Posted Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Tiger and iLife '05, Part 1: Spotlight on iPhoto

Tiger is here—have you upgraded? Me neither. I have installed Apple's latest operating system on a couple of my testbed machines, but I'm holding off on upgrading my main work box while the dust settles. I'm following the brilliantly practical advice outlined by Adam Engst in the latest TidBITS.

But I'm anxious. Tiger holds some great things for iLife users, and this post is the first in a series that describes some of the benefits of Tiger for iLife users.

Spotlight on iPhoto
Every serious Machead is talking about Tiger's Spotlight search capabilities. Spotlight works beautifully with iPhoto 5 (specifically, with iPhoto 5.0.2—you must install this update if you want to use Spotlight to find your photos). You can search for images by typing part of the text that appears in their iPhoto titles, comments, or keywords. Choose an image in Spotlight's list of results, and your Mac switches into iPhoto and opens the image in edit view.

You can even search for metadata associated with an image. Looking for all the shots you took with your Sony 828? Type Sony DSC-F828 in Spotlight's text box.

You might say Spotlight provides a better search feature than iPhoto itself.

There's so much more to say about Spotlight and iPhoto. For example, you can view a slide show of the images that Spotlight finds. You can narrow down your search by typing additional keywords. And you can create smart folders that save your search criteria for future use.

I'll have more to say about these features and the rest of Tiger's benefits for iLife users in future posts. And note: Some users have reported problems with Spotlight not indexing iPhoto's library properly. It's working like a charm for me, but if you're having woes, you might find some pain relief here.