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Organizing Movies In iPhoto '08 With Smart Albums

written by: Donny Yankellow•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 8/25/2009

I have a three-month-old baby at home, and since he was born I have been taking a lot of video. Some of the video is taken with a regular digital movie camera and I use iMovie to organize those videos. However, most of the movies I take are through my digital still camera which are imported into iPhoto when I download photos. After a month of taking videos I found I had all of these movies scattered throughout iPhoto, and it was too time consuming to search through the photos to find the movies. That is when I decided to make a Smart Album.

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    How to make your Smart Album

    A Smart Album in iPhoto will allow you to have an album that automatically fills itself based on certain restrictions you set up when creating the album. My Smart Albums are set up to collect any movie files created after our baby’s birthday. Smart Albums are not just for movies, they are for photos also; but for the purpose of this article I am focusing on movies.

    Setting up a Smart Album in iPhoto is easy. In the File menu choose “New Smart Album." (image 1). You will then be presented with a dialog window to set up the parameters of your album. You’ll want to enter a name for the album to help you find your files later. In the “Match the following condition" section you will find pull down menus to set the restrictions on your album. You can add restrictions by clicking the ~ez_ldquo+ez_rdquo~ sign. Restrictions can be set up to filter files by date, file types, ratings (if you rate your photos and movies), keywords (if you use keywords for your files), file size, and more. (image 2). If you want to remove a restriction just click the “-" button next to that restriction.

    Some of the restriction categories will require you to enter additional information. For example, you might want the album to find movies that contain the word “baby" in the title. Another smart album might just collect files from 2008. The choice is up to you.

    To collect my movies my Smart Album is set up with the following restrictions:

    To collect movies files select “Photo is Movie." iPhoto thinks the movie files are photos, so you have to tell it to pick out those that are movie file types.

    Date is after 3/12/2008. The baby was born on 3/13, so I want movies from that date forward.

    Date is before 6/29/2008. I just made a DVD in iDVD with all of the movies collected to 6/29. I put this restriction in to stop collecting any new movies, and I made a new Smart Album to collect movies after 6/29. (image 3)

    Once your restriction are set, click “OK" and all files fitting the restrictions will automatically go right into the album. Any new content added to iPhoto matching these restrictions will automatically be added to the Smart Album.

    Smart Albums appear in the same column as your other albums. The only difference is that these albums will be purple and have a little gear graphic on the album cover. (image 4)

    If you decide you don’t want a certain Smart Album in your library anymore just click the album and press “Delete" on your keyboard.

    That’s about it. Smart Albums are easy to set up, and a great way to help organize your iPhoto library.

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