The world’s most popular camera these days is Apple’s iPhone, and without the need to buy film or process photos, we’re taking more photos than ever before. How do we Mac users manage many thousands of photos? iPhoto.
Here are three ways to manage multiple iPhoto libraries on a Mac. Two are free.
Why. Multiple. Libraries.
iPhoto remains something of a holdover from the last century, a photo management app that tries to do it all, from library to sharing to printing to storing.
Apple has tacked feature after feature onto iPhoto to make it the go to app for the great Mac masses of camera users.
Many of us don’t care to have all our photos stuffed into a single monolithic library of photos. For us, photo management is an issue.
iPhoto has events, but no way to really segregate one class of photo from another, made especially worse if the Mac and iPhoto have multiple users, but a single user account.
Multiple iPhoto libraries to the rescue. Yes, just in time for the holidays is a tip on how to create and manage multiple iPhoto libraries on the same Mac but with only one user account.
iPhoto Library Manager
This wonderful iPhoto library manager is the cat’s meow, numero uno when it comes to features and capabilities.
It lets you create multiple libraries with ease, kills photo duplicates, gives you options to search for photos across multiple libraries, and even merges libraries or splits libraries into new libraries.
Photos and metadata are easily copied or moved from one library to another without opening the second library. iPhoto Library Manager also has an option to rebuild corrupt iPhoto libraries (it happens). If you value features and capability, this is the one to have.
On the other hand, free is good and so is iPhoto Buddy, a Mac app that also lets you create and manage multiple iPhoto libraries but without all the bells and whistles from above.
Instead of one giant iPhoto library which contains everyone’s photos, iPhoto Buddy can split a library into multiple smaller libraries. When you open the app you’ll get a list of the iPhoto libraries stored on your Mac so you can select the one you want to use at the moment.
You also get details about each library without having to open iPhoto first. Smaller libraries also mean faster, easier searches. And you can’t beat free with a stick.
If free is your game and simplicity is your name, then Apple has yet another way to create multiple iPhoto libraries, officially sanctioned by the Mac maker.
It’s called iPhoto ’11: Create a new iPhoto library or switch between libraries and the instructions are detailed.
Simply put, though, all you need to do is quit iPhoto, then hold down the keyboard’s Option key while you click iPhoto in the Dock to open it. Instead of getting the default iPhoto library, you’ll get this pop up dialog box instead:
If you have only one iPhoto library, click Create New… to make a new one. Once you have multiples, they’ll all be listed. Select the library, then click Choose and you have multiple iPhoto libraries.
There are no bells and whistles, no easy way to copy or move photos from one library to another, and no easy way to split or merge libraries. It’s free. It’s easy. It works.