Dan Connolly's tinkering lab notebook

All knotted up about media management

All knotted up about media management

Another installment in the to-mac-or-not-to-mac series... I recently replaced my 2004 era G4 powerbook with a MacBook Air. Hulu works a lot better with a modern CPU ;-) I'm hooked on Flash Forward now. And Miro "just worked" to grab some Ted talks for watching on the plane.

The MacBook Air comes with new Apple software too: iLife '09 has face recognition and map integration.

It looks like google's cross-platform tool does face recognition and map integration too: Google Photos Blog: Announcing Picasa 3.5, now with name tags, better geotagging and more. After watching the chromium "everything lives in the cloud" OS videos, it's hardly surprising to see Google talking about photo libraries in their offer of twice the storage for a quarter of the price, i.e. 20 GB for only $5 a year.

Google says most people have less than 10GB of photos; we have the same order of magnitude (~32GB, including videos). How long would it take to upload all that content? It took hours just to copy it across our LAN (details below). I got LAN access to the iPhoto Library working, but it was annoyingly slow.

Then there's music...

A Google music search item reminds me about Lala (hi Anselm!) and Pandora. Unlike photos, the music I listen to is mostly stuff I didn't record, so it makes a lot of sense that it lives in the cloud... if only caching were a *lot* better. I want the iPod wear-it-on-your-arm-while-you-run experience.

I read about mobile phones taking over as everything from watches to media players but watch batteries last years, an ipod shuffle goes several trips on one charge, and my cellphone needs charging every day.

Also, I want the few kilobytes of precious data (playlists, star ratings, and the like) managed as *my* data, separate from the gigabytes of recorded mp3 data. goes one way... with scrobbling from iTunes to the cloud. How much would I be willing to pay for a subscription to all my "mix tape" style playlists? Hmm.

And how long before patronage returns as the dominant business model for creative work? Will the music of my kids' formative years be as free as Ted videos?

Details: Photo library stats

This past weekend, I copied the family photo library from my wife's laptop (she's the shutterbug) to the linux box in the closet and then to my new macbook air. It's 32GB including videos. I didn't record the time exactly but it seemed to take around 5hours.

Using iPhoto Library Manager, I split it into two albums: the most recent 9 months and everything older. Copying the 9 month segment using rsync over wifi concluded thus:

sent 9195085734 bytes  received 190748 bytes  1379946.95
total size is 9193422268  speedup is 1.00

That's 8.5GB in just under 2 hours, which suggests 5hrs is in the ballpark.

music stats...

sent 3877121671 bytes  received 36170 bytes  2818726.17
total size is 3876532701  speedup is 1.00

star ratings in iTunes