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Help! iPhoto directory madness!
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Oct 21, 2006, 07:12 PM
 
Can someone please explain the iPhoto directory system to me? I have the latest version, but I have upgraded several times and transfered computers several times. I have never really looked inside the iPhoto folder before, but I just bought a scanner to import some old photos and decided I better figure out what is going on so that I don't accidentally trash something.

Here's what is inside my iPhoto Library folder:

2002 (folder)
2003 (folder)
AlbumData.xml
Albums (folder)
com.apple.iphoto.plist
Data (folder)
Dir.data
iPhoto.ispspot
iPhotoLock.data
iPod Photo Cache (folder)
Library.cache
Library.data
Library.iPhoto
Library6.iPhoto
Modified (folder)
Originals (folder)
Thumb32Segment.data
Thumb64Segment.data
ThumbJPGSegment.data

Data and Originals seem to be duplicates and seem to contain all of my photos. 2002 and 2003 seem like they are left over from some previous version, perhaps? No idea what some of the other stuff is. Any help?

thanks,
kman
     
zro
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Oct 22, 2006, 03:11 AM
 
Don't worry about iPhoto's directory system. But, you could make a new folder and start putting what you think is junk into that and then launch iPhoto and see what happens. If everything works, leave the junk folder there until you happen upon it at some point in the future, just incase what seems to work now doesn't actually do so after doing something later. Then decide to keep or trash it.

The files are fairly easy to tell which are new and which are old. The year folders are from older versions, I know that. The Data folder holds smaller versions of the original and modified photos. I'd guess it's what the thumbnails are drawn from.
     
kman42  (op)
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Oct 22, 2006, 10:19 AM
 
Well just not worrying about it is not very satisfying. I try to understand as much about my computer as possible. For example, I am trying to set up some desktop pictures but for some reason the Desktop System Preference doesn't let you set Photo Albums to change at specific intervals. It will let you set an interval for pictures in a folder, but not for pictures in an album. As a result, I need to navigate to the appropriate iPhoto folder to set this up (or duplicate the photos). So, understanding the directory structure would be helpful.

BTW, anyone know why Apple made it so you can't set the preference to change your desktop at specific intervals on Photo Albums, but you can on folders of photos? Bug?

kman
     
zro
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Oct 23, 2006, 01:32 AM
 
Not to be rude, but an album in iPhoto does not equal a folder in the Finder. iPhoto is an image file database interface/manager. It is not the Finder which deals solely with a file's "physical" location. It uses a DB file to tell it where in the directory the image files are and to which albums they belong as well as other data like keywords. This is mostly why it's pointless to care about the folder structure generated by iPhoto.

So, whatever it is that changes desktop pictures does not know how to read iPhoto's DB file. Maybe it should. No telling how much more overhead that would entail, though.
     
kman42  (op)
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Oct 23, 2006, 10:47 AM
 
I realize that an iPhoto album is not equivalent to a Finder folder. Film Rolls, however are. I know this now that I UNDERSTAND THE DIRECTORY STRUCTURE and I have set up the Desktop Picture to use Film Roll folders. It is never pointless to understand something about your computer. It almost always helps at some point, be it for getting something done or fixing it.

Hopefully, Apple will make the Desktop system pref smart enough to understand iPhoto Albums. After all, every iLife application has a media browser that understands it so there is no reason that the system prefs can't. Also, Apple needs to clean up the directory structure of iPhoto in '07. In particular, files like the following should be kept to a minimum:

Dir.data
iPhoto.ispspot
iPhotoLock.data
Library.cache
Library.data
Library.iPhoto
Library6.iPhoto
Thumb32Segment.data
Thumb64Segment.data
ThumbJPGSegment.data

Apple's bread and butter is hiding complexity and they failed here. iTunes only has two files for maintaining the database. Why does iPhoto need so many with names as though they were divined by Steve Balmer during one of his hallucinogenic monkey dances.

kman
     
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Apr 15, 2007, 10:43 PM
 
kman! i'm as frustrated as you are with the craziness of iphoto's "organization". how did you eventually crack the code? i'm trying to make a photo book and because i have removed the photos from the iphoto application (so it wouldn't have open 1000's of photos every time i used it, i put smaller folders into the "pictures" folder in the HD) i am getting exclamation points-meaning something about iphoto not being able to find them. but they are right there in the application. am i making sense? i feel like i'm not. if you've figured outo this problem, or anyone else, please help. this is driving me crazy!!
     
