Photos library overall strategy
There have been several questions over time on the MGG podcast about Photos and Photo library management or to address a problem, and one of the tools mentioned is Fatcat software’s PowerPhotos, which I’ve used in the past. However, unless I’ve missed it, I’m not sure if there has been a discussion about overall Photo management strategy. That is, as Photo libraries become larger and larger, is the cloud the best place to keep that or local storage? Is it better to break up a large library into blocks of years or categories? Or keep one big library?
I currently use and like iCloud Photos and sync my library across my devices. However, I had also used PowerPhotos to break up my library into 2-year chucks as to not grow one library past about 10 GB of data. Most of my 2-year chunks appear to be between 7 GB and 10 GB of data. I’m not a photographer, so this is not a high-demand process or need, but I’m considering consolidating my libraries back into one big library, but have concerns about iCloud storage space and the long-term growth of the library. My desire to do this has more to do with iMovie, which I don’t use often, but when I do, there are several missing items that refer back to a previous year. iMovie seems to work better when everything is in one place along with a complete Photos library.
I know there are alternatives to iCloud, like using a NAS plus sync, but I like how Apple’s service works, I just don’t see a long-term strategy that addresses the library growth issue. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Local storage is not an issue. I’m not sure what my question is other than, what’s your strategy? Should I consolidate my libraries into one big Photos library AND use iCloud? Keep em where they are, broken up into 2-year chunks (the current year syncs with iCloud)? Or do the gods of photo storage recommend moving away from Apple’s iCloud and going with something along the lines of Google, Amazon, Synology, etc.?
Interesting topic and I am a little surprised there has not been any replies. My wife and I have been looking at our workflow of photo storage. We were on Flickr, and may consider it again now that it has a new home. Like the idea of iCloud, but not ready to pull the trigger.
We do a full home folder backup to an external every couple of months. Then once a year the wife will go through the past years photos, deletes the ones we don't want to keep and then burns them to DVD for long term storage. Maybe time heavy but worth the effort since we are weeding the collection. Helps keep the library somewhat cleaner and manageable.
Good topic. I'm not sure how I missed it, as this is something I think about a lot (both for MGG listeners and for us here at home). I'm not sure there's a better solution than iCloud in terms of ease-of-use.
And as much as iCloud has its limitations, it's also the best we've got right now...and with iCloud Photo Library things are SO much better than they were 5 years ago.
I, too, would like to find something better, but I'm not sure it exists.
I just listened to the latest episode of Photoactive with Jeff Carlson & Kirk McElhearn and they were talking with Jason Snell ( https://www.photoactive.co/home/episode-30-snell-photos ). Gee guess what what was woven into the interview. Maybe good to take a little time to take in this episode.
I would also look at Jason's book: https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/photos?aff=AFL5392537175
As well as listen to episode #2 of the same podcast: https://www.photoactive.co/home/episode-2-libraries
And look at Jeff's book: https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/digital-photos?aff=AFL5392537175
These resources may help in finalizing a photo workflow. I do know my wife was motivated to doing some photo clean-up last night. With this holiday break break coming up ( we both work for the school district in our area ), we will spending time with each of our photo libraries and may pull the trigger on how we want to adjust our workflow.
Wish me luck.
As a side comment about “long term” storage on DVDs.... One has to be aware that they have a limited lifespan depending on type & storage conditions. There’s still archival benefit in printed photos that don’t require any technology to view.
”Among the manufacturers that have done testing, there is consensus that, under recommended storage conditions, CD-R, DVD-R, and DVD+R discs should have a life expectancy of 100 to 200 years or more; CD-RW, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM discs should have a life expectancy of 25 years or more.”
Thanks Graham for the reminder on the the different types of optical disk options. The disk I am using is the DVD+R and are stored in a constant temp space away from direct light or electronic equipment. This is good for others that may use optical disk as one of their Digital Asset Management workflows.
I just listened to the latest episode of Photoactive and the topic covered Digital Asset Managers ( a.k.a. "DAMs" ). Here is the link:
I hope this info helps others. I know I am more intentional on thinking about (or re-evaluate) my photo workflow.