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Old 04-29-2012, 06:57 AM   #1
pfhannan
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iPhoto library on external

Can my iPhoto library be on my external hard drive rather than on my computer HD, I need to free up space, have over 17,000 photo's on it.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
acme.mail.order
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Yes. Quit iPhoto, copy the library to an external drive* of your choice, hold down the Option key when you start iPhoto again, browse to new location.

Don't forget to allow for some manner of backup.

* 17,000 photos at ~3Mb each is over 50 Gigs. Lets hope the external is in a Firewire 800 or Thunderbolt case.

Last edited by acme.mail.order; 04-29-2012 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:18 AM   #3
pfhannan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acme.mail.order
Yes. Quit iPhoto, copy the library to an external drive* of your choice, hold down the Option key when you start iPhoto again, browse to new location.

Don't forget to allow for some manner of backup.

* 17,000 photos at ~3Mb each is over 50 Gigs. Lets hope the external is in a Firewire 800 or Thunderbolt case.


What is holding down the option key doing for me, does that locate the new location?

yes I have 800 Firewire
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfhannan
What is holding down the option key doing for me, does that locate the new location?

That's sort of correct. It allows you to direct iPhoto to where the library is now located (or create a new library, but that's not what you're doing). After you do that once, you won't have to hold Option on subsequent launches.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:33 AM   #5
pfhannan
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Can I use both, and just name them differently. I would like to have my external with all photos as of today, and the computer HD with all from today on...
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:45 AM   #6
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Yes, you can use both. No, you don't have to name them differently (though doing so can be helpful). If you do use multiple libraries, you'll need to hold the Option key at launch whenever you want to switch libraries.

There are two things I'll note. One is to reiterate what acme.mail.order said earlier, and that is to back up your iPhoto Library even if it's on another volume. Second, I would suggest you think about if you really want two iPhoto libraries. Doing that adds complexity to your photo management. Is it worth it? On top of that, I don't believe there's a way to merge libraries—feel free to research that to confirm if I'm correct—and this could be a real pain if down the road you decide you just want one library.

In any type of file management, I always try to consider the potential hiccups and long-term consequences. Starting one method is usually easy. Changing is often difficult. That's why I point out these ideas, just so you can consider them now rather than have a "Oh, this is going to be a pain" moment later.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:20 PM   #7
pfhannan
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I have copied it on my external, and did use the option key to select the one on the external. I do have all my photo's backed up on 2 externals. I need space on my MBP, so want to delete just about all photo's in it, do you see any problems in doing that?
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:22 PM   #8
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As long as you know the just-moved copy of the iPhoto Library is working (plus, you have backups), it's probably easiest to simply delete the original iPhoto Library rather than the photos in it.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:29 PM   #9
pfhannan
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Ok, thx...I'll delete it
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:34 PM   #10
pfhannan
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Can I do the same with iMovie & iDVD files, they take up most of my disc space
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:49 PM   #11
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By "files," I assume you mean movies. Certainly, you can delete them, but do you want to? There are some things to note in terms of space-related considerations.
  • Hard drives die. It's the nature of mechanical devices. The general rule I hear for consumer-grade hard drives is that 34 years is about what one should consider the safe lifespan. So whether you have important files on an internal or external, your startup drive or a Time Machine volume, redundancy is your best protection.
  • Time Machine backups are not eternal (even beyond the above point). When the disk gets full, Time Machine will delete old backups to create the space it needs. You will not be warned beforehand.
  • Hard drives are relatively inexpensive. Investing in either or both a new internal drive or external drive is probably worth considering.
Now, if you don't care about having those iMovie and iDVD files, feel free to delete them. But whether or not you keep them, the points I listed are what I'd say you should be thinking about at least as much as managing your files and available space.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:58 PM   #12
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I need to take the risk, "i am dead in the water" and need to make room. thanks for your advice.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:26 PM   #13
pfhannan
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NaOH,
All worked well, thx. I also took your advice, just bought a larger HD for my MBP.

Can I take iTunes Library to my external too?
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by pfhannan
Can I take iTunes Library to my external too?

Absolutely. I do that since my boot volume is too small. The procedure is mostly the same: Copy your music files to the new drive, launch iTunes, then use Preferences > Advanced to show iTunes where your music is stored. I leave the actual iTunes Library file in ~/Music and only move the music, but I think you can do it either way. And just like with your iPhoto Library, don't forget to back up your music.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acme.mail.order
Yes. Quit iPhoto, copy the library to an external drive* of your choice, hold down the Option key when you start iPhoto again, browse to new location.

Don't forget to allow for some manner of backup.

* 17,000 photos at ~3Mb each is over 50 Gigs. Lets hope the external is in a Firewire 800 or Thunderbolt case.



that was helpful thanks
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