Live Photos technical details

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Travisimo, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. Travisimo, Sep 17, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015

    Travisimo macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2009
    So I'm pretty excited about Live Photos, but is there any concrete technical information about how they are stored? It raises several questions in my mind, such as:

    1) If you use a 3rd party photo backup service like Google Photos or Dropbox, will Live Photos get backed up during automatic backups? Will it just back up the single photo portion, or will it back up the actual "Live" portion as well? Which brings me to...

    2) Do Live Photos get stored as a single file, or as multiple files that are linked? I'm assuming the latter since it will include audio. And if that's the case, is the single photo stored as a traditional JPG, while the "Live" portions get stored as separate sidecar files? Or is some of the "Live" data embedded in the photo itself? This will obviously have a bearing on how #1 behaves.

    3) I know Apple made it clear that Live Photos will work across multiple iOS devices, including older devices that can't shoot the Live Photos, but can still view them. But are there features of Live Photos - other than actually shooting them - that are exclusive to the new phones? For example, can you use Live Photos as a lock screen background even on older devices (if you iMessage it, for example to one of your other devices)?

    4) I believe Apple mentioned they are working with Facebook to bring Live Photos support to the social network. I wonder if that will only be available in the iOS app, or if it'll be available on the web version and Android app as well? And how would this even work? Presumably, a user would have to click on a photo to see it "Live", unless it works something like Automatic video playback in Facebook. I know this is probably further down the road and definitely not available at launch, but definitely interesting to discuss.

    5) Also, I think it's been mentioned that Live Photos will take up approximately 2x the storage space as a single photo. Which doesn't sound bad, but I wonder if there'll be a way to detach the "Live" portion and leave the single image? For example, I may have Live Photos turned on by default, but it doesn't mean I want EVERY photo I take to be a Live Photo. With that in mind, will I be required to toggle the Live Photos feature on/off every time I want to switch, or will there be a way to strip the "Live" portion away from a single photo after the fact?

    6) I'm a little worried about file handling with these photos, to be honest. Right now, I use Lightroom as my primary photo cataloguing device, but I also backup to Google Photos directly from my phone. When I plug my iPhone into my computer, I wonder how Lightroom will respond to the new photos library that includes Live Photos? Will PC photo applications just ignore the Live Photos sidecar files (if indeed they are sidecar files), or will this cause issues when trying to import? Right now, it's quite easy to simply import photos and videos into Lightroom - but Live Photos could potentially introduce a wrinkle into file handling (depending on how they're stored).

    Again, I think Live Photos is going to be a great feature, but I suppose we'll just have to wait and see how all this is going to work after the phones are reviewed, eh? I can't seem to find any technical information on how they are stored, other than hearing some hands on anecdotes from those who were at the event.
  2. sterl320 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2015
    All great questions that will most likely only get answered when we have it in our hands.

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