I've been using iPhoto for my photos and videos. However, it's become so slow, I'm lucky if it can download my 2 or 3 photos/videos when I leave my computer on overnight. And then I have to often force quit iPhoto even after unplugging my iPhone because it just makes my computer unbearably sluggish.

I'd love it if I can solve this problem, but really iPhoto is not ideal for me anyway. Backing up through dropbox is not seamless. I need to create aliases and each computer needs to have their own folders and cannot share the organization. The organization of the photos and videos is not great either.

I think I have pretty common needs for photo/video management. I also love the iCloud photostream. What's the best photo/video management tool?

2 Answers 2


The only other app on the Mac that can access photostream is Aperture. So your choices are migrate to Aperture - and that's even less designed with sharing in mind - or fix iPhoto. Performance issues like you describe can be down to a number of issues - Disk Space, Ram, bunged up caches and so on. What fixes have you tried?

  • I have 8gbytes RAM and it causes problems even with a fresh restart. I have 500gbytes of free disk space. Otherwise I haven't messed with it much. How can I fix caches?
    – at01
    Mar 27, 2012 at 19:35
  • Inside your ~/library folder note the Caches Folder, nd delete the iPhoto one from within it. You can also try Download iPhoto Library Manager and use its rebuild function. This will create a new library based on data in the albumdata.xml file. Not everything will be brought over - no slideshows, books or calendars, for instance - but it should get all your albums and keywords back. Because this process creates an entirely new library and leaves your old one untouched, it is non-destructive, and if you're not happy with the results you can simply return to your old one.
    – terrydev
    Mar 28, 2012 at 13:15
  • I don't have a ~/library folder
    – at01
    Mar 28, 2012 at 17:02
  • Looks like rebuilding everything, including thumbnails, fixed my speed issues! I did it by simply opening iPhoto while holding down the option and command keys.
    – at01
    Mar 28, 2012 at 18:26
  • @at01: the ~/Library folder is hidden in Lion - you need to use Command+Shift+G in Finder to get the 'Go To Folder' popup and type into the box. Apr 18, 2012 at 19:40

Yes - software for video storage that beats iPhoto in my book is available. I really like ClipStart for managing video permanently on my Mac. I do find myself using iMovie on the phone and the iPad a lot to put together a quick movie, but ClipStart works really well for the findesktop age and organization of all my video. I'll occasionally put my iPhone video into iMovie on the Mac don't prefer it for storing all my video.

On the photo side of things it's really simplest to just keep everything in iPhoto you can make smart albums and such to organize and sequester your iPhone pictures and keep them separate from the DSLR or other single-purpose cameras.

The only exception to this seems to be people who do photography as a serious hobby or professionally. In that case I've seen them use products like Photo Mechanic or Aperture for the serious DSLR pictures and just use iPhoto and ClipStart for storing mobile pictures/video footage. I've seen good editors use Photo Mechanic on an old PPC PowerBook to fly through thousands of pictures without delay it stores pictures in the file system using folders so it's far preferred of you want to know where the pictures are and future proof without needing to export from iPhoto's database. You do lose tight integration with things like photo stream, but lots of good options exist in this software space.

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