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Save drive space by removing iPhoto originals Apps
In iPhoto, it is possible to revert edited photos back to the original state. This is a nice feature, however to make it possible, iPhoto keeps copies of the original photos. I reduced the size of my several iPhoto-Libraries from 5.4 GB to 3.3 GB removing the "Originals" folders in the Libraries (all located in "Pictures" with this command:
 % cd Pictures
% rm -r */*/*/*/Originals
in the Terminal. Be sure not to have other folders with "Originals" folders in them in your "Pictures" folder.

[Editor's note: This is a somewhat dangerous "rm" command if you're not comfortable in the Terminal, given the subdirectories it is traversing. If you'd rather remove the duplicates using the Finder, here's how. Just launch Find (Command-F), click on "Specific Places" in the "Search in" pop-up, and then drag your iPhoto archive (top level folder) into the listing of drives and make sure it's the only one selected. Then search for items whose file name contains "Originals". You'll get one window containing all the Originals folders; just drag them from that window to the trash, and you're done.

As an aside, of course, you will no longer be able to revert edited photos after doing this!]
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removing originals from iPhoto can mean reduced picture clarity
Authored by: mclbruce on Nov 01, '02 11:32:16AM

Is everyone clear on the dangers of removing original jpegs from iPhoto? When files are saved in JPEG format information from the source file is thrown away. Each time you save, more information is thrown away. Repeated editing and saving can turn what was a clear jpeg original into mush. There is no way to recover information that is thrown away in jpeg edits.

The safe way to edit jpegs it to save the original in a lossless (as opposed to lossy) file format first. Then work on the saved file. You may not notice the difference if you are only viewing your photos on screen, but if you are making prints you will notice. If you decide you want to make a large print of an iPhoto image there is no substitute for starting from the original file and working on it in a lossless file format.

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Safer way to remove the files
Authored by: trhall on Nov 01, '02 12:27:30PM

You can use the find command to get rid of the files in the folder in a safer way. For the command listed in the tip, try something like:

cd Pictures
find . -type d -name "Originals" -exec rm -r {} \;

That should do the same thing, but in a little bit cleaner way.

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Remove only redundant originals
Authored by: mfuhrer on Nov 01, '02 01:29:23PM
For those who do not want to muck with the terminal, iPhoto Diet (an applescript droplet) has an option to remove all the originals, as well as an option to remove only those originals that are rotated by 90 degrees. Of course, this means that you're probably throwing away pictures with higher quality (in the case of JPEG) and you won't be able to revert back to the pristine, untouched version. If you don't like the idea of losing legitimate back-ups, you can use iPhoto Diet to remove only those originals that are truly redundant. If, like me, you have set up iPhoto to use an external graphics program for viewing photos, every time you double click an image iPhoto automatically makes a backup. When you close the photo, the backup remains, even if you haven't made any changes. By default, iPhoto Diet removes only these redundant copies. Of course, you can always change the options to remove all originals, if so desired.

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I'm a big fan of iPhoto Diet, too
Authored by: porkchop_d_clown on Nov 04, '02 10:20:15AM

It recently saved my butt when I tried to backup my library and found it was too big for one CD.

Of course, a better solution would be for iPhoto to have some sort of mechanism for multiple library support - including copying and backing up pieces of them.

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I'm a big fan of iPhoto Diet, too
Authored by: Stuart A Bell on Nov 05, '02 03:40:38AM

You mean like iPhoto Library Manager at ;-)


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Re: I'm a big fan of iPhoto Diet, too
Authored by: porkchop_d_clown on Nov 05, '02 01:45:32PM


Unless they've added some big changes that program just lets you switch entire libraries. I do the same thing with some shell scripts.

What I want is a way to break an existing library into sections without losing the iPhoto iData.

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Save drive space by removing iPhoto originals
Authored by: punka on May 11, '06 06:32:06PM
None of the above-mentioned hints work for iPhoto 6.
So I put together this set of commands, and it worked for me (saved 3Gb, sweet!):
cd ~/"Pictures/iPhoto Library/Modified/"
find . -type f -exec rm -r "../Originals/{}" \;

Basically, if a picture exists in the Modified folder, then there must be a backup of it in the Originals folder. Thus, for each picture in the Modified folder, this script will erase only its corresponding Original.

NOTE: iPhoto still thinks these images have "backup" Originals, and will still present you with the option to "Revert to Original." Not to worry, if you try to revert to an original which has been erased by this technique, nothing happens.

NOTE 2: You may see a bunch of "No such file or directory" errors. That's OK - when you import a movie, a generated thumbnail also gets thrown into the Modified folder. The error comes because it thinks this generated thumbnail has an original image, but it doesn't. Furthermore, the movie is untouched.

Hope this helps,


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