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Apple Photos App Confusion


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#1 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 10:19 PM

I wasn't sure where to put this but off topic seemed best given I don't own a Mac presently but I do own an iPhone and iPad Pro and an HP Low Performance Craptop which had iCloud installed but has it no more due to performance issues. That isn't to blame iCloud by the way. Starting up multiple cloud services and other stuffs was not helping the cause of my gimpy laptop so for now iCloud needed to go.

So, I have Photos now being uploaded to OneDrive automagically on my iOS devices and I would prefer to extricate all my photos and videos from the labyrinthine nested folders the iOS Photos app uses to stash them all away. Why they chose this complexity is beyond me but I guess there is some reason for it. Maybe one of you guys could enlighten me there. I'm sure there is a reason but I am also sure i hate having everything buried in a structure like that. I will explain one reason why momentarily and then finally get to the point here, the questions I have.

I bought into 50 GB of iCloud to ensure I had ample room for all my photos and videos I take with my iPhone or get from my kids along with a place to stash certain data files and so that there is ample room for iOS backups to happen by themselves without the whining about how your device has not been backed up since forever, etc.

I had this dumb idea that if I set my devices to use iCloud for photos and videos that these would sync across my two iOS devices along with iCloud having everything safely held as well. This is not what has happened and I have no idea how to make it happen and I don't even care about it anymore. I am sick of unnecessary complexity in something that should after these many years be dead simple and yet it is not unless maybe I am dead simple and that is the problem. Even so, Apple is supposed to make stuff just work for dummies like me who possess only limited understanding of anything beyond things of specific personal interest. The size of my Photos file, database, whatever the hell it is, is much larger on my iPhone than on my iPad. The iPad tends to be where I might download stuff the kids send me in Messages because I don't do Facebook. Meantime, the phone is where photos and videos get taken. OneDrive only seems to have grabbed what's been taken since I started using it again recently. It's all screwed up. Nothing is synced and everything is syncless and I can't ever just browse and copy the damned files from one place to another because they are buried in the Photos folders.

How do I fix this mess? Where did I go wrong? How could I have been so stupid? Somebody, please help me. I just want to extricate everything and set these devices up to send everything they receive or create in the way of photos and videos to the cloud in a human manageable format, as in not buried in any folder structure unless I make it myself. It does not need to be iCloud or OneDrive although the latter is prefered and seems to work more in line with how I expect it to.

Is there is simple way to tell Photos to export everything somewhere so I can manage it myself? I have to confess it occurs to me now I can't recall looking at the app to even see. How do you guys deal with this? I want simplicity and control over my data. That's all I want. You know, like it used to be once upon a time before various companies took it upon themselves to help us, to simplify our lives by hiding everything so when anything is the matter we have no clue... when we want to manage our data we aren't quite sure where it all is, etc.
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#2 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 02:18 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 18 October 2017 - 10:19 PM, said:

I bought into 50 GB of iCloud to ensure I had ample room for all my photos and videos I take with my iPhone or get from my kids along with a place to stash certain data files and so that there is ample room for iOS backups to happen by themselves without the whining about how your device has not been backed up since forever, etc.
You can just turn off backups. It is not like it saves much, as most of the stuff is synced through iCloud anyway. I haven't used iOS backups in many years.

Quote

I had this dumb idea that if I set my devices to use iCloud for photos and videos that these would sync across my two iOS devices along with iCloud having everything safely held as well.
That is how it should work.

Quote

This is not what has happened and I have no idea how to make it happen and I don't even care about it anymore.
Clearly you do, because, here we are.. :P

Quote

I am sick of unnecessary complexity in something that should after these many years be dead simple and yet it is not unless maybe I am dead simple and that is the problem. Even so, Apple is supposed to make stuff just work for dummies like me who possess only limited understanding of anything beyond things of specific personal interest. The size of my Photos file, database, whatever the hell it is, is much larger on my iPhone than on my iPad. The iPad tends to be where I might download stuff the kids send me in Messages because I don't do Facebook. Meantime, the phone is where photos and videos get taken. OneDrive only seems to have grabbed what's been taken since I started using it again recently. It's all screwed up. Nothing is synced and everything is syncless and I can't ever just browse and copy the damned files from one place to another because they are buried in the Photos folders.

