7 Replies Latest reply: Nov 25, 2012 5:59 PM by Cunnla
Cunnla Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)

I am using iPhoto 9.4.2 on Lion on a Macbook Air (late 2010) and to free up disk space I bought a Transcend 32gb USB stick and moved my iPhoto library (about 8.4 gb) onto it after formatting it to Mac OS extended (journaled). When I open iPhoto from the stick library, everything is very slow, with the spinning wheel appearing. It takes about a minute to open, and using the different functions can take anything from a few seconds to a minute. Closing down takes a lot of time too. When I open iPhoto from an external hard disk, there is no problem, it is just as fast as from the library on the Macbook Air. Is this a problem common to USB sticks or is it just the one I have? Here is what disk utility says about the USB:

Disk Description : JetFlash Transcend 32GB Media 

Total Capacity : 32.45 GB (32,451,330,048 Bytes)

Connection Bus : USB  Write Status : Read/Write

Connection Type : External 

S.M.A.R.T. Status : Not Supported

Partition Map Scheme : GUID Partition Table

 

If anyone has suggestions for a fix I would very much appreciate it.

  • 1. Re: Is iPhoto Library always slow on USB stick?
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,850 points)

    What format is the Stick?

  • 2. Re: Is iPhoto Library always slow on USB stick?
    Cunnla Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)

    Mac OS extended (journaled)

  • 3. Re: Is iPhoto Library always slow on USB stick?
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,850 points)

    That sounds like it should work.

     

    As a Test:

     

     

    Hold down the option (or alt) key and launch iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Create Library' and make a new Library on the device.

     

     

    Import a few pics into this new, blank library. Is the Problem repeated there?

  • 4. Re: Is iPhoto Library always slow on USB stick?
    Cunnla Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)

    Thanks Terence.

    I did as you suggested with a new library and imported 4 photos and it worked but with some slight delays, especially when closing iPhoto from the pulldown menu but it still worked fairly well. Then I imported the remaining 2,000 or so photos and tried it again. The import process was a bit slow but went smoothly enough but "finishing import" took ages. So now I have a new library with 2000 photos, same as the original library, but strangely enough, the new one is 3gb and the original is 7.6gb. What is that extra 4gb doing, I wonder. However, now the operation is very slow, with lots of spinning umbrellas. So I don't want to delete the original library yet, even though I have it backed up on an external hard disk. Can it be that the usb stick cannot cope with all the data?

  • 5. Re: Is iPhoto Library always slow on USB stick?
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,850 points)

    Given that the Library works perfectly well on a Hard Disk, it does look like that, doesn't it?

     

    As for the extra data - have you synced with an iPad/iPhone/iPod at any point? It could be the cache generated for that operation.

  • 6. Re: Is iPhoto Library always slow on USB stick?
    Cunnla Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)

    I have loaded pictures into iPhoto from my iPhone from time to time, so maybe that is it. I repaired and rebuilt the database on the original library and copied it to the stick but it is still slow. There does not seem much more to do. I can still use the stick as long as I don't expect it to be perfect. May test the iTunes folder on it to see how that works. Thanks for your response.

  • 7. Re: Is iPhoto Library always slow on USB stick?
    Cunnla Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)

    Have resolved the problem and freed up 36gb of space on the Macbook Air.

    I discovered for sure it was the USB stick that was the problem. When I moved the iPhoto library that was acting slowly from there onto the MBA it worked perfectly from there. Then I put the iTunes folder (28gb) onto the empty USB stick and iTunes worked without a hitch from there. I had a 32gb SD card, also made by Transcend, and moved the original iPhoto library to that. Presto! it worked.

    So an SD card is preferable to a USB stick, at least for iPhoto.

    Thanks again for the advice.