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Initial Impressions of Photos for OS X Beta

On 5 February 2015, Apple released a beta version of its new Photos for OS X app to developers and select members of the press. Announced last year as a replacement for both of Apple’s other existing photography apps, iPhoto and Aperture, Photos had originally been promised for early 2015 (see “Apple Unveils iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite at WWDC,” 2 June 2014). With this release, we now know that it’s coming this spring as a part of the OS X 10.10.3 update.

The prospect of moving photography apps is daunting, but even die-hard users of iPhoto and Aperture would probably admit that the old versions had become increasingly slow and wonky. Rather than rip them apart, Apple decided to start fresh, which may sound familiar to users of many other Apple apps, including Final Cut Pro and both the iLife and iWork suites.

A Bridge to a New Land -- When you launch Photos for the first time, the app will automatically upgrade your iPhoto library. (If it notices you have more than one library, it’ll prompt you to choose which you’d like to upgrade.) After the import process, not only will all your photos and videos be present, but albums, folders, books, cards, calendars, and slideshows will also make the transition.

Imported iPhoto and Aperture libraries remain intact and usable, but it’s a one-way import — the older app’s libraries don’t sync with the Photos app, so if you add a photo in one place it won’t show up in the other. The Photos import process is friendly when it comes to disk space — it doesn’t duplicate the photos it imports from iPhoto and Aperture, so you don’t lose precious storage space.

Some aspects of iPhoto and Aperture won’t make the move to the new app. Photos replaces star ratings with favorites (indicated by a heart icon). Star ratings and flags from iPhoto and Aperture (as well as color labels from Aperture) will be mapped into keywords and assigned to each photo, so you can still search for images containing that information.

Photos feels more like the Mac version of the iOS Photos app than either iPhoto or Aperture, at least when browsing your photo library. Zooming out (which you can also do with a pinch on the trackpad) presents you first with a series of short events defined by location. Zoom further out and you’ll see larger spans of time and a list of locations. One more zoom and you’re left with a giant wash of photos separated by year.

Underneath the Albums tab (or, alternatively, in the sidebar if you choose Show Sidebar from the View menu) you’ll find your media organized in a few different ways. All the various media types supported by iOS cameras — panoramas, videos, and slo-mo videos — are segmented into their own smart albums. There’s also an automatically generated Favorites album, an album containing your most recent set of imported media, and the familiar Faces tab that’s been more or less brought straight over from iPhoto. Gone is the capability to show all photos by location on a map, but you can click any event in the Photos list to see a map containing the locations of all the photos from that particular event.

Photos in the Cloud -- The banner feature of Photos is its integration with Apple’s iCloud Photo Library service. You can (optionally) set Photos to automatically upload your photos to Apple’s iCloud servers, where they’re backed up and accessible from iOS devices. (iOS device access will be included in iOS 8.2, an update that will presumably be delivered around the same time that Photos is released.)

When you sync Photos with iCloud, you have two options regarding photo storage: Download Originals to This Mac ensures that a full-quality original version of every file you have in iCloud will also be stored on your Mac; Optimize Mac Storage keeps full-resolution photos and videos in iCloud, though they might also be stored on your Mac “if you have enough space.”

It remains to be seen exactly how Photos determines whether you have enough space, and whether it’s just caching photos or if it truly makes a judgment about how much free space you have before deciding to hold onto your files. As someone with approximately 700 GB of family photos and a bunch of Macs with small flash-storage drives, I’m excited by the possibility that I can have access to my entire photo library on all of my Macs and iOS devices, even though they don’t have enough space to hold the entire library.

Photos also integrates with all the photo-sharing features available on iOS. If you check the iCloud Photo Sharing box in the Photos app’s iCloud preferences tab, you’ll see the same shared albums that you see on your iPhone or iPad. And you can use the Share command to share media items with Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter.

Editing Options -- Photos has a nice suite of photo-editing features. For people who don’t want to spend time tweaking photos, there’s a one-button enhance, an auto-crop feature that even straightens tilted images, and a set of Instagram-style filters that apply a whole slew of effects at once.

Those who want more control over their images will prefer the Adjustments section, which includes options for lightness, color, levels, white balance, sharpening and definition, noise reduction, vignetting, and black-and-white effects. Finally, there’s a Retouch tool that lets you make very basic edits by clicking around and hoping that it does the right thing.

