Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Saving Space in OS X

Saving Space in OS X

Do you ever miss that old Microsofty feeling you used to get when deleting Temporary Internet files or some dumb folder in Application Data and find you have about five gigs more space? Well, touching the almost-out-of-swap-space 95% disk-usage on my laptop has rekindled my fondness for those cute temporary files and that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you zap them.

Now then, aside from some standard Unixy business in /var, some long-gone junk in /usr/local, and running the fink cleanup business, I couldn’t find anything much delete! So what did I do you ask...actually you didn't ask...sorry... But! I figured out a way to get my respectably large, unequivocally hip 72 gigs music down to a lovable 48G. Yep. No joke. Here’s the deal.

I rip a lot of music from oulde fashioned CDs, and upon looking at my import settings, in iTunes->Preferences->Import Settings, I found I was using some nonsense called an AIFF encoder. This, as they say, sounds a bit dodgy, so I switched to the MP3 encoder. Yes, even though most of my music is OGG (and yours should be too!) I grudgingly switched from one oppressive format to another. And here’s why.

Now! I can order songs in iTunes by bit-rate (in list view, right-click in the headings bar to add a bit-rate column). At the top of the list was a whole bunch of seemingly random songs encoded at staggeringly useless 1141kbps! Whoa. Rumor has it that some people can tell 256kbps from 196kbps but I think that’s rubbish. So I changed my encoder (back in Import Settings) to 196, which is as awesome as it will go. Then! I select all the too-well-encoded-to-be-reasonable songs and went to Advanced->Create MP3 Version and iTunes converted the daylights outa them songs, and then I cunningly deleted the old ones. If you’re tight on space, not unlike myself, you’ll have to pull this maneuver in batches. Oh, and iTunes croaked when I selected over 1000 songs for conversion...bummer. But in the end, I’ve reclaimed a good bit of disk-space.

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