Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘iPhoto’

What to Do With That Old iPhoto Library ➝

Glenn Fleishman, writing for Macworld:

Deleting a hard link in one place leaves all the other references intact. When the number of hard links drops to just one, you’ve just got a file! No hard links at all. And deleting that one reference, the file itself, truly does throw the file in the trash. Thus, delete your iPhoto Library, and—ostensibly—you won’t delete any files shared by Photos through hard links.

Having said all that, please make a complete backup of both your iPhoto and Photos libraries before deleting the iPhoto Library. You should be able to toss it and lose nothing, but I’m not so blithe as to suggest you whistle while you’re emptying the trash and assume all is well.

A great tip for anyone who has fully transitioned from iPhoto to Photos on the Mac.

One Singular Photo Library ➝

With the public release of Photos last week, I thought I’d link to a piece I wrote last month regarding my disappointments with the direction Apple is headed for photo management — the crux of my complaints being that there’s no solution for families wanting to maintain one singular photo library across multiple iCloud user accounts.

There’s certainly still the possibility that Apple could add such a feature in the future. And, it’s not as though the photo management experience is worse than it was with iPhoto. I can still process my photos the same way I have for years — importing them from my and my fiancée’s devices into iPhoto and then syncing our iPhones and iPad with iTunes. But, I would love Apple to offer a more future-proof, cloud-based solution that helps keep all of our photos accessible without needing to maintain two separate iCloud Photo Libraries.

I haven’t dug too deep into all of Photos’ features yet, but the application is absolutely stunning and very responsive when dealing with photos saved on my Mac. There was a couple of bumps in the road when I first upgraded, but nothing that I would consider to be a deal breaker — I’ve received errors when syncing my Photos library to the iPad which was fixed with a reboot and occasionally Photos won’t load the shared albums I’m subscribed to which is usually remedied by quitting and relaunching the app. Overall I think this is a step in the right direction from iPhoto, but I still hold out hope that Apple will continue building from here until Photos meets all my needs.

Photos for OS X and Hard Linked iPhoto Imports ➝

Jason Snell discusses Photos for OS X’s use of hard links when importing your iPhoto library. I Like that Apple thought ahead when developing Photos, giving users the option to go back to using iPhoto without also doubling the amount of disk space that your photos take up. It was clever on their part considering how many MacBook Airs with reletively small SSDs are still in use (many of which are only 64GB).

The Demise of iLife ➝

I missed this from a couple of months ago — Ted Landau writing for Macworld:

While Apple could include Photos under the iLife rubric as the replacement for iPhoto, I doubt that the company will do so. Rather, I suspect the new app will be marketed much like iTunes, as a standalone app that’s bundled with the operating system. If so, this would technically mean that only two apps remain as part of iLife: iMovie and GarageBand.

I remember paying $79 for iLife when I bought my first Mac in 2006. It was great then and I continue to believe that the “iLife” suite of software is one of the most compelling reasons for someone to buy a Mac — with iPhoto being the most important among the iLife apps.

This transition from iPhoto to Photos does worry me a bit. iPhoto is always the first piece of software I bring up when I’m trying to convince a friend or family member to switch from Windows to Mac. Everyone takes photos now and iPhoto is the easiest piece of software I’ve found to manage and organize them. Which is why Apple replacing iPhoto with Photos makes me a bit uneasy — I’d rather them not mess with a good thing for fear of them screwing it up in the process. But, I suppose I’ll have to temper my fears until Apple releases Photos (likely) late next month.

Using Photo Stream for Christmas Lists

Every year I hear the same things from friends and family: “do you have a Christmas list yet?”, “You have to send me your Christmas list.” And, I usually reply with “I’ll come up with one, I’m not sure what I want this year.” Which is often true, but only because I have an awful memory.

Even though I have spent the past two months pointing out things that I want for Christmas I always end up forgetting about them. So, I needed an easy, fun, and interesting way to share my Christmas list. I initially tried adding links to the items that I wanted on Twitter with the hashtag #christmaslist. This would allow my friends and family who were following me to see what kinds of things I wanted this year. But, it didn’t end up working out very well. Not enough of the people asking for my list even used Twitter and it often meant that those asking for my list had to search for and compile the list for themselves.

So, I came up with another solution: Photo Stream. The same service that my sister and brother-in-law have been using to share pictures of their children was going to be my wishlist service. It’s a simple idea that worked out much better than using Twitter and happened to be easier for me to actually do because it felt more like a fun project than the tedious task of compiling a list links.

