There is something about holidays that bring out cameras. Today’s digital cameras mean we can point and shoot and take 1,735 photos at every gathering.
Where do all those photos go? Into iPhoto, right? Check. How many photos do you have in iPhoto? 26,394? Or, too many? Check. Did you know there are easy ways to create multiple libraries in iPhoto? Check this.
iPhoto’s Digital Shoeboxes
There once was a time, way back in the age of mechanical cameras and expensive film that took a week to get processed, that we had shoeboxes full of photos that didn’t make it to the family album.
Not so today, dear Mac user. Today we have choices.
Your Mac comes with iPhoto and iPhoto is both photo album and photo shoebox.
That means all the good photos and the bad photos are stuck in the same library which means pruning and care and organizational talent is required to keep your beautiful photos from breeding with another family member’s photos.
The solution? Multiple photo libraries.
4 Easy Ways To Multiply iPhoto
iPhoto comes with a single library per Mac user. If everyone in your household uses the same user account, that means one iPhoto library that collects everything from everyone’s cameras or iPhones.
Knowledge is power. First, there’s a simple, elegant, Mac-like, typical Apple way to create multiple iPhoto libraries. Press the Option key while clicking the iPhoto icon in the Dock (or by double-clicking the iPhoto icon in the Applications folder). What you get is a pop up dialog box.
Click to Create a new iPhoto library (which is safely stored next to your default library), or click Choose to select a library, or click Other Library to look elsewhere for an iPhoto library.
Options make the world go ‘round, you know.
It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s free. Multiple iPhoto libraries at your finger tips. Nearly as easy and with a few more features is iPhoto Buddy, which gives you an improved interface, modification dates, and other options.
It’s like iPhoto Libraries Gone Wild with features. For free.
Not so free is iPhoto Library Manager which gives you more features than Santa has elves (at least, before the economy forced him to cut back; smaller tree, reduced health care for the reindeer and elves).
Use iPhoto Library Manager to create and manage multiple iPhoto libraries, share libraries with other users on the same Mac, keep photos in sync with your iPod, quick switch between libraries, split a large library into smaller libraries (or merge, the opposite of split—same price), even rebuild corrupt iPhoto libraries (stuff happens).
Calling Number 4
That’s three easy ways to create and manage multiple iPhoto libraries on your Mac. Create a library for you, one for your spouse, one for each of your kids, and even an iPhoto library for that strange uncle who sleeps out back with the dog.
What about the fourth way?
Alright, I cheated on the count. Four just sounds so much more than three. Regardless, there is a fourth way. Simply create another Mac user account on your Mac, logout, login as that user, and create yet another iPhoto library. It’s not as much fun as the aforementioned library apps, but it makes for an even number.
UPDATE: Need multiple iTunes music libraries? Guess what? Press the Option-key while clicking iTunes 10.1.1 to get the same dialog box as in iPhoto. Voila! Multiple iTunes music libraries, too. Say thank you, Alex.