Archive for the ‘iLife’ Category

iPhoto 7 wishlist

I’ve just started using Flickr and have found iPhoto 6 lacking in a few respects. Here’s a few things I’d like to see in iPhoto 7:

  • Better keyword implementation
  • Better photo sorting
  • API for plugins

Better keyword implementation
The current implementation of keywords is tedious. New keywords can only be added from iPhotos preferences. And a single keyword can only be added to a photo by dragging it onto a keyword button. As well, it appears that keywords cannot be added using AppleScript because the iPhoto AppleScript dictionary does not allow for keywords to be easily manipulated.

iPhoto 7 should allow new keywords to be added via the main iPhoto interface. In addition, new keywords should be able to be imported into iPhoto 7, eg, a set of keywords describing your geographical location, a group of keywords related to a family that can be shared with other family members, or a group of keywords that relate to a business. Also, keywords should be applied by selecting one or more photos and then choosing one or more keywords.

I believe (though this belief may be wrong) that iPhoto 6 keywords aren’t stored with the photo. That is, in the EXIF metadata for the photo. This means the keywords are lost when you share them. iPhoto 7 should remedy this by storing all keywords internally, but saving specific keywords into the EXIF metadata for individual photos. Also, keywords should be able to be put in a named set, and added to a photo by applying this set to the photo.

To be fair, I don’t know of any other program that does keywords right. Photoshop Elements is tedious to use in this respect too. It’s possible that Aperture and Adobe’s new photo lightroom thingy do keywords right, but they’re professional programs. And if they do, then that’s beside the point – consumers should get ease-of-use with iPhoto too.

Better photo sorting
iPhoto lets you view your photos by title, keyword, film roll and rating. iPhoto also sorts by photos by title, keyword, film roll, rating and date. Almost identical aren’t they? Confused? So am I. My expectation is that I can choose one of these views, and then have the photos within the view sorted in a particular way. But that’s not how it works. Instead, sorting overrides the chosen view. For example, I love the Film Rolls view. But when I choose to sort by keyword or date, the named Film Rolls are removed and all photos are ordered by the chosen sort method. So it seems a View is just a named sort. This isn’t very useable. Apple either need to combine Views and Sorts so that they’re consistent, or make them work as expected.

API for third-party plugins
iPhoto works well with .Mac. But many people don’t use .Mac, and based on the blogosphere it appears the number of .Mac users is decreasing. While iPhoto has an API that allows developers to write plugins, this API is unsupported and not documented. Apple need to publish an API for iPhoto plugins so that services such as Flickr and MySpace can be directly supported. If Apple don’t do this then they will marginalise iPhoto, making it relevant only to a dwindling number of .Mac users, and push users of fast growing social sites like Flickr and MySpace into using other tools.

I’d appreciate your comments about the issues I’ve raised above. Please correct me if I’m confused about how to use iPhoto 6, or add your own wish list of features.

Thanks.