Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Merge old iPhoto libraries on CD with iPhoto 5 libraries Apps
I had several iPhoto libraries burned to CD backups from iPhoto 3 or 4 that I wanted to merge with my nearly complete iPhoto 5 library. However, because I burned the libraries directly to CD from the Finder or Toast, and not fom inside iPhoto, the CDs are not recognized as photo libraries from within iPhoto 5 when the CDs are mounted. If I try to force the actual directory on the CD to be the iPhoto library (using either iPhoto Buddy or the recent Option key hint, it doesn't work, since iPhoto 5 wants to upgrade the library and it can't when it's on a CD.

If I try to copy the library whole hog from CD to the hard disk, I get all the photos in the library, but I lose the album information, since these are stored via a symbolic or hard link on the CD library, and the Finder doesn't copy them correctly. I tried cp -R srcdir destdir and tar -cf - -C srcdir . | tar xpf - -C destdir from the Terminal, but these don't copy the links correctly either!

As a last resort, I tried compressing the CD photo library with Stuffit, and then uncompressing it onto the hard disk. The album links worked correctly, and when I forced iPhoto to use that unstuffed directory as the photo library, all my albums were there (after iPhoto5 upgraded the library to the current format). Then you can burn the albums or library to a CD-RW. Switch back to your original iPhoto library, insert the new CD, and copy over all the old albums into your new library.

This discussion on the Apple forums mentions that you have to be careful about how you burn the libraries to CD for iPhoto to recognize them. The albums are not included when you just select the photos or the entire library.
    •    
  • Currently 1.00 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (1 vote cast)
 
[12,897 views]  

Merge old iPhoto libraries on CD with iPhoto 5 libraries | 7 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Merge old iPhoto libraries on CD with iPhoto 5 libraries' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Merge old iPhoto libraries on CD with iPhoto 5 libraries
Authored by: Old Toad on Mar 18, '05 12:41:22PM

In burning the older libraries to disk did you just drag the entire iPhoto Library folder to the disk and burn?

I just tried a test of burning a iPhoto 4 library to disk by dragging the iPhoto Library folder to the disk and burning. I then tried, as you did, to open it while on the disk via iPhoto 5 and no luck. Next I copied the "iPhoto Library" folder from the disk to the desktop and opened it with iPhoto 5. It went thru the conversion and I had the library, albums, rolls, keywords and books intact.

Did I create the disk and then copy the library back to the HD differently than you did? Curious.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Merge old iPhoto libraries on CD with iPhoto 5 libraries
Authored by: ephramz on Mar 19, '05 03:39:35AM

Hmm, I did burn the discs of the iPhoto library directly from the Finder originally, I believe, not from inside iPhoto. But now that I look at them closer it looks like they are actually iPhoto 3 or 2 libraries, not iPhoto 4. So perhaps this is why they didn't work when just dragged and dropped to the hard disk. I didn't see the mentioned iPhoto.XML file in either library, even from the terminal.

Thanks for the info on "ditto". Didn't know about that command. It would've made things easier.

Now I just have to figure out how to remove the duplicates from my photo library. Know any tools for that?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Merge old iPhoto libraries on CD with iPhoto 5 libraries
Authored by: iteratix on Mar 18, '05 01:18:27PM

Hi,

After lurking for forever, here's an hint where I can help! I've run into similar problems with the 'cp' command in the Terminal not copying Mac files properly. I found out via Apple forums (and other places) that the command To Use is 'ditto'.

So, to copy that CD to a directory, while keeping all the Mac-y goodness intact, try: ditto -rsrcFork /Volumes/MyCD ~/Desktop/myCDasFolder

The -rsrcFork tag keeps the resource fork intact.

Cheers.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Merge old iPhoto libraries on CD with iPhoto 5 libraries
Authored by: adrianm on Mar 18, '05 02:07:29PM

Yep, ditto does the magic. As does stuffit. As does using Finder's "create archive of...".

Am surprised the original posted had trouble with just copying in the Finder though... odd.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Merge old iPhoto libraries on CD with iPhoto 5 libraries
Authored by: kenferry on Mar 18, '05 02:33:34PM

You can make iPhoto recognize the disk as containing a library by including a simple XML file at the top level. It's a hidden file when you burn the CD from within iPhoto.

John Faughan gives detailed instructions.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Merge old iPhoto libraries on CD with iPhoto 5 libraries
Authored by: jfaughnan on Mar 19, '05 11:49:14AM

Thanks for the plug!

BTW, Ken is the author of a great iPhoto app: Keyword Assistant: http://homepage.mac.com/kenferry/software.html. I use it all the time.

The original hint, while helpful, underscores the usability issues with iPhoto and its impressively incomplete documentation. The discussions, including Old Toad (he and I have corresponded on the Apple Forums, the Toad knows I'm a curmudgeon) illustrate the ongoing problems with library merges.

I haven't found a way to preserve all the data structures during a library merge. It's not that complex a data model, but Apple doesn't support a proper merge process. The usual result is either missing album information or duplicate photos.

The web page Ken referenced claims one can pass keywords successfully. Ken tells me that in fact that doesn't work -- that incoming photos are assigned keywords in the host album based on a hidden numeric identifier. I haven't been able to verify that but I'd be curious to hear more. I trust Ken is correct.

---
--
John Faughnan
jfaughnan@spamcop.net
www.faughnan.com



[ Reply to This | # ]
Merge old iPhoto libraries on CD with iPhoto 5 libraries
Authored by: momerath on May 12, '06 04:11:43PM

Wow, thanks! I'd always wondered what made iPhoto discs special (I hit myself for being too stupid to look for invisible files). I wish I'd had this hint a few months ago when I needed to combine another iPhoto library (I ended up just burning an iphoto DVD).



[ Reply to This | # ]