Trying to understand optimised files in iCloud Photo Library

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by Forkjulle, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Forkjulle macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    #1
    I can't understand why it's so difficult to find a decent rundown of how this works.

    Anyway, hopefully these forums can help.

    I've enabled iCloud Photo Library (and like the idea, I might add). Photos and videos have uploaded successfully.

    Let's say I have an album with 10 photos and 1 video. My understanding is that the optimised versions stay on my phone (as per my selection). When I view a photo, it looks terrible, but quickly loads a better version. Presumably, this is the full resolution version.

    1. How long does that version stay on my phone? What if I viewed all 10 photos? Would all 10 full resolution version download onto my phone? If so, then wouldn't that defeat the point of "optimised"? Or do those full res versions, on my phone, have a shelf life?

    2. Do videos also get "optimised"? If I'm using my data (and not wifi) and decide to show someone the video, does my phone suddenly download the full resolution version to my phone?

    Whatever answers you might have would be better than nothing...
     
  2. Jammer005 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2015
    #2
    I have the same question, plus one more.
    I have 20,000 Photos and 600 Videos (80 GBs), and want to know how much memory the optimized versions will take on an iPhone. I have a number of iPhones in my family and some have limited memory.
    I have contacted Apple Support a couple of times and they can't answer this question. I understand that it 'depends' but there must be a rule of thumb or approximation.
     
  3. Jammer005, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015

    Jammer005 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2015
    #3
    I talked to an Apple specialist today, he said that the Photos do not take up any memory space on your iPhone (unless you download them) and that they are simply streamed from iCloud when you have an internet connection. So, this would also mean if you did not have a connection (e.g. Airplane mode) then you would not see any Photos on your iOS device unless of course you have downloaded them to the device or took the origin pictures on your iPhone. But he said you can delete them and they wok stil remain on iCloud.
     
  4. gpspad macrumors 6502

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    Feb 4, 2014
    #4
    I don't think you can delete them, everything I have read says that if you delete them from any device it removes them from the cloud.

    If you try deleting something a reminder pops up telling you that.
     
  5. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

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    Feb 1, 2004
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    Netherlands
    #5
    I just finished uploading my 220GB library to iCloud Photo Library and enabled the feature on my iPhone 6 last night. I checked usage this morning and it came to 8GB being used by Photos. That might be photos and videos that I actually took with my iphone though... not sure. Loading photos from the cloud seems to work well although a large portion of my 32000 photo library still needs to be synced up. Lots of blanks still.... overall happy with it so far!:cool:
     
  6. Jammer005 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2015
    #6
    It would be great to know if you are able to delete an original photo off your iPhone without deleting the iCloud photo. If you have a chance, maybe you can take a shot on the iPhone and then try deleting it. I'm curious to know if the 8GB are the actual photos/videos you took. BTW, how long did it take to upload 220GB?
     
  7. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

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    #7
    I was kind of going on the assumption that eventually all local photos and videos will be optimized - this is the setting I chose - so it will upload the original to iCloud and keep an optimized copy. I'll give it a try.

    220GB took something like 3 days. Uploading was not particularly fast though. It almost looked like it was uploading in blocks of something like 10-15MB. I could see network activity peak for 5-6 seconds and then 5 or 6 seconds off again. It uploaded at approx 2.5MB/s during the peak moments. Wasn't really taxing my 20Mbit upload speed.. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Jammer005 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2015
    #8
    Nice upload speed!
    What the Apple Support rep seemed to suggest to me was that the optimized versions doesn't take up any space on your iPhone. When you are connected to the Internet, then it streams down the thumbnails. Even then, what if your iPhone has a limited amount of memory left, what happens then . . . I'm surprised by the lack of information Apple has provided on this. But, thanks for checking things out.
     
  9. gpspad macrumors 6502

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    Feb 4, 2014
    #9
    If you think about it, its almost like a grand evil plan.

    Apple gets us to upload all this content onto the cloud to free up space on our devices. At first its all in thumb nails, but as we upload more, we end up using just as much space as before. So you end up needing a bigger phone and need to rent cloud space.

