How To: Access your iPhoto ’08 Library from your browser

Since iPhoto ’08 came out back in August, I’ve had mixed feelings on its new features.

I’m not a huge fan of Events and there are lots of little things that just annoy me now. One of which is that the iPhoto library now exists as a “package” instead of a readily accessible set of folders. Even after doing “Show Package Contents” on the library file it can get pretty hairy trying to actually get to the raw photographs.

Generally the only time I really have a desire to get to said files is when using a browser to upload photos. You can’t just navigate to your library files and grab the picture you want. There is a way to make it possible, though and it’s fairly straight forward.

1. Access the iPhoto Library Folder

iPhoto Library

Control-click (or right-click) on the iPhoto Library file and choose “Show Package Contents.”

iPhoto Library

2. Create Folder Aliases

After doing “Show Package Content” you should now see the folders and files contained in the package.
iPhoto Library

You’ll see two folders, “Modified” and “Originals,” which contain the actual photo files that iPhoto uses. These folders contain sub-folders which seem to be, for the most part, identical to the Events you might have set up. These are the folders we want access to when getting single files to upload in a browser.

What we have to do is create a folder alias to give us access directly to these folders outside of the iPhoto Library package.

Control-click on the “Modified” folder and choose “Make Alias” from the contextual menu. Leave it named “Modified alias” and then drag the new alias folder to the same directory that your iPhoto Library is in.

Repeat this for the “Originals” folder.

You can then rename the aliases to whatever you choose. You should end up with something like this:
iPhoto Library

3. Access the Files

Chances are the aliases still won’t give you access to the files when you are just in the Finder, but they will work when you are using a browser to open them.

Take a site like Flickr, for example. I’d like to upload a few of the original photo files to my account. I’m presented with the “Choose File” upload buttons and I can now access the files from within the browser:
iPhoto Library

And there we have it! It’s definitely a bit of a hack job for what should be a simple task, but until Apple changes this format we seem to be stuck with this solution.

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