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iphoto alternativeIf you have hundreds of photos on your computer and want to organise them using iPhoto – you’ll probably be banging your head against the nearest wall in no time. The fact alone that you have to import your photos into the application before organising them makes iPhoto an inconvenient app to use.

If you want the organisational changes that you made to your albums and photos to be reflected in the Finder, then iPhoto certainly isn’t the app for you. If you’re looking for a more convenient way to organise your photos, the free Mac app, Lyn makes getting the job done very easy.


Its intuitive and easy-to-use interface will have your photo library organised in no time at all, making it a great alternative to iPhoto. Photos can be displayed in one of three ways. As large thumbnails:

iphoto alternative

As small thumbnails, with a large preview of the selected image:

better than iphoto

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Or as a list of very small thumbnails and the photo’s EXIF data:

better than iphoto

When viewing large or small thumbnails, you can easily access the photo’s EXIF data in a convenient sidebar, by clicking on the blue information button in the top right hand corner of the screen.

better than iphoto

While there is no one-click way to import all of your photos from a camera to Lyn, you can still access all of the files from the camera and do a quick drag-and-drop to get the job done.

free iphoto alternative

Opening any given photo allows you to zoom in and out, show the image’s actual size, rotates the image, and opens it in full screen, amongst a few other options.

free iphoto alternative

Lyn’s strength is in its layout. The menu of directories and folders makes it much easier to drag and drop images from one folder to another.

free iphoto alternative

The application gives you full control when organising your photos as you would want them in your folders – a feature that is sorely lacking from iPhoto. Any change made in Lyn is reflected in the Finder.

Create new folders, move and delete images quickly from the comfort of one screen without having to switch from one Finder window to the next. If you need to locate the image in your Finder, Lyn makes it as easy as possible.

While it is possible to delete images directly from within Lyn, using the keyboard shortcut, CMD-Delete, you can’t delete folders. That said, it is a small inconvenience as you can easily do this from the Finder. Another con to using Lyn is that it displays all files in any given folder, whether or not they are images.

Lyn supports a wide variety of images, including JPEG, TIFF, PNG, animated GIF and Raw. The app also allows you to display beautiful full screen slideshows of your photos.

Lyn’s preferences are limited mainly to the way that it displays and opens images, as well as the general display of the app’s fonts and colours.

iphoto alternative

Lyn is in public beta until December 1, 2010, so hurry up and download it while you can.

If you are looking for some some basic editing features, along with the ability to organise your photos, then Picasa How To Edit Your Photos in Google Picasa How To Edit Your Photos in Google Picasa Read More is your best bet. Not only does it give you an easy way to organise Introduction To Google Picasa: View, Folders and Toolbars Introduction To Google Picasa: View, Folders and Toolbars Read More , Picasa also has the added advantage of allowing you to sync your photos to your online Google account, giving you a quick and easy way to back up your images.

What app do you use to organise your photos? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Daniel Dillon
    February 14, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    With Lyn, you can import files from your camera, ipod, ipad (any device). In the left sidebar, under Devices, select your device. At the bottom of the main window, there are config options. Browse to the folder to which you desire to import your files. Only selected files will import, so before you hit the Import button, select the files you intend to import. The import function does not move files, it copies them. After the import, verify that the files are now safely stored on your computer. So now you can, if you wish, safely delete the files from your device. Before you delete the files on your camera, verify that they were actually copied. If you forget to select the files and hit Import, you will not get any glaring feedback that nothing actually happened. The makers of Lyn should correct this. If you then delete the photos from your camera, you are screwed.

    Unless your irreplaceable photos exist in 3 separate geographic locations, they do not exist. So make a backup onto a remote hard-drive monthly and store it at your parent's house. Also synchronize your photos folder with an online backup service like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, etc.

  2. Thomas Moine
    February 7, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Argh ! Lyn is very nice but it can copy pictures !!! >>> having the same picture in several folders !!! A fonction like command+select by click the pictures I want then right click + copy (or hold a key and drag) to another folder would be ROYAL.

  3. Thomas Moine
    February 7, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Argh ! Lyn is very nice but it can copy pictures !!! >>> having the same picture in several folders !!! A fonction like command+select by click the pictures I want then right click + copy (or hold a key and drag) to another folder would be ROYAL.

  4. Anonymous
    December 14, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    While I came here to see what new software might offer, I can say, while iPhoto is not the fastest, it certainly packs punch, even when compared to Picasa. I can organize, edit, and upload all while having the option to revert. Space is not at a premium for me, as 500GB+ drives are standard in most modern desktops, and a 1TB external, should you need that much space, are available for $99. I like Picasa for it's sharing aspects, but it's more fun to select a few photos and make a neat email to share, rather than just a pile of images to browse through. Also, it makes sense, for me anyway, to load what I want into iPhoto (you don't have to dump everything from your camera into it, just Command+click and "import selected") and then export what I want to Picasa to share. That way all the duplicate, blurry, and otherwise redundant or unintersting pictures get omitted and what I share is the cream of the crop.

    I think the Nancy is showing Lyn as more of a visual interface for manually organizing photo files, which is okay if that's what you want to do. iPhoto does the same thing behind the scenes, only it adds small thumbnails, originals, modifications and the like. I like the option to edit my photos too, and add effects for fun when appropriate, rather than firing up photoshop just to get a Sepia photo with a vignette.

    I'm glad there is options for everyone, but I'm sticking with iPhoto!