If you want to edit your photo in an external tool such as Photoshop, there appears to be no way to do that, at least in this beta, beyond dragging an image out, editing it, and then dragging it back in. Here’s hoping Apple allows an external-editor feature or support for image-editing extensions of some sort in the future.

The Need for Speed -- With every successive version of iPhoto Apple claimed that it was faster than ever before. Unfortunately, we all kept taking new photos, and our iPhoto libraries kept swelling, and iPhoto never seemed to keep up.

Never say never, but in my tests with a 5,450-image library, Photos seemed downright fast. Scrolling never lagged. Zooming in and out was speedy. Here’s hoping that continues to apply to libraries with tens of thousands of photos.

It’s still a beta version meant only for developers — and it shows. I had problems importing one of my large iPhoto libraries, and the app crashed when I tried to import a few thousand photos from a folder. A few times, I opened the app to find the main Photos view completely empty, though all of my photos showed up when I clicked on All Photos. If you have access to the beta, I strongly recommend that you not entrust your primary photo library to it.

Fortunately, Apple has more than four months until its self-imposed deadline to iron out most of the wrinkles. But right now, Photos looks like a promising attempt to stitch together photo libraries across Apple’s devices and on the cloud.

You may have noticed this is my first article for TidBITS since 1995, and it’s also a good excuse to mention that I’m also diving into my first Take Control book, a Crash Course about Photos. So if you see any particularly cool features or have any significant concerns you’d like me to examine while writing it, let me know in the comments.

[Update: Over at Six Colors, I've written more about Photos and hard links and answered a bunch of questions from a variety of sources. -Jason]

[Jason Snell was lead editor at Macworld for more than a decade and has written about Apple and other tech companies for two decades. Now he writes at Six Colors. He’s also the guy who runs The Incomparable podcast network, which is all about geeky pop culture, and hosts the Upgrade and Clockwise tech podcasts.]

 

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Comments about Initial Impressions of Photos for OS X Beta
(Comments are closed.)

Dave Price  2015-02-09 15:38
Welcome aboard, Jason! Although we've never met I used to work with you on VAX related projects when I was the Unix PR guy at Digital Equipment Corp. Looking forward to your book, too!
Dave
Jason Snell  2015-02-09 17:41
I think maybe you've mistaken me for someone else? I used VAX briefly my freshman year of college, but that's it.
Warren Shaw  2015-02-09 16:10
Jason, here are a few questions for your Take Control book: 1) I keep my existing iPhoto/Aperture Library on an external drive, will the program continue to use that location automatically? 2) What is the story on supporting potential extensions which might expand Photos capabilities? 3) What will happen to all of my Aperture Projects? Thanks,
JohnB (SciFiOne)   2015-02-09 16:33
I'd like to know where and how it stores photos and whether albums on an iOS device are imported to albums on the Mac. (Here's why - After 50 years of dealing with photos, I now simple put them in folders which act as content specific albums. Those folders are in the Dropbox folder and sync automatically. They are also backed-up the regular ways.)
Simon Dawson  2015-02-09 16:38
In your upcoming book, I'd be grateful for strategies to move from Lightroom to Photos. I'm not looking forward to having to do that.
Glenn Weissel  2015-02-09 16:45
Hi Jason, I use Nik Software (owned by Google now) with Aperture for all my photography editing. Much more effective as an editing tool than the built-in editor. I sincerely hope, short of falling to my knees to pray that those of us who use Nik Software will still be able to. Thank you.
John Robinson  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2015-02-09 16:57
Weird that you can't open an image in Photoshop from Photos App. Seems a bit stupid on Apple's part. Pro's will want to open in Photoshop and skip the drag and reimport crap. Apple must think a lot of their editing tools. iPhoto allowed editing in Photoshop.
Kevan Pegley  2015-02-09 17:10
Thanks for the article Jason. I guess for many people Apple's photo management applications — whatever they're called — have a disproportional effect on our lives, so this is all important stuff!

I have a few questions about libraries. You say "Imported iPhoto and Aperture libraries remain intact and usable", but then go on to say that Photos "doesn’t duplicate the photos it imports from iPhoto and Aperture". So what is it doing — creating aliases? Will I have to keep the old iPhoto/Aperture library indefinitely, in parallel with a new Photos library? If I start importing photos into Photos from my iPhone, say, or from my digital camera, do they go into a new Photos library, so they won't be accessible to Aperture? And if I import them into Aperture will I subsequently have to import them into Photos too? I was delighted when I started using Aperture that it used the iPhoto library, which continued to serve both iPhoto and Aperture. That doesn't appear to be the case with Photos — which suggests a right mess. I hope I've got it wrong!

