More Photos Q&A: Dealing with limitations in multiple libraries, smart albums, and more

Isaac Harari writes:

I have a personal photo library of approximately 200 GB which is now in iCloud and I can access with all my devices. The problem is that I also have another work photo library that sometimes I like to have on my iPhone. How can I keep both libraries in iCloud but keep them perfectly separate?

Unfortunately, there’s no option to switch among collections or libraries in iCloud. For any given device or computer, you’re pairing iCloud Photo Library with an iCloud account. You could create separate iCloud accounts for different libraries and maintain different OS X accounts to switch among them. But since there’s no similar facility in iOS, it would be a huge mess to swap iCloud accounts to show a different library there.

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How to connect an Apple Display to a USB-C MacBook

Gunnar Diepenbruck wondered several weeks ago whether or not an Apple LED Cinema Display could be connected in some fashion to the USB-C port of a 12-inch MacBook. I’d extend that question to ask about the Apple Thunderbolt Display as well. I waited to answer this to see whether a cable was forthcoming from Apple or third parties. None has yet appeared.

USB-C can carry DisplayPort data over the port, so this should be a possibility if the market were big enough to spur manufacturers. I have spotted one USB-C to Mini DisplayPort adapter for about $35, but it’s being sold under several names, and is manufactured by a generic-labeling firm in China. I haven’t yet tested it, and thus am not linking to it. The adapter is just for video, and thus no other USB devices (carrying power or data) can be connected to the MacBook if it’s in use.

There are several DisplayPort (and HDMI) cables, but they all require a monitor to have an adapter plug. Apple’s monitors have either a hard-wired Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt cable (which uses the same form factor as Mini DisplayPort) with a jack on the end.

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How to be sure Photos for Mac stores full-resolution images

Brian Cahoon is concerned about where his photos and other media live. As a former Aperture user, he used its vault feature to back up his library. But with iCloud Photo Library, Apple gives you the option to always keep high-resolution copies locally.

I don’t think I can just copy the library since some may only be in the cloud at full resolution and the export feature doesn’t create folders for years/months—it’s just a dump of all files in one folder. I have 280GB of photos going back to 2001. Any ideas on how to get a full, verified copy of my photos on a backup drive?

photos icloud preferences

Unless one device is set to download media originals, it’s impossible to back them all up in one place.

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How to get a new Finder window the size you want

Dexter Rucker is a long-time Mac owner, and knows his way around OS X. But he writes that he cannot seem to get a basic bit of behavior to stick in Yosemite:

Most of the time the Finder window opens up very small and I have to resize it to make it larger, but sometimes it opens how I last closed it. With past OS X operating systems, it opened how it was left which is rather large. Is there a way to have the window open how it was last closed?

This has baffled me as well, because I've seen inconsistent behavior, and I did some exploring. In my experience, I can't resize a window and then get the next opened window to work the same way. I checked through forums for the wisdom of crowds, and many people suggested deleting a variety of preference or Finder-configuration files. While that's not a terrible thing to do, it also seems extreme.

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Mac 911: Does Spotlight reveal other users' files?

Scott Trezza is frustrated with Spotlight in Yosemite:

Spotlight searches on my MacBook Pro running Yosemite always reveal files on other users’ accounts. If I put the other users’ home directory into the Privacy section of Spotlight in System Preferences, then those same users are unable to enjoy the convenience of smart mailboxes in Mail and other conveniences of Spotlight when they are on their own accounts. Is there a way to tweak Spotlight from revealing the contents of other user accounts?

I looked for documentation or other complaints about this issue, and was unable to find any. I tested whether I could replicate this on my own system, as I don’t routinely work on computers that I share with others.

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Mac 911: Safari consistently quits in Yosemite

Andrew Chase finds that Safari quits whenever he walks away from his Mac, and it’s driving him to distraction.

Ater leaving my computer for a period of time, I come back and Safari has closed down. No error or crash report, its as if someone is playing a trick on me and closes Safari. I have tried rebooting, deleting preference files, and turning off sleep. Not allowing my computer to sleep seems to have reduce the frequency that it happens, but I can’t be sure of it.

In 10.7 Lion, Apple added an automatic background quit feature to OS X that’s designed to better free up system resources by software that’s not in use. It comes in two forms: automatic termination, which silently goes through the app’s normal quitting process when you’re not using it; and sudden termination, which kills off the app without any warning.

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Troubleshooting Photos: Syncing, deleting, organizing albums, and more

With the release of El Capitan’s public beta, those with the desire to engage in a bit of risk have gotten a glimpse of Photos 1.1, a release that isn’t just an extension of the original version, but also seems to fix bugs. We still don’t know if 1.1 will be made available for Yosemite—it seems unlikely. But it’s also extremely likely most Yosemite users will migrate to El Capitan, rendering it moot for most, since Photos is exclusive to Yosemite anyhow.

In this week’s Mac 911, I revisit iCloud Photo Library’s new way of thinking about where photos reside, solve a problem for syncing RAW images from an iPad to Mac without using Photos, and examine some issues with organizing albums and photos.

Old photos never die, they just fade away

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