How to speed up a slow iPhoto library

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Marty Schettler is unimpressed with iPhoto’s speed. He writes:

I am a casual photographer who has amassed about 10,000 pictures in my iPhoto library. iPhoto now runs so slowly that it is essentially unusable (and occasionally tells me that my Library has been corrupted). I’ve heard a few people recommend switching to Aperture, adding iPhoto Library Manager, or jumping to an Adobe or Google product. I just want something where I can organize my photos by date/event and do very light editing. What do you recommend?

Given that the vast majority of us have been filmless for a decade or more, it does seem odd that iPhoto chokes on just 10,000 images. But you’re right, it can and does. Poky performance with largish libraries has been a feature of iPhoto for years and the latest edition is no exception.

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Bugs & Fixes: OS X 10.9.2 and the disappearing camera

Ted Landau Senior Contributor, Macworld

Initially, after updating to OS X 10.9.2, all seemed fine with my 2009 Mac Pro. Then I launched Skype. The application could no longer detect the camera built into my 24-inch Cinema Display. I quickly confirmed that this failure was not specific to Skype. It extended to all programs that accessed the camera—notably Apple’s FaceTime and Photo Booth. For example, shortly after launching Photo Booth, a message appeared that said “There is no connected camera.”

no connected camera

Instead of a view from the camera, this message appeared in Photo Booth after updating to OS X 10.9.2.

A Safe Boot points the way

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Mail merge and Office 2011 revisited

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Twitter follower Toby Sax is anxious for me to revisit an old Mac 911 column that lays out the steps for creating mail merged documents in Microsoft Word. In a series of tweets Toby writes:

Thanks for your mail merge and Office 2011 article, which I followed to near success. I have these questions:
  • How do you insert an email address from Outlook rather than Apple’s Contacts application?
  • How do you maintain a letter format within the resulting email message?
  • When I tried this the letters went to Outlook’s Drafts folders and not to its Outbox as you suggested. Why?

Thanks for allowing me the chance to revisit this topic, particularly as it lets me answer some outstanding questions that followed it. For the sake of convenience I’ll pull portions of that column (in italics) into this one and answer as I go.

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Filter your email like a pro

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Twitter follower Jason Verly is interested in learning my technique for auto-filtering email. When I mentioned that doing this requires Outlook he didn’t shy away.

The two key components are Outlook and Stairways Software’s $36 Keyboard Maestro. The latter is an outstanding macro program that I use to fire off a series of Outlook commands.

I use this technique to handle the scads of PR releases I receive each day. In general terms, it allows me to add a sender to Outlook’s contacts and then assign a specific category to that contact. When future messages from that sender arrive, they are moved to a specific folder via a rule I’ve created within Outlook.

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Using a flash drive with an iPad

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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In a recent article you said that you couldn’t play movies stored on a flash drive on your iPad. Is there any way at all to use other kinds of files on a flash drive with an iPad?

In a very limited way, yes. It’s like this.

You can attach some flash drives to Apple’s $29 iPad Camera Connection Kit. (If you have an iPad with a Lightning connector you’ll additionally need Apple’s $29 Lightning to USB Camera Adapter.) Let me underscore some. Some flash drives require more power than the iPad can provide and won’t work. For example, I had luck with a low-capacity (64MB) flash drive but a 4GB drive was deemed incompatible by the iPad.

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iPad or laptop: Which is right for you?

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Clint Grosse, like many people, faces the “laptop or iPad” decision. He writes:

I want to purchase either a 13-inch MacBook or iPad soon. I would only use either when traveling and would primarily need it to check email every day or two, write a document occasionally (I don’t know how that might be done using an iPad, since Word doesn’t appear to be an option) and, sometimes, be able to go to an online auction site. Also, I might want to occasionally listen to a CD and watch a DVD. And flash/thumb drives? Without USB ports, they’re not an option for iPads are they?

As you’d expect, you can do everything you desire with a laptop (okay, you’ll also need an external CD/DVD player if you want anything other than the old non-retina 13-inch MacBook Pro that Apple still sells, as Apple’s other laptops no longer include such media players). Let’s now run down your list in regard to the iPad.

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How to stream iOS audio to multiple AirPlay destinations

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Andy Ingram is befuddled by an iOS limitation. He writes:

I have multiple AirPlay-compatible speakers around my home but it seems that I can stream music from my iPhone to just one of them. Yet on my Mac I can stream to multiple AirPlay speakers. Isn’t there some way to do this on iOS?

Not without some help from a third-party as Apple specifically limits AirPlay output to just the single destination.

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