Archived - iLife: Cannot See iPhoto Files in Other iLife Applications

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.


When you select photos in the Photos pane of iMovie, one or more photos or albums appear to be missing.

When you click Photos in iDVD a message appears in the photos pane: "Launch iPhoto to populate this list."

When you attempt to sync photos to your iPod, iPhone or Apple TV from iTunes, one or more iPhoto album names are not listed in the Photos tab of iTunes.

When you select the option for photos in Front Row, one or more photos or albums appear to be missing.

When you select Desktop and Screen Saver preferences pane in System Preferences, photos or albums do not appear in setup or options.

When you select the Media Browser in another application, photos or albums do not appear in the photos pane of the Media Browser.



  1. Make sure your software is up to date by running Software Update.
  2. Make sure iPhoto has been opened at least once, and that when iPhoto is opened, your albums and photos appear in the iPhoto window.
  3. Make sure there is not an ampersand "&" in the path to the iPhoto library in the Finder. For example you may have moved your iPhoto library to a folder called "photos & movies" or a volume named "Mac & Cheese". If so, remove the ampersand from the volume or folder name or relocate the iPhoto library to another folder or volume that does not have an ampersand in its name.
  4. Try deleting the file from the Preferences folder of your Home folder. Open iPhoto again to re-create this file.
  5. Try recreating the XML file used to populate the photo listing (see steps below).
  6. If you are using iPhoto 5 or later, check to see if you have any album names (especially smart albums) in your iPhoto source list which contains any special characters. Special characters are any character that's not a letter or a number such as an ampersand. Other characters include ^*$#(). If there are albums with special characters, remove these characters and see if this resolves the issue.
  7. Open the iLife applications to see if you are able to browse the iPhoto library properly.
  8. If the issue continues, try renaming iPhoto keywords.*
    1. Open iPhoto preferences.
    2. Select the Keywords button.
    3. Rename each keyword (This can be as simple as adding a 1 to the existing keyword name).
    4. Open the iLife applications to see if you are able to browse the iPhoto library properly.

*Note: Some photos you import may have keywords already embedded within their EXIF data. iPhoto will attempt to add these keywords to your keyword list when you import the photo. However, if the keyword contains an unusual character, or is corrupted in some way, this may cause the XML file discussed above to become unreadable. In turn, this will make the iPhoto list come up as empty or blank in other applications. Renaming the keywords will help you to isolate which keyword or photo might be introducing this issue.

How to recreate the XML File

  1. Quit iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD and iTunes if they are open.
  2. Locate the iPhoto library in the Finder (it's usually in the Pictures folder of your Home folder).
  3. Locate the AlbumData.xml file at the root level of the iPhoto Library folder. If you are using iPhoto '08 or later, you will need to control-click on the iPhoto Library in the Finder and select "Show package contents" to see this item.
  4. Drag the AlbumData.xml file out of the iPhoto Library folder and onto the Desktop.
  5. Open iPhoto.
  6. Create a new album (From the File menu, choose New Album).
  7. Quit iPhoto.

Additional Information

 This applies to the following versions:

  • iMovie 3 and later
  • iDVD 3 and later
  • iPhoto 2 and later
  • iTunes 7.4 and later



Last Modified: Jul 31, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Jul 31, 2012
  • Article: TS1192
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