Whether I find an item online and take a screenshot or take a picture of an item in a brick and mortar store, adding it to my Photo Stream is incredibly easy. Dropping it into iPhoto and clicking share or tapping the share button on my iPhone was super easy. All that’s left is adding a brief description about the specifics (size/color), the price, and either a link or a list of places where it could be purchased.

Now the iPhone owners in my life can just open up the Photos app to see my Christmas list with information about where to purchase and how much they’ll cost. And because I’m able to add and remove photos from the stream, they will always have my most recent list of items that I want.

One of the key things I wanted with my wishlist system was the ability to add things to it. I have a hard enough time coming up with just a few things to put on my list and if I ever had to add to it I would have to send out an email with new items that I’ve found. But, I always hate receiving emails like that because I would prefer one place to look when shopping for a person and emails like that mean that I have to compile the list myself and save it in a notes application. With Photo Stream, all the things I want are in one place that can be easily updated.

But, by far the best part about using this system is that not just iPhone owners can make use of it. Because of Photo Stream’s public website feature I can just send out a link to everyone who wants it but doesn’t have an iPhone. The only downside I’ve found with this is that the public website only displays the initial comment made when you first upload the photo, so any questions that others’ ask that are answered in the comments aren’t included. But, that’s a small price to pay for what I consider to be the best way to share a Christmas wishlist with friends and family.

iPhoto for iOS ➝

Now available in the App Store for $4.99. It’s an amazing piece of software that’s compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S, iPad 2, and the new iPad.

I haven’t spent any time with the software, I have a first generation iPad and don’t think I really want to spend too much time editing and organizing photos on my iPhone. But, I was very impressed by Randy Ubillos’ demo on stage at Apple’s event last week. I was especially impressed with the Photo Journals, I can really see myself using it as a way to share photos with my family.

But honestly, they really couldn’t come up with a better icon?

Buy a New Mac, Get iLife for All Your Macs ➝

I didn’t realize this while I was setting up the Mac mini — probably because I still haven’t launched the App Store on it. But, when I setup my MacBook Air last night I launched the App Store and the Purchased tab told me that I had three applications to “accept.” I was prompted for my login credentials and now I have App Store-licensed versions of iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand.

Thoughts on ‘Back to the Mac’

Steve Jobs took stage on Wednesday for Apple’s Back to the Mac event where there were several big, Mac-related announcements. The event felt much larger than I thought it would and confirmed that Apple hasn’t been resting on their laurels when it comes to the Mac side of their business. Mac sales are stronger than ever and will continue to improve as Apple remains at their current pace of improving products.

iLife ’11

Apple released iLife ’11 on Wednesday and with it came updated versions of iPhoto, GarageBand, and iMovie. The suite itself has followed Snow Leopard’s lead and is available for only $49. I can’t say much about iMovie and GarageBand because I really don’t use them. But, they look like great updates to a couple of already fantastic applications.

In regards to iPhoto, Facebook users can now more easily upload photos directly to the site and you can view comments on photos from your friends on Facebook from within iPhoto. The new slideshows look fantastic, I really enjoyed the places slideshow that Phil Schiller demoed on stage. And, the ability to email photos from within iPhoto looks really handy.

One of the big new features that has come to iPhoto is a fullscreen mode that gets rid of distractions and allows you to use every feature of the application without ever leaving fullscreen mode. What I find most interesting is just how much the application feels like an iOS app when in this fullscreen mode. It makes me wonder if Apple was planning (or is planning) to release iPhoto or other iLife applications for the iPad. I can see how easily iPhoto’s fullscreen user interface could translate to a touchscreen device.


Apple is pushing FaceTime into more places and now you can FaceTime on your Mac. I’m a little surprised that FaceTime wasn’t integrated into iChat but I’m starting to get the feeling that Apple is getting ready to end development of iChat. FaceTime will be Apple’s preferred means of video chatting and unless Apple comes up with a brand new instant messaging platform that works across all of their devices, SMS on your iPhone will likely be Apple’s preferred text chatting platform.

