Et Tu, iPhoto?

For as long as I can remember I was the guy with the camera. As a result I have a lot of boxes of photos (yes, physical prints), photo albums and gigabytes of image spread out over several personal and shared media servers. I’ve been wrestling with my collection for some time and had previously been a strong believer in the iLife/iPhoto process mostly because it was so seamless getting my images off of my devices and into a library where I could decide what to do next with the images. But for a long time my collection has been just too big to be in one iPhoto library. So I tired to break my collection down to yearly chunks, but I often need or want to use images from previous years and it’s a pain to even know which library the image might be in. Actually the combination of the different storage limitations of my devices and my main macbook pro is where things break down. I have the storage capability on my network server but iPhoto doesn’t like network drives and I can only imagine how slow things would run as the library got even bigger. I don’t need to add any more spinning-pin-wheels-of-death to my life. So, I started dismantling my iPhoto libraries, making sure that I have all of the images stored, still organized based on date, but accessible from the Finder or any other file-level application, like say Adobe’s Lightroom.

What really is pushing me away from iPhoto, besides the storage problems, is as easy and automatic as it is to take a picture on my iPhone and have it automatically show up on all of my other devices, editing an image on iPad with iPhoto for iPad didn’t automatically make the return trip. What is worse is that label and notes that one might add to an image in iPhoto on the Mac didn’t show up when viewing the image on the iPad. This might seem trivial, but because I use images for all kinds of sources and need to keep track of where I got the image and its licensing, I started using the notes feature in iPhoto for mac, but saw that the info wasn’t available to edit or even view when looking at the same image in iPhoto for iPad. I’m still in the huge process of making sure all of my images are available outside of the iPhoto libraries and would like to use Lightroom or something similar but I’m intrigued at the announcement at the recent WWDC of a iCloud-based version of the Photos.app that makes editing seamless between devices and also opens up to having ones whole collection available online. Interesting. We’ll see. I know that scrolling through my Flickr account can be really slow and when I was looking for my own panoramas to add to a collection, the scrolling flat out failed and hung up. So we’ll see if iCloud can do any better. Back to managing my photo collection(s). Ugh.

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