iCloud Photos, duplicate albums, unreliability

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by exi, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. exi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #1
    Hoping someone can chime in with some help on this one.

    Hardware involved: MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone. All running latest software. All using iCloud Photos. Both Photo Stream and photo sharing are disabled.

    To help illustrate, we'll say album names and counts are:

    - Album One (1,500 photos)
    - Album Two (310 photos)
    - Album Three (29 photos)
    - Album Four (55 photos)

    For some reason, intermittently (though several times now), I've noticed that albums duplicate on my iPhone only but are empty. Not my iPad. Not my MacBook Pro. Just the phone. So now it's:

    - Album One (1,500 photos)
    - Album Two (310 photos)
    - Album Two (0 photos)
    - Album Three (29 photos)
    - Album Three (0 photos)
    - Album Four (55 photos)

    The empty albums are not visible on any other device. If I delete them, it deletes both the "real" and empty album from all devices / iCloud.

    To attempt to remedy, I've disabled iCloud Photos on the phone, which left some albums left on the phone, inexplicably; deleted everything, restarted, then reenabled iCloud Photos.

    This deleted most but not all of my albums from the cloud.

    No idea how to best approach this. Third time now. Appreciate any advice.
     
  2. bgro macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    South Florida
    #2
    I think at the end of the day the issue is with Apple cloud services which have historically always been lacking and unreliable.

    I would call Apple support regarding this issue tho..sometimes they can clear things in the database
     
  3. exi, Mar 28, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016

    exi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #3
    After wiping all my photos from the cloud and starting from scratch, the problem is recurring.

    I have a duplicate of an album with 50 pics in it which shows on my phone with the same exact title but is empty.

    This is just silly.
     
  4. exi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #4
    Adding to my own thread, and because I hate it when people troubleshoot their own issues but don't update threads:

    After the above, I again confirmed that the ghost album appeared only on the phone (it did -- no trace of it on the iCloud website nor on other devices as would be expected with it not on the iCloud site).

    Having tried to fix and tidy up by hand repeatedly already, I took the nuclear option and wiped my phone. Restored in iTunes, then set up as a new iPhone.

    Upon resynchronization of photos, the ghost album is gone, and only what's in the cloud is there now.

    If this issue recurs, I'll post back. Welcome any thoughts in the meantime as to potential causes or other solutions.
     
  5. exi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #5
    Had to log out of my Apple ID on my phone and log back in. At some point between disabling iCloud Photo Library and reenabling, I now have missing albums in iCloud.

    The photos are there. The albums are not. I'm tired of using Time Machine to go back and save an old Photos library. I'm not about to manually redo albums that contain hundreds of photos.

    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  6. bushido Suspended

    bushido

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    this happens to me and even if i log out of iCloud Photo on one of my devices, delete the empty duplicated albums, enable it again and all of the sudden it wipes my sorted albums on all the other devices!!!
     
  7. 6836838 Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    #7
    Album handling is dreadful. Don't even think about putting them in folders! I have duplicated albums all over the place and not all photos in all albums.
     
  8. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #8
    Maybe the Mac aspect has something to do with it. I have many albums, no duplicates on my iPhone, iPad, or iCloud.com. No Mac at my house.

    iCloud Photos has worked flawlessly for me so far.
     
  9. enervator macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    #9
    I have the same issue - I have an iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad all with iCloud Photo Library enabled. They worked ok for a week or so then dozens of empty albums have appeared on the iPhone only.

    Sounds like there is no safe solution for this so I am currently putting up with it in the hope that Apple will sort it out and it will clear with a iPhone software update one day in the (distant) future.

    Other issues with iCloud Photo Library

    (1) Face scanning in the People album is unbelievably slow on my iPhone and MacBookPro. Has been fine on my iMac and iPad. E.g. After about 2 weeks my iPhone is up to 4,170 photos scanned with 23.5k remaining. It is regularly plugged in on the lock screen.

