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File size for Apple TV #1
Ron Croft's picture
by Ron Croft
August 13, 2012 - 4:26pm

I shoot mostly RAW but the files are so huge they take forever to stream to my 3rd gen Apple TV. Is there a convenient way to extract the embedded jpeg files, or must I batch change everything I want to stream?

Chris Hoch's picture
by Chris Hoch
August 13, 2012 - 4:58pm

If memory serves me right Apple tv does not touch the raw files it takes the jpeg previews, you might need to adjust the jpeg preview size?

documentation link

Are you hard wired or wifi from your mac to apple tv.

Ron Croft's picture
by Ron Croft
August 13, 2012 - 8:12pm


Unfortunately, wifi is my only option. The strength of the signal is somewhere between strong and weak. My setup is not convenient for hard wiring.

Chris Hoch's picture
by Chris Hoch
August 13, 2012 - 8:17pm

I am wifi as well from the computer room to the apple tv, which is hard wired to the time capsule.You need to ensure that previews are generated as this is what itunes uses to grab to pass to apple tv.

So an answer might be to reduce the size of your preview images, this way itunes does not have to hand over big jpeg images?

Just for your reference mine is on fit within 2560 x 2560 and the image quality is 8.

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
August 13, 2012 - 9:41pm


I could be wrong, but iTunes may resize the image to be optimal size for Apple TV on sync regardless. Unfortunately there’s no way to check file size on the Apple TV, so I don’t know of anyway to test this (I suppose I could ssh into the Apple TV, but that’s too unix geeky even for me).

I assume you’re talking about viewing photos, and not just using the screensaver?

So perhaps change your preview file size, as Chris suggested, to something considerably smaller. You’ll need to delete and rebuild the previews for that to take affect, and you can easily just test that on a single project to see if it makes a difference.

You may want to consider adding an Airport Express as a repeater somewhere in-between
your main base station and the Apple TV if the signal is that weak and fluctuating, too.

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

Ron Croft's picture
by Ron Croft
August 15, 2012 - 8:41pm

Chris and Joseph,

I appreciate your replies and suggestions. My images streamed without any resizing of previews, although I’m not sure how long it took. They are all there and can be used in both slide show and screen saver modes. Is there any source that explains how all this works? I haven’t found anything on the Apple Knowledge Base sight that is helpful. I thought streaming meant that each time I wanted to show images on the Apple TV (3rd gen) it would have to access them from my computer, which may be a slow process. However, now when I turn on the Apple TV, the images are immediately all there, no access required. That was just the way synching worked on my 1st gen Apple TV. I’m pretty comfortable with computers but no geek. Is there a source for explaining more completely the relationship between my iMac and my Apple TV? I’d like to make things work without endless trial and error.

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
August 16, 2012 - 12:41am


I’m confused… if the images are just “showing up” on your Apple TV, then what is the question/problem? I thought you were having a performance issue with getting the photos showing up on the device?

There is likely some kind of cache in the Apple TV, but Apple doesn’t usually release specs for devices like this because then competitors just release hardware with “more impressive specs” and customers who don’t know any better buy based on bullet points. If you look at the iPad specs for example, it really isn’t that impressive when compared to other tablets, yet any reviewer will tell you that the performance knocks the socks off anything else out there. Apple’s goal is to get us to stop thinking or caring about specs. All that matters is that the device does what it says, and does it well.

That said you might be able to find the specs out there somewhere if you really want to know… someone is always doing tear-downs on these things to spec them out.

Just plug it in and use it :-)


— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

BonnieB's picture
by BonnieB
August 16, 2012 - 12:57pm

Chris and Ron,
I just set up Apple TV two weeks ago but haven’t tested lots of things yet. Are there advantages to having it hard-wired to the computer? and why hardwire it to a Time Capsule?

Ron Croft's picture
by Ron Croft
August 16, 2012 - 5:18pm


I’m a non-geek in this discussion but if you hard wire your Apple TV to your computer you should get a faster connection. As far as hard wiring your Apple TV to a Time Capsule I hope Chris will answer. I don’t know what that would do.

Ron Croft's picture
by Ron Croft
August 16, 2012 - 7:52pm


When I asked the question, I had the problem. Waiting for my images to appear on the Apple TV was like watching grass grow. I finally gave up and sought advice here on the forum. The next day, all images “mysteriously” appeared but I don’t know how long it took for the process to complete. I may still have the problem, in which case I’ll try reducing the size of the previews as suggested. I was hoping I might be directed to a source for greater information about Apple TV that could help me avoid endless hours of fiddling and trail and error. I like to use technology to get my work done. It’s frustrating to take more time to get everything to work than it is to do the job itself. Fortunately, you and your forum contributors provide inestimable value in solving problems. But, Holy Cow! If you peruse the forum and see all the problems people have, I believe Apple could provide more useful documentation without losing any competitive advantage. If it sounds like I’m beating up on Apple too much, let me say I find their phone support to be superior to any tech company I deal with!

Cheers and compliments for your good work at filling a need!

Chris Hoch's picture
by Chris Hoch
August 16, 2012 - 8:14pm

Apologies for my silence, work & social life has been hectic.

The reason for cabling is simply for 2 reasons.

1. Guaranteed bandwidth.
2. Less prone to signal interference.

I love wifi for the convenience but interference and signal strength are sometimes just a pain.

My router is simply a time capsule, there is no advantage than to wiring to any other router. I just find apple equipment simply just works together.

If Joseph is right then it may be using the iPod photo cache folder, or something similar. If I get time I am going to look deeper in to this matter, just to put my mind at ease with how this works.

More info of the ipod photo cache can be found here:

Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
August 17, 2012 - 4:18am

Like Chris, I assumed that the AppleTV was using the contents of the iPod Photo Cache which is inside the Aperture Library package. The files stored there are in the .ithmb format. I tried to open one of these to see the size. GraphicConverter supposedly opens them but I tried it and the images look like a TV station that has gone off the air. But it does report the size as 720x480. I think it’s unlikely the AppleTV is using such a small size. They must be kept elsewhere. Maybe they really are using the Preview images.


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