Speed up iPhoto '09

There's a great tip posted over at macosxhints today for speeding up iPhoto ‘09. Many people have noticed the load time for iPhoto has increased considerably after upgrading to iLife '09, especially if they have lots of photos.

It turns out you can speed things up by "vacuuming" the database that holds all your photos. This is basically just a Terminal command that does a bit of tidying up. Over time the iPhoto database becomes fragmented, with information scattered in various places around the database file amongst regions of empty space. The vacuum command cleans up the database by removing the unnecessary parts and reorganising the file structure.

To vacuum your iPhoto library, start by making sure iPhoto isn't open, and then open up Terminal (located in Applications/Utilities). Firstly, you have to point the Terminal to where your iPhoto Library is using the cd (change directory) command. By default, this should be:

cd "~/Pictures/iPhoto Library"

Paste the above line into the Terminal, then hit return. If your iPhoto Library isn’t in your Pictures folder you will have to adjust the command to your specific needs. Next, to perform the vacuum, use the following command:

for dbase in *.db; do sqlite3 $dbase "vacuum;"; done

As before, just paste this line in then hit return and you're done.

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