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Apr 16, 2007, 11:50 AM
 
lcolquitt -- sounds like you need additional "libraries" rather than removing photos. Doing what you are doing will create havoc with your library. Try creating another library and storing sets/folders/rolls, whatever you want in there. Completely accessible and keeps the libraries more manageable in size.

To do this, hold down the option key while opening iPhoto. You will be prompted to choose a library or create one. Just go from there and then move whatever photos into the new library that you want.

As far as the finder, I agree with zro -- NEVER mess with the library from within finder. Photos disappear, corruption ensues, etc. The photos are kept the way iPhoto wants them, and iPhoto gets really cranky if you mess with them that way.

iPhoto keeps the originals in the "originals" folder, obviously. The "modified" folder is for any photos that have been modified in any way -- rotated, cropped, enhanced, etc. The originals are kept so that you always have the ability to go back to the original and modify it in some other way. They are not duplicates of each other.

Hope some of this helps some of you!
Mary
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Apr 16, 2007, 11:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by kcolquitt View Post
i am getting exclamation points-meaning something about iphoto not being able to find them.
Are you sure this isn't the low-resolution-warning?
     
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May 2, 2007, 10:58 PM
 
I've opened all the photos that i use to keep in folders with iphoto. (means that its backed-up in iphoto library in finder) .. just like how itunes back up/makes another copy of the audio files

How do i manage my files in categories of my own preferences "ignoring the 2003,2004..>roll xx"
(TASK)
by creating albums at the left pane with names like "vacations", "birthdays", "convocation" and drag the photos individually over to the left bar?

I'm really not satisfied with the way iphoto deals with the files in all those years>rolls that seemed havoc. Some of the rolls only have 1 photo in it and its really a pinch.. anyway that i can arrange it properly? by just doing the previous task would it help?
     
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May 2, 2007, 11:49 PM
 
My impression is that at some point (iLife '06?) iPhoto changed from filing everything under

~/Pictures/iPhoto Library/<year>/<month>/<day>/photo.jpg

to

~/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Originals/<year>/<roll name>/photo.jpg
     
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May 3, 2007, 04:15 AM
 
I really hate the way iPhoto arranges things. I use it to grab images from my camera and to enhance images. The thing is a packrat. It saves everything and every version of an image generated during enhancement. Once I have the images enhanced the way I like them, I drag them out of the iPhoto window and store them somewhere else as normal files, then clear out the iPhoto Library.
     
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May 3, 2007, 05:51 AM
 
It saves everything so that you don't lose the original photo. This is a good thing as you can never recreate the original photo. You can ALWAYS "Undo" in iPhoto, and you should be able to do this. Non-destructive editing is basically the holy grail of modern computing.

I expect it to change to a more "workflow" oriented thing using Core Data and Core Image in the next revision (By that, I mean instead of keeping a new photo for every change, it simply keeps track of the changes as "filters" you apply to the image and re-renders the image on the fly each time).
     
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May 3, 2007, 11:44 PM
 
I think you're looking for trouble where there isn't any. Apple's applications (and OS) are designed to be easy to use by hiding all the ugly details behind the scenes. The point is to just use the iLife programs to get things done. If you want to fiddle with complexity, there's another OS I believe that might satisfy your needs. Mucking about in library folders is asking for trouble.
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May 4, 2007, 03:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by msuper69 View Post
I think you're looking for trouble where there isn't any. Apple's applications (and OS) are designed to be easy to use by hiding all the ugly details behind the scenes. The point is to just use the iLife programs to get things done. If you want to fiddle with complexity, there's another OS I believe that might satisfy your needs. Mucking about in library folders is asking for trouble.
how do i ungroup them in rolls. I want them in category..
     
