Archiving in iPhoto

  • Avatar

    Posted: 07 June 2012 10:49 AM

    I shoot a lot of pictures. As a result my hard drive is filling up. iPhoto also takes a long time, up to a minute, to open. I looked at my iPhoto library and realized that I have shots going all the way back to 1999. I really don’t need to carry most of this around on my MacBook. Having them in an archive on a backup disk would be fine. I know I could export the shots and delete from my Library but then I couldn’t browse them unless I re imported them all over again. Also I don’t want to lose any metadata, face recognition, location information, date shot, etc., that was associated with the pictures.

    Is there a way to tell iPhoto to put everything, say before 2007 or 2010, into a second archive library on a remote volume?


    The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.
    J.D.Salanger/Wilhelm Stekel

  • Posted: 07 June 2012 11:19 AM #1

    Take a look at iPhoto Library Manager from Fat Cat Software.

    This should be all you need.

  • Avatar

    Posted: 07 June 2012 12:59 PM #2

    I did…

    Bamboozle - 07 June 2012 02:19 PM

    ”...Take a look at iPhoto Library Manager from Fat Cat Software…”

    (or at least at the one review of it at c|net‘s  Here, FYI, is the only review I found:

    “abysmal customer service”
    March 27, 2012 |  By ploakland
    Version: iPhoto Library Manager for Mac 3.7.3

    Pros:  So far, nothing, as I haven’t been able to use the softeware given the horrid customer service.
    Cons:  Here is an exact transcript of the email exchange, the only change is the redacted names: I even provided screen shots of the problems.

    You need to add all three libraries to iPhoto Library Manager before you attempt the merge.

    Fat Cat Software Support
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    ——-Original Message——-
    Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2012 18:12:28 -0700
    To: “” <>
    Subject: having problems with your merge feature

    I have three libraries in different places that I am trying to merge. (the main and only reason I bought your software) When I click on the merge libraries option from the file drop down, it only finds one library.

    Please help.

    here’s a screen shot:

    Summary:  I wish I could get my money back. unhelpful costomer service, curt one sentence replies… 4 days later is just unacceptable.

    Does anyone here have any more personal experience with this app to feedback?

    [ Edited: 07 June 2012 01:07 PM by BurmaYank ]


    Dave J.

    - my most favorite Chinese Cookie fortune:  “Stiff in opinion; always in the wrong.”

    - my second most favorite Chinese Cookie fortune:  “There is something seeing and there is something being seen.”

  • Posted: 07 June 2012 01:44 PM #3

    I’ve used the app for a few weeks before switching to Aperture. Had a library for each year and it worked fine for me.

  • Posted: 07 June 2012 01:49 PM #4

    You could, with Finder, make a copy of your iPhoto library on your separate volume, and then delete the older photos from your current library (and empty the (iPhoto) trash.  You will probably want to rebuild the current library (CMD OPTION when starting up iPhoto) after all this trimming, for the best performance.  Be sure you have a good clean copy of the whole library before doing all this deleting/rebuilding.

    when you have the current library the way you want it, you can decide if you want to delete the more recent photos from the archive library or just leave it alone containing all your photos.  There are arguments for either approach.  Whichever you use, be sure you backup both (all) of your iPhoto libraries.

  • Avatar

    Posted: 07 June 2012 09:19 PM #5

    geoduck - 07 June 2012 01:49 PM

    Is there a way to tell iPhoto to put everything, say before 2007 or 2010, into a second archive library on a remote volume?

    It’s not exactly what you wanted but if you select an event or 3 and
    then go to the Share menu—> Burn. You can burn those selected events to disc. And if you later put that disc into a Mac iPhoto can navigate it as if it was a part of the iPhoto Library.

    (I think…...)


    Smile they said, it could be worse. So we did, and it was!

  • Posted: 07 June 2012 11:16 PM #6

    I think that burning the library is not going to work as described.  It will suffice as a backup, but iPhoto needs read/write access to the library ... so it will not open properly.

  • Avatar

    Posted: 08 June 2012 12:45 PM #7

    I’ve been using iPhoto Library Manager for years and LOVE it. I’ve never had need for support, so my only contact with them has been to notify them when we happen to have mentioned it on MGG, etc. THat said, I have a meeting with Brian Webster from Fat Cat next week at WWDC, so… perhaps more to report after that!


    -Dave Hamilton / The Mac Observer / Mac Geek Gab / Dave on Twitter
    When you find a big kettle of crazy, it’s best not to stir it.

  • Posted: 08 June 2012 07:46 PM #8

    I have a pretty easy solution for you because I back up my iPhoto libraries so my main one stays nice and neat with just the pics I want.

    Just open up iPhoto and choose all the pics you want out of there and export them in original format-it should save all the meta tags, etc. Export them into a new folder or whatever folder you want and name it whatever you want.

    Now close iPhoto and reopen it while holding down the option key. Click create a new library and name it whatever such as backup pics.

    Now drag all the pics from that folder where you exported all your pics into your new iPhoto library.

    Now you have 2 iPhoto libraries in your pictures folder in finder. You have iPhoto library and another one with the name you chose such as backup.

    Now you can keep that there or you can move that backup to an external drive if you want to free up disk space.

    You can now delete all the pics you exported from your main library since you exported them and dragged them into a new library.

    Either way, your main iPhoto library will now be nice and neat and faster.

    I have several iPhoto libraries such as family, vacation, etc. to keep it nice and organized and keep my main one nice and fast and not cluttered.

    [ Edited: 08 June 2012 07:51 PM by boydp182 ]