Thursday, August 11, 2011

Getting wet - and slashing iPhoto Library size to less than a third

Until now I had been using the LX5 after rain, or before rain, not in the rain. Today that changed. We were on a late afternoon walk along the Vantaa river when rain started pouring. I have been a bit wary of getting the LX5 wet but the promise of photographs was just too tempting. But it was just a few drops of water, otherwise I kept the camera covered.

Yesterday I asked for help with the problem of iPhoto disk use growing and growing, and got an excellent suggestion to check out the various directories hidden inside the iPhoto Library folder. I should have checked this at once and not tried to rely on iPhoto being able to recover from the problems by itself.

Anyway, it turned out that since October, 2010, iPhoto had not cleared out the deleted photographs, despite appearing to do so when I had emptied the trash in iPhoto. So, iPhoto had kept hiding away each day almost 1 GB worth of unneeded photographs, eating up disk space at the monthly rate of 25-40 GB.

I didn't even try cleaning up iPhoto manually. Up at Apple Support Discussions (currently on mainainance, but there is a Google cache) I found a hint to use iPhoto Library Manager to rebuild the iPhoto Library. This worked perfectly, but rebuilding took a long, long time - and it ended in an error message. However, everything seemed to be fine, at least the number of photographs and events match the old iPhoto Library.

Anyway, free space on the iMac hard disk got up from 67 GB to 278 GB. Not to speak of similar savings on the backup disks as well. And the iPhoto Library is now less than a third of what it used to be: down from 308 GB to less than 95 GB.

That was quite a change! For quite a while I don't (I hope) need to stress about having too little disk space.

Update: The story continued...

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