iPhoto Library Huge? Delete your movies!

My iPhoto library has grown to over 30 Gigabytes.  We’ve got nearly 10 years of photos in the Library, but still, that’s a massive library size for a person, who until today when I bought a dSLR, always used the stock settings on  our camera.

A had a sneaking suspicion of the root cause of my iPhoto library growth, however.  A few years back, instead of having a separate camcorder that used DV videotape, we started shooting all our video on our point-and-shoot.  iPhoto by default imports videos from the camera, and so over the past 3 or 4 years we seem to have accumulated 20 Gigabytes of videos (about 200 videos shot) out of a 30GB library.  Extreme!

So, in order to combat this growing file size, I took some steps to export these videos and delete the from the Library.

First Step, Find the Videos

First, we need to find the videos.  Took some time to find this, but you can’t do an advanced find or anything sophisticated in iPhoto.  However, you can create a Smart Album.  Go to File -> New Smart Album, and set it up like this:

Second Step, Export the Videos

iPhoto is great for managing a large number of small files.  However, because it manages files all inside one .pkg file, it means once it gets large (20-50 gigabytes) it becomes a royal pain to move around.  Best to keep a large number of small files inside it, and manage the large files somewhere else on your file system.  To do that, lets export all the videos out of Library.  First hit select the Smart Album we just created, I called mine videos.  Next, hit Cmd-A to select all the videos in your Smart Album, then Go to File -> Export and make your window look like this:

Select a directory to export them to, and you’ll find all your original movies in that folder after the export is complete.

Third, Delete the Videos

Now, it’s time to clear out the videos from the Library.  However, this is not as straight forward as it would seem.  Attempting to delete the videos from the Library does not work as expected.  iPhoto will simply beep at you if you hit Cmd-Delete, or if you try to select Delete from the menu you’ll find it greyed out.  Instead, you need to do a Cmd-Opt-Delete from the Keyboard and this will allow you to delete the videos from the Smart Album.  Again, go the Smart Album we created in the first step, then hit Cmd-A to select all the videos in the Smart Album, then hit Cmd-Opt-Delete, and it’ll prompt you to move all the videos to the trash.  Hit Okay, then right click the Trash icon and choose “Empty Trash.”  Quit iPhoto, and your space from your iPhoto Library will be reclaimed!

On living without interruption

Dave Winer is inspiring me to write smaller posts on things that come to mind.  I think it’s good for the soul.

One of the most telling things about changing jobs to a completely different career, from IT Operations to Marketing, is that there are some people who, while well paid, really get treated like shit.  All of you IT Operations professionals out there, I am truly sorry for how your management and employers mistreat you. And for you individual contributors out there, I’m going to go one step further, and I’m going to sincerely apologize to your bosses, probably up to Director level, although some VPs probably get the shaft too.  Your middle management’s life sucks, and, assuming they do right by you, you should be thankful they’re willing to work 24 hours a day 7 days a week with no on-call rotation.

IT Operations people’s lives are constantly getting disrupted.  This is the case in many operational jobs, but none more so than in IT Operations.  Sales Vice Presidents don’t get called every night a time or two to approve something or to be informed of something, and they certainly don’t work many weekends or miss vacations because some system decides out of the blue to go on the fritz.

Many times during my career people would tell me that there were other jobs out there that didn’t have the kind of time commitments, constant interruptions, and general downsides that IT Operations had.  I always laughed them off, told them I was sure they were right, but now that I’m on the other side I have to say that life is truly better when your phone doesn’t ring every night with a problem.  It’s like when you’re young and poor and you’re afraid to answer the phone because of some bill collector on the other end of the line.  Once you get older and start paying your bills on time, the phone ringing no longer evokes a visceral fear reaction, and it’s the same after you change jobs.  There is life after Operations, and while it isn’t for everyone, after 15 years of it, it was for me.

Why I write here instead of there

I often consider moving what limited writing I do today over to other services (Tumblr, Posterus (which just sold), etc), but I don’t.  I’ve not given it much thought, other than I have this nagging fear that Dave Winer has articulated well in his last post:

Further, I am creating an archive of my writing, over many years. And if I scatter my writing all over the place, even if these services were part of the web, it would be against my interest to do that. Having it all in one place is value, to me at least.

Right now I’m using wordpress.com to publish the site, but up until about 6 months ago it was on my own servers.  That’s merely for convenience.  Wordpress gives me the opportunity to easily export everything from this site and import it into a site I’m hosting myself.  I really believe in Dave’s effort to get people to run their own servers, and at some point I’d like to contribute.  I’m just not a fan of his software stack or development environment (or Matt’s for that matter, the development environment not necessarily the software).  Maybe I should write my own, but just don’t have the time right now.