Fat Cat Software’s PowerPhotos has long held a spot on my recommendation list, as did its predecessor, iPhoto Library Manager. Both apps can make changes directly within the wacky packages that Apple built for the Photos and iPhoto libraries. They also added features beyond what Apple provides, particularly in letting you merge libraries and export subsets of libraries without losing metadata or editing history.
Fat Cat has upped the ante again with PowerPhotos 2.3, offering a lifeline to users missing support for iPhoto and Aperture migration into Photos in macOS 13 Ventura. Apple dropped that capability from Ventura, assuming rightly that most people have already made the transition in the 8 years since Photos replaced both iPhoto and Aperture. But there could still be hundreds of thousands of people who never got around to it, or who suddenly find a library on an old backup or Mac. Before the release of PowerPhotos 2.3, the only option for Ventura users was to import just the photos stored in iPhoto or Aperture libraries, losing albums, stored edit history, and metadata in the process. That’s better than nothing, of course, but less than ideal.
PowerPhotos developer Brian Webster has made this lifeline broadly available by including library browsing and conversion to a new, standalone Photos library among the features offered with the free version of PowerPhotos. For many people, conversion might be enough. If you want to carry out any more complicated operations—copying, exporting, merging, and so forth—you’ll need a paid license.
You can read more details about how PowerPhotos converts iPhoto and Aperture libraries, plus see a detailed chart of how it differs from Apple’s earlier Photos migration capabilities. The main limitations are that PowerPhotos converts smart albums to regular albums, can’t preserve face data, and requires more disk space to make new copies of the migrated photos. On the plus side, it supports all iPhoto library versions, allows copying of individual photos and albums, and can merge a migrated library into an existing one.
PowerPhotos costs $29.95 for one user on up to two Macs and includes a copy of iPhoto Library Manager for those with Macs old enough that iPhoto and Aperture still work. The free version can be used on any number of Macs.
I’ve been a huge fan of PowerPhotos for all the things it does that Photos lacks, including advanced search, advanced deduplication (a more modest form appeared in the most recent crop of Apple’s operating systems: iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and Ventura), much more extensive export options, and copying images with all their Photos-related associated data intact. This conversion capability is just another feather in an already rather showy cap.