How do I fix this mess? Where did I go wrong? How could I have been so stupid? Somebody, please help me. I just want to extricate everything and set these devices up to send everything they receive or create in the way of photos and videos to the cloud in a human manageable format, as in not buried in any folder structure unless I make it myself. It does not need to be iCloud or OneDrive although the latter is prefered and seems to work more in line with how I expect it to.
I am confused. You say you set up iCloud for photos, but you say that your OneDrive files are fraked up?

Activating iCloud Photo Library on all your devices should do exactly what you are asking for, but you haven't mentioned it once. And I assume that that is why you bought more iCloud space?
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#3 Tetsuya

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 02:51 PM

I mean... you might be anti Google (i dunno), but...Google Photos will do -exactly- what youre talking about.  Even on iOS.  I use it on my phone (Android 7.1.x via LineageOS) and my iPad (iOS 11), and my HTPC (OS X 10.9), and my daily-driver (High Sierra).  It will also automatically upload your entire existing iPhoto library, and can be set (if you choose) to keep itself synced with that library (if new photos get added to your iPhoto library, they are added to Google Photos automatically).  Works on Windows as well.  

You couldnt pay me to use iCloud or OneDrive.  Theyre both unintuitive messes, IMO.  



#4 macdude22

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 03:31 PM

Ya are you using OneDrive iOS app to upload your photos to OneDrive or do you want to enable iCloud Photo Library (which is not the same as Photostream)? iCloud library will sync the Photos library on any mac/ios device that has iCloud library enabled. Basically you get a new library, the iCloud Photo Library. You can then copy/merge additional items/libraries into that library. If going the iCloud route I would suggest turning off iCloud library on all devices, then enabling it first on the primary device (your phone?), getting the library configured to your specifications, then enabling it on additional devices.

I don't know anything about how the OneDrive iOS app determines what to automatically upload in the background when you enable this in the app (I don't use OneDrive). It sounds like OneDrive doesn't just scoop up your photos when this is enabled but sends them up as you take them. I would imagine there is some ability to tell it to send the rest, but I have never used the app.

I would not recommend turning off iCloud iOS backups unless you are using iTunes to backup the device. You will lose any app settings, saves, etc.... in the event of a device failure. The backups themselves only backup custom data (ergo apps are not included in the backup because they get re-downloaded from Apple during restore)

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#5 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 08:58 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 19 October 2017 - 02:51 PM, said:

I mean... you might be anti Google (i dunno), but...Google Photos will do -exactly- what youre talking about.  Even on iOS.  I use it on my phone (Android 7.1.x via LineageOS) and my iPad (iOS 11), and my HTPC (OS X 10.9), and my daily-driver (High Sierra).  It will also automatically upload your entire existing iPhoto library, and can be set (if you choose) to keep itself synced with that library (if new photos get added to your iPhoto library, they are added to Google Photos automatically).  Works on Windows as well.  

You couldnt pay me to use iCloud or OneDrive.  Theyre both unintuitive messes, IMO.  

Thank you. This sounds like the way to go for me and I like the pricing for 100 GB at 20 bucks annually. That's plenty for what I want to store there.

Thanks for all the replies. Rereading it just now that post was really horrible. I'm sorry! I was all over the place and not clear about the basic issue and desired cure. Maybe that was a late night one (I hope). I haven't been sleeping right for a while now which results in me being more out to lunch than usual.

A big plus for me with Google is they are everywhere. It doesn't matter what this crazy changeling feels like doing or trying this week. Whatever I feel like using Google is on it. There is major value in that for me personally.

