Geeky Stuff

Ack! The iPhoto black exclamation screen of death!

I’ve had major problems with missing photos and album inconsistencies with my iPhoto ’06 library whilst running Tiger, but since moving to iLife ’08 on Leopard thing have been working quite well. Until today.

iPhoto black exclamation screen of death

This black exclamation screen made me say, “Ack!” This is what happened.

I had three event albums: x, y, & z.

1. I moved 30 photos from event album from album x into album y.
2. I renamed album x with the title of album y.
3. I then merged event album y event into event album z.
4. 6 photos originally from event x are giving me the screen of death.

A spotlight search reveals that these photos are located in album x and when I go into the edit mode the photos appear. I thought that if I reverted to the original photo in edit mode, iPhoto would relink the thumbnail of the missing photo to the image file. But now when I click on the thumbnail, I get a squished, horizontal photo:

revert to original horizontal squishy photo

Besides being really annoying, this photo makes me look fat. *puts down tub of ice cream* Ok, well I’m off to go read the mac forums. I’ll let you know if I figure it out. I wish there was a simple way of relinking iPhoto to the actual image like you can with video clips in FCP. I really don’t want to rebuild my iPhoto database.

If you are smart and know the answer, please let me know. If you are not smart and just want to share in my iPhoto library misery, please feel free to post me comforting messages.

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  • Reply
    Duane Storey
    January 31, 2008 at 9:59 PM

    iPhoto is full of fail. I hate it. With a passion.

    I need something else, BAD. Let’s all have an iPhoto burning party.

  • Reply
    Brett Peters
    February 1, 2008 at 7:59 PM

    Have you tried rebuilding just the thumbnails (both sizes) on your library?

    Command-Option start iPhoto brings up the dialog to let you rebuild just about everything in iPhoto; you can address the thumbnails without completely rebuilding the database.

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    February 2, 2008 at 5:03 AM

    @Duane — i love and hate iPhoto. but i think for more advanced photography and storing and sorting hundreds of thousands of photos there must be a better system than the touchy feely lameness of events.

    @Brett — a big hi-5! that fixed my screen of death problem. thank you so much for your help!

  • Reply
    Duane Storey
    February 2, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    What I don’t like is that it basically triplicates every photo in your album – it does small versions, original versions, and modified versions. My go through so much hard drive space because of it. I’ve been told aperture is a nice compromise between iPhoto and Photoshop. I’m going to try and find a “test copy” to play with soon.

  • Reply
    February 9, 2008 at 10:44 AM

    you’re not fat.

    Duane, I haven’t used it but I was reading an article about Adobe’s Lightroom ( … sounded interesting and maybe better. I agree that iPhoto’s triplification of photos is annoying.

    (nice to meet you Lisa, I just added your RSS to NNW!)

  • Reply
    Mostly Lisa
    February 10, 2008 at 5:14 AM

    @Duane Storey — it does eat up huuuuge amounts of storage. i’ve been wanting to try Aperture for some time now. this might be a good opportunity to move over. but you can’t knock the ease of really simple editing in iPhoto.

    @micah — nice to meet you too. and thanks for subscribing! i have a few photog friends that have really gotten into Lightroom. i’ll admit to not knowing much about it, but i’ve read some positive reviews of it

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