Sunday, July 17, 2011

Media Nightmares

July 17, 2011

Many Years ago... There is only this...


It was quite expensive to take photos.  So, you usually buy 1-2 rolls of film.  And you try to make very good and quality photos.  With very nice pose.  Like the one below... hahaha  so, no matter how you screw up your pose, you will always get 1-2 quality photos with nice pose ...


Then comes the digital era, where your camera, video cam are stored in digital format.


Wow... I can continue tirelessly take photos... and regardless of whether it is a nice or bad pose... Just take it anyway...


So, especially when you have your first child, unknowingly, after few years later, you end up with tens of thousands of photos.  Not to mention those thousands of videos you have taken...

Then, come the fantastic devices such as iPhone & iPad...


and you wanted to share your photos on all these devices... and bring them around, etc.  And if you are kind enough, you also bought a pair of those devices for your wife...

And then, Apple makes things easy for you...


You start to create fantastic home movies...


Unfortunately it does not stop there... you started to create HD 720p videos or even 1020p videos so that you can play back to your LED/Plasma TV via Apple TV 2...


And you start to talk about "Air Play" it ...

What about those HD 720p or 1020p movies you have downloaded...  (Each movie is >4Gbps)

what about those CD that you rip as Apple Lossless format (Each songs is > 30Mbps)

Not to mention the Apple iOS Apps for iPhone and iPad...

and the eBooks you have downloaded

and the magazines PDF files...

And after all these new tech bombing into your life... you end up with this...

Screen shot 2011-07-17 at AM 07.30.38.png

What?  Where is all my hard disk space?

- iTunes apparently will chew up a lot of hard disk space, as it has to store all the movies, music and Apps

- iPhoto is equally terrifying of chewing up a lot of hard disk space, especially when you own a high price HDR camera...

- And when iTunes does a backup for your iPhone and iPad (for me, I need to backup 4 devices on a single Mac)...

So, you have finally run out of hard disk space.  What will you do?

A lot of people is slowly getting there...  when that day comes, it will be like a dooms day to that person... hahahaha

So, what will you do?

Here I would like to share a bit of what I am doing right now.

1.  First of all, invest in a good and high quality NAS.  I uses Synology.  This is the external hard disk where you want to run RAID (a configuration that uses 1 hard disk to back up for multiple hard disk.  So that when 1 hard disk is spoiled, the extra hard disk can rebuild the data and take over the spoiled hard disk).  This is where you wan to keep all your PERSONAL MEDIA FILES.  i.e. your photos, movies, music, etc.


2.  If you have budget, buy another cheapo hard disk, i.e. those external hard disk from Western Digitals.  And then, use them to do routines backup of your NAS.  Means, every now and then, do a full back up copy all the photos and movies onto these external hard disk and distribute the risk.

3.  If you really got time, then, write those datas onto the DVD ROM as back up.

4.  Always remember, even the powerful NAS may failed.  So, that is why you need multiple backup copies.

5.  For my photos, I usually keeps the RAW files on Flickr.  And keep another copy on Facebook.

6.  For my important data files, or media files, I also keep it on Me.Com from Apple.

7.  Lastly, invest another 1Gbps external hard disk to serve as Time Machine.  To back up your working iMac from time to time.  Then, you have very good confident that your majority media files are save.

8.  I even go one step further, for those photos I like, I usually will print a PHOTO BOOK out.  Just in case.  :)

9.  Then, you come back to clean up your Media Mess.  First, I moved all my iTunes BACKUP of my iOS onto my NAS.  (By the way, you also need a good Gigabits network at home to move files from servers to PC/iMac).  iPhone, iPad will keep a back up copy on iMac.  Usually it does not store the media files unless it is a non-iPhoto, non-itunes, non-iMovie files.  If you got lots of movies on your iPad, then, itunes will store a backup copy.  And your backup files can be very big.  In my case, I don't store a lot of media files in OPlayer and I also don't have lots of large PDF magazines...  So my Four iOS devices backup files are only < 25Gbps...  don't forget that iPhone is 32Gb each and iPad is 64Gb each... So, if you have a lot of those external files, your backup can go as high as 100Gb-200Gb.  Got to watch out of that...

Screen shot 2011-07-17 at AM 08.07.36.png

If you are familiar with Linux, Unix or Mac OS, you can actually move these backup directory onto your NAS.  And then you do a soft link back to the NAS directory. i.e.

ln -s /Users/kenliew/Library/Application Support/MobileSync POINT TO /NAS/Backup/MobileSync (something like this)...

Doing so, the syncing of iPhone/iPad can be a bit slower depending on your home networking switch and router.

10.  For iPhoto, you got to do a major clean up.  So, go into every even, make a backup of each event folder, and then, start deleting photos, those really ugly, and shaky photos, you got to delete them away to free up space.  To do so, create a new directory on the NAS for each new event in iPhoto.  And then, just drag the event into that new folder.  Wait for it to complete copying.

11.  BEWARE.  When you delete those photos from iPhotos.  It does not mean that you had really deleted those photos.  There is a TRASHCAN folder in iPhotos too.  So, you will need to EMPTY TRASH, so to move those deleted photos onto your iMac TRASHCAN, and then, do another EMPTY TRASH on the iMac TRASHCAN.

12.  For iMovie, once you completed a project.  Import the movie into iTunes and store it there.  And then, move the .proj file on to your NAS backup.  So that you always delete the media files and the PROJECT files for the iMovie.  I usually upload this to facebook too.  And if you got time, you can also upload it to Youtube and

13.  For iTunes, always clean up your APPS directory.  But nowadays, Apple provide you a new PURCHASE folder, where you can see what kind of apps you have purchased before.  That means you do not need to backup for those Apps, simply redownload it again.  OK.  For those Jailbroken phone, every single Apps will be treated as external data.  So, if you have iPhone and iPad, then, iTunes will backup both copy.  That will grow your iOS Backup tremendously.  If you have not jailbroken the phone, then, all these media files are store on your iTunes and iPhotos.  So, it will not copied to iOS Backup.  :)

Basically that is the basic ideas.  And it is really a nightmare to me to clean up those iPhotos.  But it is a mess you actually made thru out the years, so you better clean it yourself.  Good luck!





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