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Topic: Where does (what folder) iTunes store synced photo albums on hard drive?

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Old 05-24-2009, 02:49 AM
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Where does (what folder) iTunes store synced photo albums on hard drive?

Hello,

Recently, after messing around in my ROOT directory with DiskAid on my iphone 3g, I accidentally deleted all my photo album pictures. However, I havent synced my iphone since to my PC so in iTunes all the stored photos still remaining on that hard drive.

I've done alot of searching on the internet but havent found anything useful to answer my question... I know it would be too easy just to keep them in a /PHOTO ALBUM folder, so I am assuming there are either encoded or renamed, and/or stored in a hidden folder of sorts..

So, if anyone should know where the folder that holds the photos synced from the iPhone is and can tell me I would greatly appreciate it. I dont mind renaming all the files if I have to, I just need to know where they are stored on the PC's hard drive.

To briefly clairify, i am NOT asking what folder the photos are located in on the iPhone (I already found that out after I erased all of them), I am asking where iTunes holds them on the hard drive. Furthermore, I realize I can do a RESTORE on my iphone and retrieve them all , however I'd prefer to avoid that as I would have to reinstall all my jailbroken apps. Anyone that can help me I would sure appreciate it. Regards to all.

Auf w.
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Old 05-24-2009, 01:12 PM
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Wow -- what an astonishingly poor choice for a screen name :-(

When iTunes loads photos to an iPod, it pre-digests all the images by resampling them (for iPod screen, TV screen, iPod thumbnails, and one other use I can't recall) and stores them in cache folders as ".ithmb" files, along with an "index" file named "Photo Database" that catalogs the cache. The cached images and index file are stored in a folder named "iPod Photo Cache" at the top level of the folder that contains the original photos (i.e. they are not stored "in iTunes").

So if your originals are stored at C:\Glorious Aryan Photos, then the iPod version of those files -- the files that iTunes actually loads onto the iPod -- are stored at C:\Glorious Aryan Photos\iPod Photo Cache. Note that these ".ithmb" files are not the same files that get added to the iPod/iPhone: during the sync process the hundreds/thousands of computer-housed .ithmb files are combined into 3 or 4 massive .ithmb files -- along with a new index file and other support files -- for use by the iPod. (In short, if you try to copy the computer's .ithmb files and index to the iPod, you will get unexpecetd results ;-)

To put them back on the iPhone, just sync. The iTunes "Help" menu has more info....
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Old 05-24-2009, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S2_Mac View Post
Wow -- what an astonishingly poor choice for a screen name :-(

When iTunes loads photos to an iPod, it pre-digests all the images by resampling them (for iPod screen, TV screen, iPod thumbnails, and one other use I can't recall) and stores them in cache folders as ".ithmb" files, along with an "index" file named "Photo Database" that catalogs the cache. The cached images and index file are stored in a folder named "iPod Photo Cache" at the top level of the folder that contains the original photos (i.e. they are not stored "in iTunes").

So if your originals are stored at C:\Glorious Aryan Photos, then the iPod version of those files -- the files that iTunes actually loads onto the iPod -- are stored at C:\Glorious Aryan Photos\iPod Photo Cache. Note that these ".ithmb" files are not the same files that get added to the iPod/iPhone: during the sync process the hundreds/thousands of computer-housed .ithmb files are combined into 3 or 4 massive .ithmb files -- along with a new index file and other support files -- for use by the iPod. (In short, if you try to copy the computer's .ithmb files and index to the iPod, you will get unexpecetd results ;-)

To put them back on the iPhone, just sync. The iTunes "Help" menu has more info....
My apologies if you are unhappy with my name, I dont understand why thou, its the American equivalent of a 1st Lieutenant of the German Army's Waffen SS branch... Not trying to offend anyone or be disrestpectful. Just a fan of WW2 history.