And would I be right in saying that Photos does not offer the adjustment capabilities of Aperture? So it's quite possible that I will want to continue to use Aperture.

Surely not another 'dumbed-down' new application from Apple designed, not to be an alternative to an existing one, but to replace it?!
Jason Snell  2015-02-09 17:39
I'm actually not sure what it's doing. My guess is that it's doing some weird disk-file-link thing, but I have yet to get a chance to dig into it.
I'd like to be able to import photos to my laptop. Then, attach my external hdd where all my photos are stored at which point all the new photos are copied over. On my laptop I'd like to permanently keep all 5 star photos and all photos from the last few months. Seems like a typical use case, no?
Jeff Grossman  2015-02-09 17:50
I have multiple Aperture libraries across separate external drives that I would love to consolidate into a single Photos library (of course using iCloud Photo Library). Does the import process for Photos handle this situation?

I also doubt that my laptop has enough internal storage to hold all of my photos at once, so I hope that Photos can upload the masters and only keep the smaller copies locally even during import.
Richard  2015-02-09 17:54
I bought Aperture just to gain access to customized layouts for phonebooks, but was disappointed when books started in iPhoto could not be opened in Aperture, or vice versa. Also, Aperture had very limited templates compared to iPhoto. How will this translate to the new Photos app
You say that iOS access will be available in 8.2, but iCloud Photo Library became available to iOS as beta in 8.1. Do you mean it will be out of beta, or do you mean something else?
Jason Snell  2015-02-09 18:06
Apple says that for the roundtrip editing and other sync with Photos for Mac, you'll need 8.2.
How does the new iPhoto handle burst mode pictures? Does it auto stack/group them?
Jason Snell  2015-02-09 18:41
The Photos app recognizes them as a burst and stacks them.
Richard Ripley  2015-02-09 19:01
Hello Jason:
Glad you'll be doing some work for TidBits. Will Photos support the same RAW files that iPhoto or Aperture currently support?
Cheers...
Jason Snell  2015-02-09 19:03
Thanks! Yes, RAW support seems unchanged.
dean blackketter  2015-02-09 19:10
Hey Jason. Since you asked... How well does Photos handle large (50k, say) photo collections? Trying to decide where to take my large Aperture library.
(BTW: Best of luck with your new endeavors! I remember fondly meeting with you back in Slim Devices/Squeezebox days. Good times...)
Jason Snell  2015-02-09 19:15
Hi Dean! Still using the Squeezebox here... will be tough to give them up.

It's too early to tell on large collections. I am still gradually adding photos and hoping to see how it goes.
Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-02-09 19:13
Hey Jason, here's a question I saw on Twitter: what happens when a Photos user exceeds 1 TB of photos and videos? Do new items not sync or are old items deleted?
Michael  2015-02-09 20:16
+1 for this! My library is already over 1TB so will I just not have the option to have iCloud Photo Library turned on?
Troy Payne  2015-02-09 19:28
Not sure how you'd measure this, Jason, but some indication of how Photos uses bandwidth would be great. I have a 250GB/mo transfer limit on my home internet, so I have to be very careful about cloud services. I'd love to know if multiple Photos installs on the same network are smart enough to use the LAN (rather like Dropbox does) rather than shuttling files up to the cloud from one local machine to another. I don't know if I can afford to have every photo uploaded and downloaded multiple times.
Michael  2015-02-09 20:13
Hi Jason,

I'd love to learn if adding Keywords in the new Photos app will add the equivalent Finder Tags to the original photo/video files (similar to how iTunes writes to the M3U tag). This way all organization will be embedded into the photo/video ITSELF instead of ONLY in Photos library file. Seems so important to make sure that all organization travels with the files themselves and not the library database.

