Sunday, September 19, 2004

Merging iPhoto Libraries: yet more techniques

macosxhints - Reunite iPhoto libraries with Rendezvous in iPhoto4

Update 1/05: I now have a much better discussion of this on my personal digital photography/iPhoto page.

Merging iPhoto Libraries, the easy way:

1. Make sure you have enough free space two times the size of your library to merge in on your hard drive.

2. Using DiskUtility (in OS X 10.3), create a disk image large enough to hold your library once. Name the opened volume 'iPhoto Library'.

3. Using TextEdit, create a file called IPHOTO.XML and place it inside the library. The file should contain this text:

(xml removed because it's invisible in blogger -- see original posting)

4. Copy your library to this disk image and name it 'iPhoto Libary'. If you're done, the folder structure should look like this:

iPhoto Library (Disk image)
\- IPHOTO.XML (Textfile)
- iPhoto Library (folder, containg all your iPhoto stuff:)
- Albums (folder, pretty empty)
- iPhoto.db
- AlbumData.xml
- Library.iPhoto
- 2004 (folder, containing subfolder for each month day)
\- 05
\- 31
\- DSCF0001.JPG
- ... (many more pictures)
- Data (folder, containing files '1.attr' and '1')
- Thumbs (folder with Thumbnails)

5. Inside Disk Utility (in OS X 10.3), choose the menu 'Images > Convert...' to create a read-only copy of your disk image.

6. Mount that new image and iphoto is happy! drag-and-drop the CD onto your library to import your photos!

This great thread described several techniques, this one resembles the iPhoto image technique I described some time ago. What's new here is the creation of the xml document!


Anonymous said...


I've just did your tip, it worked duplicating all my photo. Now I've got 14000 when before was just 7000.
Now, what I can do?
My original situation has been previously saved:
in fact I've got my two original libraries stored in different places.
So, how can I do? Can I delete all my iphoto pictures and start again?
Thanks in advance for any suggestion!

JGF said...

I really irks me that Apple isn't helping with this!

Sorry to hear the bad news.

Since you have your original libraries, you need to delete the failed merge and go back to the originals.

Make sure the originals are still there.

I presume you know how to switch Libraries in iPhoto ... (just google on it, it's an undocumented feature of iPhoto).