Storing entire iPhoto library as Photo Streams

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by vladobizik, May 20, 2013.

  1. vladobizik macrumors 6502

    Aug 21, 2012
    Despite Apple’s major push for the cloud, iPhoto is one of those apps that fell behind somewhat. Although the iCloud photo sharing feature is baked in neatly (for the most part), the problem is that your photo library is still sitting in one computer as a testament for the Digital Hub strategy from a decade ago. For new photos that I take on, say, my iPhone, Photo Stream works great – the photos appear everywhere automatically (though edits do not get synced back, which is however not such a huge problem, since if I edit a photo, I usually end up sharing it somewhere). But what about all the “legacy” photos? My photo library is not tremendously big (approx 10,000 photos), but I would like it to be available at any computer I am logged in at, I’d like changes to the library to reflect everywhere without having to copy the whole big library over. Though not without its fair share of flaws, Adobe Revel has this nailed pretty nicely – you have your own offline library which is automatically also copied over to the cloud and synced with all your OS X and iOS devices.

    I got an idea. What about storing your entire photo library as Shared Photo Streams? I am thinking about taking every single event in my library, create a respective photo stream for each, not necessarily share it with anyone and have it automatically present on each of my Macs, but also iOS device and Windows device for that matter too. And sharing any of the events is just one click away, once everything’s uploaded. And if I need, I can import the photo streams back in the offline library anytime. I realize that iCloud applies some compression to really big photos, which is not a problem to me as long as it’s not really noticeable, when it comes to photos, I’m purely a consumer. What do you think about this solution? Is there any catch to it?
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I agree that photos are behind in the "sharing" area. It would be fine if Apple just allowed similar level of sharing as we get with iTunes "home sharing". One can hope that this comes in the future.

    In the mean time... I realize that sharing all photos is not as valuable as sharing a subset of pictures. My Aperture library is over 10X the size of your library. I have well over 100,000 pictures. Sharing those all (to anyone other than possibly my wife)... is probably NOT a good experience.

    Instead... I realize that sharing the best 1% (1,000 photos) tells a MUCH more impactful story than sharing them all. Sharing 0.1% (100 photos) could be be even stronger and make a good portfolio what would cause my audience to say "Wow". I might even want to go down to 0.01% (10 photos) which would be my "museum class" (in my own overinflated mind)... or at least suitable for framing within my own home.

    My point is that sharing everything may look like an old junkyard... while spending time to determine what you really want to share may make you look as skilled as Picasso... or let you tell a story like your favorite author.

  3. vladobizik thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 21, 2012
    Thank you for your insight, Jim. You are absolutely right, it's useless and actually counter-productive to share your entire library. All the more for me, since I'm not a professional photographer and most of my photos have a personal, sentimental and not artistic and aesthetic value. For this reason I stated upfront that I'm not so much interested in making all of my photo streams public. The photo streams made from events would largely remain available for me alone. I can always make an album with the best pictures, make a shared photo stream from that and share it, of course.
  4. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    There is a catch of sorts.

    The iOS Photos app doesn't support a nested folder structure, or the equivalent. While a couple of dozen Shared Photo Streams might not be a lot to scroll through on your way to the desired stream, larger libraries could rapidly become unwieldy without a way to go "deep" as well as "wide."

    Implementing a true cloud-based solution for iPhoto/Aperture is a much bigger challenge.

    Leaving aside the question of whether Apple would want to/have to charge for such a service (something akin to iTunes Match, hopefully less than Adobe Revel Premium's $5.99/mo)...

    A cloud solution that fully supports iPhoto and Aperture needs to support the entire library (a content management database), not just be a gallery for finished images. Edit data is stored separately from the original image (the original image file is never modified). The edit data is applied when you view or export the file. To truly be in sync with the latest edits and to make those edits viewable "anywhere," it'll probably be necessary to render the displayed images on the server side, which certainly adds significant cost and overhead to the system.

    Adobe Revel is an ultra-light version of that. It does include editing functions, but they're far less sophisticated than the controls in iPhoto, Aperture, and Adobe Lightroom (it's also not clear whether editing is non-destructive or destructive). While Adobe includes Lightroom in Creative Cloud, the cloud-based file storage is on the individual file level, not the entire library.
  5. paris18m macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2011
    hi vladobizik,

    i know this is an olde thread but... i am after the same thing. Did you manage to move all your events to iCloud as photstreams after all?

    i have around 80 events and 5,000 photos in my library. At the moment i have to sync my iPad and iPhone with my macbook in order to get my library there and i can only add remove photos from events in my macbook. Ideally if iPhoto was fully pushed to icloud and allowed me to manage my library from the ipad or iphone i would not complain!

    What i plan to do is create a photostrem from each event, its easy in iPhoto, you just drag the event to the photostream on the sidebar and you can easily crate a photo stream with that event. of course i select none to share with so this is just for my self! of course after the photstream is created i delete the event so my photos are there once!

    Just wondering if there will be any side effects or problems on converting events to photostreams!
  6. drmelb1 macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2013
    I have recently done exactly that. I uploaded all my photos in different albums (from aperture) and created shared photo streams most of which were only for me.
    It worked very well except after uploading 18,000 I was notified that my start up disc was nearly full. I believe that duplicate photos were created for the photo stream albums. I deleted some of them and sure enough I had giga bytes of photos in my trash.

    I have posted a few times on the forum to see if anybody can tell me if there is a way round this.

    Do you have any thoughts?

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