot that I am, could you explain what you mean by, "in the pictures themselve"? Do you mean it becomes part of the jpeg when iPhoto imports it?
 

DavidLeblond

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,198
286
Raleigh, NC
Who knows though, in 30 years we may be asking "what the hell is a Jpeg?"

You may laugh, but I found a .PCX file on an old ZIP disk... I actually had to stop and think about what type of file it was.
 

kgarner

macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2004
1,513
0
Utah
Usually software gets replaced over time. Look at MacWrite. But when a new version of something comes out there is usually a time period where they provide translators from the old version. Think MacWrite to AppleWorks or WordPerfect to Word. After a while, they stop including the translators. So the key is to stay current and take advantage of those times. It is only those that continue to use the old software for years after it has stopped being made and then decide to get a new computer that have real issues with this.

That said, iPhoto is here to stay for a long time to come I am sure. And, as was previously pointed out, since it uses XML to store the data, it should be fairly easy to export that data into a new program.
 

DavidLeblond

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,198
286
Raleigh, NC
If I were you, I'd print out the pictures you want to keep and keep them in a safe place. I don't know how to preserve pictures, but I'd find out and do that.

I don't print out all my pictures. Do as I say, not as I do. ;)
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
kgarner said:
Usually software gets replaced over time. Look at MacWrite. But when a new version of something comes out there is usually a time period where they provide translators from the old version. Think MacWrite to AppleWorks or WordPerfect to Word. After a while, they stop including the translators. So the key is to stay current and take advantage of those times. It is only those that continue to use the old software for years after it has stopped being made and then decide to get a new computer that have real issues with this.
That's what I figured. I would find it hard to believe that if Apple gets rid of iPhoto, they'd just say, "screw you people who've been using iPhoto, you've got to start over now."
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
DavidLeblond said:
If I were you, I'd print out the pictures you want to keep and keep them in a safe place. I don't know how to preserve pictures, but I'd find out and do that.

I don't print out all my pictures. Do as I say, not as I do. ;)

It's funny. My wife and I have quit printing pictures for the most part. We've found we look at pictures waaaayyyy more if they're on the computer.

I just keep 4-5 backups of all my pics. Is this the wrong way to do things?
 

m-dogg

macrumors 65816
Mar 15, 2004
1,339
0
Connecticut
I just back up a lot to cds/dvds. I really can't print all my pictures - I just can't afford it! We take so many more pictures since we switched to digital!
 

dobbin

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2002
587
5
England
I think it is sensible to keep multiple backups of anything that is REALLY important to you, such as your photos. What is equally important is to keep the backups safe too. There's no point having 4 copies of your photos if your house burns down and you lose all 4 copies.

I keep 2 copies of all my photos on my ibook in case any of the files corrupt, or iPhoto loses them, or I delete them by mistae. I also backup my photos regularly from my ibook to an external hard disk. This ensures I have a full copy if I lose my ibook. I also make backups to CDs every few months which I now keep in my drawer at work in case somethign happen at home and I lose both my ibook and my external hard disk.
(I also keep a copy on my iPod as an extra precaution, and also low-res copies on my idisk.)

CDRs and CDRWs are not as longlasting as shopbought prewritten CDs. They will not last forever and are susceptible to sunlight and scratches. I wouldn't want to rely on home-burnt CDs for longer than a year.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
hikeNM said:
I've been debating with myself for a while on whether or not I should use iPhoto to document my pictures (i.e. input info about the pic into the info pane). I really like the idea of, 10, 20, 30 years from now, being able to see the info about a pic.

My question is, how likely is it that, as time goes on, I will be able to transfer my information about my library of pics from computer to computer.

I'm not worried about Apple going away anytime soon. I guess I'm worried about iPhoto going away. If that happens, would I have wasted my time inputting data about my pics?

I haven't been computing long enough to know what the trends are for software.

I don't like changing the actual filenames either. So, I'm stumped.

Any advice from the more experienced out there?
Not to worry. iPhoto organizes .jpeg files. There will never come a day when iPhoto suddenly stops working. Furthermore, there are numerous applications on the Mac which handles .jpeg files. GraphicConverter, Preview, and iPhoto ship with most Macs. Photoshop in its various forms and other applications also support .jpeg. As for converting .jpeg files to other formats, we have that now. GraphicConverter can convert .jpeg files into the nearly 30-year old Radio Shack TRS-80 *.hr graphic format. Others may disagree, but I think that .jpeg will be around a bit longer than .hr.
 

