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Topic: Photo Storage on the iPod -- The Gory Details

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Old 01-04-2005, 09:22 PM
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Photo Storage on the iPod and iPhone -- The Gory Details

Disclaimer: This is advanced material and is mostly intended for the technically curious. There isn't anything here that's directly relevant to actually using your iPod, so only read on if you're technically inclined and want to know how things work inside the iPod

So, after a bit of research, math, experimentation, and general messing around, I've managed to glean a few insights into how the iPod photo stores pictures "under the hood"...

Firstly, for those who may not realize it, the iPod photo is not capable of resizing images on the fly. All of this work is done by iTunes when it transfers the photos onto the iPod photo -- be it normal pictures or album artwork, the principle works the same -- iTunes does the resizing, and the iPod photo just displays whatever it has in it's photo database.

In fact, as I've mentioned elsewhere, iTunes actually creates multiple resized versions of the images, since the iPod needs to display them in different resolutions.

These photo compilations are stored in two different directories (one for album artwork, one for the photo library), and have the extension .ithmb.

Album Artwork

The iPod stores and displays album artwork in two resolutions -- one on the normal "Now Playing" screen, and one on the album artwork view (shown by pressing the select button from the "Now Playing" screen).

Album artwork is stored on the iPod in the \iPod_Control\Artwork directory. There should be three files in this directory -- the artwork database file (presumably an index of which artwork belongs to which song), and two ITHMB files. These ITHMB files store the exact same artwork, in the two different resolutions. The larger file (F016 on my iPod) stores the 140x140 version used in the album artwork screen, and the smaller one (F1017 on my iPod) stores the 56x56 version used in the "Now Playing" screen.

The resolutions in this case were fairly easy to figure out on the assumption that all album artwork images are perfectly square. Since each new album image added to the iPod increased these file sizes by 39,200 bytes and 6,272 bytes, respectively, it was easy enough to calculate the actual resolution by dividing these numbers by the colour depth and then taking the square root of the result.

Note that the album artwork also technically lives in one other place on your iPod -- within the MP3/AAC files themselves. The iPod doesn't use these images or care about them in any way, so they're technically wasted space. In fact, iTunes doesn't touch these images, so they're left in whatever size you saved them into the file in. In other words, if you're using high-resolution album artwork, you're losing even more space on your iPod.

The Photo Library

The iPod photo library is a bit more complicated. In actually investigating this one, I was able to determine that there are actually four resolutions stored for each image. I suspect that these are for the thumbnail browser view, the full-screen display, the TV display, and probably for the slideshow browser display (the image you see on the iPod when viewing your slideshow on TV)

The photos themselves live in the \Photos\Thumbs directory on your iPod. There will be at least four files in this directory, although there may be more depending on the number of of photos in your photo library. Unlike album artwork, the actual database lives elsewhere (right under the \Photos folder), so the Thumbs directory only contains the thumbnail libraries themselves.

The resolutions here were a bit more difficult to calculate, since not only are the pictures not square, but as far as I can tell different aspect ratios (width-to-height ratios) are used for the different resolutions. My best guesses are below, but these are based mostly on estimations, since it's difficult to make a determination otherwise. I've also specified the base filenames as they appear on my iPod. A complete reload appeared to generate the same filenames, but I can't be certain they'd be consistent everywhere....

F1013: This file contains the thumbnails for the full-screen display. The images in this file are 220x176, which matches the screen resolution of the iPod photo. This should be the second-largest of the files.

F1009: This file contains the thumbnails for the photo browser display. My best guess on the resolution of these pictures is somewhere around 42 x 30, based on the file size and an approximation of the aspect ratio. This will naturally be the smallest of the files.

F1015: This file contains what I believe to be the pictures used for the slideshow browser display (the centre image that is shown on your iPod screen when displaying slideshows on a TV). Each image in this thumbnail collection is 22,800 bytes in size, making it smaller than the full iPod screen, but larger than the average thumbnail. 130x88 seems to be the only resolution that makes sense for these images.

