October 17, 2006

It’s the image stupid

Posted in Commentary, OSX Software, OSX Technical at 8:50 pm by Michael Sweeney Media

I have been using iPhoto Library Manager quite a bit in the past month. When I first started to use it, I was luke warm to the application. So I can switch libraries, big deal. As it turns out, it can do alot more and be very useful to someone like myself with thousands of images and would like to keep using iPhoto as the primary image tool. That in itself is a switch for me who was a hardcore fan (zealot?) of Google’s Picassa which I loved on my Windoze machines. Over time I have grown use to iPhoto and accepted the fact that there are multiple ways to get to the end of the game. With a few tools like iPhoto Library Manager, it gets better. I still use Photoshop CS for my “good” stuff but to use CS to adjust the pictures of the kids in the tub for grandma is way overkill. I have tried Aperture and so far, I’m underwhelmed with it’s performance. And then I am officially not supposed to be able to use it on my Powerbook? What the hell is up with that Apple?

Anyways, I have learned that ILM can not only pick which library to start iPhoto with, it can create new ones, copy albums over to the new one and keep the edits intact, make backups of the complete library, split the library, merge the library (a godsend for me with three libraries on three different machines) and rebuild libraries (another godsend as you will see in a minute). In short, this tool will become you new best friend when using iPhoto.

Rebuilding the iPhoto library, you would Apple would have made it easier to rebuild it but no, you have use the secret handshake when you boot iPhoto which was pretty annoying. I had reason to put this to the test when I found that in a fit of cleaning, I had deleted way too many pictures from an airhow I had been at earlier this year. And, my backup was whacked since I needed the disk for a test install of Leopard. Oh what to do? Never fear little Monica, the un-man is here(name that show!). I had a backup but it was on a piece of shit Maxtor 1TB external drive. I really hate that thing, it works halfassed and will fail for no apparent reason. I had not known this when I used it to backup three of my systems and a special copy of my iPhoto library. So now I spent three hours getting most of the library off the @#*@## maxtor which required many reboots and restarts. But while I had the data, all I had were little bitty grey squares. I knew I could rebuild the database but how to do it? I did find the magic key strokes on an Apple page and ILM offers a way aslso. ILM offers a way to rebuild the AlbumData.xml file by choosing the menu item. Apple offers a menu with four choices of various levels of the hail Mary pass for iPhoto.

You need to hold down the command and option key on starting up iPhoto for version 5 and later. This gives you the fancy menu with all the options. In my case, I rebuilt everything and now the library is back. This can take a while, my little database of 22 gig (NOT) took over an hour. But it fixed it. So now I have my library AND my MIA airshow files.

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