Thanks!
Scot Herrick  2015-02-09 21:30
While the focus is on iCloud, I gave up and moved my library to Dropbox along with all my photos. Based on this, I am not seeing advantages of iCloud as I can see all pics on all devices with Dropbox. is there any reason to move back to iCloud?
As a very disappointed Aperture user all I can say is moving to Lightroom
Alan Hedin  2015-02-09 22:08
Hi Jason,

I am curious whether the photo Title (in iPhoto) or Version (in Aperture) and iPhoto Description fields will carry over and will we be able to add these to new photos. Also whether these can be overlaid on slideshows as in iPhoto now. Photos in IOS seems to completely ignore picture titles and descriptions, which are very important to me.
Thanks
Christopher Plummer  2015-02-09 22:14
Hi Jason, Welcome back to TidBits! I gather we lose "Events" as we have in the IOS version of photos? Also interested in keyword tags, which I had used pretty extensively for quick organizing and finding photos. If Photos isn't going to do keywords, I'd be interested in plugins or external tools that would. Thanks.
All things considered, I am very glad I opted for Adobe Lightroom when Aperture debuted. And as a long time Photoshop user,I still am.
Steven Snider  2015-02-09 23:10
My question would be around shared libraries. My family has multiple iOS devices (with individual Apple IDs), but we use a single Mac with a shared account.

How does that work in terms of syncing with iOS devices, etc. Would all pictures from all iOS devices have to log on using a shared Apple ID (similar to shared purchases) - and is that even possible? What if we don't necessarily want all photos shared into this common pool of photos?

Good luck with the new project!
Sohan Dewan  2015-02-10 01:59
Good stuff
Jon Pearce  2015-02-10 02:00
Hi Jason. I'd love to see a discussion on how to manage workflows in Photo. Having just got used to using star ratings as a quick first pass to help the culling process, I despair a little at the thought of having nothing similar to replace them (as well as the incredibly useful smart albums and keywords that are a real help to sorting through hundreds of photos).

Someone else has mentioned the problem of large libraries. So there is another workflow issue here in how to manage hundreds of photos after a shoot so that you can easily delete the duds, keep all the good ones on a local machine and send only the best to the cloud.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-02-10 12:11
Jeff Carlson is planning to update "Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac" to replace iPhoto and Aperture with Photos, so that's where we'll be covering workflow issues primarily.
What about people who want to switch to Photos because iPhoto has become a slow mess, but don't necessarily want to change their workflow?

Can I switch to Photos, but still have all my photos stored locally on my Mac, sync (selectively) via iTunes to my iOS devices, and also keep on using Photo Stream (that doesn't count against my 5GB iCloud limit)?
Any comment on this, Jason?
Jason Snell  2015-02-11 01:48
I'll look into it and cover it in the book, but I don't have time to research the answer to every single question in this thread right now.
Will Photos require Yosemite? Or will it run under Mavericks, too?

And if it's the former, can one expect any updates/support for iPhotos for all the users who haven't updated to Yosemite?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-02-10 12:13
I strongly suspect that Photos will require Yosemite, and probably even 10.10.3 or later (since that's where the beta is being distributed).

I doubt very much that Apple will ever update iPhoto or Aperture again. Sorry!
I agree. That's what's most likely to happen.
Tony Voss  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2015-02-10 04:37
Hi Jason... Is sync to iCloud 'all or nothing'? What I want is the ability to choose which photos sync from the Mac. That way I can have my mass of photos on the Mac but just sync the ones I want to access from iOS devices, perhaps with automatic syncing of recent photos or photos taken on an iOS device.

This could be achieved with a sync attribute/flag or perhaps with a special album.

No selective syncing means either stumping up for lots of iCloud space or avoiding it altogether - not a good dilemma.

thanks for your article, Tony
starosta  2015-02-10 04:50
Hi and thanks for the article and upcoming book. Here's a long-shot question: would Photos support Sigma's raw file format, which have extension ".x3f"?
Jeff Carlson  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-02-10 13:38
Photos will support whichever raw formats supported by OS X. Apple works the raw compatibility at the system level. So, I would imagine the answer is yes, but at Apple's pace (which is sometimes slow, sometimes quick).
starosta  2015-02-10 04:59
I'm way, way behind on figuring out a way to work with all my images and devices...

(I have tried Picasa on a PC... yeah, I know. Hard to explain why. I can't figure out how to back it up and dislike it for other reasons too)

Here's what's been holding me up:

I obtain imagery from numerous devices, some of which are the same kind of device. For example: a pair of Sigma DP cameras (thankfully they allow for storing two different types of filenames, and each produces a raw X3F and a JPEG for each exposure), two Fuji W3 stereo cameras (each exposure saved as an MPO file and as a JPEG), two GoPro Hero2's , a JVC 3D camcorder, my phone, an old Sputnik (shoots slides, which get scanned) etc.

