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I need a Photos expert, please

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Photos has gotten into some sort of hangup for me. The thread is here: https://www.mac-forums.com/images-graphic-design-and-digital-photography/347692-scan-people.html

But what I am thinking of doing is to export everything from the Photos library on my Mac in the original format to an external drive, then open a new database by holding Option as I start Photos and importing all those original images into that new database to see if that fixes the hangup.

But, and this is the critical question area, I sync through iCloud to keep my iPhone and iPad updated. What happens if I change the database this way and import all those images? Will they all have to go up to iCloud again? Will iCloud create a new database and keep the old one? Will they duplicate or replace what's on my iPhone and iPad? I know that only the System Photo Library is synced with iCloud, but I'm not creating a file with a different name, and this new database would BE the System Library, so it would sync to iCloud. But can anyone verify that?

Similarly, there is a "Repair library" process described in the Help menu. If I use that, what happens in iCloud, iPad, iPhone? Does the repaired library replace the System Library and get synced?
 
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I've answered on the other thread...

What about replacing the library from an earlier back up? That should get rid of all recent instructions and I can't see it affecting much synchronisation.
 

IWT


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I've answered on the other thread...

What about replacing the library from an earlier back up? That should get rid of all recent instructions and I can't see it affecting much synchronisation.
I also replied on the other thread. The question is whether to Restore the Photos app wherein, I presume, the instructions lie, or the Library itself - or even both?

Anyhow, as I said on the other thread, it's a much better idea than any of mine.

Ian
 
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It gets curiouser and curiouser. Last night after 30 hours of zero progress, I decided to do a "repair" on the Photos database. There is a procedure for that in the Photos help, so I followed the steps and it went through a series of rebuilding and fixing steps, with the "complete" bar slowly progressing until it was 100% done and the bar was replaced by "start using Photos."

Great! I clicked on the start using button and sure enough, up came Photos with all my pictures intact. I went to the People pay and got a message saying it was scanning and would display once done. Fair enough, I left it alone. I noted that there was a process named VTDecoderXPCService, that was pounding away at something, taking up between 230 and 280% of the CPU (yes, that's possible, that just means that it was using between two and three of the cores exclusively). It ran that way for several hours. At bedtime I opened Photos again and went to the People page and it reported that it had scanned 3,141 with 5,364 to go. VTDecoderXPCServer had taken 3 hours, 57 minutes 18.47 seconds of CPU to get to that point.

So, this morning I fully expected to see some real progress.

Nope, it's at 3,141/5,364, VTDecoderXPCService is now taking 0% of the CPU. Basically I've taken a step backwards. I have fewer images scanned, still cannot use my People page as advertised, Apple is stumped, and I'm out of ideas.

So, I'm now considering just whacking the entire database (Move it out from where it is) and restarting Photos, That should then recreate the database and then I can add back the pictures from where I exported them a couple of days ago.

What I need is the answer to the question of what then would happen to iCloud and my iPhone and iPad? Will the new database sync and overwrite what is on them or will it add duplicates to them or will the move the basically transparent as long as the filenames remain the same?

Also, can anybody tell me if the fact that some of the photos are jpg and some are heic format would make a difference? It shouldn't, as that's how Apple set it up, but at this point I'm clutching at straws.
 

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Brilliant find, Rob! That does seem to make sense. It would be so much more useful if one could exclude videos from the process.

Ian
 
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Thanks, Bob, it's nice to know I'm not the only one with this problem. The post in that thread that really got me chuckling was the Apple fanboy who claimed that having to wait 6 months for the scan was not a bug because the person who complained had a "dream" about how it should work. Frankly, other products can scan faces much faster, so it must be something in the way Apple implemented it. Reminds me of a story from a couple of decades ago. We started a process to add some names into a database and after running 24 hours it had processed 10 names out of the 100,000 needing to be added to the 800,000 already in the database. We contacted the developers and asked if they had tested the routine with a live load. Yes, they said, they had tested by entering 3 names into a database with 10 names and it completed in 7 minutes. Not a very realistic test. My programmer spent a weekend and rewrote the routine himself to complete the job in 3 minutes. Strangely, the company was not interested in the "fix" as they insisted there was no "bug" to be fixed!

I do have video files, not many, but some, and the "live" photos all create a video file for the few seconds they run. That may be contributing to the creakiness, but the bottom line is that Photos has simply stopped processing files, at least according to Activity Monitor. There is slow and then there is stopped. Right now, it's stopped.
 
