Old Toad's Tutorials
Old Toad's Tutorials
No. iP01
 Recover Keywords, Titles, Comments and
Rolls/Events From a Damaged iPhoto Library For a New Library
or Convert to an Earlier Version of iPhoto
When an iPhoto library gets damaged and cannot be resurrected, i.e. “missing” photos cannot be recovered by iPhoto, there is a method to partially reconstruct a new library with the Events retained.

This is also a process that you can take to ensure your keywords and comments are permanently associated/attached to the source files.

Note: If the library cannot be opened by iPhoto then this method will not work as Media Pro requires the library to be open for the cataloging. Additionally, if iPhoto shows zero photos in the library this method may or may not work. You should give it Media Pro a try just in case.
What can be recovered:
• Events (iPhoto 7, 8 and 9) / Rolls (iPhoto 6)
• Keywords
• Comments (iPhoto 7 and 9)
What cannot be recovered:
• Comments (will be written to the file but not read by iPhoto 6 on re-import)
• Ratings
• Albums
• Books
• Slideshow
• Calendars
• Cards
Keywords will not be recovered for the following:
Files that were edited after the keyword was applied, including auto-rotated files if you only import the files in the Originals folder for the new library. That's because iPhoto assigns the keyword to the modified version and not the original file. When Media Pro imports the photos with keywords assigned after editing it assigns the keywords to the modified versions and not the original. Modified files will retain keywords regardless of when the keyword was assigned. Original files will retain their keywords only if they have not been edited.

• Photoshop and Photoshop Elements (psd) files.
Events and Rolls will have the same title because they are being obtained from the subfolders in the old library's Originals folder. However, the event/roll dates may have the current date associated with it instead of the date in the original library. From my limited testing that will occur if there are files in the roll that had been modified outside iPhoto, were not from a digital camera or scanned. In those instances the latest Modified date will be used and that would be the date of import. Here's how:

1 - Download and launch Media Pro and use in the demo mode.

2 - Go to the Menu bar and click on the "Help->Welcome" menu item.

 Figure 1

3 - Select the "Import iPhoto Library" checkbox and click OK. Media Pro will begin processing the last iPhoto library opened so if you have multiple libraries open and close the one you want to convert before starting Media Pro.

 Figure 2

Once the cataloging is complete Control-click on the Originals folder in the Organize-Catalog folders pane and select Update Folder Now from the drop down menu.

This will correct a but in Media Pro and ensure all of the original file have been imported into the catalog. Now do same for the Modified folder if you intend on importing the Modified folder into the new library as well as the Originals folder.

5 - The Media Pro Catalog window will display thumbnails of all the photos in the iPhoto Library all the keywords in the library.

All the albums, slideshows, books, cards, calendars and any other items in iPhoto's left hand pane will be represented as Catalog Sets.

          From iPhoto Library

 From iPhoto 7 Library

6 - Click on the Home button and select all of the thumbnails in the Media Pro catalog (type Command-A).

7 - Go to the Action menu and select the "Sync Annotations.." menu option.

8 - In the Sync Annotations window select “Export annotations to original files” and click the OK button.

   Figure 3

9 - When the syncing is complete close Media Pro.

10 - Launch the iPhoto version you want to convert to with the Option key depressed and create a new library.

11 - Drag the Originals or Masters folder from the old library into the open iPhoto window of the new library.
Do the same for the Modified folder if so desired. However, those modified files will not be
associated with their original counterpart but as a new, individual import.

When the importing is completed you should have a new library with the keywords, titles, comments
and rolls/events from the original library.

I've only run this on a couple of test libraries and there may be situations and/or file types that may not produce the same results. Since this is a non-destructive method the original library will be untouched for further attempts to fix the original library.
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© 2011 Old Toad