Coming back from trips, or even just reviewing a week or a month at home, I get a jumble of hundreds of images from all these devices, and boy it's a mess to sort out...

I wonder if the new Photo will have capabilities useful in this particular situation? (which I expect is not too unusual).
gastropod  2015-02-19 23:13
You could try Ingestamatic, sort of a poor-man's Photo Mechanic ($20 vs $150). It will import photos and videos from any device or folder, rename them using exif (many options), and copy them into the folder structure you want. It can also copy them to one or two other locations so you can have a backup as they're imported. You can also add metadata at the time of import, which could help with Photos depending on what it looks at.

http://basepath.com/new/detail-Ingestamatic.php

If you want to look at and manipulate all metadata, including editing the exif, Phil Harvey's exiftool is wonderful, though it has a steep leaning curve. The forums are very helpful.

http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/
Dave S  2015-02-10 06:39
Would like to know how Photos will handle multiple libraries. You mentioned that on first launch it asks "which Library" but is there a choice of "all"?
Reuben  2015-02-10 08:39
If you find a way to test this: What does it do with duplicates, i.e. photos that are already in iCloud, but also in iPhoto? I hope it doesn't duplicate them.

Also, as others have commented, selective syncing would be great. But I'm afraid they will go for the "simple" all-or-nothing approach.
My wife is a compulsive shutterbug, and we're in a race against time--we've got to get a cloud solution in place before we fill her 1TB hard drive. So, Jason, my question for your new book is this: how can we get the library off the hard drive and into the cloud, while also maintaining a handy external backup rive at home, of course. This is the key question for me, and essential to my domestic tranquility.
Jan Green  2015-02-10 10:44
Will this new Photos app NOT import photos from iPhoto WITH the Event names, and Album names (located in the sidebar) that the user has designated for batches of photos? Ever since it was an option, I have used Event and Album names (not dates!!) as the means of locating photos. Why would they take that feature away? How on earth are people with massive libraries expected to locate photos by date, when you don't necessarily know when they were taken? If this is so, that is a terrible downgrade for long time iPhoto users with huge libraries. What was the point of using Event and Album Titles for all these years (which makes total sense to identify and locate photos), only to see Apple squash a very handy, easy way to access a batch of photos. People who only want to use the date as an identifier can still do so, but DON'T TAKE AWAY THE EVENTS AND ALBUMS TITLES OPTION. Please leave that option for users, despite the fact that it's not available on ios.
Bryan Walls  2015-02-10 11:32
As to files between the iPhoto and Photos library, I confirmed the files are using a Unix hard link. That will likely cause some funky behavior for anyone trying to use both programs.

If you modified a file in iPhoto before you create the Photos library, than further edits in iPhoto would also show as edits in Photos. However, if you hadn't modified an image in iPhoto, then edits would be independent.
Jason Snell  2015-02-10 11:44
Aha! That's what I suspected. I imagine they've built Photos to specifically avoid "funky behavior," but who knows?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-02-10 12:17
I can't quite wrap my head around the consequences of this approach. What worries me is this. Let's say someone upgrades from iPhoto to Photos, and imports all their photos from the iPhoto Library. Those images actually live in the iPhoto Library package. Then, the user uses Photos for a while and is happy with it, and wants to delete old (and presumably unnecessary) iPhoto Library package. What happens then? Does Photos lose track of all those photos?
Jason Snell  2015-02-10 13:24
No, it's a hard link so the pointers in the iPhoto library go away, but the pointers in the Photos library remain. It's an extremely foreign concept for Mac users to understand.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-02-10 13:33
So presumably there will be a Photos Library package somewhere in the Pictures folder or elsewhere on disk that holds those hard links. And newly important photos will live in there as normal files?
Jason Snell  2015-02-10 13:46
In fact, there is a Photos Library package in the Pictures folder.
barefootguru  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2015-02-11 15:45
A hard link makes the same file appear to be in 2 (or more) places in the file system, while only existing on the disk once. When you delete one of the 'copies', the system deletes the link instead and decrements the hard link count. When the count gets to zero both the link and file are deleted.

