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iPhoto is an addition in Mac OS X which I prefer over the traditional method of viewing and collecting photos in Windows. I highly doubt that merely keeping all your pictures in folders justifies a proper photo “album”. Shucks, there goes the infamous “Mac-ego” again. I apologize for that. But still, my stand remains — iPhoto is a joy to use, it’s a great way of viewing pictures and showing off to your friends by encapsulating it within a gloriously beautiful interface.

It does however (sometimes), turn out to be a pain in the ass.

By using a front-line application over your photo collection essentially hides the original files from view. Things may seem fine on the surface, but beneath the application, it could be messier that it seems. And when iPhoto automatically manages your files, that means that you don’t really have full control over the details. To power-freaks, that spells disaster.

I’ve found several plugins which seems to make things more manageable, these are my favorites.

1. PictureSync

This little application helps ease the process of batch uploading pictures over to online albums like Flickr Flickr - Store, Share, Sort & Search Your Photos Flickr - Store, Share, Sort & Search Your Photos Read More , Zooomr and even Facebook MakeUseOf now has a Facebook Fan Page MakeUseOf now has a Facebook Fan Page Read More . It support loads of online services which include:

  • Flickr
  • Fotki
  • ipernity
  • FotoTime
  • 23
  • Shutterfly
  • Zooomr
  • Buzznet
  • Dripbook
  • Webshots
  • Smugmug
  • Gallery G2
  • Kodak Gallery
  • Photobucket
  • Textramerica
  • and VOX

As PictureSync is a stand-alone application, it doesn’t only just work with iPhoto. You may drag-and-drop files from anywhere into it and it’s even integrated with Aperture and Lightroom.

PictureSync is also available for Windows here.

If you are only interested in uploading photos to Flickr directly and you don’t really need any extra applications, then this next plugin is for you (probably needs no introduction).

2. Free Flickr eXporter (FFXporter)

Integrated neatly within iPhoto, this plugin allows you to select the photos you wish to upload and simply choosing ‘Export’ from the File menu. It preserves EXIF data and all other iPhoto descriptions, keywords and ratings.

FFXporter is a free alternative to the widely-known shareware FlickrExport. It may not have the same pretty interface (FlickrExport allows you to preview the photos you are about to upload, whereas FFXporter will only show the number of photos) but it performs the job just as well.

Mark wrote an interesting article about how you can do the oppositedownload photos from Flickr!

Two other plugins worth mentioning at this point is for BubbleShare and Facebook Exporter. The Facebook plugin is pretty much is self-explanatory. BubbleShare is an online photosharing service, much like Flickr. But BubbleShare offers unlimited storage and it’s free.

3. Flash Album Exporter

This is an exciting little plugin. Generally, it will take the photos selected in iPhoto and generate a Flash photo album and a .html page for you. Everything is then placed within a folder so uploading it to your website is easy peasy. So remember, to use this plugin, you must have your own file-hosting service.

You may choose from 6 different album styles – SimpleViewer, PostcardViewer, AutoViewer, BananAlbum, GreyBox and LightBox. All of which are pretty sexy. I doubt there is an easier way to create gorgeous online photo albums (if you know any other method, share it in the comments). Mark (again) wrote a similar article Create Online Photo Albums with Web Album Generator Create Online Photo Albums with Web Album Generator Read More about this for Windows users.

4. Duplicate Annihilator

Back to the control freaks. Sometimes, the thought of having duplicates in my photo album drives me insane. I need my stuff ORGANIZED the way I want it. Medically speaking, it’s a slight tilt towards Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD, for short). The fact that iPhoto has 2 folders (Originals and Modified) doesn’t help. Yes, I realize that it keeps the original files just in case I need to revert the photo back into its unmodified state but over years and after thousands of photos, those original files tends to take up a lot of unneeded space.

Duplicate Annihilator uses some sort of algorithm to automagically rid me of duplicate photos from my library. It does this by comparing filenames, file sizes, EXIF creation date and eventually slims down the whole iPhoto library. Without the extra burden, iPhoto loads a little bit quicker.

5. GrowlPhoto

“Ting, your import is complete.” GrowlPhoto is nothing more than a Growl plugin for iPhoto. It notifies you when the import process is complete. Simple yet precious.

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