More Options for Photos in the Cloud

Since I last wrote about the many different ways of managing a photo collection, there’s been two pretty good developments that provide even more options.

iCloud Photo Library, I think, existed in beta form when I wrote the post, but it’s definitely in production now. With the new Photos app pushing folks to enable the photo library (likely due to the ability to manage and edit photos on a Mac), the service is turning out to be a fairly good syncing back end and viewing front end. The big disadvantages are still a complete reliance on Apple’s hardware and the relatively high cost of cloud storage, but it’s become an increasingly convenient way to pass photos between phone, tablet and laptop – if they’re all built by Apple.

Flickr has also added a few new features lately, in addition to a redesign of the site and apps. The interesting addition here is the Flickr Uploadr: an automated way to sync photos from the desktop to Flickr1. With duplicate detection and strict privacy controls by default, this setup is made for online photo backup; they also thoughtfully allow for bulk downloads from their systems in case things don’t work out.

Now that there are even more ways to keep a photo collection, I’m thinking that it’s better to just keep many copies across multiple services rather than simply migrate from one system to the next. There are photo management apps, background apps that sync photo libraries as raw files, and services that sync across machines or up to the cloud; it has become a competitive market with no clear winner, but an abundance of cheap and free options. As long as photos are easily synced and updated, collecting them in a variety of places is a good hedge against single points of failure.

  1. Which offers free accounts with a generous 1000GBs of storage.

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