Using the photos app to tag thouands of images?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jrm27, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. jrm27 macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    Hello all,

    I've been using iphoto and the Photos app for the past many years to keep an inspiration library of design and images that I like. Right now, all the photos/images live in a folder but are pretty much untagged and have no keywords associated with them. I'd like to change that so I can make that database searchable. Any tips or tools you can recommend for batch tagging within the Photos app? I've got literally thousands of images to get through.

    I use lightroom for my actual photography work and am familiar with the keywording functionality there, but would prefer to keep all my inspiration images in Photos so that it syncs with my ios devices.
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Unfortunately Photos doesn't do much batch processing, and keyword support is decidedly meh. It doesn't even do hierarchical keywords, which are SO much more useful.

    The other issue is that Photos is meh as a photo organizer in that it doesn't have a way to say refresh metadata, like keywords, that are added to referenced images. If it did that one could easily add the keywords in Lr and then do a Photos equivalent of "read metadata from file" and in they'd come.

    Mylio can do this; it would synch all keywords (not hierarchies) to all your devices as well as other metadata and many of Lr's adjustments, like contrast, WB, cropping, etc etc.

    And other great keywording tools have the same issue: stuff is locked away there in Photos. In addition, I assume you're using iCloud Photo Library, which means you'd have to use a managed Photos library, not a referenced one.

    So workaround time. You could export, keyword in another application, then reimport. You could set up watched folders, that have folder actions assigned by Automator, such that any added images would be keyworded, added to a certain album, and imported.

    Or use smart albums in Photos to get a group, then select all and use the keywording window to apply in bulk.

    Or maybe just going forward keyword in other applications before you import into Photos; I have folders I just drag or export to in Lr that have folder actions for auto import into Photos.

    If you find a way to force Photos to reread keywords written to images already in Photos, please post how to do it.

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