Mac OS X Lion

Apple has released seven major Mac OS versions in the past decade, and in Summer 2011 Apple will release their eighth. Apple only previewed three major new features in Lion but already this is looking to be a pretty hefty update. With Lion Apple has decided to take some of the innovations that they’ve made with iOS and bring them back to the Mac. One of those innovations is application home screens which on the Mac will be dubbed “Launchpad.” Launchpad displays all of the applications installed on your Mac in easy to navigate pages with the ability to quickly organize your applications with iOS-style folders.

Just like iPhoto’s fullscreen mode, Apple will be bringing system-wide support for fullscreen applications. Switch between these fullscreen apps and your desktop with just simple swipe gesture on the trackpad or Magic Mouse. I love the idea of fullscreen applications. There are a lot of apps that would benefit from the increased screen real estate and the lack of distractions that comes from viewing them in fullscreen mode.

With Mac OS X Lion, Exposé, Dashboard, Spaces, and fullscreen applications will be unified into one place that Apple is calling “Mission Control.” Using a swipe gesture pulls you out of your current application and into a bird’s-eye view of everything running on your Mac. Whether your looking for a dashboard widget, a Safari window, or iPhoto in fullscreen mode, you can find it with Mission Control. I don’t use Dashboard or Spaces and rarely use Exposé, I usually use command+tab when trying to find another application. But, I can see myself using Mission Control, especially with the addition of fullscreen apps — I can see how things could get a little hairy trying to find the application your looking for when you have multiple fullscreen apps, multiple spaces, multiple windows, and a few dashboard widgets.

Mac App Store

Another of Apple’s big announcement at the event was the Mac App Store which Steve Jobs said would be coming to the Mac within 90 days. The Mac App Store will work just like the App Store on iOS, there will be a 70/30 split between developers and Apple and applications will need to be submitted and approved by Apple. Applications will automatically install when purchased and users will be able to update their applications with one click from within the Mac App Store. Users will be able to re-download applications to their Mac that they’ve already purchased and the applications will be licensed for use on all of the Macs you own.

The biggest difference between the iOS and Mac App Stores is that the Mac App Store isn’t the only place you’ll be able to purchase and/or download applications from. Developers that choose not to release through the Mac App Store or applications that Apple is unwilling to approve can still be distributed as they are today.

I think the Mac App Store is going to be huge for users switching from the PC. I can see many of my friends and family members feeling significantly less hesitant to make the switch knowing that they have one place to go if they need to find an application for their new Mac. No need to do any Google searching, just fire up the Mac App Store and they’ll likely find what their looking for in just a few minutes. And, because Apple has approved all of the applications they don’t need to worry about whether or not the application is doing anything nefarious.

The only real worry I have with the Mac App Store is for developers whose applications aren’t able to be approved by Apple. There will always be Mac applications that Apple will never approve for their App Store (Handbrake, Transmission, etc.) and there will also be applications that get rejected for silly reasons, it’ll be even more difficult than it already is for those developers’ applications to get noticed by users if they’re not in the Mac App Store.

MacBook Air

Apple’s final announcement came as no surprise to anyone, a brand new 13.3-inch and 11.6-inch MacBook Air. The new MacBook Air starts at a jaw-dropping $999 for the 11.6-inch model with the 13.3-inch starting at $1,299. All models come with a solid-state disk (SSD), MacBook Pro-style glass trackpad, two USB ports, and NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics and are available today. These new MacBook Airs have a boot time of less than 15 seconds thanks to their SSD and have 5 and 7 hours of battery life for the 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models respectively. They both feature LED-backlit displays with a resolution of 1366×768 for the 11.6-inch model and 1440×900 for the 13.3-inch model.

Apple has raised the bar even higher for notebook computers and are really giving PC manufacturers a run for their money. $999 for a notebook with a build quality of the 11.6-inch MacBook Air is an unbelievable deal and makes the decision between the MacBook Air and MacBook even more difficult for most. The release of the iPad pushed my planned purchase of a new notebook back 6-12 months and I’m glad it did. When I finally purchase a new notebook the MacBook Air is going to be the perfect choice. I already have an iMac at home and don’t need a notebook to act as my full time computer. I just need it for when I want to do some writing in the living room or when I am going on a trip and want something a little more powerful than my iPad.

When I make the purchase I believe I’ll be getting the 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 128GB SSD, 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, and 4GB of RAM. That’ll bring my purchase price up to $1,399 but I think I’ll be much happier with the larger drive, faster processor, and you can never have too much RAM. It’s a small price to pay that will increase the life of the computer another year or two.