Online photo storage nightmare

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Kentuckienne, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. Kentuckienne, Jun 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017

    Kentuckienne macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    No>me<where
    #1
    I'm losing it, and have searched for an hour and found no solution. I have a ton of photos in iPhoto which then got migrated to Photos on Sierra. Apple wants a fortune to store photos in iCloud, but Flickr gives me a terabyte of storage for free. I figured, I'll upload everything to Flickr, then I can download a copy to local external storage. Flickr allows batch downloading in zipped format. Stupid me.

    I was able to upload all non-Photos stuff (like from the Nikon photo software) but there doesn't seem to be any way to upload from within Photos. All the old tools that worked with iPhoto are broken or gone.

    I don't like the fact that with Photos, I can't access the files from the Finder window. I'm used to going that way to edit them, etc. Plus I can just publish or share photos directly from Finder, whereas Photo keeps everything in some database format and I can't get to an individual photo unless I go through the Photos app. And now after the trouble I've had naming files, deleting albums, etc. in Flickr I'm paranoid about them for long term storage. Maybe I have to just accept the weirdness of Photo and deal with not being able to see the individual files.

    What do y'all advise? Can I import all the Flickr stuff into Photo? How hard will it be to weed out the thousands of duplicates if I do that? And other than backing up to a local hard disk, how can I back up the Photos library to the cloud?

    UPDATE: Fudge, it's worse than I thought. I downloaded an album from Flickr to Photos, no problem, it kept the file date on the photo and everything instead of resetting it to "now". But I notice for the first time that Photos has been importing images all along and there are already a bunch in there. So I'm just going to import everything I can find, then download some duplicate photo cleaner app to remove the thousands of dupes, then back it up to an external drive stored at the bank. I give up.
     
  2. Kcetech1, Jun 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017

    Kcetech1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    #2
    I have come to despise photos myself. for my personal stuff I use Lightroom or have been really having fun with Corel's Aftershot pro software which has great organization setup and does not require some damn database. plus some very nice editing abilities, and can shift assets cross platform ( Mac/PC ) easily enough.

    For backup to the cloud. I have my own domains with unlimited storage so I have a nice ftp backup that mirrors my image folders and retains previous revisions.

    http://www.aftershotpro.com/en/
     
  3. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #3
    OK, let's break it down.

    It seems you were using what's called a "managed library"—that's where you use the default in iPhotos or Photos where it COPIES images on import into a special "library," which is really nothing but a special, access-limited folder called a package. If you look at it in the Finder, you can use "Show Package Contents" or something similar to see inside. Your originals should be in there as Masters. They are basically a date-based folder structure.

    But you can also reference images in Photos. That means instead of copying them in, you are storing pointers, or references, to them in Photos' database. Like what Lightroom does. You can to that in Photos' prefs, by unchecking the "Copy into" option under importing. That way your images would stay out there in whatever folder structure you had. And they'd be available in the Finder per normal. The disadvantages are that none of the Photos edits would show up there (they're stored in Photos), and they wouldn't sync with iCloud Photo Library. But for some, that's a plus. If you wanted an edited version of those original images, you could always export one.

    There isn't AFAIK a real easy way to switch from managed to referenced and have all the managed images exported back out. You could export, then import into another library as referenced. Or maybe copy from the inner guts of the library package I mentioned (DO NOT mess with it internally or disaster will result), and then import those as referenced. But you'd have a rather messy folder structure. A bit of a hack would be to copy all those Masters out, the whole folder. So you'd have all of 'em. Then use a demo copy of something like Lightroom to import and copy; Lr can copy to more normal date based folders. Then import THAT whole thing into a new library in Photos.
     
  4. Kentuckienne thread starter macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    No>me<where
    #4
    Thanks, robjendreau, that's new information for me. I'm afraid that if I try to use a mixed system (referenced images) I'd do something to screw it up. Forget and rename directories, etc. or skip something during a backup. So I started importing everything into Photos. Two things bother me: one is the library will be large and take longer to back up, and Photos is terrible for editing. But I don't see where external editors can play nice with Photos. There are some plug-ins, but how long until Apple does something to break them?

    At the moment, my photos are a hot mess. I've been digitizing old photos, taking new snapshots with mobile devices, taking new digital photos, and all of those pictures are in different locations, some duplicated. Everything needs to be cleaned up and consolidated. How does this approach sound?

    1. Import everything into Photos. At least it only imports new copies so I can quickly import all the folders on the computer and not generate duplicates.
    2. Use something like Photos Duplicate Cleaner (a free app) to clear out the dupes that are already there.
    3. Export all photos from Photos to disk.
    4. Configure Aftershot to work with that new folder/structure. Or Lightroom. Or Elements.
    5. Only use Photos if I have no other way to get a photo off a device, and export the files immediately.

    Is there a simpler way to do this?
    Am I on the right track?
     
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #5
    That should work. Exporting all will take a while, but there's no reason you can't do it bit by bit.
     
  6. Kcetech1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    #6
    Sounds feasible to me. I would say make a separate time machine backup ( or other full system backup ) just in case iPhotos database or package fails during one of the exports. as I have seen that occur.
     
