Does New AppleTV Still Have Photos Limit?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MrTemple, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. MrTemple, Sep 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015

    MrTemple macrumors regular

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    #1
    UPDATE: Home Sharing photos for screen-savers appear even more limited than before.

    After a brief test it appears as if the pool of Home Sharing photos "Shared with Apple TV" is in the few hundreds, nowhere near the (fairly modest) 3,000 that I have in the album I've selected for Home Sharing to display on the Apple TV.

    This sucks. I'm wondering though if it's something on the Mac side which needs changing. Going to dig into where the Home Sharing photos are stored for streaming/beaming/syncing to the Apple TV.


    -------

    Original Post:

    As AppleTV users with large photo libraries well know, you could select any photo album/folder/project for use with the screen saver, and it would randomly display ALL the images from that folder.

    With the AppleTV 2 and 3, likely because there was limited storage on-device, the AppleTV would only sync about 1,000 or so images for display on the screen saver.

    1,000 images may sound like a lot, but when there's 5-10 new images onscreen every 10 seconds or so, you notice the limitation *very* quickly.

    Worse, they synced batch of 1,000 images would rarely re-sync (an easy, if partial, fix that never came), so you could often be staring at the same 1,000 images for weeks at a time, knowing that your selected album/folder had many, many more images that were never displayed.

    For me, it was reason enough to keep my AppleTV 1 around, just to play music while watching ALL our favourite family photos.
     
  2. MrTemple thread starter macrumors regular

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  3. MrTemple thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Won't be getting my delivery until next week. Can anybody report on how image sharing works?
     
  4. le.bouch macrumors regular

    le.bouch

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    #4
    Got mine yesterday. The Photos app only offers Photostream (which never worked right for me on my ATV2 or ATV3 - I'd get 200 repeating photos if I was lucky) or Shared Albums, which of course you have to set up / add to as you go along. I was hoping for the Photos experience from OSX and iOS - sadly not to be.
     
  5. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    #5
    Yeah that the Photos app doesn't work as it does on iOS and OS X is bafflingly annoying.

    The other option is to use HomeShare and just tell iTunes to share all albums in the Photos app on OS X. Then access it through computers. But that's not the kind of solution I had hoped for.
     
  6. le.bouch macrumors regular

    le.bouch

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    #6
    Is it possible to tell iTunes to share the Photos album "All Photos"?
     
  7. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    #7

    Yeah, just go to File, Home Sharing, Choose Photos To Share With Apple TV. Then click the Share Photos From... checkbox, select the Photos App as the source and choose All Photos and Albums. Or you can select which specific ones you want to share.
     
  8. le.bouch macrumors regular

    le.bouch

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    #8
    Thx. I'll give it a go. To confirm, these photos won't show in the ATV Photos app but under Computers?
     
  9. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    #9
    Yup, you need to go through the Computers app to access anything you share from the iTunes app on your desktop.
     
  10. zedsdead macrumors 68040

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    #10
    This completely sucks...not happy. I thought this would have been fixed.
     
  11. MrTemple thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    So, when you share a very large album with the Home Sharing feature on a Mac (via 'Choose Photos To Share With Apple TV.'), does it only share the first 1000 or so, or does it share all of them (does it randomly display between all or just a subset of the shared album)?

    The ATV2 and ATV3 only displayed a subset, and didn't refresh that subset very often at all.
     
  12. le.bouch macrumors regular

    le.bouch

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    #12
    I can't answer that.. yet. I'm experimenting doing it the way you've described and also via sharing in the Photos app on my iMac. That way the photos show on the ATV via the Photos app rather than the Computers app.

    I'm experimenting with folders of about 100 photos. What I can say though is that both ways have a very odd idea when it comes to random 'shuffle' - I keep getting the same few photos over and over and then a completely new one. This is 30 minutes or so into a slideshow so I don't think it's a caching problem.
     
  13. MrTemple thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Well with only 100 photos, but 10 or more on the screen at a time, even pure random chance is going to appear to have some strange patterns.

    This issue really didn't occur until you had an album with 2000+ images as your screen saver source (though that varied).
     
  14. le.bouch macrumors regular

    le.bouch

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    #14
    Why would there be 10 or more on screen at a time? I have one photo displayed at a time..
     