    Its a perfect plan...
     
  10. BartN macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    #10
    I have similar questions. I had several iPhoto libraries, one on my SSD and some others on my external HD. My first step was to merge all these iPhoto libraries into one big library, stored on my external HD. Then I imported the stuff into the photos.app. As a next step i bought 200 Gbyte cloud storage and started uploading the entire photos library to the iCloud. Yes, it took about three days to upload around 20 thousand photos.

    What did i get so far? I got two things now: a sound backup and access to my photos using my iPhone and iPad. What I understand is that the full versions of my photos are in the cloud now. The iPhone and iPad have adjusted (down) sized version of my photos. My MacBook Pro holds a copy of the entire photos library on its external disk.

    My goal: I would like to have a smaller version of the library on the SSD of my Macbook Pro. What I understand is that Apple can take care of that. It has a clever algorithm that keeps recent photos and most recently accessed photos on my device and deletes older stuff. This older stuff can always be accessed and down loaded if a want to. Hence, the file is stored in a cached version. In fact it works like the way it is done on my iPhone and iPad.

    My second goal: I would like to have also a full copy of my high resolution 200 GByte version also on my external HD. Double

    I have two questions:
    1. How can I migrate towards the new situation. I cannot copy the 200 Gbyte file to my SSD, and then make it the system photo library because I do not have that much of space available on my SSD.
    2. How can I create (and update) the full copy of the iClouds on my external HD?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Bart
     
  11. Jammer005 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2015
    #11
    iCloud Photo Follow Up:
    I signed up for the service.

    73GB took approximately 40 hours to upload with an upload speed of ~5-7Mbps
    ~20,000 Photos and 680 Videos appear to take approximately 2GB of Storage (Optimized) as Thumbnails so approx 3% ratio for me (note: I had ~40GB in videos of the total 73GBs) on one my iPhones. My iPad 2 took 5.2 GBs of Memory. The iPad was a fresh install whereas my iPhones already had original photos on them, so I am guessing by how much my Storage increased before and after signing up.

    Ideally, with my iPhones and to ease up memory, I think the best method would be to turn off iCloud Photo (after all Photos are uploaded to iCloud), delete all the Photos on your iPhone or iOS device and then Turn iCloud Photo back on (Optimization on). I'm not sure if there is an easy 'Delete All' option. This should allow you to retain only optimized versions and not any of the originals you may have taken with that particular iOS device.

    Side note: the Apple Specialist was definitely wrong, the Photos do take up some space. And turning Airplane mode on still allows me to see all the thumbnails it just can't download the original. If you select it a photo and try to zoom in, an exclamation mark appears where the download progress circle is.
     
  12. BartN macrumors newbie

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    Feb 15, 2012
    #12
    Following up my own previous post: On my iPhone, I have switch on iCloud Library, selected optimized, switched off My PhotoStream, switched on iCloud Photo Sharing, switched on Summarize Photos. Expected behavior occurred. Photo's are downloaded in thumbnails on my phone. If you click on it, more detailed photo is downloaded. Photo app uses 1.5 GB. Usage reads 11.7 GB used and 323 MB available. That's not very much in my view. I have no idea how to force more free space.

    I managed to successfully use the same mechanism on my MacBook. I created a New Photos Library. This library was empty of course. Then by making this library the system photos library, the Photos.app started synchronizing and downloading photos from the cloud. The iCloud library is 160 GB while the local version of the library is now around 40 MB. My free memory of the mac is now around 68 GB. I am pretty close to what i wanted. It looks like apple is managing the memory on my macbook pretty OK. When i start editing photos on my MacBook, the high resolution version is downloaded first.
     
  13. Jammer005 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2015
    #13
    Same setting for me as well, on my iPhone.
    My storage for Photo Library has increased now and is 24GB (80GB Uploaded). So I'm a bit worried about that size growing over time.

    I am wondering how to 're-optimize' a video that I clicked on that was 4GBs. I tried deleting and then recovering, but I don't think that worked to reduce the size back to optimized...
     