F1019: If you have even a moderate-sized photo collection (more than 759 photos), there will actually be more than one of these files. The ITHMB file format seems to cap off at around 500Mb, at which point a new file is created. They are numbered sequentially (ie, F1019_1, F1019_2, etc). (The same would apply to the other files above as well, but they wouldn't need to be split off until you reached at least 6000+ photos).

These files contain the images resized for TV display. As best as I can determine, these are used for both NTSC and PAL (contrary to my previous speculations). The resolution appears to be 720x480, which would make sense since this would make it compatible with both D-1 NTSC and basic PAL formats.

The iPod photo wants to have all of these files available when browsing your photo library and displaying slideshows, so if some of you are thinking that you can be sneaky and save space by removing the rather large F1019-series (if you never view slideshows on TV, for instance), it's not recommended. I tried this myself, and while it worked for a while, strange and unpredictable results eventually occured -- most notably the "gray box" problems that users have reported in other threads.

Note that one thing I haven't discussed here is Full Resolution photos (saved to your iPod if you have the appropriate option enabled in iTunes). Full Resolution photos aren't actually used by the iPod photo itself in any way -- they're simply stored on the hard drive in their original form so you can access them from other computers. They live in the \Photos\Full Resolution folder and are grouped into folders by Year, Month, and Day.

UPDATE: 5G iPOD
21 Oct 05

Most of the information mentioned above also applies to photo storage and album artwork storage on the new 5th-Generation iPod. However, due to the larger screen, some of the thumbnail databases and sizes are different from the 4G photo/color iPods.

The 5G iPod contains the following thumbnail databases:

Album Artwork

F1028: This is equivalent to the F1016 file on the 4G iPod. It contains the artwork for the normal "now playing" display, in a 100x100 16-bit bitmap. Each image in this file will consume 20,000 bytes.

F1029: This is equivalent to the F1017 file on the 4G iPod. It contains the artwork for the full-screen album artwork display. It is a 200x200 16-bit bitmap now. Each album image in this file will consume 80,000 bytes of storage.

You can determine the number of album artwork images you have stored by taking the F1028 file and dividing it's size by 20,000.

Like the photo library mentioned above, these databases will be split into multiple files when they exceed approximately 500Mb each (so you may have an F1029_1, F1029_2, etc). The split point seems to be at around 6,500 album art images.

Photo Library

Again, due to the larger screen, there are some different thumbnail databases here, although in this case at least, some have remained the same as the 4G.

F1015: This file is the same as for the iPod 4G. You will probably notice when you do a slideshow display that the centre image seems smaller than it did on the 4G. This is due to the fact that this particular image is actually the same resolution as it was on the 4G, yet the 5G's screen is higher resolution.

F1019: This file is the same as for the iPod 4G. Since it contains the images for the TV display, the resolution would be the same as on the 4G iPod models.

F1024: This file contains the images for the full-screen display. They are 320x240 16-bit bitmaps, equal to the resolution of the 5G iPod screen. Each image takes up 153,600 bytes.

F1036: The file contains the images for the thumbnail display (photo browser on the iPod screen). They are slightly higher-resolution than they were on the 4G, again due to the larger screen. The only resolution that seems to make sense for these is 50 x 41.

Each piece of album art will take up 100,000 bytes on the 5G iPod (in addition to the space required for the album artwork image inside the AAC/MP3 track itself).

Each photo will take up 851kb (871,780 bytes), in addition to the storage for any full-resolution images (if "Store Full-Resolution Photos" is enabled).

Again, all other aspects of the photo storage on the 5G appear to remain the same as discussed above in concept. Only some of the files have been changed due to the higher resolution screen.


UPDATE: 1G/2G iPOD NANO
02 Oct 06

While the concepts above are the same for all models of iPod, due to the smaller screen on the iPod Nano and the lack of TV Output capabilities, the thumbnail databases and sizes are again different for the iPod Nano.

