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  1. #1
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    Jul 2009
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    Somewhere in the Hills
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    Seeking iPhoto replacement

    I have been using Apple's iPhoto since it first came out well over a decade ago. I am approaching 65,000 photos in my iPhoto library.

    For years, I have organized photos by subject matter, most often labelling Events with cursory, but thorough, descriptive titles of what I photographed in the Event. iPhoto allowed me to also deposit thorough narrative descriptions (like captions) in the metadata of both overall Events and in individual photos. This proved valuable countless times in the last several years, as I am able to type in detailed descriptions (including names of people, specifics of happenings, etc.) in prose.

    I capture family events, work projects, volunteer work bees, public events, scenic vistas, trips, wildlife and more. iPhoto turned out to be very useful for work and play, and it made being a photo mega-packrat a passionate "other life" of mine.

    Now Apple has killed iPhoto, replacing it with Photos. Google is also entering the photo market, with its own Photos app. I've tried using Apple's Photos, and it comes across as iPhoto Lite; very dissatisfying. No more Events titles to use for referencing bunches of photos. Accessing captions is much more awkward and not as useful as in iPhoto. I am afraid that converting my iPhoto library over to Photos will loose valuable information, and I don't know how you would do it unless it converts everything all-at-once.

    I have been snapping digital photos since November of 2001. All of my digital photos are in my iPhoto library, and nearly every Event is given a brief narrative Event name for reference.

    This iPhoto library is not stored on any cloud service. The library is on a portable hard drive so it can go to reunions, meetings, and other business events where cellular and internet connections are not available. So Cloud-based services like Google's Photos are out of the question. (And if Apple's newer Photos, is like iPhoto Lite, Google's Photos comes across as iPhoto Lite Lite.)

    So, I have to ask: is there a modern digital photo library software solution on the Mac that carries on where Apple's iPhoto left off, without costing an arm and a leg? I currently have access to Adobe Lightroom CC, but I am reluctant to make a long-term commitment to Adobe CC apps because my future subscription is currently in (partial) doubt. If necessary, I will commit to Lightroom, but I prefer not to since I share this portable hard drive with my parents, so they can share the same iPhoto library on their own MacBook Pro.
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Ilkyway's Avatar
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    GMT +1 Germany, North
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    I am not in the position to give you good advice because my photo-libary is on my laptop (I started taking digital picutrures around the same time as you did and scanned a lot of older photos so it is a substancial libary).
    Lately, as I realised I am appraching the capacity of my laptop I decided to move my photos over to dropbox but that has some caviats in itself: dorpbox wants to backup to a computer. So essentially I did not save any space on my laptop. The upside is though, that I now can access my whole libarary from my phone or ipad.
    So: having a clowed based solution is very conveniond but I guess we always have the risc of that service comming to an end. Having a copy on a divice you yourself controul (a Laptop or external harddrive) makes you a bit more indipendend of that.

    These are my thoughts around a photo-libary and as my experiances are highly limited maybe not too helpfull. Let me put a link here to your last discussion of this very same topic because I think some of the answers there where way more insightfull than what I can offer.
    https://forums.tombihn.com/not-about...computers.html

    I would be intrested to hear, what you will settle for.
    Ilkyway
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  3. #3
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    Why change at all?
    There is little reason to upgrade at all if the iPhoto that you are used to and that does the job for you is working to your satisfaction,or am I missing something?
    I advise clients all the time that if its not broken please do not fix it and all that takes sometimes in MAC OS is to disable Auto Update.
    Unless they are actually killing iPhoto instead of ending its development then you should just be able to keep using it as you are right now.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    I wasn't enough of an iPhoto user to see much difference between it and Photos, but I have read complaints. I updated my library but I don't think Photos is a very good app.

    This may or may not help, but have you considered Google Photos as a free way to back up your library? I have it on my iPhone and mac, set to automatically back up to the cloud. I also backed up old external drives full of photos so it is a pretty complete repository of a couple of decades worth of photos. It doesn't do full res unless you pay for it, but it is hi res enough, and best of all, super easy to do searches and access from anywhere. It also has a nifty feature of automatically making little vignettes and compositions, which are surprisingly good. You can also use it to make your own slide shows or collections. And it can search for subject matter or place with surprising accuracy. You can do a search for "orange" or "dog" and it will find it. Amazing.

    Of course, you will also want to back up the full res pics on a drive, but I end up using Google Photos more than anything else simply because of its accessibility from anywhere, search speed and organizational options.


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    Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful. — Shaker Philosophy

  5. #5
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    I also didn't see much difference between iPhoto and Photos. Once I got used to it, I found everything I used to do in iPhoto easily enough. In some ways, it was a little easier, again, once I got used to it. My 'events' just had to become 'albums' instead, but everything is there.

    The downside though was that I lost all my 'faces' metadata in the transition, and had to rerun the algorithms to identify people. I still haven't even gotten through them all. It might have just been something I did when converting, but considering how much work you said went into your metadata, you'll want to review whatever you can find out about retaining the metadata when converting before you convert, so you don't end up with an "Oh C#&%" moment like I did.

  6. #6
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    I may have a slight bias here but Photos has been doing an outstanding job for me in terms or organizing. Where I used to go in manually and add a quick name like "Yellowstone 2016," I find that Photos is very adept at intelligently grouping together images based on time and location and creating albums for you.

    I have a Lightroom CC subscription as well, but use that mainly for editing. There are many other outstanding third-party editing tools that can access your photos in-place in your Photos library (e.g. No exporting photos and winding up with duplicates you don't want all over your hard drive...). Among them, Pixelmator is outstanding.

    As a recommendation, I usually check the box to store originals in iCloud and "optimize storage" on my iOS devices. If you have a Mac with a sufficient hard drive, you could also store a full-sized, local copy as well.


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