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UPDATE: I've had Photos open, minimized to the Dock, ever since post #4 on 10/4/18. Today, 10/19/18, Photos reports it has scanned 3,514, with 4,973 to go. So that's 373 scanned in 15 days. With 4973 to go, it will finish in just under 200 days. So, unless I add more photos between now and then, it should be done on May 7, 2019. But I'm planning another trip, so I will be adding pictures. Maybe it won't ever finish.

Is there an alternative to Photos? I've done some looking and found Album+ for IOS, but nothing out there for macOS.
 
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Delete the videos from Photos, then add them back in later?
 
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Didn't make any difference. In fact, what I did was to export all the pictures, create a new database and import only the stills, then looked to see what people it had found. When I did that, it stopped scanning the images at 45. Never moved beyond that. So i deleted that database and restored the database with the videos and it got to the 3000 level pretty quickly before it got stuck. I really don't think the videos make any difference.

So, I'm the search for an alternative. Picasa was pretty good, but Google killed it.
 
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So, I'm the search for an alternative. Picasa was pretty good, but Google killed it.

I haven't seen anything as good as the old Iview Media Pro.app which was a dream to use, but then the price went skyward and then the new Phase One owners, I believe, killed it. But that was about 15± or so years ago!!

I don't know if it's still available or not.






- Patrick
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Didn't make any difference. In fact, what I did was to export all the pictures, create a new database and import only the stills, then looked to see what people it had found. When I did that, it stopped scanning the images at 45. Never moved beyond that. So i deleted that database and restored the database with the videos and it got to the 3000 level pretty quickly before it got stuck. I really don't think the videos make any difference.

So, I'm the search for an alternative. Picasa was pretty good, but Google killed it.
How do you see how many photos are left to be scanned? When I click on People, I only see all the people I have identified?
 
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That means they have all been scanned for you. Until then, before showing the people you get a screen showing how many scanned and how many to go.

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 8.05.22 PM.png
 
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An update; As of today, Photos has scanned 4,235 photos, with 4,259 to go. So in 11 days it scanned 661. That's about 60 per day. So at this rate it will take another 70 days or so. That would put it done in early January. Unless I take more pictures between now and then. I guess I'll have to skip Christmas pictures this year.

I've left Photos running 24/7 in the background, so that speed represents the maximum. Not good, Apple.
 
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I've left Photos running 24/7 in the background, so that speed represents the maximum. Not good, Apple.


That's crazy, and almost a "why bother feature".

Are you sure your Mac isn't going to sleep whenever it's idle???

Maybe your grandchildren will get to use them when they grow up into adulthood!!! If it's actually finished by then.





- Patrick
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Patrick, it's not going to sleep. I have the setting to keep the CPU awake all the time, just turn off the screen. I do it that way so that it doesn't lose the WiFI connection and have to reconnect on wake up. I have no idea why the scanning process is so slow. It ran through the first 3000+ in minutes, then slowed to the crawl it's doing now. It doesn't hurt to have it running, as it's only taking a few percent of the CPU every so often. Most it's at zero, so it's not doing much, but each day the count does move up by that 60 or so. At this exact time it has completed 4,268, so it is doing something. I found lots of folks complaining about it, but no solutions that work consistently. And there is nothing showing in the logs that would indicate any issues, either. It's working, just very, very slowly.
 
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UPDATE: 5945 today, so in 26 days it scanned about 66 each day. At least it's consistent. Slow, but consistent. I figure 40 more days, unless I add Christmas pictures. Let's call it January 4th!
 
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UPDATE: 5945 today, so in 26 days it scanned about 66 each day. At least it's consistent. Slow, but consistent. I figure 40 more days, unless I add Christmas pictures. Let's call it January 4th!


It sounds like it may actually get done and finish everything by Easter if you add some Christmas photos!!!

I sure hope in the end that with all that work it will be worth it and whatever it's doing will actually get used. :\





- Patrick
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Patrick, the strange thing is that Photos is actually doing very little work. It rarely shows more than 1-2% of CPU. And yes I do have a need for this to be completed. So I'll just let it run, check for the progress periodically.
 
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Patrick, the strange thing is that Photos is actually doing very little work. It rarely shows more than 1-2% of CPU. And yes I do have a need for this to be completed. So I'll just let it run, check for the progress periodically.


Yes Jake, you mentioned that before, that the CPU just keeps idling along, but one would think it might want to speed up a bit when it knows you aren't needing any CPU resources and get the job done in a little bit more timely manor.

Personally it seems that something is not as it should be or planned, and I wonder what the programmers were thinking or expecting, or did they even test the process???




- Patrick
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