OK, lately I am pretty much kicking myself for not doing a little more research into ways to merge libraries in the Photos app. In years gone by I used an app called iPhoto Library Manager by fatcatsoftware to manage photo libraries. It worked very nicely when I was using the now defunct iPhoto application.
Merging Photo Libraries
A long time ago, in a land far, far away I split my iPhoto library to make it easier to manage. It was a way to “Archive” older photos. Recently, my wife and I decided we wanted all our photos in one library. I checked iPhoto Library Manager, but it only works with the iPhoto app. Instead of doing a little more due diligence and looking for a app solution for this, I just exported all the photos from the smaller library and imported them into the larger library. It brought them in pretty well, but I did lose my edits.
After working with this process for a few days (I have a lot of photos) I noticed a mention of an app called Power Photos on a blog I was reading. I went to their website and discovered it is the newer version of iPhoto Library Manager by the same company!! I could have used this all along! Yikes!
And, that is not all. If you have kept your license of iPhoto Library Manager current you are using version 4 of that software. For people using ver 4 of iPhoto Library Manager the new Power Photos app from fatcatsoftware is free. It uses the same license information. Awesome!! There is an upgrade path for older versions of iPhoto Library Manager. So, how does Power Photos work?
I have decided to divide this article into two editions. In this installment I will show you the basics of how the app works and it’s features. For the second installment (on Monday) I have created two test Photos libraries. I will go through the process of doing an actual merge. Now, let’s get back to Power Photos.
When you first open the Power Photos app you get this window:
Initially, Power Photos takes a minute or two to connect with your main Photos library. Your Photos libraries will be listed in the left sidebar. If you wish to merge Photos libraries you start by clicking on the merge button in the menu bar:
You may wish to click to enlarge the above screenshot so you can read all these options. The app is fairly explanatory. You drag the libraries you wish to merge into the window (#1). Then you choose which main destination library (#2). Next comes handling duplicates (#3). I must admit, I am not sure if I would use this initially. I have other apps that can remove duplicates from Photos. I think this “Duplicate Handling” section might cause the merge to take a long time. However, if you wish to use it then pay close attention to the various settings. You can deal with Duplicates in all kinds of different ways.
Check out the drop down menus at the bottom of this section:
You can determine Duplicates using all kinds of different criteria. And, you can add several criteria categories if you want to get really granular:
At the end of the setup process there are some other general “Options” (#4). Pay close attention to these, they contain some important choices.
I want to mention one more thing here. Power Photos will Migrate old iPhoto libraries into the Photos app as well:
Since I no longer have any iPhoto libraries to migrate I am not sure if this works better than the migration inside the Photos app. But, since people have reported mixed results with the Photos app migration process, I am fairly confident it could not be any worse.
If you have multiple photo libraries don’t merge them manually like I did. “There is an App For That!” Get the Power Photos app for that purpose. If you have to buy a new license it is not cheap at $29.95, but well worth it to handle one of your most valuable possessions, your photos.