Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Managing your secret photo and video albums on the cloud

Following the Apple lead, Google Photos is going stupid too, turning upside down the way I manage my photo albums, especially the secret ones.

Apple doesn't understand backup or doesn't assume that you understand; at least I can't figure out how to backup your albums on an iPhone. So I guess that whenever people upgrade to a new iPhone, they have to buy twice the memory and carry all their albums for their entire life on the phone.

In the past, you plug your camera or phone into the PC, run some photo and video management app, and your albums will be copied to a central location on some drive, or on the cloud. Only new photos (and videos) will be copied and you have the option of deleting all or some of the photos on your camera or phone. After that, you can hide your secret photos by moving them to some other locations.

Google had been making a mess by launching and killing some photo apps, before Photos is usable. Now it's hard to beat; your photos are automatically saved and organised on the cloud. I am willing to pay up to buy more GB's for the convenience even though I have unlimited Amazon drive, brought iCloud storage and maybe something I don't even know. The problem is when you want to avoid something you download from getting there in the first place and want to hide something elsewhere when they get there.

Maybe carrying all your albums for life on your phone isn't so bad an idea; just double the memory everytime you upgrade. But you have the same problem when you want to hide something while sharing the rest on all devices.

I'm from the old school. If I read something as follows I would have jumped ship totally earlier and avoid some frustrations. It doesn't matter how great features Photo has when I don't know how to copy or move photos into and out of my cloud account.

First, Photos uploads where and when it wants to. Of course, you may or may not change that but with Wifi and charging, all your photos and videos are certainly going up into your Google Photo account. Not just photos in your camera are uploaded automatically; photos in all or some of your apps are included. In Chromebook, anything you downloaded from Chrome appears on Photos but not the camera. You have to "download" from the camera to the Downloads folder first.

The nearest to the old school term of backup is to "free up space" on your phone. Photos that were saved on the cloud are deleted on your phone. So I have no idea how to save your pretty pictures at 18 on the phone while freeing up space to take more pictures when you are older, much older.

It's not possible to hide some photos without deleting them; at least I haven't figured it out yet. You can't copy it somewhere on Google Drive. And even if you manage to copy photos, they may turn up back on Photos again.

A simple way is to create a new Google account. You can "copy" photos across with relative ease. First you create a shared album on the source account. You may do it in different ways. You can select the photos and click on the share button to create a shared album with someone you pick. It is important not to create multiple shared albums with the same person. You should just add more photos into the shared album, also in different ways.

Now you switch to the destination account by clicking on your profile picture on Chrome, your initial by default. You open the shared album, select all you want and "add to your library". This is the way to copy, not linked as in the shared album.

Then you switch back to the source account and delete those photos in the shared album, and maybe the album itself. Rest assure that any photos will not be duplicated on Google Drive or Google Photo unless you manage to upload duplicated copies.

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