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Iphoto and a NAS drive

by RobbieAlpha / September 23, 2010 7:57 PM PDT

I recently bought an external NAS drive so that I could free up my MBP from the increasing amount of photos and music. I chose a NAS drive so that I could access my music and photos wirelessly from my PS3 and also my MBP. My Iomega NAS can also accommodate Time machine backups, so my MBP is also backed up.
My iTunes library works fine across the wireless network. I can access it via my MBP and PS3, happy days!
The problem I have is with my iPhoto library. Its painfully slow, unusably slow when I try to access photos from MBP or PS3.
I have unfortunately resorted to not using iPhoto at all and simply manually storing my photos in 'event' labeled folders in the Photos share point on the NAS. This solution works fine but I'd like to be using iPhoto.
Is the problem because the iPhoto library is on a external drive? Or because its on a wireless, external drive? Or because its not a Mac formatted drive? Or all of the above?
If there's a way to get iPhoto to work on this NAS then some suggestions as to how it could be done would be very much appreciated.

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iPhoto on a NAS
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 24, 2010 3:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Iphoto and a NAS drive

I think your problem is a combination of things.

1. The wireless network may not be as fast as advertised.
2. iPhoto and iTunes operate in completely different ways

When you access iTunes to play a track, it streams the file to wherever and starts to play as soon as the first part of the file arrives on the remote machine.
When looking at the iTunes library or playlist, you are only looking at text. A tiny amount of data is required to show the contents of the library.
iPhoto, on the other hand, cannot do anything until ALL the file has arrived on the remote machine. These files are usually larger than the music files.
iPhoto, certainly with a large collection, takes some time to open, even when the library is stored on the internal HD.


You could try attaching the MBP directly to the NAS to see if that makes any improvement. If it does, then you know that the wireless is not that fast.

On another note, how are you using Time Machine on that drive without the drive being formatted at Mac OS X Extended(Journaled)?


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iPhoto on a NAS
by RobbieAlpha / September 26, 2010 12:25 AM PDT
In reply to: iPhoto on a NAS

Thanks for your comments MrMacFixIt.

I'm pretty sure that it's not the wireless network not being up to speed.

When I had the iphoto library on my MBP the PS3 would see that library and display the photos no problem at all. In fact, as I've got it set up now (now that they're not in an iPhoto library) the MBP can see my photos no problem at all.

I found this discussion on the apple forums.
They say that the iPhoto library cannot reside on a drive that is not formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
Some one also said that they got around this by putting their library onto a dmg formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and storing that on a NAS.
Would that work? Would you still be able to read / write to the library?

My Iomega Home Network drive is set up out the box to be used as a Time Machine backup drive.
I could be wrong about this but I think all you need to do to make a drive Time Machine compatible is to create a sparsebundle file using Disk Utility and then copy that file to the drive. Time Machine will then backup to that Sparsebundle file?

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OS X Extended(Journaled) seems to be
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 26, 2010 9:57 PM PDT
In reply to: iPhoto on a NAS

the deciding factor here.

When you say, "set up out the box to be used as a Time Machine Backup" does that mean that Iomega has already formatted it as OS X Extended or that it was your intention to use it as a Time Machine backup?
All you need to do to make the drive TM compatible is to format the drive as OS X extended. This will make the iPhoto problem go away and will allow TM to backup to that drive.

Do you have something against formatting the drive?

I wouldn't mind betting that the drive is currently formatted as FAT32, not the best format for any use.


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