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I want to sync many photos from my MacBook to my iPhone, but I realize that they really take too much space.

I'm not exactly sure what resolution photos are scaled to when syncing with iTunes, but I would like to know if it is possible to lower it so that I can fit more photos in less space.

Is there an automatic way to do this? I would like to avoid creating and storing lower resolution copies of the original images.

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migrated from Mar 3 '11 at 13:21

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

Unfortunately your iPhone already does this with a majority of your photos, and maintains a specialized cache for this purpose, so I doubt there will be any programs to help with this. You can see this via

If you want to rescale your photos in an automated fashion, and you are using your macbook, you can easily create an automator action to create smaller images with entire folders of images. However it seems like you don't want to maintain a second set of lower resolution images.

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It depends on the source of the photos.

iTunes has a default downsampling setting that isn't settable by any user control (and I've never seen any hint of a hidden command line preference to twiddle with that knob) however, you can control the source of the photos.

  • Aperture allows you to change the default resolution for items in the Media Browser and that is where iTunes pulls the aperture photos - not directly from the original. You can even override the settings for just the photos you care to sync. You have control over maximum pixel dimension for the previews as well as JPEG compression.
  • You can export those pictures to a folder and sync from a folder on disk, but that involves the "duplication" work you referred to as cloning in the question.
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