Note that the iPod Nano 1st-Generation and 2nd-Generation models use identical methods, files, and file sizes. Despite the slightly larger screen on the 2G Nano, the base screen resolution has not changed -- both models use a 176 x 132 screen, and therefore both models use the same resolution for their album artwork images and photos.

The iPod Nano contains the following thumbnail databases:

Album Artwork

F1027: This is equivalent to the F1017 (4G) and F1029 (5G). It contains the artwork for the full-screen album artwork display, in a 100x100 16-bit bitmap. Each image in this file will consume 20,000 bytes. (interestingly, the image size for the full-screen album artwork on the iPod Nano is the same size as the "Now Playing" artwork on the 5G iPod).

F1031: This is equivalent to the F1016 (4G) and F1028 (5G). It contains the artwork for the normal "now playing" display, in a 42x42 16-bit bitmap. Each album image in this file will consume 3,528 bytes of storage.

You can determine the number of album artwork images you have stored by taking the F1027 file and dividing it's size by 20,000.

Like the other databases mentioned above, these databases would technically be split into multiple files when they exceed approximately 500Mb each, but this is extremely unlikely to happen on an iPod Nano since the Nano's storage capacity would be exceeded long before that point could be reached.

Photo Library

Again, due to the smaller screen, there are some different thumbnail databases here as well.

Further, as the Nano does not provide any kind of TV output for photos, the large TV display-quality database is not present, nor is the slideshow preview display (again, no TV output means no slideshow preview).

F1023: This file contains the images for the full-screen display. They are 176x132 16-bit bitmaps, equal to the resolution of the iPod Nano screen. Each image takes up 46,464 bytes.

F1032: This file contains the images for the thumbnail display (photo browser on the iPod screen). The only resolution that seems to make sense for these is 42 x 37. Each image takes up 3,108 bytes.

Each piece of album art will take up 23,528 bytes on the iPod Nano (in addition to the space required for the album artwork image inside the AAC/MP3 track itself).

Each photo will take up 48kb (49,572 bytes), in addition to the storage for any full-resolution images (if "Store Full-Resolution Photos" is enabled).

Again, all other aspects of the photo storage on the Nano remain the same as discussed above in concept. Only some of the files have been changed due to the smaller and lower-resolution screen.

UPDATE: iPhone and iPod touch
05 Oct 07

Conceptually, the iPhone and iPod touch store photos in much the same way as the other models of iPod, despite the OS X-based operating system and faster CPU power, photos are still pre-resized by iTunes and stored in separate thumbnail databases.

The most significant difference with the iPhone and iPod touch is the lack of any kind of "Disk Mode" on these devices that would allow for any form of photo recovery or full resolution photo storage. As a result, there is no "Store Full Resolution" option available.

Of course, due to the completely different interface, screen size, and aspect ratio, the thumbnail databases themselves and sizes/resolutions are very different from other iPod models.

The iPhone and iPod touch contain the following thumbnail databases:

Album Artwork

F3001: This contains a 256x256 16-bit bitmap, presumably used for the Cover Flow view.

F3002: This contains a 128x128 16-bit bitmap.

F3003: This contains a 64x64 16-bit bitmap.

F3005: This contains a 320x320 16-bit bitmap, presumably used for the Now Playing screen.

F3006: This also contains a 64x64 16-bit bitmap. It is not clear why there are TWO files with identical resolutions and sizes.

F3007: This contains a set of thumbnails for video files only. It is not clear what the purpose of this is, and the only resolution that seems to make any sense for these images is 128x64, which would be an extremely wide 2:1 aspect ratio. It will contain a single 16,384 byte 16-bit bitmap for each video file (movie, music video, TV show, or podcast that is stored on the device).

Photo Library

F3004: This file contains a 64x64 16-bit bitmap image, presumably used as a thumbnail for the photo browser view.

F3008: This file contains a 640x480 image for full screen display. Although the iPhone and iPod touch screens are only 320x480, the zoom feature necessitates a higher-resolution image.

F3009: This file contains a 160x128 image, presumably pre-formatted for e-mailing. The iPod touch also appears to have this thumbnail file, despite the fact that there is no support for sending photos out via e-mail.

