Google photos

I recently discovered a neat trick in Google Photos. I needed an easy way to isolate and upload 1000's of photos and movies that were stored on old disk drives (they were about to crash). I found out that the easiest way to do that, is to search for *.jpg of *.mp4 files by using Windows search, and next drag and drop these results into the Google Photos webpage (the one with the overview of your photos). Make sure to use Chrome. You can easily upload 10.000 images/movies in one go. It may take a while to upload that many files, but it sure is worthwhile.

Update 1: forget about the "search for" trick I mentioned above. In fact, it's even much easier: just drag 'n drop a complete folder or even a complete disk drive in the Google Photos webpage. This will automatically upload all images and movies (and not the other files). I uploaded over 30.000 images and movies in the past 48 hours this way. Amazing.

Update 2: Apple users would typically use the Pictures app to sync their photos accross various devices and integrate with iCloud. However, they only have 5GB free storage wich is not much when dealing with images and movies. They then need to buy an online storage plan for a monthly fee. Google photos could be a solution for them as well. You need to export pictures from the Pictures app before uploading though. That's a little inconvenient...

Immediately after your upload, Google will automatically sort the uploaded material by day, month and year. The hours and days that follow, you'll get dozens of suggested collages, animations, movies and styled images. Wonderful. Also, Google will automatically remove double uploads. Very useful. And with the built-in face-recognition you can easily see yourself growing older and uglier year after year. That's a minus. There are also very useful search-capabilities. If you're looking for a guitar, just search for "guitar" and all images with a guitar will show up. You can also combine keywords in your searches, as well as people's names. Very powerful. For instance, a search for "Pieter drinking beer" returns these images that I turned into a collage for the occasion:

(actually, on 2 pictures, it's not me drinking beer, it's my brother and sis... )

Another example, this comes up when searching for all firstnames of my family.. Google finds all our family-pictures taken over the years. There were many more, but I made a collage again. All I had to do to get this going, is tag my family members on a handful of photos (few days ago). Google did the rest. I would never have been able to find them myself in my collection of 50.000 photos.

Above all... it's all 100% free. The only "limitation" is that Google reduces photo's to 16MP and movies to 1080p. These are not even limitations... You really don't need a paid solution to store and backup images and movies these days. At least....

How about privacy? What if Google suspends my account? I'm less worried about privacy. I have not one single photo that I need to hide from the outside world (except the ones where I drink beer perhaps). I am more worried about Google suspending my account for some reason. Or what if Google simply disappears at some point? I will then lose all my pictures, movies and memories.

Thinking about this ... maybe it's a good idea to store everything on a local disk somewhere as well... 

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