How to prepare your iPhoto library for Photos for OS X

Reader Dave Inglis has The Question about the upcoming Photos for OS X app. He writes:

I read your article about Photos for OS X and the app looks great. What can I do with my current iPhoto library to get it ready for the transition to Photos?

The glib answer is “nothing.” When you finally get your hands on Photos for OS X (which is slated to be released sometime this northern-hemisphere spring) and launch it, you’ll be asked if you’d like to import your iPhoto library. (If you have multiple iPhoto libraries, you can hold down the Option key while launching Photos and then, in the Choose Library window that appears, select a library to use.) Note that cloud syncing works only with the default System Photo Library.

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How to deal with two Apple IDs, well, kind of

Reader Dave Smith, a newish Apple user, is confounded by Apple ID. He writes:

Not being an Apple person I didn’t understand the whys and wherefores of an Apple ID when I bought my first devices. As a result, I have two Apple IDs. One I use for my iPods and iPhone and the other for my iPad. This causes me some grief over time as I sometimes have plugged one in for syncing when the other profile was in place. I’d like to get rid of one and consolidate. Is there any way to do this?

You were doing so well up until you mentioned “consolidate.” And there’s the rub. Apple does not allow you to consolidate two Apple IDs. A couple of years ago there was some talk of this as an upcoming feature, but it didn’t materialize. Rather, Apple embarked on its Family Sharing effort, which isn’t the same thing.

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When you turn an iPhone into an iPod touch

Reader Robert Williams would like some clarification about the relationship between his iOS devices and Apple ID. He writes:

My iTunes ID and password are now associated with my new iPhone 5s. The old iPhone (an iPhone 5) still connects to my home Wi-Fi network, but in order to download new apps, I need to enter my iTunes ID and password on the old phone. I’m concerned that if I enter my iTunes ID and password on that phone, iTunes will consider it to be my primary device and at the same time disable my new phone from iTunes. Is this a danger, particularly when I’ve also associated that ID with an iPad and MacBook Pro?

Not at all. Let me explain.

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How to easily print mail merged Pages documents

I’m not saying that reader Charlie Brown is unhappy (but honestly, isn’t Charlie Brown always unhappy?), but he would like a bit more from a solution I recently offered. He writes:

I found your article about creating mail merge documents with Apple’s Pages and Numbers helpful, but I’d like to know how to print the complete set of merged documents all at once. I don’t see where to select print and number of pages within the data merge file screen.

While the Pages Data Merge app I mention lets you email merged documents, there’s no print option, as you’ve noticed. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a way to do this. Automator is your answer. Here’s how to go about it.

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What's the best media for long-term storage?

Reader Karen Bauer ponders a question of longevity. She writes:

I enjoyed your article about maintaining media throughout the ages but I’d like to know something more. What is the best physical media to store archives on?

If we allow history to be our guide, I’d suggest stone tablets—able to withstand just about any natural catastrophe you throw at them, but murder when it comes to editing.

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How to cull your iPhoto library of duplicates and bad photos

Reader Phil Rogers has more images than he cares for. He writes:

Because digital photos are so easy to save, my wife and I developed the bad habit of downloading, and downloading, and well, downloading. If we needed to show each other something at the store, we’d snap a photo and email it. Then at some point, that orange, or stapler, or whatever, would eventually get downloaded. Net result? Over 50,000 photos in iPhoto, with many duplicates.

How does one even begin to cull the herd? I’ve tried many of the duplicate-finder programs with varied success. But what about just plowing through to get rid of the clunkers?

This is a common problem, particularly now that so many of us carry around cameras (in the form of mobile devices) each day.

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