Apple uses hard links on Time Machine backups, which is how the same file/folder appears in multiple backups without taking up more space.
Jason Snell  2015-02-11 15:47
Indeed, you can read the story I wrote about it yesterday here: http://sixcolors.com/post/2015/02/the-hard-link-between-photos-and-iphoto/
Jim Otto  2015-02-10 11:50
It appears this change will be either a grand event or a bust. Many of us that use Aperture with many photos (50k) and up are concerned about the file handling of these important images. I trust that Apple will not make me and others go to other applications to render our images.
Chili Palmer  2015-02-10 12:16
I really like looking at the big map and zooming in on pictures that way.

Sorry to hear that's going away.

Hopefully they'll put something similar back into the final version - maybe through an overlay to the Maps app.

I've always been annoyed that the map of a particular photo in the information bar is so small with no way to make it larger and no way to keep the same zoom level when changing pictures. Maybe those problems will be dealt with also.
John Ridge  2015-02-10 12:50
My wife has a large collection of iPhoto shots of plants, fungi etc all identified by description fields - Linnean species, ecology notes etc.

If the Description field can't be transferred, she can't use Photos!

We really need to know about this.
Peter U  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2015-02-10 18:50
I have a similar "problem", i.e. lots of photo-related data that I keep in a Filemaker database. What are the best ways to tie in Photos with Filemaker so that I can find photos that match certain criteria? Are other photo apps/databases better at this?

Would be great if such topics were discussed in the upcoming Photos book :)
barefootguru  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2015-02-11 15:50
Eek. Keep the data & photos together: bring the descriptions into Photos, or the photos into FileMaker: you can use container fields (maybe with external storage) so the photos still live in the file system rather than inside the database.
Macworld fan since 06  2015-02-10 15:50
My wife and I both snap photos of our kids. We'd like one automatically shared library but keep separate iCloud accounts. Is this possible? What do you recommend in these situations. We also do have personal photos which we planned to just share as well because it's easier but if you have a better suggestion I'd be interested
Andrew S  2015-02-10 16:39
Photos has a scripting dictionary. It would be nice to include some scripting examples in your book.
jrichardson2  2015-02-10 21:45
This seems like a petty point, but one thing I use a lot is FACES in iPhoto to pull out older picts of people for personal greeting cards, etc. Will that info or feature be lost?
Jason Snell  2015-02-11 01:48
Still there. It's mentioned in the article.
Michael B  2015-02-11 01:14
"Those who want more control over their images will prefer the Adjustments section, which includes options for lightness, color, levels, white balance, sharpening and definition, noise reduction, vignetting, and black-and-white effects. Finally, there’s a Retouch tool that lets you make very basic edits by clicking around and hoping that it does the right thing."

I'd love to know how these tools compare with iPhoto. My wife can make changes very quickly in iPhoto. Will it be as easy in the new program?
Mike Alexander  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2015-02-11 02:20
I don't see this mentioned anywhere, but perhaps I missed it. Does Photos do non-destructive edits and allow you to create multiple versions of a photo, like Aperture? I expect it does, which is why hard links work ok. They probably only hard link the master photo which will never change no matter which app edits the photo.
Jason Snell  2015-02-11 11:17
no multiple versions, just an edited version and an original.

hard links break into pieces when you edit them, so there's no issue with changes happening to the original being propagated.
barefootguru  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2015-02-11 15:54
Interesting… a Unix hard link is usually like working with the original file (from all the links), so Apple must be specifically testing for a hard link, and if so, creating a copy.
Jason Snell  2015-02-11 15:56
My guess is that file-save APIs actually include a step that removes the old file and writes a new file, which would have the effect of breaking the hard link.
Amit Udeshi  2015-02-11 05:15
I'm interested in:
what happens to nested project folders from Aperture
how do you ensure a (chronological) sort behavior for events/albums on devices
if you search using keywords in the title of an event on a device, does it find the event
what does it do for pics that are in camera roll but also downloaded into photo stream events by month
can you make edits to a raw, then save as new jpeg in place, deleting raw
what is the best future proof workflow if you have multiple shooters but want one family collection
Tommy Weir  2015-02-11 11:40
I think I'm going to have to limit my Photos.app usage in some way. And find a workflow with another app like Capture One which I've been testing.

