I like iPhoto as it’s a quick and easy way to manage and retouch my thousands of photos (and I also like using Galerie to produce lovely web albums from it). However I don’t like the idea of trusting my entire photo library to an application that stores its data in a proprietary format. For example, when I rename a photo from “DSCN1234.JPG” to “On The Beach”, the “On The Beach” name is only stored inside iPhoto’s proprietary database. The original JPEG file in the iPhoto Library folder is still called “DSCN1234.JPG”.
So if iPhoto freaks out and corrupts its database (an all-too-common occurrence from what I’ve read), all my photo titles will be lost. And naming those photos was almost as much work as taking them! Not good.
My workaround for now is to rename all my photo filenames before I import the photos into iPhoto. That way, if iPhoto corrupts its database, at least I’ll have preserved my photo titles. Even doing this is pretty tricky, as Preview doesn’t let you rename files. So I’m sort of muddling along by viewing the photos in Preview, and renaming them in Finder. It’s not particularly elegant, but at least my photo titles are safe.
(Also, in Finder, how come I can rename “DSCN1234.JPG” to either “On The Beach.JPG” or “On The Beach”, but when I look at the directory in Terminal it’s always called “On The Beach.JPG”? Very confusing! Oh, and why does Finder’s Get Info show you pretty much all the EXIF data except the one thing you really need – when the photo was taken!? Grr…)
I already have some photos in iPhoto that I didn’t rename before import. What to do with these? Well I’m going to go through these and export them from iPhoto (selecting the “Use title for the filename” option), then re-import them. With a bit of luck, the image files will then be stored in iPhoto with the correct titles for the filenames.
I also think I’m regularly going to export my photos from iPhoto and burn them to CD, just to be on the safe side. iPhoto hasn’t crashed yet, but if it does I don’t want it taking my whole photo library with it. Call me paranoid, but photos are pretty much irreplaceable, and I’d like at least some of them to survive so my grandkids can laugh at my hairstyle!
Anyone else have any tips for managing/protecting your iPhoto library?