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Photos library too big now

MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
3,139
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UK
Currently my Photos library stays as full resolution on my Mac 1Tb fusion. However since I've been adding my old pics, and vids its grown too big.

I use this as one of my "backups" as such, having it on my HDD means I have a local copy, as well as Time Machine and a cloud based offsite one.

So should I now get a external SSD, or just use as optimised on my HDD Mac? Any recommendations on a SSD, my iMac is a late 2012 so only USB, although may upgrade in future. I'm thinking of a 2Tb for future proofing

thanks
 

Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
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Yes
Unless you are constantly working on all pics, a nice external 4TB drive is likely fast enough. They are cheap. If you need to do extensive editing you can always copy to SSD.
-Course I would not touch "Photos" with a 10 foot pole, so YMMV.
 
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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
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UK
Photos is good enough for what I need tbh. Don't do much editing as still busy importing all my photos and videos, and converting the videos that aren't supported.

Ideally I didn't want lots of external drives about, but I'll have to now think.

Also I was thinking of using the optimise option, but then my off-site backup wouldn't backup, whereas if it's on a external USB I can add this to be backed up as well.
 
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Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
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Yes
Tried iPhoto. Did not like how it locked things away in a database. Like iBook, or to a lesser extent iTunes. I don't like Apple's internal database for each type of file system. I've never actually lost anything, because I do regular and redundant backups, but I've seen database corruption too many times to trust the Apps. I organize pictures manually, in folders that I name. I even wrote a little Script to prepend the date to each file name. Created and modified dates are not well preserved in Finder. Using these photo collectors is like using Time Machine as your sole backup method. Bad things can and do happen. Files and folders I can understand. Some programmer's version of how they think images or whatever should be stored gives me headaches which make it harder to recover from disaster.
I'm picky about that stuff. You need not be, and best of luck to you. Maybe Apple has got it right now, but I've seen too many problems to trust them.

I use external HDD's in caddies. $30 for the caddy, $50 a terabyte HDD now. Look at the prices as they keep going down. From they way you describe what you do, I wouldn't even consider solid state yet. You get much more bang for the buck with a spinner. Plus with a caddy, you can swap a pile of internal style drives around for backups and such.
 
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atmenterprises

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Jan 28, 2006
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Tried iPhoto. Did not like how it locked things away in a database. Like iBook, or to a lesser extent iTunes. I don't like Apple's internal database for each type of file system. I've never actually lost anything, because I do regular and redundant backups, but I've seen database corruption too many times to trust the Apps. I organize pictures manually, in folders that I name. I even wrote a little Script to prepend the date to each file name. Created and modified dates are not well preserved in Finder. Using these photo collectors is like using Time Machine as your sole backup method. Bad things can and do happen. Files and folders I can understand. Some programmer's version of how they think images or whatever should be stored gives me headaches which make it harder to recover from disaster.
I'm picky about that stuff. You need not be, and best of luck to you. Maybe Apple has got it right now, but I've seen too many problems to trust them.

That's good info. Database corruption would put a kink into things!
 
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HDFan

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Jun 30, 2007
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So should I now get a external SSD,

An external SSD for (mostly) static storage of pictures is a waste of money. A fast HD gives you much more space at a much lower price. A SSD might make sense if you make it your boot drive.
 
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MrMister111

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Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
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SSD external can only see 1Tb size, I was wanting 2Tb for expansion, but 2Tb SSD prices are so high.

An external portable USB 3 powered HDD be ok then? Can get a 4Tb for £85. My iMac only has USB ports (not even sure if USB 3) anyway, and some old style thunderbolt ports.
 
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HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
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SSD external can only see 1Tb size,

Not sure what you are saying here. You are talking about an external boot drive? Yes, SSD prices as compared to HD are high.

An external portable USB 3 powered HDD be ok then? Can get a 4Tb for £85. My iMac only has USB ports (not even sure if USB 3) anyway, and some old style thunderbolt ports.