The deal with Google of course is: software and services in exchange for user data. In a word, whatever. I don't care and it isn't like I have not learned about and considered what it is that I choose to not care about.
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#6 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 09:05 AM

View Postmacdude22, on 19 October 2017 - 03:31 PM, said:

Ya are you using OneDrive iOS app to upload your photos to OneDrive or do you want to enable iCloud Photo Library (which is not the same as Photostream)? iCloud library will sync the Photos library on any mac/ios device that has iCloud library enabled. Basically you get a new library, the iCloud Photo Library. You can then copy/merge additional items/libraries into that library. If going the iCloud route I would suggest turning off iCloud library on all devices, then enabling it first on the primary device (your phone?), getting the library configured to your specifications, then enabling it on additional devices.

I don't know anything about how the OneDrive iOS app determines what to automatically upload in the background when you enable this in the app (I don't use OneDrive). It sounds like OneDrive doesn't just scoop up your photos when this is enabled but sends them up as you take them. I would imagine there is some ability to tell it to send the rest, but I have never used the app.

I would not recommend turning off iCloud iOS backups unless you are using iTunes to backup the device. You will lose any app settings, saves, etc.... in the event of a device failure. The backups themselves only backup custom data (ergo apps are not included in the backup because they get re-downloaded from Apple during restore)

Thanks for all the detail here too. I did not say it clearly being too lazy to go look up the precise name of the setting but I turned on iCloud Library on both the iPhone and iPad when I got them which was about a week apart almost 1.5 years ago now I think. So library sizes should be nearly identical but they are way off. My interpretation was something is wrong with that but I don't know what and I am sick of dealing with broken stuff. It should have always kept both devices and iCloud itself in sync but that did not happen. I have no idea why. Either I tripped some strange bug that requires a unique set of circumstances to make it happen or I screwed it up sometime along the way somehow on my own. I don't know how I could have done that though since I set it and forget it for that. I rarely mess with settings in iOS at all. In fact, for months I have been meaning to go prune the stupid number of notifications I get but I haven't gotten to it.

Yeah, the device backups stay on. I can drop iCloud back to 5 GB free and it'll support that. I don't need anything else on there.
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#7 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 01:04 PM

You can just use the free version of Google Photos. It gives you unlimited storage, but the catch is that photos are limited to 16 megapixels (around 5000x3000 resolution) and videos are limited to 1080p.

I think the photo limitation is fair at 16 megapixels since it will allow for you to store photos that will still look good even on a 5K display, but the video limit is a little low in my opinion. 1080p is certainly fine for right now but seeing as nearly every high-end laptop (windows and mac) comes with a higher res screen then 1080p, and most TV's will be 4K in a few years, limited to 1080p seems like it will be an actual annoyance in a few years. The videos will still look good, but it would be kind of annoyed in a few years watching 1080p content on my 4K display knowing that my phone recording the video at 4K once upon a time.
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#8 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 06:59 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 19 October 2017 - 02:51 PM, said:

You couldnt pay me to use iCloud or OneDrive.  Theyre both unintuitive messes, IMO.  
What do you find unintuitive about iCloud? Now with iCloud Drive, and iCloud Photo Library, I find it quite easy to use.

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 20 October 2017 - 08:58 AM, said:

The deal with Google of course is: software and services in exchange for user data. In a word, whatever. I don't care and it isn't like I have not learned about and considered what it is that I choose to not care about.
I don't mind that either. What I do mind about Google Photos though, is that whatever you upload, Google is free to use as they see fit. You could in principle end up seeing your own face on a Google ad.
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#9 the Battle Cat

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 09:52 AM

I avoid Google like it was the internet plague.
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#10 Spike

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 01:29 PM

I avoid Google because it is the internet plague.

#11 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 03:28 PM

I love BorgGoogle because I've been assimilated.

#12 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:33 PM

Deep Thoughts by DirtyHarry...

Social media is the internet plague. Facebook is the evil one. Twitter is too. They all are. Now those, I avoid like the plague. Those places literally kill human brain cells at incalculable levels every hour of every day globally.

We are all tribal. We can't handle social media. No person can go there and come away from it not having been negatively impacted in some way and yet they return for more every single day and many will even complain about how much it sucks. Here we are thinking ourselves so smart and civilized but look at the things humanity as a whole will do.
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