iPhoto. It’s the only mac program that I actively dislike. It’s so close to being great, yet has some absolutely killer flaws. I’m using version 4.
Over the years, my iphoto library has become a mess – filled with duplicate images, including (horror of horrors) multiple thumbnails for every image in the library. In other words, each picture was there at least twice – once at high resolution, and once at very low resolution.
This probably came about from moving to new computers. Each time I did, I’d simply import my previous library to the new machine. iPhoto doesn’t have the smarts to recognize what’s going on, and so imports the thumbnails it created in the previous library _and then proceeds to create new thumbnails of the thumbnails_. Dumb.
I used a couple of tools to weed out the garbage. First thing I did was backup my iphoto library. Next, I used “Tidy Up!”:http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/17908 on the original library folder to remove duplicate files. I paid the $30 for the software. It’s pretty impressive, and will no doubt get regular use.
Next up, apple’s own Automator came to the rescue. I created a simple workflow that moved any image under 20kb out of the library and into a new folder.
I also used Automator to move all the Thumbs folders to the trash – I didn’t want to import them again.
Automator is a very cool tool – one I’ve just started to play with. It could probably even find duplicate files, but figuring out how to do so was beyond my patience at the time.
Next I had to trick iPhoto into creating a new library. This is as simple as changing the name of the current library. Upon loading, iPhoto goes “dude, where’s my library?” and prompts you to find it or create a new one. I created a new one.
Then it was a simple matter of importing the nicely cleaned up files. I went from 8000+ images to 3000. All without losing a single picture.