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iPhoto '09: The Missing Manual by David Pogue, J.D. Biersdorfer

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Chapter 13. iPhoto File Management

For years, true iPhoto fans experienced the heartache of iPhoto Overload—the syndrome in which the program gets too full of photos, winds up gasping for RAM, and acts as if you’ve slathered it with a thick coat of molasses. And for years, true iPhoto fans have adopted an array of countermeasures to keep the speed up, including splitting the Photo library into several smaller chunks.

Now that iPhoto can manage 250,000 pictures per library, such drastic measures aren’t generally necessary.

Nonetheless, learning how iPhoto manages its library files is still a worthy pursuit. It’s the key to swapping photo libraries, burning them to CD or DVD, transferring them to other machines, and merging them together.

About iPhoto Discs

iPhoto discs are CDs or DVDs that you can create in iPhoto to archive your entire library—or any selected portion of it—with just a few mouse clicks.

The beauty of iPhoto’s Burn command is that it exports much more than just the photos themselves to a disc. It also copies the thumbnails, titles, keywords, comments, ratings, and all the other important data about your iPhoto library. Once you’ve burned all this valuable information to disc, you can do all sorts of useful things:

  • Make a backup of your whole photo collection for safekeeping.

  • Transfer specific photos, albums, or a whole iPhoto library to another Mac without losing your keywords, descriptions, ratings, and titles.

  • Share discs with other iPhoto fans so that your friends and ...

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