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May 4, 2007, 05:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by samsontan View Post
how do i ungroup them in rolls. I want them in category..
One way is to add keywords (Preferences) then use Smart Albums to automatically group photos/movies by keywords.
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May 4, 2007, 10:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by msuper69 View Post
One way is to add keywords (Preferences) then use Smart Albums to automatically group photos/movies by keywords.
ok, i see it. so just drag to the desired sorted category? then what are albums for since i can categorize them in this manner?

P.S. This(your advice) is much simpler! thanks
( Last edited by samsontan; May 5, 2007 at 12:30 AM. )
     
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May 5, 2007, 02:18 AM
 
kman:

Do not under any circumstances rename, or move or edit any file within the iPhoto Library folder from the Finder. To do so is committing the cardinal sin of iPhoto: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.h.../en/hlp15.html, i.e. Don't tamper with the iPhoto Library folder form the Finder.

The key file to the library is Library6.iPhoto database file. It it gets damaged you'll lose your library but not your image files. Messing with the library folder via the Finder is one way it can get damaged. Howecver, it been reported going bad after closing down the computer and after rebooting the next day. Why, we don't know but suspect some type of interruption while the dB file is being written to.

To help prevent library loss due to this situation I've written an Automator application that will make a copy of the dB file and place it in your Pictures folder. You can download it from Toad's Cellar - http://web.mac.com/toad.hall/iWeb/To...%20Cellar.html

I suggest you run it after each import and after doing any significant organization effort in iPhoto on books, slideshows, etc.
     
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Sep 23, 2007, 08:56 PM
 
Hi Old Toad, I wish I read this advice before moving and deleting photos in my iphoto library. I recently upgraded to Iphoto08 and wanted to clean up my library which was littered with duplicates (originals and thumb duplicates. (I have approx 30000 images in my library). I purchased Duplicate anniliator which I've foound to be pretty useless. In addition, my powerbook was running out of memory so I purchased a new external harddisk and moved the library to the new disk.

As a result of this consolidation I now have about 30000 thumbnails which are grayed out and present exclamation marks when I try to open an image. I have tried rebuilding the library and thumbnails and this does not resolve this problem.

Is it possible to start again from scratch ie delete the applications and libraries, reinstall iphoto and then import all my original photos which I have on a backup drive? or
Can I just delete the thumbnail folder and then rebuild it from scratch. Is the thumbnail folder the folder in the library called 'data'?

Thanx Goosestep
     
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Sep 23, 2007, 09:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Goosestep View Post
Hi Old Toad, I wish I read this advice before moving and deleting photos in my iphoto library. I recently upgraded to Iphoto08 and wanted to clean up my library which was littered with duplicates (originals and thumb duplicates. (I have approx 30000 images in my library). I purchased Duplicate anniliator which I've foound to be pretty useless. In addition, my powerbook was running out of memory so I purchased a new external harddisk and moved the library to the new disk.

As a result of this consolidation I now have about 30000 thumbnails which are grayed out and present exclamation marks when I try to open an image. I have tried rebuilding the library and thumbnails and this does not resolve this problem.

Is it possible to start again from scratch ie delete the applications and libraries, reinstall iphoto and then import all my original photos which I have on a backup drive? or
Can I just delete the thumbnail folder and then rebuild it from scratch. Is the thumbnail folder the folder in the library called 'data'?

Thanx Goosestep
You don't need to reinstall iPhoto. Launch iPhoto with the option key depressed and, when asked, opt to create a new library. Navigate to the external HD and create it there. Leave it open.

Next, locate the old library and open it. Drag the Originals folder from the old library into the open window of the new one. This will give you the same Events as the old library as long as you have set the Events preferences as shown here.
     
   
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