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iPhoto and (filesystem) folders

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Recent switcher here, working on transfering all the important data from my Windows PC onto my new Mac. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to set up my fairly large digital photo collection on the Mac. On Windows, I simply put all the photos from a given event (those that belong in the same "album") into the same folder and usually just used Windows Explorer to browse through them (putting the folder in filmstrip view), or occasionally I'd use Picasa, which automatically grouped my photos by the folder they're in.

I transfered all of the photo folders onto my mac now, but Finder isn't really suited for being my photo browser. I'd like to put all the photos in iPhoto, but I know that iPhoto has its own album management. Is there any easy way I can import all of my photos into iPhoto so that it puts them in albums corresponding to the folders they're in?

-Scott
post #2 of 8
You might try importing them by selecting the root folder of the photo folder hierarchy. Then sort by roll.

Eh, that probably won't help, if you've got them organized at all. I faced this same problem and ended up sticking with the finder for browsing photos, and opening them in an image viewer like Toyviewer or Xee. This was back with iPhoto 4, so maybe the 06 version is different.
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally posted by SMN
Recent switcher here, working on transfering all the important data from my Windows PC onto my new Mac. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to set up my fairly large digital photo collection on the Mac. On Windows, I simply put all the photos from a given event (those that belong in the same "album") into the same folder and usually just used Windows Explorer to browse through them (putting the folder in filmstrip view), or occasionally I'd use Picasa, which automatically grouped my photos by the folder they're in.

I transfered all of the photo folders onto my mac now, but Finder isn't really suited for being my photo browser. I'd like to put all the photos in iPhoto, but I know that iPhoto has its own album management. Is there any easy way I can import all of my photos into iPhoto so that it puts them in albums corresponding to the folders they're in?

-Scott

You will have to manually create the albums, but iPhoto will automatically create the rolls, which is what I think you are asking. iPhoto 6 organizes the photos by year then by roll name. Meaning, if you took a picture today and imported it into iPhoto and gave the roll the name "Test" it's path will be ~/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Originals/2006/Test/Name-of-picture.jpg

If you have your photos organized in folders then just open iPhoto go to File -> Import to Library, select the folder(s) you want to import then click "Import", and iPhoto will do the rest. Not only can you select multiple folders, but any sub-folders containing pictures will get imported as a roll.

IMPORTANT!! Never change anything in the iPhoto Library folder manually. Always make your changes in iPhoto.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ah, so a rolls is created each time I import a group of photos together? That's good.

(Something I should have mentioned earlier -- I set iPhoto to leave the photos where I have them, rather than copying them into its own folders.)

If I later get some new photos that I want to add to a pre-existing roll -- say that I went to a party, took some photos, loaded those onto my mac, and then a few days later a friend sends me photos he took at that party and I want to add them in with mine -- can I do that? And if so, would I have to manually tell iPhoto to add those to the roll, or is there some way I could tell it to re-scan the folders and detect any new photos in them?

What if, at some later point, I decided to re-organize my photos? As you point out, iPhoto isn't going to like it if I'm moving its photos around on the drive; but if I manage the photos from within iPhoto, it won't mirror my changes by moving the photos from one folder to another -- in other words, I imagine that if I tried to move a photo from one group to another, it wouldn't be moved from the one folder on my harddrive to the other.

I suppose that when I decide to make changes, I could just remove all the photos from iPhoto, move them around on the hard drive, and then re-import all of the photos into iPhoto? That would re-build all the rolls to reflect the changes I've made. Though it would also mean that I wouldn't be able to create any iPhoto albums or slideshows, because I'd lose them when rebuilding the rolls. And if I were reorganizing photos, it would be a pain that I wouldn't be able to review the albums in iPhoto while I'm changing them. So it seems like an imperfect solution, but one that allows me to make some use of iPhoto, rather than just finder and an image viwer.

-Scott
post #5 of 8
I prefer to sort my photos in the Finder too and I was hoping iphoto could let me browse them in place but it always wants to import stuff.

That's why I use Graphicconverter for sorting photos. It also generates icon previews on the fly. If you don't want it increasing file size, make sure and set the icon generation to always be in memory or it will add the preview to the file resource fork.

It is pretty slow for folders containing lots of photos though - the Finder handles this much better. I've seen the Windows feature where you get a big image in the filesystem alongside the icon preview. It would be nice if the Finder did this.

Perhaps if column view had the option of making the last column generate icon previews and the preview column actually expanded to the picture's full size.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally posted by SMN
If I later get some new photos that I want to add to a pre-existing roll -- say that I went to a party, took some photos, loaded those onto my mac, and then a few days later a friend sends me photos he took at that party and I want to add them in with mine -- can I do that? -Scott

iPhoto 6 allows you to move a photo from one roll to another. So, drag the folder containing your friends photos into iPhoto. A new roll will be created with your friends photos. Select your friends photos and drag them into your party roll.
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally posted by Marvin
I prefer to sort my photos in the Finder too and I was hoping iphoto could let me browse them in place but it always wants to import stuff.

That's why I use Graphicconverter for sorting photos. It also generates icon previews on the fly. If you don't want it increasing file size, make sure and set the icon generation to always be in memory or it will add the preview to the file resource fork.

It is pretty slow for folders containing lots of photos though - the Finder handles this much better. I've seen the Windows feature where you get a big image in the filesystem alongside the icon preview. It would be nice if the Finder did this.

Perhaps if column view had the option of making the last column generate icon previews and the preview column actually expanded to the picture's full size.

If you like to sort your photos in your file system, then there's only one truly great app...

Picasa.

post #8 of 8
SMN, I did some experimenting and have come to the conclusion you should not have any problems keeping your photos ordered the way you want. Here is what I have found:

1 - When you don't copy files to iPhoto Library folder an alias is created instead. An alias is similar to a shortcut in Windows except you can move and/or rename the original file and/or folder and the alias knows where to find it. With this in mind you can rename and rearrange your photos as needed and iPhoto will display the pictures as if the names and locations were never changed.

2 - Every import creates a new roll even if you import the same folder so you will have to manually move newly imported pictures into the correct roll. If someone sends you pictures of the same event and you want to get them in the same roll, copy the files to the disired folder and then import the folder. iPhoto, if it detects duplicates, will ask you if you want to import them. Once the files are imported then all you have to do is move the photos to the correct roll. Once all the photos are gone from a roll it is deleted automatically.

FYI: If you hold down the 'option' button while starting iPhoto a dialog box will display which will give you the option of either creating a new library or opening a specific library.
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