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Migrating from iPhoto to... what?

Digital Photography - MacRumors Forums -
I have an iPhoto library that contains about 65,000 images. I rely heavily on iPhoto's proprietary features, and have been since I started using the first version of iPhoto when Apple released it well over a decade ago. Apple's concept of a well-designed "digital shoebox" has proven itself invaluable, time and time again.

My family has an interesting arrangement. I have iPhoto 9.6.1 installed on my iMac. My other family members use iPhoto 9.6.1 on a MacBook Pro. I upgraded both machines to MacOS 10.12 Sierra recently. Both machines use the same iPhoto library (library stored on an external portable hard drive), plugged into either computer (one at a time) via USB cable.

Now on Sierra, and so far, iPhoto is still working.

I am aware that iPhoto is EOL'd, meaning Apple no longer supports it. This is tremendously disappointing, as Apple's new official Photos app seems to be more like iPhoto Lite, or iPhoto 2004. I have a lot of time and effort invested in organizing Events with titles that I wrote like highly abbreviated summaries. I also have alot of newspaper-style prose captions stored as metadata in the Comments pane for quite a few photos. I store this information, and more, for family members, volunteering for local civic organizations, events planning, and work projects.

I am deeply concerned that migrating from iPhoto to Photos will ruin all that metadata and organization permanently. I have roughly 65,000 images in my iPhoto library, dating back to before the beginning of the first version of iPhoto. (I bought my first digital camera in November 2001.)

Will I be forced to migrate to Photos? If so, will all that valuable metadata (possibly thousands of photos) be lost? Is there any way to avoid this?

If Photos is not the answer, what consumer-based digital photography solution is available for Mac, Android-based smartphone (running Android 6), and iPad Mini (running iOS 11) can be used to reliably organize and manage a library of this size?

Date: Oct 11, 2017   


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