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PowerPhotos review: Take better control of your photo library in Photos for OS X

Glenn Fleishman | Aug. 18, 2015
While Photos is streamlined and zippy compared to iPhoto, its stripped-down approach can be confusing. PowerPhotos takes some of the shock out of Photos for OS X by helping bridge the gap between old and new. Fat Cat Software's app offers assistance in migrating iPhoto libraries, managing multiple Photos libraries, and a different way of viewing images and videos. It's more flexible, to be sure.

With a Photos library selected, PowerPhotos lets you select Moments as items in its navigational column. Albums and Smart Albums are also shown. But where it shines compared to Photos is with its list view and in an middle ground for search between Photos very basic option and Smart Albums.

Click the list icon at upper right, and PowerPhotos shows a thumbnail that can be sized from tiny to enormous, and then a host of associated data, allowing easier scanning through and sorting. By default, it just shows a few items, like Title and Date. But pop into the View > Show Columns items list, and you can add Description, Place, Faces, Size, and more.

This works well in association with its find feature. Type in a word or more, and PowerPhotos searches across all of an image's file data and metadata. But then you can opt to broaden to search across all libraries the app is managing, and narrow to match that text only across Title, Filename, Keywords, Faces, Place, Description, and Moment. While you can achieve this with a single library using Smart Albums in Photos, it's not interactive nor can it provide the compact density of a detailed list.

Bottom line

PowerPhotos is an extremely useful addition as an enhancement for any Photos user trying to perform tasks that fall outside of Photos restricted purview. It's also worth the price for one-time use if you're just trying to move iPhoto libraries over and remove duplicates after doing so across all of them.

Fat Cat offers PowerPhotos for $20 or as a bundle with iPhoto Library Manager for $30. Owners of iPhoto Library Manager 4 get PowerPhotos at no cost. Fat Cat may add a Photos library merge later, but it's not guaranteed as a future feature.

 

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