Picasa/Mac/TimeCapsule User: easy way to batch upload RAW photos to Google Docs?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ghileman, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. ghileman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #1
    I use Picasa on my mac and I'm beginning to run out of hard drive space, primarily due to my large RAW photo collection. Unfortunately Picasa web albums don't alway you to sync the RAW files, but instead convert and sync a lower quality .jpg file.

    I have my RAW photos backed up on my Apple Time Capsule, but I already had one Time Capsule hard drive fail on me so I don't trust keeping my photos and videos just there.

    I'm already paying for 80GB of Google space so backing up here would make sense. However, it looks like kind of a pain as I would have to go into each individual folder and load the individual files up in a step by step process. In addition to this being tedious, I would lose the file format organization structure on my Mac hard drive.

    Here are my questions:

    1) Is there a quick way to upload folders of photos to Google Docs so that this organization structure is maintained?

    2) If not, is there a quick way to merge all my photo folders into one giant folder so that I can upload everything to Google Docs with a quick highlight all and one upload click?

    3) Am I better off signing up with another storage option for my raw photos and reducing my google storage account? I'm a student on a budget so cost is an issue.

    Also, the other thing I am hoping to do is to actually remove all my photos from my mac hard drive, to keep the space available, and keep all my photos in just two locations: 1) time capsule; 2) online.

    I already received the following suggestion, which would be tedious and would cause me to lose my file folder organization. But is this the only way?

    "Put them all into one folder, right-click on it, and tell it to archive the folder. Voila, you now have a single compressed .zip file that you can upload to Google's webspace. They won't be available individually, but they'll be backed up. Access your Time Capsule for individual photos and upload a new zipped file to the webspace now and then."

    Thank you for your help and ideas!
     
  2. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #2
    It has been my observation in life that something that is One Step is rarely good. If you have that many RAW files, it would be best to switch to a pro style app like Aperture. It's down to $80 on the new App Store. I use several hard drives. Time Machine on a 1TB drive and an Aperture Vault backup on a 250 GB one. There are HD docks on the market that have slots in them for a bare drive. They look like iPod docks. One of those and two drives would work and not set you back that much. I have no trust in online storage.

    A lot of the folks on this forum back up their photos on multiple drives. One in the computer, one or two external backups and a third that is removed from the home or office by the user. This protects against user error, fire/flood/theft and such.

    Edit: Compressed files are a bad idea for photo storage, especially with RAW files. Compression always comes with a price in quality.

    Dale
     
  3. ghileman thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #3
    Dale, thanks for the thoughts and feedback. What you describe unfortunately won't be ideal for me for a couple reasons:

    1. Budget is tight and I can't justify $80 on Aperture unfortunately
    2. I actually don't really have an offsite location to store a second hard drive
    3. I think the combination of offsite and online is superior to onsite and offsite in case of a natural disaster, act of god, etc. which could result in the loss of both your onsite and offsite storage if they're in the same area.

    Also, it should be less work to manage and make edits to a single onsite version of your RAW photos, which is then automatically backed up online, versus two separate hard drives.

    Is there service that could seamlessly sync with my RAW photos stored on Time Capsule?
     
  4. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #4
    compressing your RAWs into jpegs for storage is a bad idea, zip-archiving is a lossless data compression method that will not affect the quality of your pictures.

    Ruahrc
     
  5. Designer Dale, Jan 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011

    Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
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    #5
    OP: The idea behind storage on two devices (computer plus backup) in one location is to protect against user error/mechanical failure. Your Time Capsule failed, but you still had your photos on the computer. I think. With the physical size of modern drives, "off site" means in your pocket when you leave the house/office. I have a Google Docs account, but I only use it for my PDFs.

    Ruahrc: Thanks for the info. I didn't know ZIP files were that clean.

    Update: I created a folder structure similar to what the OP was looking for and ZIPed it. I couldn't upload the zip to Picassa, but I could get it up to my Google Docs account. I wasn't able to view it unless I downloaded it. The folder structure and size was intact after the download. It looks like this:




    Dale
     

    Attached Files:

  6. ghileman, Jan 20, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011

    ghileman thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Yes, luckily still had all my RAW photos on my Air's SDD when the Time Capsule HD failed, as well as lower quality JPG versions backed up to Picasa's web albums.