What Mac do you have? You definitely need to know your port specifications to make sure an external device will work/be useable. Thunderbolt, as opposed to USB 3, is also a waste of money for a single spindle. I just ran some HD drive tests and they ran ~180 MB/s, well below USB 3.0's theoretical 640 MB/s. But it does depend on the drive. You might want to check the spin rate (4200, 5400, 7200 or 10000 rpm).
 
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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
3,139
221
UK
Not sure what you are saying here. You are talking about an external boot drive? Yes, SSD prices as compared to HD are high.



What Mac do you have? You definitely need to know your port specifications to make sure an external device will work/be useable. Thunderbolt, as opposed to USB 3, is also a waste of money for a single spindle. I just ran some HD drive tests and they ran ~180 MB/s, well below USB 3.0's theoretical 640 MB/s. But it does depend on the drive. You might want to check the spin rate (4200, 5400, 7200 or 10000 rpm).
Late 2012 iMac, they are USB 3.
 
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hNicolas

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2008
370
55
Ottawa, ON
I even wrote a little Script to prepend the date to each file name. Created and modified dates are not well preserved in Finder.
Can you please elaborate on your script? I too use Photos and would like to build an organized database on an external drive to fix the mess I’ve created over the years.

Having imported batches of photos from older versions of iPhoto and several from Google photo and device backups from my Android phones I now have a mess of import dates rather than created dates throughout my Photos app.

And if you don’t use Photos, what photo managing app do use/recommend?

I use WD MyCloud 4TB as a NAS which also contains original photos imported directly from my old Android phones. I’m open to any suggestions, thanks.
 
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Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
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Yes
Can you please elaborate on your script?
AppleScript:

My camera puts out files that all start with "DSC_", yours probably uses a different prefix, so you may have to change the line " if nam starts with "DSC_" or nam starts with "IMG_" then"...


Code:
(*
BP 3/12 PhotoDatePrepender
Prepends date to any file in chosen folder that starts with DSC_
(doing this as a folder action misses some, so I'll make it a script app)

--03 02 12 13 41 01 --"Friday, March 2, 2012 1:41:01 PM" (day name is left out)

*)
--set srcfld to ((path to desktop) as text) & "untitled folder"
set srcfld to (choose folder) as string
--return srcfld
try
    with timeout of 600 seconds
        tell application "Finder"
            set props to properties of every file of folder srcfld
        end tell
    end timeout
on error num
    --say "proot"
    display dialog num
    beep {}
    return
end try
set numfiles to count of props

set n to 1
repeat with n from 1 to numfiles
    set nam to name of item n of props
    set dat to creation date of item n of props
    
    if nam starts with "DSC_" or nam starts with "IMG_" then
        set newnam to characters 4 thru -1 of nam -- strip the DSC
        
        set timestr to ""
        set m to month of dat as integer
        set timestr to addtotimestring(m, timestr)
        set m to day of dat as integer
        set timestr to addtotimestring(m, timestr)
        set m to (year of dat as integer) - 2000
        set timestr to addtotimestring(m, timestr)
        set m to hours of dat as integer
        set timestr to addtotimestring(m, timestr)
        set m to minutes of dat as integer
        set timestr to addtotimestring(m, timestr)
        set m to seconds of dat as integer
        set timestr to addtotimestring(m, timestr) --day month year hour min sec (24 hour time)
        
        set newnam to timestr & newnam
        try
            tell application "Finder"
                --set name of file (srcfld & ":" & nam) to newnam
                set name of file (srcfld & nam) to newnam
            end tell
        on error
            say "doop"
        end try
    end if
    
end repeat


on addtotimestring(m, timestr)
    if m is less than 10 then
        set timestr to timestr & "0" & m as text
    else
        set timestr to timestr & m as text
    end if
    return timestr
end addtotimestring

I saved this as an App from AppleScript Editor. It works as a plain Scropt too, or you could port it to Automator.
It puts up a dialog asking which folder you want it to work on.
It's nothing fancy, so you'll just see a beachball until it finishes. Usually it's pretty quick about it, but if you've got 700 pix that it decides to add a date to, it can take a while. Since 10.5, Finder has gotten progressively slower at displaying changed file names. Apple made the Finder update call asynchronous, so as to better deal with slow network devices. I suppose that's a good thing, if you have a slow network.
 
