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iPhoto'08 Printing To Costco Challenge

I recently made a bold decision to move Christy off the PC to Mac OS X Leopard and iLife'08 plus iWork'08.  This will mean the only PC at home would be my work ThinkPad X61 TabletPC.

The migration has been relatively smooth(probably better than going from XP to Vista), but the latest hiccup is the feature in iPhoto'08 to wall off your photos in Apple's iPhoto proprietary document repository that appears to be more locked down to a standard user than the iTunes library.

From what I can tell you can't easily get to individual pictures from the standard file system interfaces, so if you want to print some pictures to Costco via their web interface you have to first export from iPhoto the pictures you want into the Apple file system so the browser can see them.  The older version of iPhoto would let you in the photo library from the file system but the new one does not.  So there is now an extra step that is going to trip up basic users and if you are a new switcher, this will really be frustrating.  On the PC it is pretty darn straight forward to print one's pictures online.

I hope there is a better work around available either by a suggestion from someone smarter than me or a new tool. The Costco website does mention a new Macintosh tool seems to be planned but nothing has been announced. 

The search is on, Christy is not happy. ;-)

UPDATE (12/28/2007): There is a new version that appears to work with iPhoto'08.


Alex Smith

Let me know if you figure this one out.....having the exact same problem.

Steve Holden

I think the fix is the new plugin for Safari:

No Firefox version but good enough for us.



Just thought I would pass along some info in regards to uploading photos. This is still a process outside of the directory panel that will appear on any site requiring upload. First, create a folder for your pics on the desktop that you want to send for processing. Next, while iphoto is open, drag/drop the pics from the iphoto library you would like to process into the desktop folder. After you have dropped all pics into the folder, go to the web site, follow the processes outlined by the online retailer and a search box dialogue screen will appear to select the folder of the photos. Just select the folder for upload (in "Desktop/folder name/") or individual photos to complete the process. You may have already received info like this, but I thought I would add my 2 cents. Regards,


Steve Holden

Rob ... this is a very good work around. Thanks for the suggestion - Steve


It's true that it's a pain that Apple has baked it into the Finder to hide the details of your iPhoto Library. I guess they got too many support calls from people doing bad things in that folder, so they made it harder.

You *can* still get to the actual images inside your iphoto library, though. If you go to that folder (e.g. [your home]/Pictures/), and you right click on the "iPhoto Library" "file" (which is really a folder), click "Show Package Contents" and you will be let inside. However, you will quickly see that your pictures have been segregated into folders upon import that make it harder to get what you want. So, in the end, you'll be back to Exporting or dragging/dropping. Or, do what I do and get the Shutterfly iPhoto plugin and you can upload to Shutterfly directly from your iPhoto program -- then pick your pics up at Target or have them mailed to you.


I found that emailing them from iphoto to works great.

Steve Holden

Jeff ... the email option is a great work around also. Thanks!


I hate to say this, but you are making far more work for yourself than is necessary, particularly if you are using Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. (Remember, this is a Mac, not a PC.)

When you click the "upload" button, you are presented with an Open Dialog. The left most column of the Open Dialog is a a Sidebar similar to the Sidebar in the Finder. If you scroll down far enough in the Sidebar, you will see the word Media followed by three icons--Movies, Music and Photos. Click on Photos and you will have access to all of your images just as you do in iPhoto including all Events and Albums. (You also have access to an images in Photo Booth and Aperture.)

No fuss. No muss. No exporting.

If you are using Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, I would recommend that you follow the suggestion of creating a folder on your Desktop and then merely dragging the pictures you want from iPhoto to this folder.

I would strongly suggest that you avoid following the suggestion to right click on the iPhoto Library icon in your Pictures folder and snoop around in their for your pictures. From iPhoto 1-6 this folder was open which resulted in far too many customers making Genius Bar appoints to undo the damage they caused to their iPhoto Library. Far to easy to delete, rename or move an important data file or image file. SO STAY OUT! Apple locked the folder and turned it into a package for a good reason--to protect you from making more work for yourself than is necessary.


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