Saturday, March 5, 2011

Deleting Photos from (the) iPad (aka the Over-Syncing™ Nightmare)

Still on the road here. Yay. Is a difference between Waffle House, Waffle King and Huddle House? I can't tell anymore.

One of the producers here who is using the Camera Connection Kit (to manage stills for this documentary that I'm to incorporate into the documentary and which are EASY to delete) and an iPad asked me how to delete photos from an iPad that were originally synced via iTunes.

I told them I dunno, because I don't understand Syncing since it seem to always copy and re-copy everything back and forth every time you make the slightest change to the iDevice which I call Over-sync™.

So I looked it up on The Google…

Hey look, I didn't even get that far before The Google helpfully helped me out with some help. Apparently this is one weakness in Apple's highly touted streamlined syncing methods.

Deleting photos from an iPad is far more complex than it ever should be. And I'm not alone in this.

There are two ways. (and you cannot delete individual photos from (the) iPad if you originally put them there via iTunes unless you connect (the) iPad to the original computer that placed it there which defeats the whole point of a "mobile" device)

Deleting photos that you acquired on the iPad WITHOUT iTunes:

1. Go to Saved Photos
2. Tap the Arrow button on the top right.
3. Tap on the photos you want to delete. It can be more than one simultaneously. You should see little checkmarks on the ones you've tapped on.
4. Hit the Delete button.

Deleting photos that you synced to the iPad WITH iTunes:

(Note this may not work for you, like, at all)

In iTunes, with the iPad connected:

0. Goto the "Photos" section/button at the top of iTunes after you click on your iPad in the left-hand list.
1. Toggle (meaning UNCHECK) the "Sync Photos from" check box. You'll see a window asking you to remove photos.
2. Hit Remove Photos.
3. Hit the Sync button.
4. Wait a long time while iTunes does all manners of things that have no relevance to just deleting a few photos you synced prior to this.
5. Double check to see that the photos are actually removed.

See what Apple is making you do here to delete photos? They're making you delete them by NOT SYNCING them to the iPad. Not syncing = Remove Photos in this case. Make sense?

Essentially they're saying "Don't sync the photos that you already have synced between your computer (iTunes) and the iPad and that will remove them because you don't want them synced." Not Synced is Not on Both. Not synced is not the same on both. Why is this so complicated?


1. Launch iTunes
2. Connect (the) iPad
3. Click on the iPad listing in the left-hand list
4. Click on Photos at the top-right of iTunes
5. Leave "Sync Photos from" checked.
6. Select "Selected Folders"
7. Make sure NONE of them are check-marked.
8. Hit Apply in the lower right-hand corner.
9. Wait a while for iTunes to waste your time while doing some kind of time-consuming whatever-it-is-that-it-takes I-didn't-say-backup needless over-syncing™ to just delete a few photos.

(Hint: It syncs at this point which means copying everything all over the place again [from (the) iPad to your computer, mainly] in a long at-least-three-step-process which will include copying over all your Apps AGAIN).

How silly and confusing and un-Apple-like is that? Btw, syncing (the Big Sync button you need to hit) will copy over any and all apps you've installed on your iPad so make sure your computer has the space for all this stuff being copied (ie..synced) to it. The laptop here ran out of room for the iPad's 8+Gigs of Apps during a sync leaving no recourse to fix it outside of outright deleting stuff from the iPad itself, then starting again at step 1.

I'm thinking that (the) iPad needs something like 10Gigs scratch room on a hard drive just to perform a sync or something.

Btw, fun fact: Apple Mail won't stay launched if the hard drive is full.

Here's the iPad's user guide. Page 48 is all about photos and page 132 are photo settings.

From page 48:

"Delete a photo: You can delete photos from the Saved Photos album, which contains photos you save from email or the web. For photos synced from your computer, you need to delete the photo from the album on your computer, then sync iPad again."

Page 132 has nothing related to deleting photos.

See what Apple did there? Delete the photo from the computer to delete it from (the) iPad. WHAT THE?

Apple has a Knowledge Base article on this here.

"To delete photos from your device
  1. In iTunes, select the device icon in the Devices list on the left. Click the Photos tab in the resulting window.
  2. Choose "Sync photos from."
    • On a Mac, choose iPhoto or Aperture from the pop-up menu.
    • On a Windows PC, choose Photoshop Album or Photoshop Elements from the pop-up menu.
  3. Choose "Selected albums" and deselect the albums or collections you want to delete.
  4. Click Apply."
There seems to be no way to manually manage everything between (the) iPad and iTunes. The screwed up thing is that since you have to sync things to manipulate them, if you only want to NOT SYNC your photos (to remove them from (the) iPad) you could un-check other sync options like Apps, but then you run the risk of removing apps from your iPad during the sync! It's absolutely crazy.

I'm not even going to attempt it because the Producer would likely throw me out of this moving car (which I've started calling Serenity and they don't get the joke) through a closed window and keep my Slurpee suicide which they made me pay for myself. I saw you looking at it!

If you know what un-checking the sync app box does when you sync, meaning if it removes apps from (the) iPad let me know. I'm very curious.

Like for me, myself here, now, if you toggle sync books, iTunes will warn me about removing videos. WHAT? HUH?

