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  • How to transfer your iPhone or Mac Photo library to an external drive

    Apple would do well to find a better solution to Photo Library. As of now, I have 35 GB of photos and home videos (as stated by iCloud and the size of the Masters folder), which I believe to be somewhat typical.

    Trouble is, my Photos Library is beyond 46 GB! Photos clogged my SSD with 11 GB of redundant information, related to my own media! That, combined to Apple asking an arm and a leg for better storage options on its MacBooks, makes for a preposterous situation!

    Before anyone says anything, I don’t have duplicated data, or edits. The offending storage hogs are thumbnails caches and facial recognition stuff that Photos creates by itself!
    Your situation does sound very typical, if not absolutely average.  My personal library is about 250GB and that has about 35GB of what you're calling redundant information.

    I worked with a startup many years ago that did something similar to iCloud Photos... or at least as similar as could be at the time on Windows.  I have a bit of insight into what this "redundant" data is, and what it would mean to remove it.

    First, a lot of it has to do with creating alternative views (thumbnails) of your images.  Remove those and browsing your library becomes impractically slow as it ends up having to load in large image files and then render them at the size you're viewing at.

    The second largest amount of data is probably going to be related to non-destructive editing.  Technically, you could eliminate this if you really wanted, but the benefit to being able to go back and change edits is a pretty compelling reason to keep that data, combined with the degradation that would occur with repeated edits.

    The remaining amount of data related to metadata and the database all is either needed for a feature (like Faces and Places) or general functionality.

    The TL;DR: here is that we get "taxed" 5-10% for much greater efficiency in speed in use and a lot of compelling features (non-destructive editing, Faces, Places, and other metadata based functionality).

    If you're really hurting for space, I'd recommend turning on optimized photos with iCloud Photos for what you store on your internal SSD drive, and then keep a cheap large external HDD for the originals.
  • Apple staring down possibility of new per-employee tax in Cupertino

    sdw2001 said:
    Unbelievable idiocy on the Left coast, as usual. Punish the biggest job creators instead of working with them to give back to the community voluntarily (which many are happy to do).  

    Have you been to the Apple campuses?  They are huge, take over a very large portion of the city and are still growing and taking over more space.

    Additionally, there's a constant stream of double-decker buses flowing through and onto 280/85.  Local businesses aren't doing so well because few employees leave campus and few people go to the area now who aren't going to the campus.  The Eichler models homes and low end apartments have skyrocketed in price just in the past decade, forcing out anyone who is a renter.

    It's all extraordinarily disruptive, but besides the fact that $275 per employee is trivial for companies like Apple, it's not like as if Cupertino has a problem with not enough jobs in the city.  The issue is that there are too many employees working in places in the city isolated from everything else.
  • Why Apple will move Macs to ARM, and what consumers get

    Count me as someone who is skeptical about all of this.

    On the one hand, we know what Apple has been doing with low-end ARM, but we have seen nothing on the high-end, so maybe Apple does have plans that would work across the entire lineup.

    On the other hand, there's nothing to suggest that this is the case.  Apple would be taking a big risk here when it has other things to do.  One thing that everyone neglects to consider in terms of Apple's previous transitions is that Apple was always transitioning away from what the rest of the industry wasn't using, albeit earlier also to what the industry wasn't using either.  So if their source was behind, delayed or inferior to the industry, Apple's products were too.  Now, any delay or issue isn't an Apple one, it's an industry one.

    IOW: Where Apple could be frustrated that there was no PowerBook G5 to compete with the industry, today Apple can compete with the same chips the rest of the industry has.

    Moving to ARM means Apple has to invest in maintaining a lead in their chips across the entire lineup of devices and do so with a minority market share as compared to Intel which supplies chips to the rest of the industry.  This not only puts Apple at a disadvantage, but if it falls behind, the entire Mac lineup falls behind.

    Combine this with the usual pain of transitioning, the issues with losing full Windows compatibility, and the distraction from other things Apple could be doing, and I just don't see the upside being worth the cost and risk.  I do see a potential for further ARM development as a co-processor in Macs though.
  • Why you want a macOS home server, and how to get one going

    I've had a variety of Mac Pro and Power Mac servers through the years, but now I have a Mac mini with 92TBs of external storage (4 X 8TB for media, 4 X 8TB for media backup, 1 X 4TB for system backup and 1 X 8TB for standby).  It handles everything just fine for us as a media server for iTunes, Photos, Sonos, Plex, SFTP and HTTP. 

    One major advantage of using it rather than a generic PC is that all your Mac software will run just fine with it, and there's very little learning involved.  Things within the Apple ecosystem will sync automagically and with Remote Desktop, you'll be in very familiar territory.

    For ripping and transcoding... consider getting yet another machine just for this purpose.  I have a MacBook Pro (quad-i7) with a Blu-Ray drive for this purpose.

    I highly recommend Plex.

    Also, instead of ripping to H.264, I'd highly recommend taking a look at ripping to HEVC.  The quality to bit rate ratio is significantly higher.  Use the nightly build of Handbrake if you're going to do this, and keep in mind that ripping will be much longer, but the results will be worth it.