  7. Kentuckienne thread starter macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    No>me<where
    #7
    Argh! You're kidding me! The database fails during import? Thank you for telling me that. I have gone through and imported all the images I could find into Photos, which declined to import duplicates, and now I'm using Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro to remove the ones already in there. Some small issues, but once Photos is cleaned up I will back up before doing the export.
     
  8. RealityM macrumors member

    RealityM

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    #8
    Are you importing images from other iPhoto or Photos library files? My situation is complicated by having multiple iPhoto libraries from different Macs. Plus about 200 gigs of photos uploaded to DropBox.

    Should I start by importing the images now stored on DropBox into Photos?
     
  9. Kentuckienne thread starter macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    No>me<where
    #9
    I had photos in iPhoto from 2005, photos in Nikon Transfer folders, photos that I'd imported from old disks, photos on mobile devices, photos in assorted directories that had been copied from computer to newer computer since 1993. So I imported all those.
     
  10. bopajuice macrumors 68000

    bopajuice

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    Location:
    Dark side of the moon
    #10
    Glad to hear I'm not the only one. I used to back up iPhoto libraries to DVD. I have over a terabyte of photos and duplicates to go through. At one point I started to export photos to a network drive. Had an issue and lost a bunch of photos. Used a program to recover the photos. Now I have duplicates of 1000's of photos. Not to mention every time I tried to open an iPhoto library it said it needed to be updated, thus creating a new photos library.

    Still trying to find the best way to organize them, and make them available to the family to add or edit photos in one large library. I used to use Aperature, but now that is not going to work anymore considering the app is no longer supported.
     
  11. Kentuckienne thread starter macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    No>me<where
    #11
    So far, my process is working... I opened Photos, and then imported everything I could find, letting Photos decide if it was a new file or not. That weeded out a lot of duplicates. Then I ran the duplicate remover program ... it found like 8000 dupes, so it took me a while to get them all deleted (actually still in the Photos recently deleted files album for now). I am still poking about looking for more images because I only want to do the last step once... export all files from Photos in original format into a file directory system. Once I'm SURE that everything is there and working, I'll archive the Photos library and stop using it.

    Thanks to advice here, I learned two things: make a copy of the Photos or iPhotos library before doing anything, and to rebuild the Photos library. Rebuilding fixed a few problems for me. I also learned not to use so many filters on the duplicate removal software - I only wanted to keep the oldest copy of each image, so removing all the checkboxes except that made the auto mark feature work almost perfectly. You do have to review all the images, there were maybe a dozen out of the thousands that I changed, but this is the only way I've found to get the photos consolidated. Good luck!

    The software I'm using is Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro, less than a dollar on the App Store. If you have any problems ask me, the help files are not the best and there are some simple tricks to getting it to work properly.
     
  12. Kcetech1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    #12
    Thanks for the update. yes backups and rebuilding is a necessity!!
     
  13. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #13
    You can do that by going into the Photos Library package. However, it's not recommended because if you edit/copy/delete/move photos outside of the Photos app, it can seriously damage Photos, causing you all sorts of problems.
     
  14. Kentuckienne thread starter macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    No>me<where
    #14
    I am almost out of the woods here.

    I did use Photos to import everything and get photos into one place, thinking it would also weed out duplicates at the same time. I got everything in one place, but with a lot of duplicate photos.

    I used Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro, I believe that's the name, a 99 cent app which found most of the duplicate photos in the Photos library, but not all. It did move many thousands of photos to a folder where I can delete them.

    I made a copy of the Photos library, then repaired the library. Then I exported all files as original images to a new folder on the drive.

    There were still duplicates, and still files with incorrect dates, so I paid for and downloaded Lightroom 6. The online doc is not the best for a cold start - I did one import, didn't like the results, spent some time online. Then I started over with another import, telling it to copy the files to the new location, not add duplicates, and rename the files sequentially using the date taken from the EXIF information. Lightroom did a much better job of not importing duplicates. My files are renamed in a reasonable order. Ones that had descriptive names before retained those, and the vast majority now have the correct dates.

    Right now I'm copying all the Lightroom-copied files to Amazon Prime Photos. It's a bit of a hassle, but I have to travel with the computer and anything I can get saved offline makes me feel better. The Amazon Drive/Photos apps for the desktop aren't the easiest to use. I'm actually dragging the files over a month's worth at a time. Google allows me to drag entire folders but not to upload AVI files. Safari doesn't allow me to drag a folder - I have to select the files - but it does allow uploading AVI files.

    I have a good learning curve ahead with Lightroom, and it will still take a bit of time to get the images straightened out, keyworded, duplicates removed, etc. ... then I have more photos to upload from old CDs...but I feel like I'm on my way back to sanity. Thanks for the help, it helped.
     
  15. RealityM macrumors member

    RealityM

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    #15
    Do you know how to import one PhotosLibrary file into your main one? That would help eliminate a bunch of duplicates. The File | Import command doesn't seem to allow it.
     

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