ibilly

macrumors regular
May 2, 2003
248
0
Boulder
You may loose teh comments you made in the info box that is below the pane with the library and all the albums, etc. That is an iPhoto specific feature. This might be stored in xml files, which are fairly universal, but maybee not (I don't know). metadata, on the other hand (camera, exposure, etc) is embedded into the jpeg itself. I'm not sure what happens when you export a photo with metadata, but the orig. file should have plenty of it in each backup copy you make. If you're worried about having to reenter your comments at some point, that might happen. The data embedded into the files... That should be there as long as the file is around.
on that note (files), JPEG WILL BE REPLACED. There is already a better and more efficient video compression format (h.264 or something like that)... HOWEVER, there will always be a format designed for the compression of photos as long as there are digital photos (I wouldn't worry about 30 yrs from now). I can only assume that they will expand on the data capabilities of the jpeg format when they come up with a replacement that is widely implemented.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
ibilly said:
.... There is already a better and more efficient video compression format (h.264 or something like that)....
H.264 is a video compression format. JPEG compresses single-frame images. Apples and oranges.
 

kgarner

macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2004
1,513
0
Utah
hikeNM said:
I guess I'd be SOL down the road if Apple goes under or quits making a picture viewing and storing device not compatible with iPhoto.
No, because there are tons of programs that view photos and most can read the metadata that is sotred with your photos. The only thing you would possibly lose is (like was said earlier) what photos are in what albums and any comments that you stored with the photos. And since the library files are just XML it will be a very good bet that someone will figure out how to extract that data to a new program. So you really are running very little risk.
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,137
1,161
East Coast
hikeNM said:
I guess I'd be SOL down the road if Apple goes under or quits making a picture viewing and storing device not compatible with iPhoto.
Even if Apple were to go under or if they stopped developing iPhoto, you'd still be able to use your current Mac/iPhoto. If you wanted to, you could use the Mac that you have now for 10, 20, 30 more years. Well, as long as it doesn't break.
 

jackieonasses

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2004
929
0
the great OKLAHOMA....
ftaok said:
Even if Apple were to go under or if they stopped developing iPhoto, you'd still be able to use your current Mac/iPhoto. If you wanted to, you could use the Mac that you have now for 10, 20, 30 more years. Well, as long as it doesn't break.
Kinda like me and my Mac Color Classic.....


kyle
 

Inspector Lee

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2004
590
0
East Lansing, MI
hikeNM said:
So nobody thinks it would be a waste of time for me to use the info pane to tell about each pic? 30 years from now somebody who looks at these pics will be able to see what I've written about them?
I'm in the process of doing this right now after having spent several weeks attaching many many many keywords to my pics. I think it is a very good idea. I don't want to make the same mistake many people make in accumulating photos over the years without any documentation as to who, what, where, etc.

I also agree with dobbin in regards to backups. You need true backups to be kept off-site. And I'd also consider re-backing these up every 2-3 years in case the media (cd or dvd) goes kaput.
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Inspector Lee said:
I'm in the process of doing this right now after having spent several weeks attaching many many many keywords to my pics. I think it is a very good idea. I don't want to make the same mistake many people make in accumulating photos over the years without any documentation as to who, what, where, etc.

I also agree with dobbin in regards to backups. You need true backups to be kept off-site. And I'd also consider re-backing these up every 2-3 years in case the media (cd or dvd) goes kaput.
Yea, I've got three backups, 2 sets of CD's and an iPod.

I agree that it's very nice to be able to write who the picture is of and where it was taken, etc. I feel bad when I'm going through my parents picts and have no idea who the pics are of alot of times.

I think I'm convinced to go ahead and start putting info with my pics. I for sure will regret it later on down the road if I don't.
 

Inspector Lee

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2004
590
0
East Lansing, MI
hikeNM said:
Yea, I've got three backups, 2 sets of CD's and an iPod.

I agree that it's very nice to be able to write who the picture is of and where it was taken, etc. I feel bad when I'm going through my parents picts and have no idea who the pics are of alot of times.

I think I'm convinced to go ahead and start putting info with my pics. I for sure will regret it later on down the road if I don't.
Have you flirted with iPhoto's keywords option yet? It is great for attaching names to faces. Then you can actual query iPhoto e.g. Mom+Dad+Ralphie.
I don't know about iPhoto 5 but in iPhoto 4 one has no means to sort the keywords table which stinks. However, a plug-in exists to allow for sorting. I've got over one hundred of these set up.
 

iGary

Guest
May 26, 2004
19,583
0
Randy's House
Well, I'll throw in my worthless two cents.

I recently converted my entire 10.5 GB 1,000 image select library over to iPhoto, and so far, so good. I'm a little concerned at getting to the actual images, but I really needed a good way to catalog everything I have.

I need to get into it further, but you get the idea.

I've found that iPhoto handles relatively small image files well, but start adding 8MB TIFF files in the mix, and even with a well-loaded 1.8 G5, it really starts to slow down.

we all have to keep in mind that Steve demonstrates this software on dual 2.5 G5's maxed with RAM. Of course it scrolls through the 25,000 images with ease. It should.

For real world people like us...the jury is still out.
 

ibilly

macrumors regular
May 2, 2003
248
0
Boulder
I know that h.264 is a video format. I was illustrating how formats for compression change and get better over time. Overall, I agree with most of what's being said on this thread. iPhoto may not be around forever, but the chances that you will be able to use your info form iPhoto after a decade is very good, and the chance of being able to view and do things to your photos after 30 years is almost 100%. Go for it.