Thank you very much for the very elaborate, precise reply. However, I was referring to the PHOTO ALBUM folder on the iphone (Ie. the photos that are actually TAKEN and stored by the iphone) I am assuming those photos are synced and stored somewhere on iTunes as well... I attempted a sync but the photos never came back.. Remember, I am referring to the photos stored when TAKEN with the iPhone ITSELF. I ersased all of THOSE by accident, I have all the others in their respective folders.

Anyway, if anyone else should have a solution besides doing a restore, please let me know.. Thank you.

Auf w.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:37 AM
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However, I was referring to the PHOTO ALBUM folder on the iphone

Got it. The backups are stored in this folder --
Mac-> ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup
XP-> C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
Vista-> C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

Inside the Backup folder are a bunch of files ending with ".mdbackup" -- these are SQLLite files; open those and you're all set.

If you're using a Mac, there's a Python script to neatly open the .mdbackups into usable files -- here's a GUI version that's current up iTunes 8.1.1 and even handles non-encrypted backups for iPhone OS3.0, and here's a raw script. Haven't been able to find anything for Windows.
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S2_Mac View Post
However, I was referring to the PHOTO ALBUM folder on the iphone

Got it. The backups are stored in this folder --
Mac-> ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup
XP-> C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
Vista-> C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

Inside the Backup folder are a bunch of files ending with ".mdbackup" -- these are SQLLite files; open those and you're all set.

If you're using a Mac, there's a Python script to neatly open the .mdbackups into usable files -- here's a GUI version that's current up iTunes 8.1.1 and even handles non-encrypted backups for iPhone OS3.0, and here's a raw script. Haven't been able to find anything for Windows.
Thanks for all your help.. I did find the folder you're referring to containing about 1300 .mdbackup files. That's great and all, but #1: How do I open this type of file and #2: Do I have to sift thru each one to discover the pics? If It means that much trouble I'd rather just do without the pics.

You seem to know alot about iPhones/Mac's. you da man. tha "BIG" mac thanks again for ur help.

auf weitersein
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:50 PM
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iPhone Backup Extractor

Quote:
Originally Posted by S2_Mac View Post
However, I was referring to the PHOTO ALBUM folder on the iphone

Got it. The backups are stored in this folder --
Mac-> ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup
XP-> C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
Vista-> C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

Inside the Backup folder are a bunch of files ending with ".mdbackup" -- these are SQLLite files; open those and you're all set.

If you're using a Mac, there's a Python script to neatly open the .mdbackups into usable files -- here's a GUI version that's current up iTunes 8.1.1 and even handles non-encrypted backups for iPhone OS3.0, and here's a raw script. Haven't been able to find anything for Windows.
If you're still looking for a Windows version, check out the iPhone Backup Extractor. There's a free version available.
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Old 10-03-2009, 06:48 PM
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Thanks for the information on where/how iPhone applications store their data files! I realized that they are often SQLite files, and put together a quick tutorial on How to view iPhone application data

All you need is one Firefox plugin and you can view your (non-encrypted) application data file right in your browser!
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:18 PM
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slightly off topic but...

yo new to this forum so apologies if im going over old ground
my question is after downgrading from os4.0 to 3.1.2 my itunes wont restore to the dates of the 4.0 software now i have recent pics i want on my iphone but dont know either where they are or how to restore the more recent things to the iphone
thanks in advance
paul
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:41 PM
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Original iPhone Photos

7x64 (or any Windows OS that recognizes an iPhone as a USB drive (XP, Vista))

Plug your phone into the PC
Select it from an Explorer window
Click the only thing in the next window until you see pictures
(Internal Storage/DCIM/800AAAAA (could be different for you)

Ctrl+A
Ctrl+C

Navigate to the folder you want them in

Ctrl+V

Original photos TADA!


I'm sure its at least this simple on a Mac. I would have said something sooner but just now noticed the post.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:36 PM
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Saved me

Appreciate the simple explanation...worked as explained. Thank you
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