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Organizing and Filing Digital Images on a Mac: Is iPhoto powerful enough?

David Enzel , Aug 30, 2003; 07:14 p.m.

I am an amateur photographer new to digital. I probably will shoot 500 to 1,000 images a month. I use a Mac with OS X. To store and catalogue images I am using iPhoto, My question is whether iPhoto is powerful enough to store thousands of images over the years. Should I buy a third party software package to store and catalogue photos and if so which one? At the moment I find iPhoto very intuitive and easy to use. I just set up albums and use key words. I guess I'm asking whether I am overlooking functionality I will need down the road.


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Bill Mitchell , Aug 30, 2003; 08:31 p.m.

I bought an eMac just for that purpose. I think it was a mistake. Mac designers just don't seem to think like photographers. iPhoto2 isn't much better than the original. Right now, Windows XP handles photos and cataloging them much better than OS-X. Maybe OS-11 will be improved.

David Enzel , Aug 30, 2003; 09:45 p.m.

Just to clarify, I like iPhoto but am not sure what features I may be missing. At the moment my digital image library is small but it is growing rapidly and I want to be well equipped to find the images I want when I want them. In other words, what is iPhoto lacking that I might find uselful in another program? I plan to stick with Mac.

The Macman , Aug 30, 2003; 10:03 p.m.

iPhoto is powerful enough but doesn't seem to be able to handle catalogs with originals found on other volumes or virtual catalogs with originals on non mounted CDs.

I use Cumulus, this is what the publishing world relies upon.

The Macman , Aug 30, 2003; 10:04 p.m.

>>>>>> Right now, Windows XP handles photos and cataloging them much better than OS-X. Maybe OS-11 will be improved.

MacOS X wasn't intended to handle photos and catalogs. Softwares running ON IT are expected to do so :-) Garnish your OS with what's necessary and the Mac becomes an unbeatable workflow powerhorse.

The Macman , Aug 30, 2003; 10:10 p.m.

>>>>>> Mac designers just don't seem to think like photographers.


Yeah, not really :) Only as much as Ferraris are built from a racing viewpoint :)

Carl Smith , Aug 30, 2003; 11:09 p.m.

I have used Cumulus in the past, and sometimes it comes packaged with things in a light version thats better than iPhoto or most other things as well. I don't know the cost of it new.

To an extent I agree, Mac doesn't think like photographers. Most of their systems come stock configured with too little RAM and then they overcharge to add more. Then again most companies do. :)

Adobe doesn't understand photographers either, Photoshop should have had better 16 bit support long ago for one thing.

Nicholas Wybolt , Aug 30, 2003; 11:26 p.m.


Two recent articles that might be of interest are "How to Manage Large Image Libraries with iPhoto 2" at http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2003/06/17/iphoto2.html and "The Digital Shoebox: Organizing Images on Your Computer," that appeared in the Aug/Sep 2003 issue of Camera Arts.

You might also want to get a copy of "iPhoto 2: The Missing Manual" by Derrick Story.


Steve Rosenblum , Aug 31, 2003; 12:04 a.m.

I would check out Q-Pict

The Macman , Aug 31, 2003; 12:26 a.m.

Cumulus is $99. Check also Portfolio from Extensis.

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