I've an Aperture Library of over 60k images in a wide variety of formats. I really loved Aperture and am kind of sad to see its demise.

I love the idea of my iPhone/iPad/various computers having access to an iCloud based Library but it's impractical to upload that many, the cost for expanded iCloud storage too high, the bandwidth here in the country too slow.

I'm coming around to using Capture One as my main Library management tool and keeping my 'serious' photography local. I can see using Photos.app for my iOS photography and perhaps watch a folder of selected images I output from Capture One, probably using Hazel. I'd like to be able to share good photos I've worked and edited on my main Mac.

Just to note that Flickr just launched their Camera Roll feature, a kinda-Everpix approach with an uploader that will watch a folder or iPhoto and automatically upload to Flickr for you, comes with 1 Tb for free...
E Jones  2015-02-12 09:22
I'm wondering about storage of videos specifically on the iPhone. I have the 16gb iPhone 6. (should have bought the 64) I shoot a lot of video and am always running into memory space issues. Since the videos synch to iCloud too, I'm wondering what happens to the local video stored into my phone? I'm assuming it gets replaced with an optimized version on my Phone then? Also what if I want to remove videos from my phone but still want them in Photos? Right now when I delete locally on the phone one it warns be that it will be removed from all devices. (I'm using Photos iCloud Beta on iPhone and iPad).
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-02-12 11:28
Over at his blog at SIx Colors, Jason has now expanded on a couple of Photos-related topics, answering a bunch of questions from a variety of sources and delving into the issue of how it can import without wasting more disk space.

http://sixcolors.com/post/2015/02/photos-for-mac-quick-answers-to-simplified-questions/

http://sixcolors.com/post/2015/02/the-hard-link-between-photos-and-iphoto/
David LaSpina  2015-02-12 13:35
Jason, does the beta include support for custom metadata as Aperture does? I make heavy use of this feature in Aperture and the lack of it in Photos.app will make me very sad (not to mention, make me stick with Aperture).

I detailed my system a bit here: http://japandave.com/2014/07/rip-aperture/

If you are unsure what I mean by custom metadata, I can send you a screenshot on twitter. @dbooster
Mike C  2015-02-12 16:25
Perhaps I'm just stuck in the past but I just use iPhoto to organize my photos with slight edits. I create albums and then sync only those relevant albums to my iOS devices. I have no need for thousands of photos in the cloud or available to every device. Is album syncing still supported in the new Photos app? (And yes, I still sync using a cable to a single Mac.)
Bob Siegel  2015-02-13 14:24
Jason,
Thank you for a great article.
My concerns about the change from iPhoto app on Mac OS X to “Photos for Mac OS X” (similar to the iOS version) are as follows:
The iPhoto app provides fields for title and comments for each picture, for a fast & efficient search for a certain photo as well as to store information about that photo.
The iOS mobile app “Photo” does not provide fields for these reference points.
The iOS mobile app “Photo” can only hold 1 single library. Will I have to combine my multiple libraries into one?
iPhoto can only send pictures to the mobile “Photo” app. Comments & title do not follow the picture.
Will the Photo program for Mac’s OS X retain the fields for title and comments for search-ability?
OR
Will there be a new way to search for photos?

Please and thank you for your help on these issues. I am sure that many other teachers and professionals are wondering the same things. I am looking forward to the book.


Bob
Doug Lerner  2015-02-14 04:29
Currently, slo-mo videos synced to iPhoto will play as slo-mo in iPhoto, but when synced back to the iPhone they don't play as slo-mo on the iPhone (even though they appear in the slo-mo album).

Do you know if this is fixed with the new Photos replacement for iPhoto?

Thanks,

doug
Robert Allen  2015-02-15 00:47
Great preview of Apple's new Photos app. In the article you said, "After the import process, not only will all your photos and videos be present, but albums, folders, books, cards, calendars, and slideshows will also make the transition." However, nothing is said about Events — will those be moved from iPhoto to Photos? Big concern, because after Apple introduced Events, I spent a lot of time organizing my photos that way and would hate, hate, hate to have to do all that work again.
Tonya Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-04-01 18:31
Robert, it appears that your events will be switched to albums. So, you'll lose the concept of the event, but your organizing effort will not be lost.
Anonymous  2015-04-22 09:26
Missing functionalities on first run: how to…
- create smart album to show unnamed faces?
- choose to sort fotos by date / title / keyword?