F3011: Another mystery: a 12,640 byte 16-bit bitmap image is stored in this file. The only resolution that seems to make sense is 80x79, although it is not clear where this is used on the device itself.

Each piece of album art will take up 385,024 bytes on the device for audio files, or 401,408 bytes for video files (due to the additional thumbnail noted above). This is in addition to the space required for the album artwork image inside the AAC/MP3 track itself, and a very small amount of overhead for the actual artwork index database entry.

Each photo will take up 660kb (676,192 bytes), in addition to a very small amount of overhead for the actual photo index database entry.


SUMMARY

The table below summarizes the different image sizes and resolutions on each of the models of iPod supporting image display. All images are stored as 16-bit bitmaps, as noted above. Sizes given are per image (which in the case of album artwork is per track not per album), and do not include additional space required for artwork embedded in the file, or full resolution photo storage (if this option is selected).





Last edited by Jesse Hollington; 10-05-2007 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 01-09-2005, 09:08 AM
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XPlay Photo Browser is a handy utility that will allow you to extract the photos from the iPod photo library.

Naturally, with this application you can only extract images from the photo database in the resolutions that they are actually stored in. Interestingly, the resolutions listed on their product page would seem to confirm some of the calculated guesses that I made above:

Quote:
You can also save photos in a variety of sizes including:

* Small thumbnail (42x30)
* Large thumbnail (130x88)
* Small (220x176)
* Large (720x640)
* NTSC video (720x480)
* PAL video (720x576)
The only one that I'm a bit skeptical about is the "PAL video", as I've been unable to find where a 720x576 image is stored. I theorized that iTunes may only store the larger PAL image if the iPod is set to PAL, but I tried that and added a new batch of images. Everything remained the same size.

So I downloaded the XPlay Photo Browser application itself and tried extracting some images in the three larger resolutions.

All three of these resolutions appear to contain the same photos (ie, there is no cropping, although there are some black borders in the two 720x540 and 720x640 resolutions). Since the aspect ratios are different, however, the resulting images contain some distortion.

Note that the Large 720x640 option actually produced a 720x540 image, with two black borders along the sides. However, this was the only non-distorted image of the three. The actual photo within this image was 660x540 (once you removed the black borders).

The NTSC photo was stretched, with no black borders. The PAL photo was compressed, with black borders on each side (making the actual viewable image 660x576).

Again, however, the calculations for the file size on the iPod would only match out at resolutions such as 720x480, 640x540, 600x576.



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Old 01-14-2005, 08:20 PM
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Are you sure about being able to get back the full resolution photos (using the iPod as a hard drive) if I only iTunes 4.7 with the full-res option enabled to store the photos? (I know that I can manually store my photos using the iPod as a hard drive, but that's too much work :-) ).
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Old 01-15-2005, 03:22 AM
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Yes, as long as the "Store Full Resolution" option is enabled, you will have an exact copy of the photo stored on the iPod hard drive automatically. These are stored in the "\Photos\Full Resolution" folder (which can be accessed in disk mode), and are organized into sub-folders by Year, Month, and Day (so a picture taken today would be stored in the directory structure "\Photos\Full Resolutions\2005\01\15")

This may make specific albums a bit more difficult to locate (since there isn't necessarily a correlation with the original file location (ie, on your computer). However, the original file name is left intact unless there's a conflict with another file in that folder, in which case I think a number is simply added to the end of the filename.

Note, however, that if you turn off the "Store Full Resolution" option in iTunes, this directory and all full res photos are removed completely from the iPod during the next sync.



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Old 03-22-2005, 01:16 AM
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Already sized 4x6 or 5x7

I've read both of your iPhoto articles. Thank you.

I'm now concerned with difficulties I may have as I've had no time to really to use the TV function yet. (Most of my TV watching is in the lounge at some airport. )

I have several amateur (Coolpix) and pro model (D1H) Nikon cameras ranging from 4 to 8 (9?) megapixels. When cropping photos for personal/family use I always use 4x6 (1200x1800) or 5x7 (1500x2100) for printing. These are typically 300 DPI, adequate for consumer prints. And since I've already color corrected, changed contrast, etc. etc. I was hoping to use them with the iPod Photo.

