Apple recently announced it will cease development of Aperture and iPhoto. Users can migrate their current library into the new Photos editing app included with Mac OS X 10.10. We recommend running a backup before starting any data migration. Read this article on tips for backing up your library before the move.
Library Contents: What To Look For
Your actual library is called “iPhoto Library.photolibrary” or “Aperture Library.photolibrary.” Mac OS X handles these libraries as packages, hiding the folders within. However, CrashPlan sees iPhoto and Aperture libraries as folders. Below is an example of how your library appears the CrashPlan app’s file selection. This folder contains information that OS X hides:
Why all these files?
iPhoto and Aperture rely on metadata and non-destructive techniques to manage changes made to your photos. This is important to remember when restoring iPhoto and Aperture data: if you only restore photos, and not your photo library, then your events and edits won’t be restored.
Shoe Box Analogy
Think of having all of your photos in one big shoe box. This is your library. When you go through this shoe box, you may separate each event with rubber bands or slips of paper. When you crop a photo, instead of using scissors, you decide to cover up the parts you don’t want to see with sticky notes.
In iPhoto, your events and edits are stored in your library as metadata alongside your photos. None of your photos are actually cropped or re-colored unless you explicitly tell iPhoto to do this. iPhoto keeps notes on what you want to have your photos look like and shows those settings “on the fly” when you look at them.