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  1. #1


    Member Since
    May 31, 2011
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    iPhoto Questions, Please Help
    I just switched to a Mac after using Windows my whole life, and I'm pleasantly surprised to see that it's similar enough to catch onto very quickly. So far I;m happy.

    One thing I've always used my computer for is to store and organize lots of pictures. On my old PC, I had tons of folders and subfolders of pictures. For example: Holidays/Halloween/Halloween 07, or, Concerts/ The Decemberists Concerts/ The Decemberists 2010. I've already moved all of these folders to my Finder Pictures folder, and in all their complexity they are organized exactly how they were before.

    I'm a little confused about iPhoto though. I guess the best way for me to do this is to separate my questions:

    1) First of all, if I import all of these pictures from all of my folders on my mac into iPhoto, would it be stupid for me to keep all the folders and individual pictures anyway? It seems like iPhoto keeps all the thousands of pictures in one file, and I don't like not being able to work with the individual files.

    2) If I wanted to organize my pictures in iPhoto the same way as in my folders, is this how I would do it? Folder = Concerts, Folder = The Decemberists, Album = The Decemberists 2010? I hope that question makes sense.

    3) Lastly, is this one, massive iphoto library file going to take up as much space on my harddrive as my individual picture files in finder? Would it essentially be having all of my pictures on my harddrive twice?

    Thanks so much. I like the interface of iPhoto a lot or I wouldn't even bother with this. I may still not...

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Jul 18, 2011
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    I wish I had put my photos from my pc into a folder outside iphoto.
    Iphoto has stopped working for me after I did an update and now I can't get to my photos at all. They do exist . If you have room I'd leave the copy.
    I love editing photos in iphoto and hope I can get it working again

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by texasnana View Post
    I wish I had put my photos from my pc into a folder outside iphoto.
    Iphoto has stopped working for me after I did an update and now I can't get to my photos at all. They do exist . If you have room I'd leave the copy.
    I love editing photos in iphoto and hope I can get it working again
    Before you go too far make a copy of your existing iPhoto library. Your photos are probably still there but the library is corrupted. I don't do a lot with iPhoto anymore but you should be able to right click and show contents to get to the folders with your photos.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas17 View Post
    1) First of all, if I import all of these pictures from all of my folders on my mac into iPhoto, would it be stupid for me to keep all the folders and individual pictures anyway?
    It would be pointless to keep them on the same drive as iPhoto, since they have now been imported into iPhoto's library. So yes. Obviously you can and should keep a backup around.

    It seems like iPhoto keeps all the thousands of pictures in one file, and I don't like not being able to work with the individual files.
    This is a common misconception people have about iPhoto. Short version: no it doesn't, it just LOOKS like one big file. This is because in order for iPhoto to do what it does, it needs to build a database. It doesn't want you mucking around with the actual picture files once it has done this, so it keeps the actual photos hidden away. This is a Good Thing. Let the computer do the work -- this is a concept that switchers in particular often have difficulty with.

    You can still organize the photos *in iPhoto* anyway you want. How iPhoto organizes them internally is not important and should be of no interest to you (just for the record, it organizes them internally by EXIF file date, so in fact they probably ARE grouped much the way you had them -- but again, this is totally unimportant).

    2) If I wanted to organize my pictures in iPhoto the same way as in my folders, is this how I would do it? Folder = Concerts, Folder = The Decemberists, Album = The Decemberists 2010? I hope that question makes sense.
    That would be one way to do it, and I think that would work fine for your purposes. The nice thing about letting iPhoto handle internal organization is that you are now free to put photos in multiple albums and folders if you want, since the library is not altered by anything you do (except add or subtract pictures from the library of course).

    To try and put this another way, albums and events and faces and places are all just "filters" of the main library. Just like how, in a Finder window, you can look at files by icon, by list, date modified, tree view, cover flow ... none of it makes ANY difference to how the files are actually stored on the hard drive, it's just an abstraction to help YOU work with them in the way you want to.

    3) Lastly, is this one, massive iphoto library file going to take up as much space on my harddrive as my individual picture files in finder? Would it essentially be having all of my pictures on my harddrive twice?
    Yes to the first part, no to the second part (unless by the second part you mean "if I keep my original folders on there also").

    At the risk of sounding all Zen, iPhoto is trying to free you from spending all your time MANAGING your photos and instead spend more time actually SHARING your pictures in one fashion or another -- by taking care of file organization for you. Within the abstraction of iPhoto's viewer, you can do more-or-less anything to the photos.

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