I can't get too excited about running the 1200 or so photos I was planning to use through Photoshop again.

My concern is that the aspect ratios you mention are not going to be all that great (if my math is right). I assumed there would be some problems from the beginning with cropping, but distortion was something I'd hoped not to face. As I recall many amateur model cameras use an aspect close to 5x7 in the 4 or 5 and up megapixel range (when creating JPG, not JIF or RAW).

Did you use any of these two consumer print sizes in your testing by any chance? They seem to look OK on the iPod Photo's small screen.

Thanks again. With your two articles I can now stop experimenting and finding out things the hard way.



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Old 03-23-2005, 05:26 PM
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Actually, you won't have any problems with distortion on the actual TV output... This has to do with something called "non-square pixel rendering." Essentially, when rendered for TV output, you're dealing with rectangular pixels rather than square pixels (see this link if you're interested in the really technical details).

The images stored for TV resolution will come across distorted on a PC screen when extracted using something like XPlay Photo Browser because PC screens always use square pixels. This is the distortion that I was referring to in my earlier post above.

There will definitely be some cropping, depending on the original image size, as it would be impossible to render images without distortion if they weren't cropped.



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Old 03-23-2005, 08:22 PM
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Thanks very much for the additional information.

I unfortunately still haven't the chance to try mine out on a TV. I know that sounds a bit crazy but I've been on the run.

And thanks again for the two great articles on the iPod Photo. They were most helpful.

Glockster



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Old 03-23-2005, 08:34 PM
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Old 03-30-2005, 05:25 PM
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So what is the best software for sorting/managing/preparing the photos before they can be brought over to iPod Photo, for windows I should add



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Old 03-31-2005, 12:07 AM
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Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0

Quote:
Originally posted by mallu2u
So what is the best software for sorting/managing/preparing the photos before they can be brought over to iPod Photo, for windows I should add
This is easily the most reasonably priced ($100.) application available for Windows. Mac users may have a better choice, iPhoto, but Elements has more features for the Mac too and both platforms have similar features in Elements.

The little brother of Photoshop ($600. which I use) it has 80 or 90% of all the features of its bigger brother. It's an excellent bargain considering the cost of Photoshop for which upgrades typically cost around $180. The latter is primarily for professionals and serious amateur graphics artists.

After reading the excellent two articles by jhollington about the iPod Photo I tried a variety of formats and found all about equal. There was some minor cropping on some I had sized 4 x 6 (300 DPI) but this was inconsequential. The 5 x 7 photos (also 300 d.p.i.) displayed very well with virtually no cropping. I viewed these (finally) on a 25 inch and a 30 inch TVs, both of good quality. The high DPI, much like DPI used by a printer, seems especially helpful on TV screens of this size. I made some in 200 DPI and they generally looked the same as the 300 DPI. Since I'm usually saving cropped and modified photos at 5 x 7 (some 4 x 6 or 8 x 10 or larger) it's easy to take just an extra minute and size them roughy 5 x 5 or so, with 5 x 7 being fine as noted. These fill the screen well.

The density, D.P.I., is especially critical. My doctor took a brand new Sony 5 megapixel on a month cruise and all his photos were generally worthless. He didn't read the directions. The default setting was 640 x 400 pixels (or some such) and were unsuitable for printing, only useful for viewing on a computer as the DPI was 72 or 90. Therefore shoot a 4 or 5 (or higher) digital camera on a higher quality (highest DPI and size for a 4 or 5; you can back off a bit in size on 6 to 12 megapixels). If you don't understand what I mean by "size" read your manual. This gives you more space to crop. Most cameras will also have a "fair," "good," "fine," "best," or whatever settings. These settings determine DPI and I easily found that 72 DPI photos looked lousy on the two TVs.

