Posted Sunday, October 12, 2003

How to Add Photos to an Existing .Mac Photo Album

A reader writes with a question that seems simple at first: "How can I add new pictures from iPhoto to an existing .Mac HomePage album?"

The answer isn't simple at all. You can indeed add photos to an existing album, but it's an awkward process that Apple should streamline.

In short, you have to open your iDisk, find the folder that corresponds to your album, and then copy the new photos to that folder.

Here are the specifics:

Step 1. Choose iDisk from the Finder's Go menu, and type your .Mac name and password when prompted.

Step 2. On your iDisk is a folder named Pictures. Open this folder.

Step 3. Within that folder is another folder named Photo Album Pictures. This is where your HomePage album photos live. Open this folder.

Step 4. Within the Photo Album Pictures folder, you'll find even more folders -- one for each of the albums you've created. Unfortunately, the folders have weird names consisting of dates and times (for example "2002-04-13 12.20.42 -0700"). If you have a lot of albums, it isn't exactly easy to determine which folder matches which album. I used trial and error: I opened a folder then double-clicked an image to see if it was from the album I wanted to change.

Step 5. Once you find the folder that corresponds to the album you want to change, you can add new photos to that folder. You could simply drag them out of iPhoto and into the appropriate folder, but for faster uploading and downloading, you should export them from iPhoto, make them somewhat smaller, and then copy those downsized versions to your iDisk. (See "Exporting Photos by Hand" on page 89 of The Macintosh iLife.)

Step 6. Go into .Mac's album editor, rearrange the order of the photos as desired, and click the Publish button. Even if you don't need to rearrange the photos, you still need to go into the editor and click Publish. Otherwise -- at least according to my experiments -- the new photos won't appear in the album.

Whew! That's more work than it should be. Here's hoping Apple makes this process easier in the future. At the very least, those album folders should have names that somehow reflect with the name you've given to an album.