Icloud, Apple TV and general storage

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by lurcher, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. lurcher macrumors regular

    lurcher

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #1
    Hi folks

    My 2010 macbook pro is finally grinding to a halt. Thinking of a MacBook Air as we only really use it for Office, browsing, email and viewing photos now. The problem is I have about 500GB of photos and the Air in question is 128GB.

    I can't get my head around how to put it all in the cloud and view it. Also have iPad which is used most of all. Will the iPad be able to view all the images in icloud? Could I view them on the TV also? We don't have apple tv yet but I'd imagine it would be nice on a 4k screen!

    I believe the photos have to be stored on a Mac somewhere so they sync with the cloud? Or could they be on an external drive?

    Sorry, but could really help with some clarification!
     
  2. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #2
    There's a variety of cloud storage options for image libraries. I'll just describe Apple's.

    iCloud Photo Library https://support.apple.com/HT204264 would allow you to access all your images from any device (with a sufficiently up-to-date operating system) that's signed into your iCloud account, including that iPad, an Apple TV, Windows PCs... You'd have to use the Photos app on iOS and Mac.

    iCloud Photo Library's main storage is on Apple's servers, not on your Mac or iPad - it's a combined library of photos from all your sources (iPhones, iPads, Macs, and even Windows computers). Even though you'll have copies of that library on your local devices, consider the "real" library to be in the cloud. With a 500 GB image library, you'd need to buy Apple's 1 TB iCloud storage plan. That's £6.99 per month in the UK.

    If your old MacBook Pro is running Yosemite or higher, you could move your photos into iCloud Photo Library from that machine, via the Photos app. When you setup the new Mac you'd just have to sign into iCloud and enable iCloud Photo Library - the photos in the cloud will then be accessible on the new Mac. If you do it this way, you may not need an external drive for the new Mac - I'll explain why in a later paragraph. (Well, you wouldn't need an external drive for the Photos library - you should always have an external drive for backup!)

    Alternately, you could copy your existing image library from the current Mac to an external hard drive. You could then connect that hard drive to the new Mac and use the Photos app to access the images from the external drive. Then you could add those images to iCloud Photo Library.

    Once added to iCloud Photo Library, the Photos library on your Mac does not have to hold all your full-quality original images. iCloud Photo Library has an option called "Optimize Storage" which is designed to minimize storage requirements on devices with small internal drives (like 128 GB MacBook Airs and 16 GB iPhones). iCloud Photo Library always stores full-resolution master images in the cloud. "Optimize Storage" stores reduced-quality images on the computer/iOS device, to save space. The Photos app monitors available storage space on the device, and manages the size of the locally-stored library accordingly. When space on the local device is really tight, all the local library may have is thumbnail images, for reference. If you want to view an image full size, a higher quality version would be downloaded from iCloud. This is prioritized based on when you last viewed the image. Recently viewed images may be retained in higher quality, seldom/never-viewed images may be reduced-quality or thumbnails.

    You can also choose to have full-quality versions of all images stored in your local library - you just need enough space to store it (on an external drive, in this case).
     
  3. lurcher thread starter macrumors regular

    lurcher

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #3
    Thank you so much for that detailed reply, really appreciate it.

    So if I just send my current library to the cloud (after upgrading my icloud storage) what would happen if the MBP died? I was under the impression you needed a local copy too? Might be better for me to copy the library to an external and then sync with icloud? Although I'm sure I read some people were having problems trying to get photos to the cloud from an external disc in previous research I did, is that still the case?
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #4
    It will be as nice as any other 1920x1080 source. The Apple TV does not support 4k, just regular HD. :)
     
  5. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #5
    If you're worried that the death of your MBP seems imminent, regardless of anything else, setup a Time Machine backup to an external drive (if you're not already doing so).

