Need help managing 36,000 photos (Aperture 2/iPhoto '08)

Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
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Your Mac's Specs
20" mid-2007 Aluminum iMac 2.4GHz, 320GB HD, 3GB RAM, second 20" monitor
I'm specifically looking for programs, or program tips, that will make my life much easier. To make this quick, you can skip the background and go to "My problem" below

I have a huge, unorganized collection of photos over the last 12 years that I want to finally get a hold of.

I started importing everything into iPhoto '08, but sorting based on events was unsuccessful because I never liked its system of organization. I prefer folders and sub-folders over discrete Events, especially with the pre-digital camera era where the files lack EXIF data. I also don't like how many duplicates iPhoto '08 creates!

Now I'm using Aperture 2.1 Trial, which allows me to create albums and sub-albums as I like, but I find it very slow. Before, preview generation was very slow, so I disabled that in preferences. Now, thumbnail generation is what's slowing me down.

This is my plan:
1) Sort everything based on year, creating an Aperture 2 project for each year
2) Do the finer sorting in folders within the project (e.g. specific events within a certain year)

My problem:

Sorting by year takes FOREVER. It takes me a good 2 minutes to sort by date and select the roughly 2500 images within a certain year. This is a computer thing, not a user thing. Once I make the selection, I drag those photos to the project (e.g. I have 2504 images for the project "2003"). I have to hold my mouse button down for over 4 minutes for the spinning beach ball to disappear, to allow me to release the drag-and-drop into "2003." Once I release, I confirm moving the master files and I wait about 7 minutes for the move to take place! All the while, at the bottom of the screen there is spinning cogwheel telling me that, at this time, it is generating Thumbnails... Why generate Thumbnails when I just want to do a quick move?

Multiply this for every year since 1996, and we're talking two hours of computing time just to sort a pile of photos into 12 folders.

How do I speed this up? Can I buy another program?

Here are my computer specs:
20" mid-2007 Aluminum iMac 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Leopard 10.5.4, 320GB HD, 3GB 667MHz [email protected] SDRAM, second 20" monitor, iPhoto '08, Aperture 2.1.1 Trial
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
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Location
Rhinebeck, NY
Your Mac's Specs
20" iMac 2.66 GHz... Running 10.5.7
I'm specifically looking for programs, or program tips, that will make my life much easier. To make this quick, you can skip the background and go to "My problem" below

I have a huge, unorganized collection of photos over the last 12 years that I want to finally get a hold of.

I started importing everything into iPhoto '08, but sorting based on events was unsuccessful because I never liked its system of organization. I prefer folders and sub-folders over discrete Events, especially with the pre-digital camera era where the files lack EXIF data. I also don't like how many duplicates iPhoto '08 creates!

Now I'm using Aperture 2.1 Trial, which allows me to create albums and sub-albums as I like, but I find it very slow. Before, preview generation was very slow, so I disabled that in preferences. Now, thumbnail generation is what's slowing me down.

This is my plan:
1) Sort everything based on year, creating an Aperture 2 project for each year
2) Do the finer sorting in folders within the project (e.g. specific events within a certain year)

My problem:

Sorting by year takes FOREVER. It takes me a good 2 minutes to sort by date and select the roughly 2500 images within a certain year. This is a computer thing, not a user thing. Once I make the selection, I drag those photos to the project (e.g. I have 2504 images for the project "2003"). I have to hold my mouse button down for over 4 minutes for the spinning beach ball to disappear, to allow me to release the drag-and-drop into "2003." Once I release, I confirm moving the master files and I wait about 7 minutes for the move to take place! All the while, at the bottom of the screen there is spinning cogwheel telling me that, at this time, it is generating Thumbnails... Why generate Thumbnails when I just want to do a quick move?

Multiply this for every year since 1996, and we're talking two hours of computing time just to sort a pile of photos into 12 folders.

How do I speed this up? Can I buy another program?

Here are my computer specs:
20" mid-2007 Aluminum iMac 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Leopard 10.5.4, 320GB HD, 3GB 667MHz [email protected] SDRAM, second 20" monitor, iPhoto '08, Aperture 2.1.1 Trial

Wow, 36,000 photos?! That's a pretty massive collection! Imaginably, a computer will not blaze through 36,000 photos, especially with the lower specs you have. I recommend getting an external hard drive, which should speed up your computer a little bit, and plus give you alot more storage space for all those 36,000 photos :). Don't skimp on space just to save money, spending more will almost always give you better quality and storage. I'll go look around on the web, and try to hunt down a good deal on an external hard drive, and post it here later. :)


Also, try calling apple, or visiting you local apple store (Yes, Apple Store, not Best Buy or any other apple retailer).
 

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