Back in November, I had a conversation over Twitter with @TechGrlTweeter about how to capture and deploy the GarageBand loop installers. Now some Mac admins prefer to use network packet capture tools such as “Charles Web Proxy” however the method I suggested uses no additional applications and requires a lower technical skill level to do.
Ok I may not have started clear enough. A little ago, Apple stopped shipping iLife suite installers for GarageBand, iWeb, iDVD, iPhoto and iMovie and instead utilised the Mac App Store for these products, as well as for Logic Pro X. To minimise the download size of GarageBand and Logic Pro X Applications, the content / music loops were separated.
When these Applications are first launched, they try to download and install the content, with this totally over 10s of GBs of data (especially for Logic)! Additionally, Apple will occasionally release new content packages, which are then downloaded the next time the Application is launched.
In environments that manage their Mac devices (particularly Education departments) they will need to deploy these additional content packages with GarageBand and Logic Pro, otherwise users face a lengthy wait on first launch. Not an ideal user experience!
The question is how to catch and include these content packages. With a monolithic image, this is simple as the loops can be downloaded and included in the image. With a modular image, or if Apple release an updated content package, you need to use another technique.
Capturing all of the Content Packages
In the examples, I have used a fresh version of Mavericks 10.9.5 and an un-launched copy of GarageBand, but the process is almost identical for Logic Pro X and for when Apple releases an additional content package.
1. Launch GarageBand or Logic Pro X. You should either be prompted to download the new content or it will start automatically.
2. This will take some time, especially with Logic. Go make a cup of tea / coffee and generally leave the Mac to one side. Dependant on the size and number of content packages, and the speed of your connection, it may even be advisable to leave it running overnight.
3. Eventually the progress message under the loading bar will change from an ETA to “Installing…” and an authentication window will appear asking for administration details. DO NOT FILL THIS IN AND DO NOT CLOSE THIS WINDOW!
4. Move the authentication window and the GarageBand / Logic Pro window to one side and go to your Finder application.
5. In Finder, select “Go” then “Go to Folder…”
6. In the box that appears, type “/var/folders/” and click “Go”. This path is case sensitive but you can use tab-completion to fill it in.
7. You will see any number of folders here, all with seemingly random two letter names. We need to organise these by size, which by default you won’t have enabled.
8. In the Finder, click “View” then “Show View Options”.
9. The View Options will now appear. Tick the “Calculate all sizes” check box. To avoid having to do this at each level, I suggest clicking the “Use as Default” button.
10. Once we’ve got the views sorted, we are going to need to drill down via the largest directory sizes to find what we’re after. I’ll show you what I had in my example but it will be very unlikely your directories will be named the same so you may need to go solo through this step.
a. My first level was “lq”.
b. My next one was “fwf625f54h52zc0vm3htj1yc0000gn”
c. Next I had just “C”
d. Now this is where we should all be in the same location! Find “com.apple.garageband10” (or “com.apple.logicpro…” if you’re grabbing Logic Pro content packages).
11. Open this directory and you should see an overly large one, in the example this is called “com.apple.MusicApps”. Open this.
12. Inside this there will be a directory called “audiocontentdownload.apple.com”. Open this (nearly there…)
13. Inside this last directory is another called (in the example’s case) “lp10_ms3_content_2013”. Open this.
14. And hey presto! There are your content packages, all neat and ready to be pushed out.
15. Organise it by size (or type) and grab all them all (14 in this case)!
Now I have to be honest and say that I did not figure this out myself but rather by ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’. I found the information around a year or two ago and for the life of me, I cannot remember exactly where. Other than it was either:
So if anyone finds out whereabouts it’s mentioned, please comment below and I’ll update the blog.
I hope this help anyone else who has to push out content packages to find and grab these as needed. This has worked for me for Mavericks and Yosemite so looks good so far!
As always, if you have any questions, queries or comments, let us know below and I’ll try to respond to and delve into as many as I can.