  15. MrTemple thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Some screen savers show 10 or more. But even when only showing one at a time, when randomly shuffling through 100 photos you should expect to see some 'weird' looking patterns.

    Run this link a few times and you'll see some weird 'patterns' in the randomness: https://www.random.org/integers/?num=100&min=1&max=100&col=1&base=10&format=html&rnd=new
     
  16. rikscha macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    The people at the Apple Store are greatly informed I have to say.

    When I asked if your entire library would pop up on the screen, they confirmed this to me saying that the in store unit wouldn't show any pictures as it was limited in functionality...

    The old photos app was useless and the new one still is. I deactivated photo stream a long time ago - pretty much useless feature since all your pics sit in the cloud.

    My initial question would have been about the storage used for displaying my entire photo library as this would naturally have an impact on my buying decision between 32 / 64gb. That's easy then, 32gb it is!
    (Of course they will screw me over a couple of months later when your library does become available eventually and suddenly all my 32gb are used up forcing me to buy 64gb)
     
  17. le.bouch macrumors regular

    le.bouch

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    #17
    If they do implement a fuller Photos app I suspect it will be like the iPhone and iPad where you can optimise storage, ie just store thumbnails locally, downloading the full files when necessary.
    I honestly thought Photos on the ATV4 would do this. Fail.
     
  18. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    #18

    I think, if they do see sense and make the Photos app work as it does on the other devices this will be the case. My photo library would take up more space than the Apple TV has to give, so unless they let you choose specific albums to save offline, I think it will be the optimised system.
     
  19. MrTemple thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    After a brief test it appears as if the pool of Home Sharing photos "Shared with Apple TV" is in the few hundreds, nowhere near the (fairly modest) 3,000 that I have in the album I've selected for Home Sharing to display on the Apple TV.

    This sucks. I'm wondering though if it's something on the Mac side which needs changing. Going to dig into where the Home Sharing photos are stored for streaming/beaming/syncing to the Apple TV.
     
  20. le.bouch macrumors regular

    le.bouch

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    #20
    Watching with interest...
     
  21. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    #21

    Do you mean albums that you set as shared in photos?

    When I set mine up in iTunes to share all albums and videos from Photos using HomeShare I can view everything in the Photos app on Apple TV and I've also got many thousands of photos.
     
  22. MrTemple thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    I can browse the photos, but when I choose a folder for use as a screen saver, it only randomizes through a very, very small subset of images. This problem was introduced with the AppleTV 2 and persists through the 3 and 4.

    The original Apple TV 1 (which didn't use Home Sharing, instead actually synced the images to the device) didn't have that problem. It's the reason I still keep my Apple TV 1 plugged in, so I can have all my photos displayed when listening to music.
     
  23. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    #23

    Interesting, I haven't tried using my photos as a screensaver yet, I've been enjoying the aerial videos. But I'll have to give it a go, seems like an odd thing to put a limit on, especially when it's using your Mac as the source.

    *edit

    Looking at the user guide it says photo screensaver use iCloud as the source for the photos, it doesn't mention HomeShare as a source for the images. I wonder then if that's the case, it's ignoring the available HomeShare photos and just using a subset of what is available in iCloud?
     
  24. MrTemple, Nov 4, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015

    MrTemple thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    The limitation in the Home Sharing images was likely introduced as the ATV2 had very, very little storage space.

    I suspect there's a setting somewhere (likely not user-changeable) that limits the screen saver photos to 500mb or something like that. (Update: Actually it's only 149.9MB! See my next post.)

    It wouldn't be as bad a problem if that pool were updated semi-regularly, but it can lay stagnant for days or weeks (showing the same random subset), even after adding additional photos to the shared album.
     
  25. MrTemple thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    Well, I have a little more info.

    In iPhoto/Aperture library there is a "Apple TV Photo Cache" folder. Within that is the "Apple TV Photo Database". After selecting my 3000+ image album to share with the ATV, the database is created, but it's only 149.9mb. No matter how compressed the images are, there's no way to store very many in only 150mb.

    Seems like a necessary limit for the ATV2/3, as they had only RAM, no onboard storage, but with the ATV4, there's no reason to set it to only use 150mb of photos for the screen saver.

    I'm going to see if there's a hidden setting somewhere.
     

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