  14. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 7, 2007
    #14
    If you delete them from your iPhone or iPad, it will delete them from iCloud and your Mac. If you have your Mac running Yosemite with Photos and synch to iCloud, it will be deleted.
     
  15. BartN macrumors newbie

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    Feb 15, 2012
    #15
    Optimize iPhone storage does not work

    Again follow up of my previous posts. Although I have set "Optimize iPhone Storage", the local file on my iPhone is growing and is taking too much space now. I even think that it is not synchronizing anymore, probably due to the limited free space on my iPhone. I have only 16 GB memory in my iPhone 4S. Hence, memory is certainly not optimal managed. Frustrating, I do not know what to do to solve this issue. I did not find any way to somehow downsize the local size of the photos library. It is now 1,5 GB in size and leaving only 255 MB for other apps. Why cannot we we set an upper limit for the size of the file? Suggestions are welcome.

    Bart
     
  16. Jammer005, May 4, 2015
    Last edited: May 4, 2015

    Jammer005 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2015
    #16
    Yes, but you have 30 days to recover the photo/video. My hope was that if I deleted the fully downloaded copy you can then recover an optimized version. But I think the deleted (full) version stays downloaded on your device until after 30 days.
     
  17. Jammer005 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2015
    #17

    I tested this tonight:
    iPhoto Library is 85GBs (Photos and Videos)
    iPhone 6 grew to 12 GBs (with optimization)
    Turned iPhone 6 iPhoto Library off, manually deleted all the remaining photos and videos on the phone (There is no automatic delete)
    Turned iPhone iPhoto Library back on (with optimization), once downloaded usage is now 2.2GBs.
    So an 85GB library can be optimized to 2.2GBs if starting off fresh and you have no original sized photos or videos on your iOS device.
     
  18. jaknudsen macrumors member

    jaknudsen

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    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #18
    That's interesting, but (to my understanding) unnecessary. If your iPhone goes low on free space, the photo library will automatically be optimized.
     
  19. mattm591 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    #19
    Sorry to bring up old thread, but there's actually relatively little on this topic online and it's a problem I keep trying to find a way to solve!

    I found that factory resetting my iPad and restoring drastically reduced the amount of space taken by an optimised iCloud Photo Library. But as others have noted, over time (and not much time really - maybe a month or two) it grows quite a bit larger and seems to keep doing so.

    It seems to me that it will grow to take up any free space on the device, which can be quite frustrating as there's no way to manually control this. If you suddenly need 2GB there's nothing you can do to re-gain the space Photo Library has taken up.

    However, what I did notice is that when my space went really low (I'd guess below 1GB, specifically for me it was around 700MB) it did delete about 1GB of Photo Library space to give me back over 1GB of data.

    So it seems that it does have some sort of automatic space reclaim, but only if you're critically low. Having more than 1GB available it seems to think is fine, even if you have say 1.3GB and want to install a large game or something that needs much more space.
     
  20. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #20
    Have you had a "storage full" error when trying to install a big app? Or download a large file?

    Unless you did, it seems to me that Optimize is working fine.
     
  21. jaknudsen macrumors member

    jaknudsen

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    #21
    Do you have an example?
     
  22. Jammer005 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2015
    #22
    Interesting, so are you suggesting that the library will compress/reduce depending on how much memory is needed at the time? Because I also thought it kept growing (and never reduced the storage) I had hoped Apple would include something like the new Music Optimize Storage feature in iOS10 - that you could allocate the amount of storage assigned to Photos like Music.
     
  23. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #23
    Apple is the one saying that:

    "If you turn on Optimize Storage, iCloud Photo Library automatically manages the size of your library on your device. Your original photos and videos are stored in iCloud and space-saving versions are kept on your device. Your library is optimized only when you need space, starting with the photos and videos you access least. You can download the original photos and videos over Wi-Fi or cellular when you need them. You can use Optimize Storage on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac."

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204264
     
  24. danbone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    #24
    Hi Bart,

    I am trying to do something very similar now. Did you manage to solve your two questions?

    Also how did you merge your photos libraries? I have one on my local SSD and one on an external HD that don't overlap and I would like to add the ones from the external HD onto my local one.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     

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