Recent versions of iPhoto and Aperture have ditched the open folder system for a more secure "Library" format and, in Lion, Photo Booth takes the plunge as well.

Photo Booth Library
The main reason for the switch from an open folder system to a closed, self-contained library is to keep more inexperienced users from breaking iPhoto by trying to "clean up" their computers.

The old iPhoto library was a mass of confusing folders, with dozens and dozens of folders. There were folders organized by date, with thumbnails, by master versions and more. Users who didn't know any better would frequently try to delete photos by going directly to the iPhoto Library folder and erasing files en masse. All they would do was break iPhoto.

Now all Apple's photo apps: iPhoto, Aperture, and Photo Booth have self-contained "libraries" to keep users out. The photos inside are only supposed to be opened by the applications that created them -- it's just like the file system on the iPad. Invisible, unalterable, and only to be opened by the application that created them.

Steve Jobs' quest to eliminate the file system continues.

Thanks Henry!

Top Rated Comments

kjs862 Avatar
166 months ago
I think Apple should have just used iPhoto to manage photos taken with Photobooth with an Photobooth album, and also use the iPhoto library to store them.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mal Avatar
166 months ago
I dislike the idea if it's just for "keeping people out" since it's a less flexible system, but if it conserves space on the hard drive, it could be an improvement.

Apple has always made things to "keep people out" unless those people knew what they were doing. They've never removed access for those who wanted a way in, however. "Show Package Contents" is still a right-click away. I'm all for throwing out our outdated file system metaphor, however. I'd much rather the computer simply keep a database of files, and offer you a presentation of groupings of files based on what program you're using to access it. Apple's headed in the right direction with iOS, and I think Mac OS X has been headed there slower but for a long time. If the whole concept of the folder-based hierarchy could be eliminated, I feel that computing as a whole could move forward with a better approach. It only remains to be seen who will come up with the next metaphor that will be used.

jW
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
VPrime Avatar
166 months ago
I like the concept. Hide the filesystem on an app basis.
I just hope they don't make it OS wide... Ever ;)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PatrickCocoa Avatar
166 months ago
Wait for it . . .

This thread is over a half hour old and the "you'll take my file system away when you pry it from my cold, dead hands" crowd hasn't shown up yet?

Maybe they're too busy rearranging their files or defragmenting.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
asdf542 Avatar
166 months ago
I can see the Finder (or just the filesystem in general) going the way of Terminal. Still going to be there for those who need it, but the mass majority of consumers won't bother with it.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jowie Avatar
166 months ago
As long as they don't do it with iTunes...
Why not?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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