What's the best way to manage large iPhoto libraries?
I've already kicked the tires on iPhoto Library Manager (www.fatcatsoftware.com/iplm/ ) as well as another tool called iPhoto Diet (www.rhythmiccanvas.com/software/iphotodiet/ ), although neither really serve as a proper iPhoto plugin that automagically handles archival / library pruning.
I've also considered simply storing everything on an external drive, but then I'd have to make sure that that drive is properly backed up in addition to my internal disk (which is already kind of a pain). Fairly inelegant solution though. How do you handle your (large) iPhoto library?
P.S. -Can't wait until we get better software integration on the product db -- tagging this thread as Leopard / Snow Leopard is definitely hacky!
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Looking into Aperture further, it looks like its organization features are also pretty solid and conducive to multi-library setups across a variety of storage locations. See: www.apple.com/aperture/features/#organize
It's really personal preference in most cases and programs that work well for people are ones that fit their workflow that they are used to the best. I know many photographers who like a program called Photo Mechanic which does many similar things but is designed for people who like to manually organize their photos in folders rather than have it automated by something like Lightroom/Aperture/iPhone/etc.
I've done that. Upload all my photos to Picasa, select the option to store original size.
No more backups needed. I basically skip the multiple copy route, no need for laptop storage or external storage. If Google storage goes down I'm screwed but I will take those chances over my own setup.
This is something I've been pondering as well. I have two iPhoto libraries -- a master library on an external drive (with about 65GB in photos), and a "satellite" library on my MacBook Pro with around 10GB or so of photos (some of which are albums synced to my iPhone / iPad).
The issue now is that these two libraries are getting out of sync and it's going to be a huge pain in the rear to resolve. I'm pretty curious about these sorts of solutions. Is it cloud storage? It'd be nice, but not totally ideal (the speed of trying to search through 65GB+ of photos over any sort of internet connection is not a pleasant thought).
I loved the way iMovie let's you split your library on multiple drives and was hoping apple was going to introduce the ability to split an iPhoto library in iPhoto 11 but that didn't happen.
I more or less treat each of these libraries as an archive, point-in-time snap shot of the iPhoto library and back them up into a couple of place - two different external hard drives; one via a copy and the second via TimeMachine. I find that if the current library is too cumbersome - then I create a split and trim the primary library. Having the redundancy on 2 device is nice since years ago on my PC I lost everything and the wife is still on me to this day for loosing the honeymoon pictures. (Better safe the SORRY!!).
p.s. you may also want to look into some of the off-site "cloud" storage options as most offer space for a fairly reasonable price (~$5/month, unlimited), especially if you infrequently access the content. But I'd recommend, this as an additional location to save your files - save locally and save to the "cloud" since some remove content as you do on you machine!
To answer your question, I have 3 recommendations.
1. Use 2 external hard drives, one as a backup and use a cloud service (flickr, smugmug).
2. Use a Drobo and use a cloud service (flickr, smugmug).
3. Just use the cloud.
I still use #1 cause I can't afford a Drobo (they should make a cheaper 2 bay unit) and I don't use #3 cause I'm not 100% comfortable with my cloud options yet.
Keep the oldest libraries on your Drobo and leave your most recent libraries on your Mac.
How does that sound?