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Compressing iPhoto Library

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi All

Currently I have about 30GB of photo's in my iPhoto Library and basically my 80GB MacBook is full. Is there anyway to compress my iPhoto Library all at once? Either so it can just take less space on my hard drive, or to make it easier to back up on an external harddrive I have? I can't see any option to do this within iPhoto

Any ideas?

Thanks!
post #2 of 6
If you right-click the iPhoto Library file, which will be in your home folder > pictures, choose show package contents and you will see all the folders using space. If you sync your library to Apple devices, there will be a folder called iPod Photo Cache. That folder contains all the synced photos and have been changed to uncompressed and are all duplicates - itunes will recreate them on sync even if you delete them.

You may also have duplicates between the Originals folder and the Modified folder - if you adjust an image, it saves a new copy as well as maintains the original imported image.
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

If you right-click the iPhoto Library file, which will be in your home folder > pictures, choose show package contents and you will see all the folders using space. If you sync your library to Apple devices, there will be a folder called iPod Photo Cache. That folder contains all the synced photos and have been changed to uncompressed and are all duplicates - itunes will recreate them on sync even if you delete them.

You may also have duplicates between the Originals folder and the Modified folder - if you adjust an image, it saves a new copy as well as maintains the original imported image.

Are you suggesting to delete those duplicates because they use harddisk space?
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokcet Scientist View Post

Are you suggesting to delete those duplicates because they use harddisk space?

The iPod cache can go but like I say, will be recreated on sync. Changing the other folders might make iPhoto unstable (more so than usual) but if the images are compressed rather than deleted, it might be ok.

The best option is to avoid using iPhoto altogether. You can generally manage photos by yourself and let Spotlight handle your grouping. You'd just miss out on faces but really how often do you ever need to see every photo of one person? You can add their name to the image title if needed.

You'd do editing and correction in a more powerful image editor like Photoshop.

The problem is, you take images with a high-res digital camera and the images come out at 3-4MB each - takes up 30GB for 10,000 pictures. When you make an edit in iPhoto, it saves a copy so just adds to the space, when you sync to an iPod or whatever, it converts every single image to uncompressed and wastes even more space.

If you actually sync the entire library, you might only have about 3,000 - 5,000 images and still be using up 30GB. Quite frankly, I find iPhoto's storage handling absurd.

The best option I find is to have an image folder defined manually and use a naming convention you like such as folders per event with a date attached and then each image can have names of people in the image. You can batch compress the images using various tools - I like GraphicConverter as it does great quality compression.

Typically, I aim for 1600 x 1200 maximum resolution and images shouldn't be much over 250k each although images with lots of details like grass, trees etc can be a bit higher. This should allow you to get 10,000 images within 3GB of space.

What you lose is the ability to sync albums/events to devices, you'd have to sync a folder manually and this too creates an iPod cache but it's easier to deal with. I don't know why Apple just can't drop the original files over. It's not like the iPods can't open JPEGs - they record photos from the camera to JPEG. But no, they have to convert to uncompressed and use a minimum of 656k per image.

It's stupid from their point of view too because their advertising says that a 32GB iPod holds 40,000 photos. If they compressed the images properly or left them in a user-compressed form, they'd be able to fit over 120,000 images on it and the sync times would be significantly less.

If you sync 3,000 images that you've compressed to 250k average, what itunes currently does is convert every single one of those images again to uncompressed and takes about 5 minutes doing so. Then it takes a further 5 minutes to sync the 3 times larger file sizes. So instead of you syncing in about 2 minutes, it takes 10 minutes and you waste GBs of space on your hard drive and iPod or similar device.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

[...] It's stupid from their point of view too because their advertising says that a 32GB iPod holds 40,000 photos. If they compressed the images properly or left them in a user-compressed form, they'd be able to fit over 120,000 images on it and the sync times would be significantly less.

If anything, Apple is not stupid. So you may safely assume there is a very compelling reason for them to go this route. Like their desire to lock in users?
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokcet Scientist View Post

If anything, Apple is not stupid. So you may safely assume there is a very compelling reason for them to go this route. Like their desire to lock in users?

Conversion makes sense to ensure that the images are transferred in a supported format but it's stupid to transfer 16-bit uncompressed images to a mobile device as it wastes a hell of a lot of space for no benefit - the format is similar to what you get from shooting RAW. The target format isn't proprietary as such as it can easily be converted to another format so lock-in isn't a reason for it.
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