Using iCloud Photo Library as a backup

diegovega

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 22, 2008
18
5
I have the following concern about iCloud Photo Library which is currently off in all my devices because it is the only iCloud service that I don’t use along with iTunes. The reason is that one time I used iTunes Match music and it started replacing files with the wrong ones (mistaking different versions of the same songs such as live versions, remixes, etc) and making changes in my music library and tags, so I got scared and since then I restored from a backup and decided to never turn it on again because I don’t like Apple editing and replacing my personal files. I’m a DJ and have thousands of music files and gigs which I prefer to manage manually.

Anyway currently I use an iPhone, iPad and Macbook Pro. My Macbook pro is the master Photo library, while my iPhone and iPad have their own independent partial photo libraries. Every few months I simply transfer the new photos and videos I have taken with my iDevices and transfer them to the master Photos library in my Macbook using the cable. Then I use Time Machine to make backups to external drives.

What I want to do now is turn on iCloud Photo Library only on my Macbook so that I have another backup of my master photo library on iCloud instead of using external drives only. I would like to keep iCloud Photo Library OFF in my iPhone and iPad since I don’t want all my photos from the main library available on those devices. I don't care about syncing between my devices with iCloud. I would continue to transfer manually the photos and videos from my iDevices to the main photo library on my Macbook. I just want to basically use iCloud Photo Library as a cloud backup of my main photo library in my Mac, not as a way to sync photos between my devices. Would this work? Have any of you had trouble with iCloud Photo Library erasing or replacing files by mistake like I experienced with iTunes Match? If my Macbook for example gets stolen and I get a new one, would I be able to download all my pictures and videos from iCloud turning on iCloud Photo Library on this new mac?

Thanks for your help.
 

everythingapplerainbow

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2017
120
117
I turned iCloud Photos on all my devices. Well, didn't see any problems. Just it is a bit slow to sync new photos.
But be sure to copy all your photos to somewhere safe before turning that option ON
like I experienced with iTunes Match?
-> the same problem did happened to Apple Music (first version), iCloud Desktop sync, so I'm not sure it is safe with iCloud Photos
If my Macbook for example gets stolen and I get a new one, would I be able to download all my pictures and videos from iCloud turning on iCloud Photo Library on this new mac
yes, with same iCloud id
 

swandy

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2012
407
90
I used to do what you want (large library on my iMac, smaller version of the library that I shared on all our Macs and iOS devices) and that worked perfectly. However, I just discontinued the backup service I was using (CrashPlan for Home is shutting down their home support) and decided to bite the bullet and put the large library (a bit over 78,000 photos and videos) in iCloud.
(1) Took much less time than I expected - probably around 48 hours or so to do the majority of the uploading.
(2) Since I already had the smaller library in ICPL, it did upload a lot of duplicates that I now have to weed through. Mainly because the ones in the smaller library were not exact files, but exported and imported ones I guess.
(3) Still waiting for the Face detection to complete. But love that all the keywords that I entered in my larger library are carrying over.
(4) As far as using it as a "backup service", make sure you have another copy somewhere else - like your computer's hard drive and/or an external drive. Because since ICPL is meant as a syncing service, if you delete a photo from the computer that you have synced, it is also deleted from the cloud.
 

diegovega

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 22, 2008
18
5
Thanks for your replies, from your experiences I guess it will work as I expected. I think I will make a recent local backup and try iCloud Photo Library on my Macbook.