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Rebuild the iPhoto Library Apps
iPhoto has an undocumented "Rebuild libary" option. Press Shift-Option while starting up iPhoto to invoke it, and you will get a rather scary message about possible loss of data if there is any unreadable data. Clicking OK will allow you to select a new location for your library (make sure you have enough space). I used this and found a number of interesting things that happened:
  1. There were a number of orphan JPG thumbnails in the "thumb" folders that were cleaned up (deleted in the new duplicate library.)
  2. Albums were maintained but "rolls" were completely renumbered starting from one.
  3. Some rolls that apparently had no date information were put at the end of the library with the current date. This did not result in lost data but did mess up the roughly chronological flow of my library.
  4. The resulting library is 2 MB smaller than before (mostly due to cleaned up thumbs and smaller .data files.
  5. It takes a very long time, is non-destructive to the current library and requires space on the disk for a complete second copy.
  6. By editing the iPhoto preferences file, I could revert back to my old library (whew!).
[robg adds: As far as I can tell, this isn't mentioned in Help at all, and I'm not sure when you might wish to use it -- in the event the Library becomes unreadable?]
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Rebuild the iPhoto Library | 17 comments | Create New Account
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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: Anonymous on Jun 23, '03 10:30:43AM

I wish I knew about that when iPhoto pooped out on me a few weeks back. I thought it was strange considering I have less than 100 photos stored in the application. Anyway, I ended up removing the library file. iPhoto rebuilt the library on the next restart and it started working again. I'm glad there's a more elegant way of doing this.

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--
Gypsy <gypsyx@manson.vistech.com>



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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: jimlaurent on Jun 23, '03 03:39:04PM

robg comments that he's not sure when you would need to rebuild the library. The Apple forums are full of users who have "lost photos". Rebuilding the libary recatalogs them.

Note that changing a file name of a JPG file using the finder will make it "invisible" to iPhoto. Changing the name back doesn't help. You must import the photo back into iPhoto. Loose enough photos this way and "rebuild" option becomes quite attractive.



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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: ankh on Jun 23, '03 04:13:22PM

I wonder if iTunes has this feature? My library self-corrupted a while back (scattered tracks suddenly are marked as unknown/unavailable in the middle of sequences, although the files are still in place). (these are classical albums, nine piano trios in a folder for example, with two of them "lost" by iTunes).

Hand-navigating to each folder for each "lost" track is impossible til I reach retirement age some years hence.

It's all beta and I'm tired of it.



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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: rich13 on Jun 23, '03 06:06:59PM

I rebuilt my library, having had a few problems with reimporting a backup I made.

It really messes with the ordering of photos, in a way that seems totally bizarre... so I'd advise anyone doing this to watch out. You may have a slightly screwy library, but rebuilding it may make it really screwy :-\

If you want to go back to the old library, just go to your com.apple.iPhoto.plist file in ~/Library/Preferences/ and look for the line:

	RootDirectory
	/Users/*you*/Pictures/iPhoto Library_1

which in my file is line 171, and delete the _1

No wucking furries :-)



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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: rich13 on Jun 23, '03 06:09:24PM

I rebuilt my library, having had a few problems with reimporting a backup I made.

It really messes with the ordering of photos, in a way that seems totally bizarre... so I'd advise anyone doing this to watch out. You may have a slightly screwy library, but rebuilding it may make it really screwy :-\

If you want to go back to the old library, just go to your com.apple.iPhoto.plist file in ~/Library/Preferences/ and look for the line:

	<key>RootDirectory</key>
	<string>/Users/*you*/Pictures/iPhoto Library_1</string>

which in my file is line 171, and delete the _1

No wucking furries :-)



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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: Dot on Oct 03, '03 06:41:52AM

K0o bebuild a busted iPhoto library. I start by holding down SHIFT+OPTION as I launch iPhoto. Everything moves along fine while it loads maybe 10-15 pics that have the default name they were given on my camera - such a PC1200012.jpg. Then the hole process just stalls when it comes to a pic that I've named - such as ses3.JPG.

It just stalls the whole iPhoto library rebuilding process. Would anyone have a clue what's up here? Thanks!

Also ever since my original iPhoto library crashed, every time I try to import from my camera, iPhoto says, "No camera is selected". My camera is hooked up fine and I can locate the pictures, copy and everything. just can't import into iPhoto.
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(Why) Rebuild the iPhoto Library (?)
Authored by: finelinebob on Jun 23, '03 06:05:08PM

Why would you need it?