    My Macbook Air has pretty limited SDD space, and the SDD's performance (as well as the computer's speed) begins to deteriorate when the SDD is maxed out. So in addition to needing more space, I'd like to get my photos completely off my Air's hard drive for performance reasons.

    Not sure I follow the rest of your logic in your post above, or see how double physical backups in the same geographic area is a good idea given a) the natural disaster scenario and b) extra headache required to manage/sync two physical drives in my previous comment?

    If I have a good offsite/cloud backup system then if my physical onsite HD fails I could simply restore from the cloud, or vice versa. The odds of both the physical HD onsite and cloud backup failing at the same time seem pretty low, and in my case I have triple redundancy, meaning my worse case scenario is I'm stuck with Picasa's lower quality JPEGs web albums.

    Note: my whole issue would be solved if Picasa allowed users to backup their full sized RAW photos to Picasa web albums. I'd have a full set of RAW photos on my Time Capsule, and a full set on Picasa web albums, both seamlessly integrated and synced via Picasa's software.

    Not sure why Google hasn't implemented this feature as I see other people complaining about this online as well. Picasa fully supports my Panasonic G1 RAW format, and by allowing me to backup my RAW photos to web albums I'd be more inclined to keep my storage business with Google. But I digress... ;)

    This should work! I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to zipping -- are there any tricks to doing this?
     
  7. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #7
    I know nothing about zip files either. I have always used Macs, and thought they were a Windows thing....:eek:

    All I did was to put together a folder with a subfolder structure on my desktop using exported RAW files from Aperture. I had to open the Aperture package to be able to copy the RAW files, I don't think you need to do this part. When I had this set up I highlighted the folder and Right-Clicked it, then selected Compress. That gave me the zip file I uploaded to my Google Docs account.

    You won't be able to modify this file on Google Docs. You will need to upload new ones when you want to update your storage.

    It would be a good idea to have some sort of reference file for each zip to keep on your computer or somewhere so that you know where to look for a given image if you need it from Google Docs. Acrobat Pro will let you make a PDF of all of the images in one of these folders to use as a catalogue. PhotoShop has a Menu command that creates a contact sheet (thumbnails) of selected images. I don't know if PhotoShop Elements can do this. You can always just use screen shots or..:eek:..pencil and paper.

    Dale
     
  8. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #8
    One theory might be that Picasa seems like their online component is more centered around photo sharing, not storage. Therefore, uploading RAWs is not really the best strategy as RAW files are not really "viewable" as they are raw and unedited. You typically would not put up a RAW file for others to see and thus Google does not feel you need to store RAWs online. If you're looking for large online storage, another solution (a'la Amazon S3 or Dropbox) may be the better alternative.

    As good and as useful as ZIPs are (being the de facto standard of internet file transfer, after all), I would not really recommend using the massive ZIP upload in this scenario- unless Picasa can automatically inflate it after it's uploaded.

    You'd have to keep track of the contents of all your zips, won't have accessibility to your files when they're zipped up, and to upload a new version would mean re-uploading gigantic ZIP files all over again. Even at 300kb/s upload (near the theoretical maximum on a 3Mbit upload connection), it'd take about 80 hours to upload 80GB of photos. Which is actually one reason I find online archives of everything to be a little impractical. You'd be uploading your archive for weeks, and downloading it for weeks again later if you ever needed to restore.

    And besides, if you had to bust out screen shots and Excel spreadsheets every time you had to update your backup, how often would you actually do it?

    Ruahrc
     
  9. ghileman thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #9
    It does look like I could actually house my Dropbox folder on my TimeCapsule (as opposed to my Air), which would allow me to get the files off my Air. So that would definitely be a nice solution vs. zipping.

    But Dropbox is quite a bit more expensive than Google storage. I'd be looking at either $100/yr for 50GB or $200/yr. for 100GB vs. the $20/yr Google charges for 80GB that I'm currently paying (and should hold me over for now) or next step up is 200 GB for $50/yr.
     
  10. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #10
  11. ghileman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #11
    Yeah, from a cost/hassle perspective I'm starting to rethink the double hard drive approach.

    So this would entail the Time Capsule as my main drive, and then a second hard drive, kept somewhere offsite (would need to find such a place as I'm a student and at present don't have an office).
     

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