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Monday, July 21, 2008

The iPhoto conundrum

Like me many people have bought their first mac lately. Like me they've also been very happy with the whole package (hardware + OS + software). But here's the problem: if you have liked the iLife suite as much as I do you are probably running out of space in your MacBook Pro (MBP) even if you have a larger disk...

With iTunes at 16Gb and iPhoto at 17Gb I'm running out of space! What can I do?

In the hope that one of you may have found a solution here's a call for help! Help me figure out how to have the pictures I want with me all the time, but at the same time have the disk with enough space to install the dev tools from apple (which also take some more Gigs).

Here are some of the plan's I've hatched to solve this conundrum:

Plan A - The home-made solution

Summary: Store the iPhoto library on an external HD and carry in the laptop only the last few "rolls".

This is the first solution that came to mind. I would copy the whole library from iPhoto to an external RAID 1 HD (see how
here), and the just have the latest "rolls" of photos with me in the laptop.

This is such a simple solution (for someone that understands the concept of iPhoto library, which may not be all of us) that I'm baffled by the lack of support for this in iPhoto out of the box! I mean, you do have to do a lot of work just to get this done. Apple, listen up!

Plan B - The web 2.0 solution

Summary: Copy all the photos to Flickr Pro account.

This idea just came to me while updating my Flickr library. I've updated to Pro account a few months back, and while thinking about the iPhoto problem it came to me that Flickr offers unlimited storage for the Pro account. And to be honest, Flickr is getting up to speed pretty fast. If it was not for the fact that you may not have Internet connection all the time I'd probably have started to use Flickr as my main photo library organizer.

The further downside of Flickr is that as you accumulate photos in the service it takes quite a while to download them back to your laptop if you want to have them offline.

How about you? Have you solved this problem? Leave your comments below.

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  • My iPhoto + iTunes libraries sums up to 88 GB, and I still have plenty of disk space to spare on my iMac (stuff that doesn't need backing up is stored on an external drive that also serves as a Time Machine drive). I don't expect to fill the 300 GB disk (of which some 30 GB is reserved for Linux) before it's time to replace the iMac with a newer model with a bigger disk. Carrying my entire raw data library on a laptop would feel counter-intuitive - I like my iMac at home; whenever I need to access the data from the net I can wake it up remotely and download whatever I need using SSH (and a selection of my music is always in my iPod, of course).

    By Blogger Rasmus S, at July 21, 2008 2:36 PM  

  • That's good if you have 300 GB :) but I have only a mearly 110 GB and share the laptop with my wife :)

    I really need to find a solution quick, my iphoto library will be 30 Gb in 12 months... And will continue to grow at around 10-15 Gb/ year...

    By Blogger Unknown, at July 21, 2008 9:54 PM  

  • I think the best solution is to mix external hard drive and online backup (flickr or real backup solution).

    Now the problem is how to backup all your photos ? personnaly I used to burn it on CD then on DVD ... but I think I will invest in a backup solution like a NAS with raid and/or an online backup account (mozy, ...).

    By Blogger NH, at July 28, 2008 2:44 PM  

  • Shoot Raw, keep 10%, post 1% and you'll be fine.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 30, 2008 3:11 PM  

  • That keep 10% post 1% rule is good, except if I shoot too much, which I do...

    I've been thinking about this and I will probably just "switch" libraries in iPhoto with the old libraries being stored in a NAS in my home network.

    Now I just need to decide which NAS system....

    By Blogger Unknown, at July 31, 2008 12:29 PM  

  • Although you seem to be an Apple fan, consider Windows Home Server instead of NAS. It has add-in to sync photos between your home server and FlickR. You can also connect to your home server (over HTTPS) and check photos, music and what not remotely. Needless to say, that you will also get all your (Windows) home computers automatically backed up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 05, 2008 4:32 PM  

  • I'm curious if you ever came to an acceptable solution. This problem looms for me as well (what with 18,000 photos quickly filling up my disk...) I just ran across iPhotoBuddy and combined with a NAS it looks like it might really help. (yes, I know this sounds like a link-spam ad, but no, I'm not affiliated; it just actually looks interesting. shocking, I know... ;)

    By Blogger -ben, at July 06, 2009 5:21 PM  

  • @ben I have not tried iPhotoBuddy, but having multiple libraries is just a temporary solution because soon I'll need to again change external drive and then I'm out of luck.

    I'd prefer something web-based. I've settled for now to copy all the photos I want to keep to my Flickr pro account and start regularly deleting stuff I don't need anymore.

    After all, how many pictures can your children suffer through when they visit? ;)

    By Blogger Unknown, at July 07, 2009 9:27 AM  

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