    (2) In an attempt to speed up the face scanning (on a tip from another forum) I turned off iCloud Photo Library on my iPhone. This should have deleted all of the photos and albums on my iPhone, however it left a number of photos and albums on the iPhone which I then deleted manually. When I re-enabled iCloud Photo Library it sync'd the library and deleted from the cloud the master copies of the photos and albums I had cleared out which had failed to be removed form my phone when I'd disabled iCloud Photo Library. I had to restore from a Time Machine backup to recover the lost files. As an aside when I did this I alost about 300GB of hard disk space, I think because my Photos Library was referencing the original files in my old Aperture library and on the restore from backup it created a fully independent Photos Library. The recovery process took 2 days to restore the time machine backup and the resent the iCloud Photo Library.

    (3) Since the duplicate empty albums issue appeared I have notice I am reporting slightly different numbers of Photos on my different devices

    (4) Photos on my iMac and MacBook Pro crash regularly - just shut down, often in the middle of uploading/downloading from iCloud of when doing an import of photos.

    It could do with a 'treat this device as the master and push to all other devices' feature so you've got something to try when it gets messed up.

    I only moved to Photos because Apple has stopped supporting Aperture and its days are numbered. I have been forced to move to Lightroom for my DSLR pictures and was trying to use Photos to merge my sorted and processed DSLR pictures with my iPhone pictures and share them across devices. Aperture was a great product. Photos is a completely dog, ignoring the diminished functionality it's just not reliable. This has been the straw that broke the camel's back for me with Apple. I've been a Mac user since the 80's, dozens of my friends and friends families got into the Apple ecosystem because of me, I personally helped set up many of them. I guess the more you love something, the more you hate it when it lets you down.
     
  10. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #10
    Just FYI, there are many alternatives to Aperture and Lightroom other than Apple's Photos. Polarr, for example.

    I've found over the years that going "all-in" on any one company is going to be frustrating, because yes eventually they all break stuff. Now I use Apple hardware, except for a Chromebook, and a mix of Apple and Google services. And I think most if not all of your iCloud Photos problems would go away if you eliminated the Mac from the picture. That's not an excuse, it should "just work", but... yeah.
     
  11. AeroZ macrumors 6502

    AeroZ

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Location:
    Estonia
    #11
    I've had exactly the same issue few times. Last time I tried to fiddle with the albums and moving photos around but couldn't fix it. In the end I just gave up and deleted all of my albums.
     
  12. enervator macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    #12
    Thanks for your comments. My problems continue - about a week after the circa 100 empty albums appeared on my iPhone, today they appeared on my iMac but rather than being empty they contained their photos. I spend 30 mins moving each of these 100 albums back to their proper locations. However every few minutes a few of them keep moving back of their own accord to the root level in Photos on my iMac. It's absolutely crazy. My iMac, MBP, iPhone and iPad are all reporting different photo counts, only my iMac and iCloud directly accessed on the web are reporting the same photo counts.

    There are other really annoying UI bugs in Photos, e.g. if you have an album within a folder selected and you contract that folder then select another folder to expand, both folders expand. This is such basic stuff I am stunned that Apple don't have a competent testing team. Anyhow, I appreciate the futility of expressing my frustration into the void but it makes me feel a bit better :)
     
  13. rpgonzalez macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Tuesday
    #13
    Same here. Turned iCloud off on my iPad. Had a bunch of duplicate folders with no photos. I then deleted the empty folders. When I reenabled icloud, all my albums were deleted from all my devices. It took days to redo my folders.

    For now, I periodically tag my photos with the album name, just in case it happens again, I can easily redo the albums.

    I’m desperately trying to hang on to Apple as my home and family rely on the Apple ecosystem. My files, photos, shared albums, music, home automation, watch, movie collection, bookmarks... but gradually Apple just doesn’t “work” anymore. I can’t imagine Android ecosysem is any less stable than this experience. I hope I don’t have to switch :/
     

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