Tips for Installing iPhoto 5

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Derrick Story

Derrick Story
Jan. 22, 2005 09:35 AM

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iPhoto 5 is now available, and those of you who pre-ordered iLife '05 should have it in your hands. I have a few tips to help make your transition a smooth one.

The entire iLife '05 package requires a fair amount of disk space. And if you purchased iWork also, even more will be required. But you don't have to install the entire suite of apps at once. Digital photographers my want to start with iPhoto 5 and the new version of iDVD. Once you see the storage impact, you can add GarageBand and iMovie HD later.

During the installation process, keep an eye out for the "Customize" button. By clicking on it, you can choose the iLife apps that you initially want installed.

Back up your existing iPhoto Libraries on to an external hard drive before you launch iPhoto 5. Unless you've moved it, the iPhoto Library folder should reside inside your Pictures folder in your Home directory.

If you have more than one Mac, I would only upgrade one of them to iPhoto 5 initially. Live with iPhoto 5 for a while before deciding to upgrade the other machines. I'm going to keep iPhoto 4 on one of my Macs for archiving purposes, so I don't have to "Upgrade" an old library just to view its images. At some point, I may upgrade everything to iPhoto 5 compatibility, but not this week.

Even after you upgrade to iPhoto 5, continue to use good file management backup procedures. In addition to uploading my new images into iPhoto 5, I also copy then to a separate FireWire drive and label those folders as my "Masters." When it comes to file management, better to be safe than sorry.

If you want to learn more about how iPhoto 5 handles RAW files and QuickTime movies, see my article, A RAW Look at iPhoto 5.

Finally, have fun! This new version of iPhoto is wonderful, and I'm sure you're going to enjoy it.

Derrick Story is the author of The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers, The Digital Photography Companion, and Digital Photography Hacks, and coauthor of iPhoto: The Missing Manual, with David Pogue. You can follow him on Twitter or visit