13 Replies Latest reply: Feb 3, 2013 12:32 AM by Terence Devlin
Konadogg5 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

When will apple have iPhoto backup plans? I want to be able to backup my photos in iCloud that I don't take with my iPhone.


iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • 1. Re: iPhoto backup plans?
    mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (89,570 points)

    Only Apple knows. The only thing you can do is to contact Apple and tell them your idea > http://www.apple.com/feedback

  • 2. Re: iPhoto backup plans?
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,735 points)

    Be careful what you wish for... We see plenty of posts on here from folks looking for an online back up solution for iPhoto and I always warn people that as iPhoto Libraries can quickly reach 100s of gigabytes that this may well be impractical until the Internet gets a whole lot faster. Currently we see people complaining because it takes days to restore from an online back up.

     

    Most Simple Back Up

     

    Drag the iPhoto Library from your Pictures Folder to another Disk. This will make a copy on that disk.

     

    Slightly more complex:

     

    Use an app that will do incremental back ups. This is a very good way to work. The first time you run the back up the app will make a complete copy of the Library. Thereafter it will update the back up with the changes you have made. That makes subsequent back ups much faster. Many of these apps also have scheduling capabilities: So set it up and it will do the back up automatically. Examples of such apps: Chronosync or DejaVu . But are many others. Search on MacUpdate

     

    My Back up routine

     

    My Library lives on my iMac. It’s Backed up to  two external hard disks every day. These disks are permanently attached to the iMac. These back ups run automatically. One is done by Time Machine, one is a bootable back up done by SuperDuper

     

    It’s also backed up to a portable hard disk when ever new photos are added. This hard disk lives in my car. For security, this disk is password protected.

     

    I have a second off-site back up at a relative’s house across town. That’s updated every 3 or 4 months.

     

    My Photos are backed up online. There are many options: Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug etc. However, check the terms of your account carefully. While most sites have free uploading, you will often find that these uploads are limited in terms of the file size or the bandwidth you can use per month. For access that allows you to upload full size pics with no restrictions you may need to pay.

     

    Every couple of months I test the back ups to make sure they are working correctly. It’s very easy to mis-configure a back up application, and the only way to protect against that is to do a trial restore.

  • 3. Re: iPhoto backup plans?
    appletech122 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the detailed info, Terence. However, that is a ridiculous amount of backing up that no standard user is going to do. I think the suggestion that should work for most people is to use an online back-up provider. What I think people are asking for is when Apple will offer a service like this. Photostream is cool, but not practical as a back-up method as it will flood all of your devices with too many pictures and costs go up as storage does. The only thing they offer now if a physical back-up to a time machine which lucky for Apple still gets them a bunch more of your money, but it suffers form all of the same shortcomings of physical storage such as the price and the danger to your data sitting on an imperfect physical drive on your premisis. The cloud is here and the most basic use of is is to store important information off-site with redundancy so it can be accessed in an emergency. I use Crashplan and they offer very reasonable unlimited back-up plans that run every night.

  • 4. Re: iPhoto backup plans?
    LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (56,645 points)

    a few things -

     

    1 - TD's backup is not ridiculous IF you care about your photos - many experiances usrs who want to be sure their photos are safe do similer backups - what is ridiculous to you is not to everyone and is not if you have a problem and needs it - I personally run Time Machine so I have hourly backups, do a daily bootable clone using Carbon Copy CLoner, keep my original photos on the SD card for at least a year and do an occasional off site backup - I do not find either TD's nor mine backups "Ridiculous"

     

    2 - PhotoStream is not a backup at all - it is a way to share your photos and to easily (or automatically) import the photos ou take with your IOS device into iPhoto

     

    3 - Phsical backups do not give Apple a "Bunch of your money" unless you personally choose to give it to them - the software (Time Machine) is FREE with every new Mac and it will work with any hard ware - I use a Time Capsule and several thrid party hard drives

     

    4 - If you think that an invisible storage unit in an unknown location with unknown capabilities and unknown security is better than multiple "imperfect physical drives on your premises" then you are the one that is "Ridiculous" - at best that should the the third or fourth backup - certainly not the primary one

     

    5 - As a perfect example have you rever tested CrashPlan bu=y restoring your iPhoto library and using the restore library? There is an extremely high probabality that it will not work and that you simply have no backup oof your library. Unless you have tested it you are at very high risk

     

    LN

  • 5. Re: iPhoto backup plans?
    appletech122 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    LarryHN, I am sorry you are so offended by the "ridiculous" comment. I am sorry again, but your explanation of your back-up procedure isn't practical (I hope that is better than ridiculous) for your standard user. Everyone cares about their photos just as they have for many years even when they were in physical form. This question was originally posed about plans to back-up photos in the cloud which Apple does not offer at this time. Since you have gone to the trouble to number your points, I will address them in the same numbered order.