    Once your initial upload to iCloud is done, your local MBP is free to expire. A local copy is not required. The contents of a new Mac/iPhone/iPad Photos library would be copied from the cloud-based library. From then on, your Mac/iPhone/iPad maintains a local library for convenience, not necessity. It allows you to work offline, and can reduce the amount of internet bandwidth required (a serious consideration if you pay your cell phone provider for data). If you have enough disk space (either internal or external) to keep full-quality copies in the local library (the alternative to "Optimize Storage"), then you can consider the local library to be a backup of the cloud.

    So yes, you could first copy the library from your MBP to external, connect the external to a new Mac, and then upload to iCloud. The library on the external would then continue as the library for your new Mac. Presumably, you'd get a large enough external that your library could continue to grow, and that you could keep full quality copies locally, rather than use the Optimize Storage feature. That would give you a form of backup. However, if you'd prefer to not tether yourself permanently to an externally-stored library, then I'd suggest uploading from your MBP and maintaining an Optimized Storage library on your new Mac's internal drive.

    A central feature of any "cloud" (or network server) environment is that the local machine ("client") is expendable - if the client dies or is replaced, a new client is loaded with the cloud/server-based data. All data is kept on the server, the operators of the server are tasked with ensuring the server-based storage is reliable (it's easier to do that for a relative handful of servers than a multitude of clients). In cloud systems, data redundancy is a critical consideration - techniques like RAID are used to ensure data redundancy within a data center, and servers in one data center are generally "mirrored" elsewhere, to avoid risk from local disaster.

    The client can manipulate the contents of the server - if you edit a photo, or explicitly delete it, then that action is duplicated on the server and any other clients connected to it. However, the disappearance of a Mac or iPhone does not affect the contents of the server - the cloud persists as if the Mac had never been there.

    You probably did encounter some people with large libraries who had difficulties uploading to the cloud. While the process is designed to be tolerant of interruptions in internet connectivity, accidental disconnections of external hard drives, machines being powered-off in mid-transfer... still, stuff can happen, and large libraries can take days to transfer. Basic rule: Don't retire your Mac's library before confirming that everything has been uploaded to iCloud. If you run into issues during the upload, iCloud is a service separate from your Mac or iPhone - Apple provides free support for iCloud, regardless of the warranty status of your hardware.
     
  6. lurcher thread starter macrumors regular

    lurcher

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #6
    Thank you once again, very helpful. I still have some hesitation about relying on cloud for all my photos, as I'm sure many people do. I'm sure it would be ok but just in case I'd like a copy on an external too. But how would you backup to external when using the optimized method, as most of the photos will not be full size?

    Also, on another Mac I have my Lightroom images which I sometimes add to Photos library. How would I add those to the cloud library? I don't want to make Photos connect to the cloud on that Mac as there are other work related images on there which I wouldn't want in my family library ie. stock images and photos of clients jobs. I could move it all over to the MBA as the files are on an external but I wondered if there was another way around it to keep them on my work Mac? Maybe connect the Macs over wifi?
     
  7. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #7
    If you wanted to use your local library as a backup, it ought to be full-quality, not optimized. As long as you maintain the library on an external drive, that shouldn't pose space issues.

    If you want both your work library and your personal library to be in iCloud Photo Library, but keep the contents separate, you'd need two iCloud accounts. The easy way to do that is to use the iCloud.com web interface for one of those accounts, while you're signed into the other account on your Mac. The trick is deciding whether it's better to have your personal account signed into the work Mac (for full integration with your iOS devices and home Mac - Back to My Mac, for example ), or the work account (for use of the full Photos app for iCloud Photo Library).

    This strategy doesn't work as well for iOS devices, as by default iCloud.com has limited functionality on mobile browsers. However, a long-touch of the page refresh icon (in Safari for iOS) gives you the option to Request Desktop Site.
     
  8. JGRE macrumors 6502a

    JGRE

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Location:
    Dutch Mountains
    #8
    I have a early 2011 MBP, increased the ram to 8GB and put a 256 GB SSD in it and is again good for some extra years.
    I use iCloud in combination with a 2TB time machine.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 10, 2017 ---
    Cloud is the best option for photos, save, easy and you never forget back ups.
     

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