Would it be so hard to just have (the) iPad mount on the desktop, you open it up, open the photo folder, select all and then trash in the Finder? Or hey, here's an idea...ALSO LET IMAGE CAPTURE MANAGE PHOTOS THAT WERE SYNCED VIA ITUNES? Can't we all just get along? Would that be so hard?

Now I remember why I hated my original iPod-has-to-be-synced-to-one-folder-and-if-you-change-or-remove-that-folder-the-iPod-ends-up-empty-I-hate-sync Shuffle.

This is so tricky and un-Apple-like that people who don't get it (and I am still one of them) end up making their own convoluted and detrimental workarounds like this:

"The way I get around this is to sync photos then go through them one by one on ipad maybe resize for better composition then take a snap shot by pressing home button and button on top of ipad for 1 sec this puts the ones you want to keep into the saved folder. then i sync my next batch of photos from a different folder this deletes the old ones and replaces with new photos and I repeate the process. "

p.s. once you over-sync™ to delete your photos, you'll find some .ipa files in your trash that can take up significant hard drive space.

iPad and Image Capture

Using an iPad for photos is great, handy and fun but deleting them is a nightmare. I'll post on that in a bit.

However, a handy tip; for photos that you acquired on your iPad via the Camera Connection Kit, saving in Safari, Email etc… basically any way OTHER THAN SYNCING VIA ITUNES, you can use Image Capture.

Launch it while your iPad is connected and copy and delete images to your heart's content.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Using Activity Monitor to Un-Hang a Process

Not anything new, but today it helped (ok, at least seemed to help, I'm lacking my empirical data matrix) un-hang a beachballed Safari.

All you have to do is launch Activity Monitor (which just runs the "top" command, like in the Terminal) and it seems to unhang, unfreeze, unbeachball a stuck app.

Does it really work? I dunno. It seems to. It just did. Or at least seemed to. But is it falsifiable?

iMovie on iPad2

I'm on the road going from location to location for a a passenger, and they won't let me drive!

All I've seen for the past 4 hours.
I could have made a documentary on telephone polls from my window seat here if it weren't for the fact that there's a surprising lack of diversity among them. Anyways…

In the Mystery Machine here (which is what I call the crew transport because the Producer told me to stop "audibly calling it the Rebel Transport and/or Honeywagon" (direct quote, btw) and because where we're going each shiny new day is a complete mystery to me) I've been doing roughs (rough cuts) of the previous day's footage to show the director. Which doesn't make sense since we can't go back to the previous location anyways. Anyways…

iMovie's been on the iPhone but now theres a bit in the most recent keynote where iMovie is demoed on the iPad2 and it's actually very interesting. Reverse-pinch (seriously, no one has come up with a better term? Unpinch? PullApart? Lot? Reave?) to move into "Precision editing" mode which while cool and necessary and everything, really seems more like a way to overcome the small screen and lack of precision cursor (your finger) control.

Can you frame-advance? Does it support TimeCode?

What I'm wondering is how and if you can get video into iMovie on iPad2 that's not shot by the iPad2 itself. Maybe you can iTunes it over, I dunno. (iTunes = verb) I'll know after mine gets here I guess.

UPDATE: I'm being told you can import footage from your Mac for use in iMovie on iPad2.

Handling of still images gets some tweaks but while there's the Ken Burns effect there's still no Jack Cole effect.

iMovie for iPad2 outputs to a few formats that can be pretty client-handy, which is nice; heck, even CNN iReport. (Rogue gorilla film crew kidnaps handsome and helpless editor!) I suspect I'll be seeing iPad2s with iMovie along with the requisite iPhones with iMovie (and seemingly endless parade of Flip cameras) on corporate shoots where the client (or their "Social Engineer" which is a glorified name for someone who gets highly paid to post stuff to Facebook on a companies behalf) makes a behind-the-scene video to show their friends (competition) then offers it to me 'in case there are any shots I may have missed.'


Didn't Social Engineering mean something else just a few months ago?

Btw, if anyone on a set mentions that their phone shoots HD "as well" meaning like the main camera we're using, I will hide that phone behind their car tire for them. (Hope you find it before you leave!)

While mirrored video output will be pretty helpful showing roughs to clients one of the best things about Sharing The Drama may be having one on set and doing a rough edit right there, in-hand, along side the "this is the big boy's camera, you don't touch" camera.

I'm still recommending clients steer clear of iMovie (to save my own wallet) and because of it's posterization issues.

Other things I'm wondering about concerning the iPad2: Camera resolution, memory and despite Steve Job's email about it being "on the way" there seems to still be no wireless syncing.

I am so bored.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Final Cut Pro 8?

The tarp has been taken back a bit from the next version of Final Cut Pro and it seems the sides are slowly bifurcating into bated anticipation vs. gloomy reluctance at the prospects of re-learning what's now 2nd nature to many FCP users.

Lines like, "One source described the new release as encompassing everything from low level architectural changes to a complete redesign of the user interface" aren't exactly comforting for some.

Key Commands should (will) be the same (mostly, 'cept for those new ones) so if you've been keeping up your transition should go a little smoother.

Combine this with ThunderBolt connectivity, powerful laptops (and more powerful towers on the way) an interesting twist with MobileMe, the rising popularity of DSLRs and 2011 will be like untrodden snow indeed.

You may want to use some of those gift cards you got for Xmas on some new FCP books. It's interesting to think about how much a major overhaul of a popular piece of software reverberates around and boosts ancillary markets like books, webinars, training videos, etc…