     

    1. Addressed above.

     

    2. I made the point that PhotoStream is not a back-up method.

     

    3. You said "I use a Time Capsule and several third party hard drives". A Time Capsule is $299 along with whatever the other several hard drives you have cost. Apple not offering a cloud back-up option makes buying their HDD working with their software the easiest option (and the one that is pushed by their sales people in the stores) for the uninitiated and that was my reference to taking more money than is needed. I apologize again but suggesting to anyone but the most tech of us to run a time machine, several other storage devices, and back-up to an SD card for set amounts of time still brings that dreaded "R' word to mind.

     

    4. I have worked with hard disk drives for a long time and they are all imperfect physical units that suffer at some point or another in their lifetime. Hard disk drives stink and I am glad that piece of the computing technology is at a late stage in it's lifecycle. However I do agree that there should be some redundancy. The point of the "cloud" is that there is inherent redundancy in both storage and location. The piece I don't know is how much that is employed by the online back-up services that are available today and that merits some investigation. If Apple offered something like this I would feel better in using it based on the background of the brand.

     

    5. This is another great point and as I mentioned above, this does merit some investigation. This also lends itself to the proprietary way that Apple choses to store your photos. They do it in theory to make the user experience easier and to allow for the face searches, but it makes managing the library a pain. I in fact use iPhoto on the MAC laptop I have, but keep all of my pictures on a windows PC in a normal directory structure that gets backed up with crashplan and recovers fine. It was suggested earlier by Terence that all you have to do is back-up the iPhoto library. If it is more involved than that and you can't back-up the iPhoto library and retore it then I will pull out my Ridiculous card on Apple again. I would be curius to hear from anyone that has backed up the iPhoto library in the cloud and restored it.

  • 6. Re: iPhoto backup plans?
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,735 points)

    Obviously "appletech" is more of an aspiration that an occupation.

     

    Can you cite any source or information - apart from yourself - that can demonstrate that my back up strategy is "ridiculous"? Any survey? Or any well-known expert?

     

    Note too, that while I explain my back up system I don't recommend it for everyone, but instead just explain a basic back up, a better one and then my one.

     

    And while you think that that online back up is what will work for "most people", do you have a source or citation for that assertion? And while you're at it can you explain how that will deal with the most common report that we see on here about online back up? That it is slow and can take days to restore an iPhoto Library. Do you think a back up service that takes days to restore from is acceptable?

     

    No back up system currently on offer - and that includes my strategy - requires a Time Capsule. It's an option. As for their staff pushing the devices in-store? Well blow me down. A company tries to sell  product. But the "logic"of your argument would have you complaining about them pushing their online service as well.

     

    Apple does not use any "proprietary way" to store your photos. Your photos are stored exactly as they come from your Camera - Jpegs as jepgs, Raw as Raw or whatever. And yes, all that's required is to back up your Library.

     

    Regards

     

     

    TD

  • 7. Re: iPhoto backup plans?
    appletech122 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    TD. Did you really ask me to cite sources that show the following back-up routine it ridiculous?

     

    "My Library lives on my iMac. It’s Backed up to  two external hard disks every day. These disks are permanently attached to the iMac. These back ups run automatically. One is done by Time Machine, one is a bootable back up done by SuperDuper

     

    It’s also backed up to a portable hard disk when ever new photos are added. This hard disk lives in my car. For security, this disk is password protected.

     

    I have a second off-site back up at a relative’s house across town. That’s updated every 3 or 4 months.

     

    My Photos are backed up online. There are many options: Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug etc. However, check the terms of your account carefully."

     

    You must live in la-la land where they back-up their photos to relatives houses accross town. :-)

     

    Again, I apologize for the harsh term of ridiculous. Again, this routine is NOT practial for anyone less thn a power user with a lot of time on their hands.

     

    You are also asking for a source or citation as to why an onine back-up service will work for most people. This is my opinion and it doesn't need a source or citation. Show me the source or citation that shows that people manage multiple hard drives all over the place and manage their back-ups on a regular basis.