Too many consumers don't appreciate the fact that the dinky little FC that comes with their camera isn't large enough. It may take a lot of photos of low quality. That's fine for displaying on a computer screen but not for printing and not for an iPod Photo. So buy a decent sized CF card (128MB or more; I have half a dozen 512MB or 1GB CF cards and they're worth every cent) and learn how to set your camera correctly in size and quality, the terms usually used by Sony, Nikon, Canon, etc.

On the whole, strictly for the iPod photo, ideal sizes seem to be 5 x 5 to 7 x 7 inches with a DPI of 200 or more. JPEGs should be saved at a quality of 8 (80) or 10 (100) to make certain you retain the DPI setting. I suspect 3 megapixel cameras might slip by for display on a TV with an iPod Photo, but that would be stretching it. You really do need 200 DPI if at all possible (there are a few early Sony and Nikons that offer 180 DPI in 2.x to 3 megapixels).

My thanks again to jhollington to getting me off to a good start with my cameras and iPod Photo. On the whole I modify most photos to about 5 x 7 and reduce (if necessary from higher DPI cameras) size to 300 DPI. That gives me a photo I can also print nicely at 5 x 7 on photo quality paper.



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Old 03-31-2005, 12:17 AM
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It should also be noted that a 5 x 7 in 300 DPI, keeping the comments of jhollington in mind, are going to occupy a fair amount of space on your hard drive. The original photo is 1.2 or more MB in size. Then there is the photo cache. This means such a photo can occupy around 2 MB on a hard drive. I plan on around having 1000 photos and rotating them with other sets from time to time. Do the math on 2 MB x 1000 and you'll see what I mean by space considerations. This could clearly be reduced by using a DPI of 200 (and while these don't print all that great, they're not bad for amateur photos).

And I DON'T store full size photos on the iPod. If I have a few photos I want to give someone I copy them in the Finder in disk mode to a folder. Leaves more room for music.



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Last edited by glockster; 03-31-2005 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:24 PM
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When I do the photo sync thing using iTunes, will the photos on my harddisk be moved to the iPod, or will only a copy of them be made on the iPod?
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Old 03-31-2005, 08:45 PM
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Your Original Copy is Safe

Quote:
Originally posted by ebeyonder
When I do the photo sync thing using iTunes, will the photos on my harddisk be moved to the iPod, or will only a copy of them be made on the iPod?
Your original copy of each song or album remains on your computer. Nothing changes.

A copy is made to your iPod. On a Mac they are "invisible" (in OSX terms) and I presume the equivalent is true for Windows. In any case only a copy is made. Your originals remain intact.

Happy podding.



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Old 03-31-2005, 09:28 PM
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BTW for those interested I've now come up with three "sets" of music and photos for my iPod Photo 40 which run a bit over 30 GB. I plan to eventually increase the size with additional photos.

I now have two sets (and am working on at least one more) for music for my 3G iPod 20.

I simply "create" these sets initially on one of my PowerBooks. With a Mac iTunes "lives" in /Users/username/Music/iTunes Inside of iTunes live iTunes Music (the actual music files) plus the important iTunes 4 Music Library and iTunes Music Library.xml.

I simply copy the entire iTunes folder (with a backup program which verifies the accuracy of the copy as it's more accurate than a Finder copy) to a 300GB FW drive. Another drive backs up the original drive.

I do the same thing with photos although they live in a directory (with any name I want to use) at the same level as /username (I don't keep them in Pictures where I have more than 20 GB of photos stored on one of my PowerBooks.) They're rotated the same way and I presently (cleverly) call them iPod1, iPod2, and iPod3. Each set has a different theme and presently is under 1000 photos but I'm adding to each daily from my main photo file after I run them through Photoshop and do a bit of cropping of the original and sometimes change the resolution. (The photos taken with my new Nikon D2X are something like 12 megapixeels so they require a bit more work.)

