Nate here from Picturelife. Wanted to help explain the specifics of the iPhoto and Aperture backup and reimport. But first, as I was reminded to do last time I posted, I should be clear that I financially benefit from the use of Picturelife.
Right now Picturelife imports most all metadata from iPhoto and Aperture like masters, versions, and ongoing edit history (not historic). Of course captions, descriptions, ratings, and albums... I'm having a support page detailing each piece of metadata created as I type.
Then, on export (see this page if you are a user: https://picturelife.com/account/my_archive ) you can opt to re-download "with metadata," where we include a lot of that data in a format that's readable to iPhoto. Some data is readily readable by iPhoto and some data is not. For instance: faces detected in Picturelife can be exported to a format that Picasa reads, but iPhoto has yet to read.
Specifically in regards to master and versions, we import those quite successfully and are planning to include the data in the report to iPhoto as soon as we decipher how iPhoto actually stores them. Right now on reimport they would be reimported as separate photos.
The good news is that we keep finding new ways to tie things back together. It takes ongoing experimentation -- something we're good at! -- and the really good news is that you never have to reupload anything as we find new ways to support this. When we come up with the new features the syncer app simply starts importing the data we can then use and as we find new ways to export it we include it in the export zips.
Hope this clarifies things.
So, no, you don't back up the iPhoto Library? I can't upload my iPhoto Library Package, and then restore it as a package, launch iPhoto and pick up from where I left off? Like if I back up the Library to an external disk and then restore it?
I'm not decrying what I'm sure is an excellent service, but I'm trying to clarify for the sake of potential users.
When you say you import "most all metadata" what get's left out? How do you import versions as they are virtual? Do you mean Previews? And on "reimport they would be reimported as separate photos" means that the link between the Master and the version is broken?
Terence you are absolutely correct. This does not directly handle the package or completely reconstitute the package. The emphasis is on importing/backing up as much data as possible, with a focus on the photos themselves, and then making data portible and accessible via those metadata filled zips as well as an API.
As far as versions go, you're right that historical versions are not possible to fully back up. But once we've backed up current versions, all *future* versions do get backed up. So if you make an edit after it's been backed up, we keep previous versions and upload the latest version (which is why we have a feature to pause imports while iPhoto is open, so it's not uploading with each detailed change).
When I say "most metadata" I mean this: currently the biggest pieces we leave out are events (in iPhoto) and faces. Faces will be next to get imported (we have our own face system and are working on a way to combine the two). Events are trickier because again we have our own event system, but recently we've decided on a way to support those too and will probably have a solution in production in early 2014.
Does this make sense?
I only backup to Time Capsule with Time Machine. Obviously, if My home is struck with some natural disaster or theft, I may be without backup. I am considering some form of the backup scheme you mentioned on page 1 of this thread, which I realize started over a year ago. However, I did notice that you make the distinction that your "iPhoto library" is backed up to various hard drives and that your "Photos" are backed up online.
I apologize for my ignorance, but what is the difference?
If I understand your last post to innonate correctly, if I had to "Restore" from a Time Capsule backup of my iPhoto Library, I could "launch iPhoto and pick up from where I left off"? However, if some unfortunate event occurred, in which my original iPhoto library and my Time Capsule backup were both destroyed, but I was fortunate enough to have backed up my photos to something like Flickr, I would have to "Import" those Flickr photos back to iPhoto and recreate a New iPhoto library? Would iPhoto not know when those photos were originally taken and be able to separate those photos by date?
I don't do a lot of photo editing, I don't utilize faces or events. I really just take pictures, import them to iPhoto which separates and stores the photos by date and then I look at them. What would I lose if I had to reconstitute an iPhoto library by importing from Flickr?
The iPhoto Library is an installation containing your
- Original Photos
- The database that tracks all the edits/changes you've made to them
- The Previews used for Sharing
- All the metadata assoicated with the albums/events you've made
- The databases containing your books/calendars etc, and your slideshows
The photos are, well, just that. The snaps.
So that's the difference there.
My back up system is based on protecting myself against the most likely failure (hard drive goes down) right out to (hopefully) the least likely (both my house and my family members house both burn down in a somewhat unlikely conicidence). So, the photos uploaded to Flickr are the very last line against the least likely issue - at least I have the photos. (There's also the added advantage that the images can be easily shared with friends and family, and I can access them from any internet connected device.)
So, yes, I woould need to downlaod the images and start over with a new Library. And this new library will be missing all the informaion below the first line, above.
As to the date/time metadata, the thing is different services have different options, and one you need to check out is that this information (the Exif metadata) is preserved in whatever option you choose.
Thanks a lot. I'm going to add a flash external hard drive (properly formatted, of course) to my scheme that I back up to periodically and store at work.
The information you provided on this thread has potentially saved me a lot of money and from a lot of potential issues. I have researched a good number of the "photo backup" sites or sites like Dropbox, Crashplan and etc. I was completely unaware that sites such as those could damage my data by storing my info on drives not formatted for macs.
As far as the last line of defense for the photos, I am leaning towards Flickr for the reasons you stated. However, finding an easy and fast way to upload thousands of photos taken over several years is causing me to hesitate on signing up. I came upon this thread while researching ways to batch load photos to Flickr. Other sites may be faster and more convenient to upload photos, but, they lock you in to using their service and you can't re-download your photos and/or they are too expensive. I just can't justify spending a lot of money for little storage capacity for as you stated "the very last line against the least likely issue" only to realize I was not getting what I thought I paid for.
Thanks again for your help.
I just wanted to add that I currenlty use CrashPlan for backing up my iPhoto Library, and I currenlty have an open support case with them,
Basically the issue I have is that the CrashPlan+ software is not automatically picking up when new images are added to my library, and only picks them up when you perform/schedule a scan of the filesystem.
As an FYI:
We've had reports on here of libraries being damaged when they are restored from Crashplan and other online services.
Remember the iPhoto Library is not just a file but an ecosystem of interlinked files, databases, metadata and images. Unless the back up facility is specifically geared to the requirements of that ecosystem you will have issues. It's not just iPhoto - apps like Aperture, Lightroom, DevonThink etc are equally complex and have special requirements.
Has anyone tried using Google Drive for the purpose of a cloud-based backup of the iPhoto library (package, not just individual photo files)? Per this article...
Doesn't solve for librarys that exceed hard drive capacity (as mine will in not too long). Also there's no archive (as in CrashPlan). But does offer a cloud-based home for iPhoto.