Create Albums from Tags in Metadata in Photos for the Mac

I had created metadata tags for all of my photos before I had them imported into photos for the Mac. I would like to auto create albums based on the tags in the photos.

I know I can do this with SmartAlbums, but those don’t transfer to mobile or other Macs so I need real albums.

I was thinking with AppleScript I could do something but not proficient there.  Maybe created the Smart Albums from the tags then create albums from all the smart albums?
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There is some limited scripting with AppleScript possible in the Photos Application but it isn't possible without some fairly heavy Script and ObjectiveC knowledge.

The Photos application uses a folder format to store the photo images and albums so it IS possible to script the import process to create albums when the images are being imported (based on folder names)

HOWEVER if you've Smart Albums setup I'm afraid I cannot see any way to automatically convert them to regular Albums, in fact others have asked the question ..

The only solution would be a bit of a hack to use something like QuicKeys ( where you could set a series of key commands to speed up the process.  I'd bet though that the process is not going to speed you up significantly
Scott TownsendIT Director


Thanks!  A bit more involved than I hoped...
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

I'd personally use PERL so the script so album generation was portable.

Code would roughly take this form...

1) Collect tags by pulling them via EXIF tags or a related file (maybe photo.tags) or maybe even from image name or date or other various tags.

2) Sort all tags generated, throwing out duplicates.

3) Create named albums required.

4) Populate albums with photo names.

5) Note: I'd populate pseudo albums with symlinks to original photos + maybe even set permissions on pseudo albums where photos in these albums couldn't be modified... because... Apple photo management programs tend to be very stupid, so if you symlink to a real photo allowing write permission to the symlink, most Apple + many 3rd party tools will create modifications which live in the pseudo album, rather than relate to original photo.

This creates a massive library problem, if you have photos in 12x different albums + you accidentally change the photo in 3x different albums, which will give you the original image in main album + 3x changed photos with no good way to manage all these changes.

This may or may not be what you expect.

Normally, I tend to like only one single copy of every photo + if I change that photo, I like to know exactly where that photo lives, to be clear about every photo.

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