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Why is iPhoto so darn slow?

by macncheese--2008 / November 1, 2007 3:41 AM PDT

iPhoto takes forever to do just about anything--maybe I have too many photos in it? (I shoot in RAW too which is big). Do I need another photo archiving program and any recommendations?

(I have a MacBook and have upgraded the RAM to the max ... but only iPhoto runs painfully slow and crashes a lot ...)


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Was this always the case?
by grimgraphix / November 1, 2007 4:54 AM PDT

If the poor performance is recent, then have you thought about reinstalling the bundled software from your installation disc?

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it's been a little while
by macncheese--2008 / November 1, 2007 5:29 AM PDT

that it's been so slow. getting worse all the time though. do you think the bundled software would help? i don't even know what that is, but i could check.

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I was just looking at a friend's macbook...
by grimgraphix / November 1, 2007 6:19 AM PDT

... and noticed that his original installation discs offered an option to install just the bundled software instead of the whole OS. I would imagine this would allow you to reinstall your original iLife software (if it had become corrupted somehow).

Warning !!! I do not know if this option allows you to archive your original songs, photos, movies built in iMove, etc. Consequently, if you try this option, you might want to make complete backups of all your photos, songs, etc.

That being said... I googled to see if there was reports of poor performance using RAW images in iLife '06 iPhoto. I found nothing indicating there was some common complaint... consequently, the first thing that comes to my mind is the software may have become buggy. However, I don't shoot RAW so I have no personal experience with any potential problems. Maybe you have so many RAW images that the new iLife '08 may offer you better performance? Or maybe it is time for you to try out Aperture, which by all I have read, is the ideal mac application for managing RAW images (I sound like an advertisement there but - sad to say - apple did not pay me to write that).


Anyway, someone may have better advice than me. I'm assuming that you have repaired permissions on a regular basis, so the only thing I could think of was maybe your software has become slightly corrupted. Reinstallation may tweak it back to a faster performance.

good luck


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I find similar with WMP In Windows.
by Me, Myself and You / November 7, 2007 10:06 PM PST

Windows Media Player in Windows is my favourite player, but it struggles to handle my modest collection which is touching on 5GB of songs. Winamp tends to give me a break, but I don't really like its interface.

Anyway. Some stock programs just don't seem to be able to cut it with larger collections, and since you mentioned your RAW files, I'd consider alternative. I don't personally use iPhoto (my Mac I mainly just use Photoshop) so I can't personally vouch for it.

Me new to Mac so I can't recommend anything else either...

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by bstellar / November 3, 2007 6:46 AM PDT
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You Don't Say..
by lampietheclown / November 12, 2007 10:26 PM PST

... how many files you are talking about, or the size of the library. I don't use raw files, but I've got one library with almost 8000 files, and the library's total size is about 5.5 GB. I wouldn't call it "zippy" (I don't ever call anything "zippy") but it's still useable.


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