     

    In reference to your point of it taking too long. This is a back-up service, not an online storage and access proposal. You should only need to restore in situations where there is a failure and then of course there will be the limitations of internet access speeds and traffic. The usefulness is in the fact that you don't have to own and manage a physical drive and take all of the time to constatntly manage your back-ups.

     

    You poked fun at my handle on this message board. I like Apple technology, but I am not a fan boy. I am a fan of all technology especially those most useful to users. I am not bashing apple for offering a back-up option like time capsule drives as it makes perfect sense. It is surprising to me that they don't yet also offer an online back-up option even if it was with a partner. I just think consumers need to know all options available to them.

     

    There is definitely an obsfucated proprietary way that the iPhoto files get stored on the MAC computers. Come on! When you want to uplod a photo to an online site it is just too difficult to find the darn photo and upload it. You get a message that it is buried in the iPhoto library. Yes, you can find it, but it takes a lot of work. I can appreciate why Apple is doing this, but the photos should still be easier to access. I was asking about the back-up ability of the library becasue it was hinted by LarryHN that it might not work. If it is as easy as backing up and restoring the libabry like it is a bunch of JPEG files then that is great to hear.

  • 8. Re: iPhoto backup plans?
    LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (56,645 points)

    When you want to uplod a photo to an online site it is just too difficult to find the darn photo and upload it

     

    Ah we now see - you have no idea how to use iPhtoto

     

    finding the photos is trivial and fast - in the upload window in the lower left you go to Media ==> photos ==> iPhoto and there are your photos layout in the way YOU choose to organize them so it is trivial and fast for you to find the one you want

     

    And sorry but again you do not comprehend what I said - the iPhoto library is a very complex SQLite database which must always be on a drive formatted Mac OS extended and must be treated as a single entity (which it is) - it is so much more that just a collection of photos - but accessing your photos is simple and fast - in fact trivial

     

    You simply do not understand iPhoto and as a result are making unfounded and dangerous assumptions and then recommending them to others who if they followed your advice will lose their photos sooner or later because they will not have a good backup

     

    This forum is to help people succeed by making correct and tested responses to their questions - it is not a place for wild incorrect claims and untested advice based on totally incorrect assumptions

     

    And based on many reports on these forums it is highly unlikely that your online backup will work on the iPhoto library and even in the unlikely chance that it does for any normal sized library a restore would be so slow as to be worthless anyway

     

    LN

  • 9. Re: iPhoto backup plans?
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,735 points)

    The point about choosing a nickname like "appletech" is that's ambiguous at best and misleading at worst. You're not an Apple Technician, and I suspect that you're not a technician at all. You don't understand how iPhoto works, you don't understand concepts like 'proprietary', but none the less you are full of opinions which you claim for "most people". But you make these claims grandly and without anything to back them up. Yes you're entitled to your opinion, but if you're going to assert that these are also the opinions of "most people" then expect to called on them.

     

    So I notice that no, you can't cite any opinion but your own that my back up routine  - which I stress again, I never suggested for anyone else - is "riduculous". That's just you talking to yourself.( I don't have to cite anything because, guess what, I don't assert anything about or for other people at all.)  That's my system. It works for me. If it's too complex for you, or you don't have the discipline to stick to such a programme, well that says more about you than the system.

     

    Search the forum. We have inexperienced users -  you know the kind that you seem to think you speak for - getting into all sorts of scrapes. People who inadvertently delete the entire iPhoto Library, for instance, or who damage it through error. Or the person trying to get photos fro the Wedding Invitation? Or trying to finish a book or slideshow in time for a gift or even a Memorial Service. These are all real world problems that we see on thos board.  For such users restoring from back up is often the easiest way to get back to work. How useful is a back up that takes days to restore to such people?

     

    Perhaps you might take the time to learn about iPhoto, what it is, how it fits in a lossless photo management system, about virtualisation and the relationship between the imported master files and the photos you output for whatever purpose. It's also worth looking at how to access photos that are managed by iPhoto. It really is more simple than you think.

     

    For help accessing your photos in iPhoto see this user tip:

     

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-4491

  • 10. Re: iPhoto backup plans?
    appletech122 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Larry/Terence. Your buttons are obviously being pushed here so I'll back out of the weeds and try to get back to addressing the original question. I looked back at my original post and it didn't say TD's back-up routine is ridiculous. It said that it is a ridiculous amount of backing-up. For about the fifth time, I am sorry you are so offended.

     

    As far as dangerous advice. The only advice I gave is that in the absence of an online back-up option from Apple is that I use crashplan. That's it. It was said by one of you that you just back up the library and you can access it and the other said that it is a complex SQL database and I believe you are implying that there is not an online back-up option for iPhoto.  Which is it?

