Apple may have finally solved photo storage hell

“We take a bazillion photos with our phones and digital cameras. The digital images mostly just sit, clogging up our hard drive(s). This has been a problem for as long as digital photography has existed and it’s getting worse. Camera resolutions are getting bigger and with it, the file sizes of our digital photos are growing,” Brenden Mulligan writes for TechCrunch. “Although many companies have taken a crack at this problem, I think Apple’s upcoming iCloud Photo Library could be the perfect solution — if they do it right.”

“I currently have a 100GB iPhoto library on my Macbook Air’s 250GB hard drive. I look at the photos approximately never,” Mulligan writes. “But I’m not going to delete them. They’re my memories, and even though I don’t look at them often, I want to preserve them.”

“At WWDC 2014, Apple announced a big upgrade to its Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, a service that claims to be the ultimate backup system: ‘iCloud Photo Library,'” Mulligan writes. “This sounds amazing, but it sounds like it’s limited to iOS devices, which doesn’t solve the problem of my computer being full of photos. However, Apple also announced a new Photos app for OS X, which seems like it’ll eventually be an iPhoto replacement for the desktop. This has me hopeful that they might be closer to building something actually worth paying for.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. I am looking for a problem for my solution!
    My solution is an extremely large external hard drive that I will never fill up with data that I will seldom look at. I will not password it in case of my demise my nearest and dearest will be able to access it . Meanwhile, my twin brother/sister has his data passworded in a cloud that means his nearest and dearest, eventually myself will have to go to great lengths to get the data cloud company to release his files to us if ever! 🙁
    I say poppycock to Mr. Mulligan!

    1. Why can’t he just leave ref to the password where it can be found after his demise or in an emergency but not for prying eyes in this life? After all you have to do similar things for all sorts of accounts and information should you suddenly kick the bucket,

  2. “I currently have a 100GB iPhoto library on my Macbook Air’s 250GB hard drive. I look at the photos approximately never,” Mulligan writes. “But I’m not going to delete them. They’re my memories, and even though I don’t look at them often, I want to preserve them.”

    I guess this guy has never head of an external hard drive. Newsflash Mulligan: you can get a 2TB external to store your memories, dirt cheap. Jeez.

    1. Here’s a hint: Aperture 3 was introduced in 2010. It certainly looks like Apple has hung Aperture out to dry, as it has done with a number of other excellent programs in the past.

  3. Not a good solution, ever. 1) I dont want my photos on someone else drive. 2) bandwidth. 3) Access. Photos belong in an album under the coffee table. In other words, on my drive in my house.

    Regarding passwords, that is what a safe is for. Lost the key? Get a thief. Dont have to say “pretty please” to Mr iCloud.

  4. I have images going back over forty years (scanned slides). Once and a while I pull some of the dustiest up for a bit of memory lane. Often I’m reminded of the adage:

    “Friends may come and go but enemies accumulate.”

  5. Actually the best idea to store photo library’s is the Blu-Ray M-Disk which burns to a special stone like layer and rated for like a thousand years. It won’t fade like conventional media and is resistant to the environment. (Although nothing is indestructible.)

    1. Of course the problem with any media like this is when no one supports or manufactures the players any more. So many archival systems have been undermined this way. I’ve still got my perfectly good media, just can’t find a machine any longer that will read it.

  6. I pulled the optical drive from my MBP and replaced it with a second hard drive. I have a folder on the second hard drive named Family Photo Album. Inside that folder, I have folders named by year from 1999 to present. ALL my photos go in their respective year. I am not in Storage Hell.

    For backup, I have two hard drives connected to my Airport Extreme at home and two hard drives connected to my time capsule at my office. Everything is backed up to five hard drives every week. My biggest problem is rooting through iPhoto a few times a year to copy the iPhone photos to the hard drive. iPhoto is a complete disaster to manage. I really like GraphicConverter for browsing our photo/video library.

    But in the end, my children will have an archive of their lives with redundant backups. I even put a hard drive in a faraday cage. I refuse to lose our photos.

    1. I like your Faraday cage concept! Now go and patent it!!! 🙂

      Oops! too late you can’t because now all MDN readers know about it. Damned that USPTO!

  7. I can’t get to that external hard drive when I’m on vacation and only brought my iPad or any plethora of other devices my family uses. And when I take a picture or video of my kid and two days later drive over my iPhone it would have never been on that external hard drive anyway.

    That is that point. Anyone that wants to get to it can, from any device, anywhere.

    Even so, I would still keep a backup separate from the cloud, one locally and one remote.

    1. You’re right. Anyone would be a fool to retain their sole copy of an important image in just one place. The cloud is very convenient in oh-so-many ways, but I will definitely continue keeping local copies on my Drobo.

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