Well you might have a desktop and a laptop Mac and your might have a program like FoldersSynchronizer and you might say to yourself, "Self, it sure would be great to have the exact same iPhoto libraries on both Macs, wouldn't it?" and you might think that FoldersSynchronizer would be a good way of doing so.

Of course, I'd never try that with my data...




... I did it with a friend's.

Pulling all the originals out of those "dated" folders (thank goodness they were there, even if iPhoto didn't see them), trashing everything else and then re-importing them (wow! iPhoto must have used the EXIF data and not just dated them by the day you imported them ... DOH!) was a real pain-in-the-but-tocks.



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(Why) Rebuild the iPhoto Library (?)
Authored by: below on Jun 24, '03 03:33:51AM

Or you might just be plain stupid and try the syncing yourself, ignoring a warning dialog ("There is a Folder blah blah blah"), and suddenly the Library info is gone.
Of course something stupid like that would NEVER happen to me!

Thanks for this great tip! It really helped, and is better and faster than just importing the pictures from a backup!

Alex



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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: Christian Leue on Jul 18, '03 09:08:16AM

My library currently has 4100 photos and about 500 rolls, dating back to 1998. Doing the rebuild speeded up things dramatically on my Cube. But, the renumbering of the rolls makes rebuilding the library inacceptable for me. Just can't find anything any more. I wish there were a trick to maintain or reconstruct the roll information.



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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: danvtim on Dec 27, '03 01:58:50PM

If you give each roll a name, it will retain that name after the rebuild.



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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: TvE on Feb 04, '05 04:05:24PM

HMM

Just upgraded to iLife 5.0.1 and wanted to have my thumbnails (Library) rebuild since some of the thumbnails are looking a lot worse than others - even though they're all shot with the same Nikon D100 at the same settings.

Anyways it seems that the shortcut to invoke the Library rebuilding is CMD-OPT - not the before mentioned SHIFT-OPT.
The latter - or just SHIFT - gives you they upportunity to create a new album or choose another preexisting album.

Anyways I'll hit the "Rebuild Library" button now and see how long time it takes to have 2.300 6 megapixel images rebuilded on my old TiBook ;-)



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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: TvE on Feb 04, '05 04:33:59PM

Hmm - the thumbnail-files are NOT rebuild, I wonder how you can acheive that WITHOUT having to re-import all the images



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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: TvE on Apr 26, '05 05:46:05PM

BINGO - with iPhoto 5.0.2 you now get four different items to choose from when you hold CMD-OPT down during the launch of iPhoto - one of them being "Rebuild Thumbnails".

It took a whole hour (with 100% CPU-load) for my 867 MHz TiBook to rebuild everything (2.700 six megapixel Nikon D100 shots) - but it was definately worth the wait since my bad looking thumbnail-problem is SOLVED now.

I guess someone should rewrite the hint, anyways - now it's in a comment ;-)


PS.: I guess it (still) helps to tell Apple what features/bugs you find (I did :-)



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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: Superboy on Sep 25, '06 03:41:49PM

...And in iLife '06 the rebuild modifier keys are <command><option><shift>.



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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: mcascone on Mar 08, '07 09:41:07AM

I have a question related to this hint.
I ran out of space on my powerbook, and started burning pictures off to DVD before importing them, with the "copy files to library..." feature turned off. This created a bad situation where iPhoto gets stuck looking for files that it can't find because their volumes aren't mounted. For image files, this only happens when you select them to do something with them, but apparently there's a bug in iPhoto in which if you have a movie file on an unmounted disc, it immediately looks for it at startup of iPhoto and hangs up with the Spinning Beach Ball of Death unless you have the volume available. So my iPhoto has become essentially unusable.

So, i took an old 120GB drive out of my old G4 tower, wiped it, and have repurposed it as a photos-only drive. I know i can just move the iPhoto Library to that drive and then point iPhoto at it, but i'd also like to rebuild it so that all of the originals are moved into the iPhoto library, basically returning it to a normal state with the "copy photos to library..." feature enabled.

Another way to put it that I think makes sense is this: I want to perform a function that does the same thing as iTunes' "Consolidate Library" command. This command in iTunes takes all of your dispersed music files and puts them in the correct place in the iTunes Music Library folder. That's what I want to happen with iPhoto - take the files that aren't in the iPhoto Library folder and move them into their correct location in there.

Is there a way to use the Rebuild Library function to do this? Has anyone experienced this before?

Thanks
Max



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Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: efs on Jun 18, '07 05:09:31PM
This is a documented undocumented procedure.

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107947


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Current Documentation: Rebuild the iPhoto Library
Authored by: GaelicWizard on Oct 21, '12 06:47:31PM

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2638



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