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FYI - Huge Spotlight Bug.

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FYI - Huge Spotlight Bug.
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Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Hampshire (the original one)
2005-05-12, 06:43

I haven't found this anywhere on the forum so here goes:

Here are instructions on how to break spotlight in one easy step:

Open iPhoto, find a picture you know you have edited in the past. Click "Revert to Original" and vóila!! Spotlight will now be completely unable to find any keyworded images!!

Nice one Apple.

There is a fix on the Apple support forums & loads of people seem to be having various Spotlight related problems.

The fix should you need it is:

1. Open iPhoto and create a new Keyword. "Spotlight" is ideal.
2. Select all of the images in your library then assign them the new keyword.
3. Quit iPhoto. Spotlight now re-indexes all the images in your library and works again for all the keywords you may have.
4. Open iPhoto and go to Keywords in preferences.
5. Delete the "Spotlight" keyword you just created and this removes it from all the images in your library but Spotlight still works for the rest of your keywords & the problem is fixed.

Considering Spotlight is marketed as the killer app, you'd have thought this fairly easy-to-duplicate bug would have been found straight away...

Last edited by Gizzer : 2005-05-12 at 07:54.
Less than Stellar Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
Send a message via AIM to torifile  
2005-05-12, 09:02

Seems to me like an iPhoto bug rather than a spotlight one. There are a LOT of apps that don't work with Spotlight. That doesn't mean that spotlight is broken.

Sucks nonetheless, but blame where blame is due and all that good stuff...
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: SF, CA
2005-05-12, 09:37

I don't think it's specifically the "Revert to Original" action that's causing the issue, as I've applied that fix numerous times because it seems to be temporary for me. I've stopped doing it and will simply wait for an update to iPhoto that will allow the metadata to be exposed properly.
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Hampshire (the original one)
2005-05-12, 10:02

I guess it's debatable whether it's Spotlight that's faulty or iPhoto. Either way, Spotlight stops working as intended.

I read on the Apple forum that the Keyword metadata doesn't actually get written to the images themselves but rather to a separately maintained iPhoto database. That seems wierd to me. I thought .jpg's and other modern image formats now have the facility to add metadata in to the files themselves or am I wrong? Surely that's a better solution than maintaining a separate db that can potentially corrupt or fall out of step?

...Still on a Spotlight note, apparently users that are having other problems with spotlight report that Finder also becomes affected so you can't search that way either, until the Spotlight index is completely rebuilt.

Roll on 10.4.1
Multi-touch Piñata
Join Date: May 2004
2005-05-12, 11:46

Why bother adding keywords if a simple transfer to another computer loses them all?

Are you sure they aren't added to the image files themselves?
Likes his boobies blue.
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
2005-05-12, 12:29

Because as it currently stands, iPhoto handles the keywords itself. It *has* to, since it runs on 10.3 systems.

Remember, iPhoto has not yet been updated to use the attributes or metadata in 10.4. Expect to see that migration in iLife'06.
#IRC isn't old school... Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
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