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The sad state of Mac OS X Photo Management Software

I gave iPhoto an honest try, and I’m going back to Picasa on the PC for managing my photos.. iPhoto is just a ridiculously bloated, silly excuse for a photo management program, especially when you have a very large library. It has been acting up ever since I got it and things have not gotten better.

Is there alternative photo organizer software for OS X? iPhoto is driving me nuts. I’m not interested in anything that costs money — just a reliable free download that will organize and display photos. Thanks.

iPhoto Alternatives?? | Ask MetaFilter

I may give some of these programs mentioned in the link a try – I installed Lightbox. It’s plenty fast, but it struck me more as a RAW camera conversion software that “grew” into a photo management program. The problem is that it can’t do simple things like rotating the pictures with the keyboard.

I’ll probably try iView when I get a chance. But Picasa is free, so shelling out $40 for something that is better on the PC side for free makes me feel like a fool. What I wish for is Picasa for the Mac 🙂 Maybe when I upgrade my OS I will try iPhoto again, because I really don’t want to stay on the PC.

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  1. neil

    Yeah, iPhoto is a joke.

    I’ve been using Adobe’s Lightroom a lot recently. It’s really, really nice. I used to have a set of bash scripts that helped me with my photos when I lived in Linux-land, and Lightroom is nearly as sensible as my blue-sky bash scripts were.

    Lightroom is clearly designed as a lightweight photo editor with a heavy bias towards RAW, but that’s exactly how I use it. The current version is missing some features, but I don’t miss them (I think you can hook up external editors, but I’m not sure how that work with RAW photos… would it rasterize the current photo and export that? that would not be cool. I haven’t played with external editors at all. I guess I’m just the most awesome photographer on the planet :).

    And, you don’t need to use your mouse. Ever.

    I have no idea how much it will cost when it goes 1.0, but probably a couple hundred bucks. I’m about to import all my photos into lightroom and use that as my main tool. We’ll see how it handles 100GB of photos.

  2. Rob Meyer

    I must have a magic copy of iPhoto. It’s fast enough, does 80% of what I want (which is 75% more than I had before), and is free…what am I missing?

    I should add that I also use the “Keyword assistant” plug in because it’s way, way better UI for updating keywords:

    and “Galerie” for creating web output:

    Both are still free though. The only things I want it to do are have a bit better basic correction tools in it’s internal editor, ability to batch correct photos, and it would be dang nice if the text dialog box would actually have the window focus after hitting command-shift-b after selecting a bunch of photos to add a title to. I only have about 7GB/3500 photos currently…don’t know how it scales, but supposedly iPhoto 6 takes care of that.

    What operation/operations are people doing with iPhoto that suck so bad that I’m missing?

  3. Hackerdude

    Just basic scrolling is a pain. It’s a bit better now that I have 1Gb RAM, but just running top on a terminal while navigating my library revealed 3.0GB RAM utilization when simply scrolling down my library. Coming from Picasa, which is extremely fast even on older PCs, it was really a shock.

    Now that I have some RAM I’m willing to try it again, but the memory consumption still worries me.

    Supposedly the iPhoto on iLife 06 “scrolls like butter”. Maybe when I get my intel mac.. 🙂

  4. robert

    yeah, i agree, iphoto sucks. i even have iphoto 6, and it still sucks. picasa on the mac would be so perfect. as it is now, i use my pc for exactly one thing. photo management. as media centric as os x is, one would think photos would be no problem. sadly, this is not the case.

  5. Rueka

    Agreed, iphoto is crap. I’m using an old 450mgz Cube and have 800mb of ram and it is like plowing a deep field with a sick mule. I actually find it easier to just store all my photos in about a dozen organized folders and view them in Preview. If the folder size isn’t to big then the speed is fine. I edit everything with adobe photoshop or Image Tricks (freeware) and link the folders I want on my screensaver through a maze of alieses tied to one folder. It is an ungainly system but I find it gives me complete control of my images and actually works a lot faster than iphoto if. I can’t belive there is no functional photo app for Mac that doesn’t cost a fortune. Itunes works great and deals with larger files and macjournel wonderfully organizes many gigs worth of documents (with photos) I am sure this can be done. If iphoto simply did not load every single file but narrowed itself to the folder you wanted to see this would save a lot of time and ram. Where are the options? Where are the useful preferences? For now I leave it nested and hibernating in the back of my applications folder waiting for something to happen.

  6. Paul

    As a long time Linux user (11 years) and a new Mac user, I totally agree. Albeit my Mac is pretty ancient (G4 DA), but it actually works great. My beef is with iPhoto 06’s interface – no easy way to import because it dumps everything into a single “root” album. When you drag stuff into your own albums, it’s hard to tell what you have dragged and what you haven’t. I even tried Kodak’s Easyshare and IT was better than iPhoto, but the inline viewer sucked. JetPhoto is really nice, but has no “macro” view – you can only view one album at a time. I loved Picasa on my Linux box, but as mentioned earlier, why do multimedia management on another platform when it is supposed to be Mac’s specialty. I’ll have to organize in Finder until I can afford a new Intel mac and then I can use Picasa.

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