Friday, May 29, 2015

Feeding my Aperture Library to Google Photos

I have two cameras: my iPhone and a Canon 450D DSLR. I have two photo libraries: Apple's new Photos app (and its iCloud Photo Library feature) and Aperture. Since the introduction of Photostream, I have kept my photography siloed with my iPhone snapshots going into iPhoto and now and my DSLR shots going to Aperture.
I have discussed some of the issues with uploading a library from an iOS device to Google's new Photos service here. Because of these issues, I wanted to see if I could easily upload my Aperture library to Google Photos without having to export them out, baking in the EXIF data on their way.
Fortunately, Google provides a desktop client for Mac. So far, this is working pretty well but it was not the first thing I tried. First, I tried uploading images by dragging and dropping them into the web interface and while that works well for small batches of images, it doesn't for many photos. Last night, I dropped 4,000 photos onto the web interface and went to sleep. This morning, almost 100 of them failed to upload. So far, and based on anecdotal evidence, the failure rates on Google's desktop client is significantly lower (between 1~5 per 1,000).
I wanted the desktop client to see my Aperture library but after connected the external drive where it lives, it wasn't able to see the library as an option. However, after waiting about an hour, the desktop client offered to automatically upload my Aperture library, having it appear in the source list.
It's easy to get impatient with a new service, especially one that is getting hammered with people pouring millions of photos into it as I type this. A little patience goes a long way.
So far, Google Images is able to see all of the EXIF data that I baked into the originals including date and location information.
I'll update if anything significant or unexpected occurs.

Google Photos for iOS "Preparing Backup" For Hours

It looks like I'm not the only one having trouble with Google's new Photos app for both iPhone and iPad. I let my iPhone sit over night, the constant spinning of a circle letting me know that Google Photos was preparing my backup. As I woke up this morning, it was still going. I went to Twitter and I guess I'm not the only person having issues.

I went ahead and disabled iCloud Drive Photos on my iPad to test and see if that would solve the problem. Lo and behold, it is now backing up the photos I had stored locally on the iPad.
Here are the steps I took:

  1. Turned off iCloud Drive Photos (Settings -> iCloud -> Photos -> Toggle off iCloud Photo Library
  2. Restarted the iPad
  3. Deleted the Google Photos app
  4. Reinstalled the Google Photos App
When the app was preparing backups, it only took a couple minutes and then it started firing the photos off to the cloud.

As for my iPhone, I'm going to keep iCloud Drive Photos turned on and let it run its course. Either it's a bug or Google Photos is parsing out what's kept locally and what's an iCloud thumbnail. I'm inclined to believe that it's parsing as the @googlephotos twitter account informed me earlier that the app will filter out photos not stored locally on the iOS device. That must be what it's doing? I hope?