  5. dizzle66
    December 14, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    While I came here to see what new software might offer, I can say, while iPhoto is not the fastest, it certainly packs punch, even when compared to Picasa. I can organize, edit, and upload all while having the option to revert. Space is not at a premium for me, as 500GB+ drives are standard in most modern desktops, and a 1TB external, should you need that much space, are available for $99. I like Picasa for it's sharing aspects, but it's more fun to select a few photos and make a neat email to share, rather than just a pile of images to browse through. Also, it makes sense, for me anyway, to load what I want into iPhoto (you don't have to dump everything from your camera into it, just Command+click and "import selected") and then export what I want to Picasa to share. That way all the duplicate, blurry, and otherwise redundant or unintersting pictures get omitted and what I share is the cream of the crop.

    I think the Nancy is showing Lyn as more of a visual interface for manually organizing photo files, which is okay if that's what you want to do. iPhoto does the same thing behind the scenes, only it adds small thumbnails, originals, modifications and the like. I like the option to edit my photos too, and add effects for fun when appropriate, rather than firing up photoshop just to get a Sepia photo with a vignette.

    I'm glad there is options for everyone, but I'm sticking with iPhoto!

  6. belgske
    December 10, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    It is not because I gave up windows and use a imac now I have to give up gmail ?
    Same for those other platform independant solutions that work well and sometimes better than mac originals.. As a matter of fact I prefer software that is available for multiplatform so I can use it anywhere on any computer no matter if it is a Mac or Windows or Linux.
    The thing I dislike most about iphoto is that you have to import all the pictures and buildl its own library taking a lot of hd space. Picasa leaves the pictures in place where you put them .And in my case this is a folder shared with family members.

  7. Zalman
    December 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    iPhoto was and is the BEST for organizing photos the Mac-Way. Even PSE doesn't do this job as good as iPhoto. Can Lyn do simple editing ? NO. What else can Lyn do that iPhoto can not??? NOTHING ?!!!
    Regarding picasa...what the point of using Mac with applications which are not only not designed with Mac-in-Mind, but also are not written in cocoa? Why some people here use Mac at all I wonder?

    • nm
      December 4, 2010 at 7:20 am

      Zalman - iPhoto may suit your needs but it doesn't suit everyones needs - it certainly doesn't mine. Just because Apple offers us specific software doesn't mean we have to use it and not look elsewhere for alternatives.

    • belgske
      December 10, 2010 at 4:26 pm

      It is not because I gave up windows and use a imac now I have to give up gmail ?
      Same for those other platform independant solutions that work well and sometimes better than mac originals.. As a matter of fact I prefer software that is available for multiplatform so I can use it anywhere on any computer no matter if it is a Mac or Windows or Linux.
      The thing I dislike most about iphoto is that you have to import all the pictures and buildl its own library taking a lot of hd space. Picasa leaves the pictures in place where you put them .And in my case this is a folder shared with family members.

  8. Zalman
    December 3, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    iPhoto was and is the BEST for organizing photos the Mac-Way. Even PSE doesn't do this job as good as iPhoto. Can Lyn do simple editing ? NO. What else can Lyn do that iPhoto can not??? NOTHING ?!!!
    Regarding picasa...what the point of using Mac with applications which are not only not designed with Mac-in-Mind, but also are not written in cocoa? Why some people here use Mac at all I wonder?

  9. Artdog
    November 16, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Hmm. "Lyn is in public beta until December 1, 2010, so hurry up and download it while you can." A link would have been a nice idea. Something called "lyn" is not exactly easy to find.

    • nm
      November 16, 2010 at 2:31 pm

      The link is in the second paragraph of the article. In any case, it's http://lynapp.com

  10. nm
    November 16, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    The link is in the second paragraph of the article. In any case, it's http://lynapp.com

  11. Fretwellian
    November 14, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Looks pretty good, definitely better than iPhoto. But the only reason I started using iPhoto was so I could organise my photos for carrying around on the iPad/iPhone. I'm guessing I won't be able to replace iPhoto just yet.

    • nm
      November 15, 2010 at 3:43 pm

      Actually you don't have to use iPhoto to sync your photos to your iPad. By using an app like Lyn - you would have all your photos organised in folders anyway and you could just sync the specific folders that you want.

  12. Anonymous
    November 14, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Picasa. There's not a lot of choice in the mac world for photo organization that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I'll have to check out Lyn. Thanks for the tip.

  13. Belgske
    November 14, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I never used Lyn but replaced iphoto with google's picasa, it includes many more features: online albums sharing, editing (with ethernal undo, so you can always go back to the orignal), albums, tagging, face recognition, multiplatform and free :))
    We share an imac among 4 family members and keep most pictures in one folder structure based on date but can organise and edit pictures with picase individually.

    • nm
      November 15, 2010 at 3:35 pm

      I agree that Picasa is a great replacement for iPhoto and Preview but it comes with a lot of extra bells and whistles. If your main aim is to organise your photos, Lyn serves as the perfect alternative.

  14. hereitcomesagain
    November 14, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Have been using GraphicConverter. Will look at Lyn, though. Like the layout, as you say.

  15. Belgske
    November 14, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I never used Lyn but replaced iphoto with google's picasa, it includes many more features: online albums sharing, editing (with ethernal undo, so you can always go back to the orignal), albums, tagging, face recognition, multiplatform and free :))
    We share an imac among 4 family members and keep most pictures in one folder structure based on date but can organise and edit pictures with picase individually.

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