2019-07-08 Apple Photos

I’m trying to move away from Apple’s Photos after having decided two or three years ago that from now on we would keep media files in the file system where we could understand what was happening, where we could organize the files using folders, and even though the functionality was lacking, it would still be better than the uncertainty, fear and doubt that iTunes and Photos (or the old iPhoto) evoke.

Moving away from the Apple eco system is taking me years. We still have that MacBook Pro, and there still are Photos libraries – mine is still about 100GB. I totally need to move albums in there into folders on the drive. When your over 40 years old you start to appreciate that the only way to archive pictures, audio and video is folders and files. All these tools that use databases and what not will eventually fade from your life. Don’t get locked in. Even if they’re free!

My main problem was that when I started up Shotwell, it wanted to import images into its own archive and I didn’t know where the images would end up and feared that once they were imported I could no longer move them around on the file system – the database used would refer to them by path. And then I was annoyed because it felt like (maybe just temporarily) stepping into another silo (even if free).

Anyway, I’m still exporting a bunch of folders every now. And here I am, still thinking that Photos must been programmed by a team that never, ever uses it. Mark all photos. 942 marked. Right click. The selection changes to 682 marked. WTF? Sometimes, when I want to export or delete photos, I have to Select All three or four times until the deed is done, and since this is the only thing I’m interested in doing by now, it makes my blood boil. At least I am not regretting leaving it all behind. Bye bye burning trash fire Apple Photos. I always hated you. 🖕

After exporting, I always need to check if the folder holds the same number of images as the folder in Photos. I can’t count them in Finder, of course, so I mark them all and start dragging them – that’s how Finder shows me a count. I also hate the fact that the Export menu might be reencoding pictures even if I didn’t edit them. I also noticed some old photos 4MB large that got shrunk to 1.8M. I zoomed in seven times and the pixels seem to look alike, so what the hell is going on? More fear, uncertainty and doubt!

Let me also talk about my feelings regarding the deterioration of iTunes. Or rather, let me focus on moving all the media out of weird silos back into the filesystem where I can use the tools I like. Also, Photos just crashed for the fourth (!) time today in mid-export. 😠

Perhaps I need to export in smaller batches? Perhaps some of the files cannot be exported? Perhaps the stars have not aligned? I still like their phones and tablets and maybe even their hardware, but I definitely don’t like Apple Photos and Apple iTunes.



If you go to the Photos Library package in ~/Pictures and right click, you can select “View Package Contents” to get into the folder. Then you can open the “Masters” folder to get at a folder structure with all of the photos themselves. iPhoto is the same with the ~/Pictures/iPhoto Library package, only they’re in the “Originals” folder instead.

GallowsGryph 2019-07-08 19:17 UTC

Yeah, but last time I checked, that doesn’t allow me to easily export “all the edited images if they were edited and the originals if not edited, for a particular album.” The directory structure is organized in “films” which are imports. Those don’t really map to the groupings I need.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-07-09 06:44 UTC

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