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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

iPhoto Library Questions

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Member Since: Nov 23, 2009
Posts: 2
ToothDoggyDogg is on a distinguished road

ToothDoggyDogg is offline
Hi all. I just purchased my first Mac, iMac 27" yippee! This is my first mac forum, and my first forum post.

My issue with the iPhoto library is that when I back it up to the NAS (MyBook World Edition), the photo hierarchy is awkward, or at least it's not logical for somebody looking for a photo w/o opening the application. It starts with a year, then goes to the events for that year. The problem is that when I'm accessing the NAS remotely, and looking for a particular photo, it isn't logical for me to say, "Hey I remember what year that photo was taken." It's more logical to think that the photo was of a particular event, and the event might even have the date in it, like "Grandma's 90th Birthday - 2009". The NAS is a little sluggish when accessing remotely, so navigating through all the year folders to find the event I'm looking for gets annoying fast.

I thought about telling the WD backup application to just backup the events folders underneath the date folders, but that had two drawbacks. First, everytime I add an event, I'd have to add that folder to the backup schedule. Second, there are .plist files poluting the folders that contain the picture. Why couldn't Apple store the .plist files elsewhere with a pointer to the original photo?

I'm almost to the point where I'm considering putting the pictures elsewhere in the pictures folder (let's call that folder "x"), importing the photos to iPhoto from x, then not deleting the originals in x, so basically I'd have two copies on my iMac. Then I'd tell the WD backup application to backup the x folder and not the iPhoto library. This idea is hard to swallow b/c it's 10x easier to just drag the photos from my camera to the iPhoto window. It seems doubtful that I'd ever use the 1TB of HDD on the iMac even with the photo duplication, but I still hate wasting the space.

Note, I'm using another drive for Time Machine backups, so the NAS backups aren't really backups in the sense that it's my backup for data loss, but I'm just using the NAS for sharing files with friends/family, and accessing files remotely via PC/Mac.

Anybody have any experience in this area? Suggestions? Maybe iPhoto settings I can change? Sorry for the lengthy post!

EDIT: I'm not sure why I didn't think of this before. Maybe I'll just upload the pictures from my camera to the NAS, then import the pictures to iPhoto from the NAS, rather than upload the pictures from the camera to the iMac, then backing up the iPhoto library to the NAS. I'm not sure that solution is wife proof (you should see the set of instructions I had to draw up for the universal remote!, but I love her all the same), b/c that's still not as easy as just dragging the pictures from the camera folder to the iPhoto window.
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Member Since: Aug 28, 2009
Posts: 147
ticedoff8 will become famous soon enough

ticedoff8 is offline
This is sacrilege, I know, but I don't like iPhoto.

I use Picasa for Mac & PC. It just makes more "sense" than iPhoto. Picasa isn't perfect, but I like it better than iPhoto.

iPhoto tries to hide so much of the underlaying Mac OS file structure and forces me to adhere to their philosophy of photo album management - it frustrates me. I want a "steak and potatoes" photo manager that doesn't try to hide so much - Picasa works in that regard.

iPhoto creates hidden folders and links to the files, and you never see that unless you use terminal. So, you don't really know where the files are actually stored.

I use a NAS box to store all of my pictures - 500GB and growing. iPhoto tried to copy every file to the local Users directory when I tried to load the library from the NAS system. Then, I had to hunt and poke around to figure out that I could disable that "feature". By that time, I had a big mess of unneeded files on my Mac, and I couldn't figure out how to get iPhoto to clean it up.

Also, every folder on the NAS is descriptive of the picture set "Day at the Beach - 2005" with every file in the folder "day at the beach - 2005 - 001.jpg" - but iPhoto tries to create "Projects" and time lines - I just don't like that.

iPhoto is okay (I guess) if you plan on using a Mac & iPhoto for the next 20 or 30 years. But I prefer a more flexible approach. Let me store the files where I want, with the names I like, and then have the picture manager create a catalog (like Picasa) and allow me to sort them a bunch of different ways.

Now, of course, if you need the iPhoto library for you iMovie and iDVD, you are pretty much stuck.
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Member Since: Nov 23, 2009
Posts: 2
ToothDoggyDogg is on a distinguished road

ToothDoggyDogg is offline
Thanks for the input ticedoff8. I totally agree that it's frustrating. I bought my iMac hoping that I'd have the ultimate end to end solution for my computing needs, and that all the solutions would be simple enough for my wife to get the hang of. The reality seems to be that unless you own everything Apple, that solution becomes increasingly difficult. If my wife and I used Macs remotely (our companies both issue Lenovos), then MobileMe would be easy enough to use for remotely accessing files off the iMac, and then I wouldn't even care about the NAS, but MobileMe doesn't support PC for remote access, so now I'm spending hours every night trying to get my end to end solution working.

I honestly like a lot of the iPhoto features, and I think it's a great application, but it would be nice to turn off the feature that tries to date everything and store the photos according to date. I can only imagine when I start scanning photos what fun that will be to get it to use the correct.
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