How to Manage Large Image Libraries with iPhoto 2
Subject:   RE: WHY won't iPhoto scale? iTunes can.
Date:   2003-06-19 07:49:59
From:   jfaughnan
Response to: RE: WHY won't iPhoto scale?

It was a harsh of me to say I was disappointed in your article, especially since I'm a big fan of your writing. It really is a good article with a lot of value. I am really displacing my frustration with Apple's iPhoto development priorities onto your article, which is quite unfair.

Like Grzegorz I use the trick of collapsing rolls to prevent opening of large image collections. That helps me get up to a 1000 images. Still, that's only a drop in the bucket.

I looked closely at iViewMediaPro 2.x. I think it was missing the ability to create an image subset with an arbitrary sort order. In other words, one could not readily create a sub-album with its own independent sort order. I also found iViewMediaPro to be (for me) very non-intuitive, which I could live with except I found the documentation a bit lacking as well.

I'm going to look at iViewMediaPro 3.x quite closely. I'd like to see iViewMediaPro use AppleScript to drive iPhoto. So one could use iViewMediaPro as a staging environment and create a disposable iPhotoLibrary on the fly to leverage iPhoto's output controls.

Note that migrating an image library, with metadata including albums and sort order, from iPhoto to iViewMediaPro is a very non-trivial task.

Even better, of course, would be a redesign of iPhoto. iTunes is actually a very good template or what iPhoto should be. iTunes manages larger file sizes in vastly larger numbers with aplomb on a slower machine. It handles multiple sound libraries on multiple servers. It allows creation of dynamic queries. It has comprehensive metadata management. It scales on any machine very easily.

In other words, iTunes is what iPhoto should be. This may be because Apple derives iTunes revenue by selling music, but iPhoto revenue by selling hardware. So there's an incentive to make iTunes work well on any platform, but a different incentive to make iPhoto slow on most platforms. iMovie is in the same boat as iPhoto. Economic reality is so cruel.

Meanwhile iPhoto is good enough to block alternative software being developed for the smallish OS X marketplace.

Sadly I may end up moving my image library to the Wintel platform if Adobe continues to improve its album software.