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Move Midnight to 3am

Not in reality, just in as far as photo and media organisation software is concerned.
  [vote for,

Scroll down for the actual idea — this is background waffle:

I’m currently, while I wait for opportunity to knock, in the throes of organising things that I simply cannot continue my life without having such things organised once and for all. Namely, my photos. Over the years my photo organisation has been subjected to being placed on various hard drives many of which die, while also being backed up onto other magnetic, optical and other media, in various “states”. If anything, I’ve suffered from over-backingup a bit, and will often just squirrel away a disorganised dump of photos or music or whatever, safe in the knowledge that “it’s in there somewhere”.

Recently I moved my entire digital photo library — everything I have — into one huge Apple Photos file. It is 548GB. This is every photo I have, in digital form. Or so I thought. In fact, because that file was moved twice in recent months, from one Mac to another, but before that, from one hard drive to another just prior to the original SSHD drive deciding life’s all too much to bear, and due to some pointless misconfiguration for a short while of the preceding iPhotos software, some portion of that library was externally referenced. Well, no more. A chunk of it could not be found. On further investigation, quite a lot of embarrassing chunks were nowhere other than, in some cases, the form of previews or thumbnails. The previews were good enough to use (the thumbnails obviously not), which saved the day sort of, but in hundreds of photos were gone.

So, I went up into the attic, took down backup hard drives* and filled a 5TB drive with everything I could find, and the same with optical backups. Soon I had everything that was everywhere, all in one place. I’ve put all of that into one brand new Apple Photos library (388GB) and stepped through both of them on two separate Macs, arms outstretched reaching both keyboards, to see which one had stuff the other did. By and large, the original one had a surprising amount of missing content that was present in the newly generated one, with hardly much vice versa.

Next step, make a duplicate of the new 388GB library and prune it down. I’ve lost a lot of metadata the way I imported a lot of it, but also ended up with ridiculous amounts of duplications, amounts of separate jpg+raws, huge amounts of non-chosen or originally rejected photos back in again, and so on. I’ve been throwing almost everything out apart from a select set, and that’s been preoccupying my time a while now.

It occurs to me that there’s lots of situations that cross midnight (christmas new year birthdays celebrations weddings etc) that then get treated as separate days. Quite clearly, it all happened on the same day you stupid computer. Just because it went past midnight is no good reason to separate it into a separate day, you idiot — it’s the same day as far as anyone is concerned.

Here’s the idea:

I suggest an option in software (photos, video production, music production, etc) where you can set when the “day” typically ends. I would suggest 3am as a default for sensible use (although decades ago when I made a lot of my music on analogue synths, I was habitually realising it was 4am and maybe some of this can wait till tomorrow) (but I wasn’t actually using computers for it — totally analogue sequencing). This way the software wouldn’t chop up an import that crosses midnight into two separate events.

* I use hard drives as photo / audio / video archive these days — fill it and stash it, occasionally powering it up to see if it still reads, even less occasionally copying it all off, reformatting it, copying it back on. I had a brief flirtation with bluray for data but it’s too restrictive to take seriously.

Ian Tindale, Jan 25 2016


       Might as well be adaptive, based on clusters of photo times —if several photos are taken around midnight, continuing to 5 AM, they're the same event; if you take several at 8 PM and then some more at 2 AM they're probably separate events. That's how iPhoto used to separate photos into Events by day; I'm pretty sure it only did it by day, not by time. Events is the feature I miss most from iPhoto.
notexactly, Jan 25 2016

       If you find a solution to the continuous dragging of data around that you simply can't live without that doens't involve somebody's cloud server somewhere, let me know.
RayfordSteele, Jan 25 2016

       Join the Collective, [Ray]. All your (well, our) data, online, all the time. Go on, you know you want to ...
8th of 7, Jan 25 2016

       // If you find a solution to the continuous dragging of data around //   

       I was hoping that the SD WORM cards that came out a while back would catch on and get cheap. It looks like it didn't.   

       It seems to me that it ought to be possible to make a write-once system that is significantly cheaper than flash memory, but it could be that there's no way to get it cheaper unless it can be produced in huge volumes, and until it is cheap, it won't be popular enough to sell many.   

       I see that you can buy 1000 year archival DVDs and Blue- ray disks from mdisk.com, but it's still cheaper per GB to but 2 hard drives.
scad mientist, Jan 25 2016

       Yep, and it keeps large libraries of media together instead of splitting it across multiple handfuls of opticals. I personally had doubts as to whether to take SDXC cards or usb sticks seriously as dump and stash storage, in terms of longevity and corruptibility and general ‘where on earth was this made and why was it so cheap’-ness (what’s the proper word for that? Oh yes, trust). For now, I think hard drives are the go.
Ian Tindale, Jan 25 2016

       I would put it in the cloud, just as soon as I’ve winnowed down the half a terabyte of every single photo I’ve ever taken that I still have digital record of, down to the 5GB that iCloud provides. Oh wait, half of that is full of something I didn’t put there — apps steal bits of it themselves. Okay, just as soon as I’ve whittled it all down to 2.5GB.
Ian Tindale, Jan 25 2016

       Cancel Monday s entirely ?
popbottle, Jan 26 2016

       Surely you can do this by just setting your computer's time zone to "Buenos Aires"?
hippo, Jan 26 2016

       USB drives, I've found, are unreliable - I've had a fail rate of 100% over 4 different drives over a period of 6 years. Ok for moving things around and short term storage, but sadly quite flaky beyond that.   

       I've been keeping an old Apple Xserve 14 bay RAID drive alive for the last 6 years with greater success - though finding the power supply units prone to failure - I suspect aging capacitors are to blame but a new PSU on eBay is about £25, so not tried to get the soldering iron out quite yet.   

       Trouble is, this 2TB unit will ultimately fill up, and what then? I'm sort of hoping that due to some kind of seruptitious Moore's law equivalent, that by the time that happens, I can archive onto a single HD drive that I can store separately somewhere. I'd go SATA, just because they're cheap, and are fairly easily mounted on older gear. All that's needed then is a nice fire-proof, padded box to keep them in and a sharpie-cataloging system such as "1999-2009" or whatever. At £60 a decade, that's not too bad. Certainly cheaper than any non-free cloud based alternative.
zen_tom, Jan 26 2016

       Hotel reservations as well please.   

       This past summer I was traveling late, and tried to find a hotel on-line. After midnight, all of the hotels stopped taking reservations for the day just past, despite the fact that the night was far from over. It took multiple phone calls to do what Expedia could easily have done if the switch over happened at a more practical time.
MechE, Jan 26 2016


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