Forum Question: Auto update iPhoto

Hi Gary, When I first got my mac I started to import all my photos into iPhoto but found that it doesn’t update itself when I add a new photo into the folder and I find it really tedious having to first download my photos into the desktop, then move certain files into certain areas of iPhoto then having to move again those files into other folders in my pictures folder on the mac. Is there a way to avoid doing this process and just have iPhoto update itself when a new photo is added to a folder? A friend told me to use automator but found it a bit hard to understand what to do.

— Carlos M

Comments: 7 Responses to “Auto update iPhoto”

    2/23/10 @ 7:15 am

    I’m not following you. You say “it doesn’t update itself when I add a new photo into the folder” — what is “the folder” — is it a folder o the Desktop or in another Folder on your system? If so, then don’t do that, but instead import the photos directly into iPhoto. Connect your camera or your media to your Mac, and then run iPhoto and use the Import option.
    It sounds like you are making a copy of the photos as a folder, and then bringing them into iPhoto, and then taking the originals and also storing them in your Picture folders (as opposed to your iPhoto library). So you end up with two copies of the photos on your hard drive.
    But I’m also not sure what you mean when you say “then move certain files into certain areas of iPhoto.”

      Carlos M
      2/23/10 @ 9:52 am

      Basically I import photos from three sources, my camera, my phone through bluetooth and photos from the internet. I have all my photos in the pictures folder of the mac(with various subfolders) where I sync some of those folders to my iPod touch so I can have some of the photos there. I would want all my photos in iPhoto with the same subfolders I have in my pictures folder and also be able to sync them with my iPod touch using iTunes & whenever I add a photo into one of the subfolders, iPhoto update itself with those new photos. Is this possible or is it better just to have all my photos in iPhoto then delete the folders and import the photos into iPhoto whenever I have new ones?

    2/23/10 @ 10:09 am

    It is better to just let iPhoto handle it. iPhoto will keep all the photos in its own library and allow you to do all of those things: sync with your iPod, etc.
    Keeping a separate copy of each photo in your own folders in the Pictures folder just doubles the use of your disk space and gives you something else to manage.

      12/12/11 @ 11:19 pm

      Gary, first of all, I have found and enjoyed your podcasts on my AppleTV so thanks, but I think Carlos gave up without you answering his question, or at least I have a similar question that your answer does not really help with. Perhaps you misunderstood us, so let me try and explain our question better.

      Say I have brought over thousands upon thousands of picture files from my PC to my new iMac recently, and they are all organized in actual folders in the pictures folders of my hard drive. I have then imported them all into iPhoto, one folder at a time, to preserve each folder as an “event” in iPhoto and so it won’t start splitting them all up on me, undoing 10 years+ or organization that I already have in place.

      Ok, now I beieve iPhoto does not actually copy my original files into the iPhoto Library, but just make thumbnails of them for the program, and aliases back to the original picture file. Only if you modify the original in iPhoto does it then save an actual file in the modified area of the library, correct?

      So, my question is (and I think Carlos’s too) is that if I add a picture file to my original folders in the picture folder, how can I get iPhoto to automatically add them to the program, and in the correct event or library???

      Please resist the urge to just say “just let iPhoto handle it” and assume we use iPhot for everything, let’s say we downloaded a 10 different photos from the internet and a saved them to 10 different folders on the hard drive, organizing them how we want. How would we then get them added to iPhoto? without tediously having to import each and every file by itself, letting iPhoto create a new event for it, then merging that event with the actual event or library we really want the file in???

      Or if you prefer, let’s say you edit a picture in iPhoto and want to resize it to let’s say 800×600 pixels, it seems the only way iPhoto can do this is if you export the photo, i.e. out of the program. Let’s say you do this and export it back into the folder the original is also stored in (changing the file name of course) my question remains, how do you get iPhoto to recognize this new photo and automatically add it to the appropriate event??

      Sadly, I think I know the answers to all my questions – iPhoto cannot do any of this… correct?

        12/13/11 @ 12:03 am

        Dragging and dropping photo files into iPhoto does import them into your iPhoto library. It doesn’t create a link — it copies the files.
        So drag a folder full of files, and it should create a single event with those files. Try it and see.
        So if you have 10 folders full of pictures, then drag one to iPhoto and it should create an event. Then drag another. Another event.
        But no need to think about it — just try it. Experiment and you’ll see how it works.
        If you want the photos arranged differently, then I’m not sure what the problem is. Just arrange them differently.
        Now as for your export-then-import situation, I’m not sure why you would need to do that. If you want a resized version of the photo, then export it and leave the original in iPhoto. If you want the duplicate there too, you can bring it back in, yes, but not sure what that gets you.
        Think of iPhoto as a photo organizing program — it isn’t a file organizing program. If what you really want is to organize files, then just stick with the Finder and folders for that.

    7/14/12 @ 2:37 pm

    I too have the same question and I see nothing that helps here. I hear the same response. If i add 3 photos to a folder and now have 20 files in that folder, I dont want to copy the whole folder cause 17 of the pics are already in iphoto. I only want the three new ones added to iphoto in the same event. does iphoto look at all the folders and compare what was previously there and see that 3 new photos are now in that folder and add them to iphoto? I think I am explaining correctly. Please let me know. Thanks

      7/14/12 @ 2:48 pm

      I don’t think it does. I think you will end up with duplicates that way. But you could always try it and see.

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