Both PowerBooks (I sometimes have three) are also backed up to external FW drives (because of their speed; one, sometimes two, are FW 800 and all interna drives are 5400 RPM - real battery eaters). I also move the assorted .plist and .pref files for iTunes along with each "set" of photos and music for the two pods. I'm presently playing with my iPod Photo 40GB which has oine of the smaller "sets" of music for the 20GB 3G and less than 1000 photos. I have plenty of space to install OSX 10.3.8 so that the pod can act as a boot drive if there's a problem with a PowerBook. This is redundant as I have two 80 GB 2.5 inch (small) backup drives, one for each PowerBook, which also have OSX installed and act as boot drives, so the experiment with the iPod Photo is really just an experiment and will shortly be erased. The small 80GB drives go wherever the PowerBooks go so there's really no need for using an iPod for a boot drive in my case.

I only mention these things for those with Macs who aren't aware their iPods can serve as boot drives. This only occupies 2 to 5 GB, depending on what modifications or additions are made to the boot drive (a few utilities, somes iWork or something similar, along with the iPod software, Bluetooth and etc., printer drives and other Library additions related thereto (especially including all my telecomm settings for Airport Extreme and Airport Express as well as an emergency dial up account). A minimum install is around 2.5GB if memory serves me correctly although I usually have extras.

Most of my "copying" is done with backup sets in Retrospect 6. I use Carbon Copy Cloner to install a current "set" which includes the current OS and extras. My present CCC disk image runs just under 5 GB.

Since the topic of this thread is "space" and using it properly on an iPod Photo "and all the gory details" I thought this might be of some interest. I bought the 40GB at the time because of the (relatively) small drives of my Powerbooks (typically two 60GB although I sometime access a 100GB drive on a third PowerBook). The 60GB is simply too large for my purposes. Because of all the applications and other files on the two PowerBooks I normally use there simply isin't enough room for storing all the photos and music (see the original excellent article at the top of this thread for how photos are stored and their cache on the original Mac).

I suspect the next two PowerBooks I get will have 100GB or larger drives making the 60GB (or larger?) iPod Photos more practical. I may then pop for a 60GB iPod Photo. I'd be curious too find out how all the space is handled by those with the 60GB. I'm guessing they're probably using Power Macintosh G5 models with their 160GB and larger drives.

Backup EVERYTHING. Some of my FireWire drives simply (obviously) backup other storage FW drives. Retrospect runs at night (or creation of a new CCC clone) so there's no inconvenience to me. I run daily backups and have sets of weekly and monthly sets.

This can all be done relatively inexpensively with two 300GB FireWire drives that cost around $250. these days. Look for a good buy on a quality drive (Hitachi or Seagate IMHO). They can be had for $150. or less then buy a good enclosure (usually $125.00 or less). Unless you have a PowerBook and travel you obviously won't need the two 80GB 2.5 inch drives (which cost more than the 300GB 3.5 inch drives by a bit but which I have to have due to mobility). I'm just waiting for the day when 1TB Firewire drives become less expensive and will get two of them to replace the present 300GB drives.

FireWire is clearly a better choice than USB 2.0 IMHO because it handles large digital files better and FireWire 800 (coming soon possibly for iPods) is even faster. I've tried a couple of USB 2.0 drives but they sometimes seem to chose on 200MB-400MB graphics files and likely would do the same on large video files. USB 2.0 and FireWire handle and move data entirely differently. For those without a lot of digital files or relative small ones USB 2.0 works fine. But I don't like the thought of trying to make a copy of a raw digital video file that's 3 to 5 GB in size as downloaded in raw form from a high end video camera (something I do only in emergencies to help out a friend).

Hope these comments are of some help. I should also comment that 95% ot more of my music files are audio books or classical music which typically have large files. The originals of some of my photos which become photos on the iPod photo can run as high as 5MB in size simply because I'm too lazy and don't have the time to reduce them in size. So FireWire is the obvious choice for me, but USB 2.0 may work fine for you.



All threads cancelled. Bye :-)
glockster is offline  
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Old 04-06-2005, 01:11 AM
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Are you sure that the album art is embedded in mp3 files? I thought they were only embedded in aac's.
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Topic: Photo Storage on the iPod -- The Gory Details

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