It may surprise you to know that Apple’s iPhoto app has been around on the Mac since shortly after the turn of the century, back in 2002, about 12 years– and we still haven’t seen version 10.0. And we may not. More on that in a moment.
For Mac users with tens of thousands of photos stuffed into iPhoto through the years there are ways to create and manage multiple iPhoto libraries. The advantages are obvious. Separate personal photo libraries from business. Separate libraries between family members. Separate libraries based on type of photograph. The division options are endless though the methods to the multiple library madness are few.
One is free. Hold down the Option key on your Mac while you click the iPhoto icon in the Dock. You’ll get a pop up dialog box which asks which iPhoto library you want to open. And an option to create a new library.
That’s the free way. The not so free way does more. It’s called iPhoto Library Manager, and it manages multiple iPhoto libraries the right way. Create a new library with a click. Click to load and view any library. Move photos from one library to another.
iPhoto Library Manager lets you browse your iPhoto libraries without opening iPhoto. Copying photos from one library to another preserves the photo’s metadata. iPhoto libraries can be merged or separated.
Got photo duplicates? iPhoto Library Manager can find and de-dupe the dupes. If iPhoto becomes wonky and restless it might be that a library has become corrupted. This clever utility fixes that, too.
If there’s a better way to create and manage multiple iPhoto libraries, I haven’t found it.
Now, why is it possible (if not ‘probable’) that we’ll never see iPhoto version 10.x? Apple previewed a new Photos app for the Mac that is slated to launch sometime early next year. And, in the meantime, has ceased development of iPhoto and the near-pro Aperture app. Supposedly the Photos app will have better photo handling and photo enhancement features than iPhoto, but we won’t know anything for sure until next year.
For now, if you want multiple iPhoto libraries there’s iPhoto Library Manager for pros, and the two free ways to add more libraries.