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mikzn

macrumors 68020
Sep 2, 2013
2,437
1,734
North Vancouver
I don't like Apple's internal database for each type of file system. I've never actually lost anything, because I do regular and redundant backups, but I've seen database corruption too many times to trust the Apps. I organize pictures manually, in folders that I name.

FWIW - it is possible to "manually" organize photos and pictures / videos in Photos by changing the Photos preferences <Importing < do not select "Copy items to the Photos library"

Then you can drag photos / folders and manage your pictures in folders manually and still use Photos as a finder / meta data, editor etc. - you can then right click on the individual pictures to "Show the Referenced File in Finder"

This has been the case since iPhoto - I just tried in Catalina and it is the same - see attached screen shot

Photos-Version5.0 (101.13.184).png
 
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hNicolas

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2008
370
55
Ottawa, ON
AppleScript:

My camera puts out files that all start with "DSC_", yours probably uses a different prefix, so you may have to change the line " if nam starts with "DSC_" or nam starts with "IMG_" then"...


Code:
(*
BP 3/12 PhotoDatePrepender
Prepends date to any file in chosen folder that starts with DSC_
(doing this as a folder action misses some, so I'll make it a script app)

--03 02 12 13 41 01 --"Friday, March 2, 2012 1:41:01 PM" (day name is left out)

*)
--set srcfld to ((path to desktop) as text) & "untitled folder"
set srcfld to (choose folder) as string
--return srcfld
try
    with timeout of 600 seconds
        tell application "Finder"
            set props to properties of every file of folder srcfld
        end tell
    end timeout
on error num
    --say "proot"
    display dialog num
    beep {}
    return
end try
set numfiles to count of props

set n to 1
repeat with n from 1 to numfiles
    set nam to name of item n of props
    set dat to creation date of item n of props
   
    if nam starts with "DSC_" or nam starts with "IMG_" then
        set newnam to characters 4 thru -1 of nam -- strip the DSC
       
        set timestr to ""
        set m to month of dat as integer
        set timestr to addtotimestring(m, timestr)
        set m to day of dat as integer
        set timestr to addtotimestring(m, timestr)
        set m to (year of dat as integer) - 2000
        set timestr to addtotimestring(m, timestr)
        set m to hours of dat as integer
        set timestr to addtotimestring(m, timestr)
        set m to minutes of dat as integer
        set timestr to addtotimestring(m, timestr)
        set m to seconds of dat as integer
        set timestr to addtotimestring(m, timestr) --day month year hour min sec (24 hour time)
       
        set newnam to timestr & newnam
        try
            tell application "Finder"
                --set name of file (srcfld & ":" & nam) to newnam
                set name of file (srcfld & nam) to newnam
            end tell
        on error
            say "doop"
        end try
    end if
   
end repeat


on addtotimestring(m, timestr)
    if m is less than 10 then
        set timestr to timestr & "0" & m as text
    else
        set timestr to timestr & m as text
    end if
    return timestr
end addtotimestring

I saved this as an App from AppleScript Editor. It works as a plain Scropt too, or you could port it to Automator.
It puts up a dialog asking which folder you want it to work on.
It's nothing fancy, so you'll just see a beachball until it finishes. Usually it's pretty quick about it, but if you've got 700 pix that it decides to add a date to, it can take a while. Since 10.5, Finder has gotten progressively slower at displaying changed file names. Apple made the Finder update call asynchronous, so as to better deal with slow network devices. I suppose that's a good thing, if you have a slow network.

Thank you very much for the script! I will try this over the weekend.
 
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