     

    I am not fully versed in iPhoto which is why I have deferred on every occasion here as to whether the iPhoto DB can be backed up. Since you two are the resident iPhoto experts on this board then please submit a detailed response talking about how you can perform an online back-up of your iPhoto DB at this time in the absence of a Apple online back-up service.

  • 11. Re: iPhoto backup plans?
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,735 points)

    The iPhoto Library is a complex package of databases, files and caches. To back it up, see my hints above.

     

    That's it. Backing up the iPhoto Library backs all that up.

     

    No, I won’t give a detailed response on how to back up the iPhoto Library online. That's because I don't believe that there is a good one. Apart from the aforementioned speed issue, for an incremental back up you need to be sure that whatever online service you use stores the library on a disk formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled)  - I don't believe any do. If the library is stored on another disk format then the danger of corruption is high if the backup is written to by an increment. Simply, I wouldn't trust it. We do see reports on here of people restoring from online services and finding the Library corrupted when they do.

     

    Regards

     

     

    TD

  • 12. Re: iPhoto backup plans?
    appletech122 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Terence. I did take the time to look through the post you referenced about accessing your photos in iPhoto. That was very helpful thanks. I like the analogy of the difference in the actual media and what it ends up looking like when it is stored on a computer. I can appreciate how apple is trying to remove the user from managing files and directories and get them closer to accessing the actual photos, but this in no way makes it trivial to access photos as shown in your description and your definition of the complex set of databases on a MAC formatted HDD.

     

    So the bottom line is that there is not a current way to back-up your iPhotot library online. I'm sorry but that stinks. I am a fan of apple products. The thing about them though is that it is always way easier to use them when you are immersed in the Aple ecosystem. Even this is okay assuming there is an option for anything you need to do. In this case though when you commit to a Mac computing platform you are commitiing your pictures into iPhoto. Once you do that you are now limited on what your back-up options are. If Apple offered an onine back-up service then this wouldn't matter, but if there is no current viable option then I am thoroughly disappointed.

  • 13. Re: iPhoto backup plans?
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,735 points)

    1. Apple are not "trying to remove the user form managing files and directories". Don't you understand that with a lossless processor there is no processed file? None. It has to be created by exporting from the database. So, how would surfing the stored files help there? For more on this see Adobe's Lightroom, not made by Apple but also a lossless processor. You're still confusing your file with your Photo. You still don't know the difference between an editor and a lossless processor.

     

    2. If you can't see that searching by filename, title, any number of exif metadata entries, keywords, date, processing status, camera model, location where the photo was taken, faces in the photo, text in the captions etc, in both iPhoto and in every single Open... or Attach... dialogue is more flexible and makes your photos more available in every single other application on your computer as somehow more difficult that rooting around in files and folders, there is little to say to you. If you're happy with storing 100k of files in a system of folders and think you can access the preferred one based on your memory of the filename, then my hat's off to you. iPhoto offers more ways to search your photos and makes them available in every app on your Mac than files-in-folders. That's indisputable. Yes there is a learning curve. Most folks read that article once.

     

    Sorry but you make enormous assumptions, and they are incorrect.

     

    So the bottom line is that there is not a current way to back-up your iPhotot library online.

     

     

    This is not true. What I said was that there is none that I would trust, and none that deal with the speed issue. But there are lots of services out there if these things are not a concern for you.

     

    The thing about them though is that it is always way easier to use them when you are immersed in the Aple ecosystem

     

    Well that's also true of Windows and Linux, Unix et al. Every OS has an eco system that it works best with. Ever try write to a Mac OS Extended (Journaled) disk with WIndows?

     

    In this case though when you commit to a Mac computing platform you are commitiing your pictures into iPhoto

     

    No you most certainly are not. This is a huge assumption and not at all true.  iPhoto is an application that you can choose to use. Or not. You can use Picasa for Mac, Aperture, Lightroom, Bridge or just the base file system, or any of 50 other apps to manage your Photos. You are not forced to use iPhoto. Using a Mac does not mean you are comitted to using iPhoto. Just like using Windows does not mean you're committed using Internet Explorer. It's a choice you make.

     

    Once you do that you are now limited on what your back-up options are.

     

    No you are not.

     

    So, notwithstanding your disappointment, you really need to look at what is in front of you. You have half a grasp of the possibilities and are then leaping to editorialising, and frankly, quite incorrectly.