I run this on a cronjob and it adds all my photos to a timeline in conjunction with my tweets and Facebook posts. It's got a few rough edges but should (mostly) work as advertised.
I would love to have help maintaining it, especially now given this announcement (because Timeliner does not require Google Drive).
One major limitation with the Google Photos API is that it's impossible to get the location data from the photos through it. Timeliner tries to compensate for this by allowing you to import your Google Location History, but this is not ideal either. Edited to add (since there are a lot of the same question in the replies): no, the EXIF metadata does not contain the location because Google Photos API strips it out (it leaves most other metadata intact).
I just saw the EXIM detail which is kind of a dealbreaker, in conjunction with the fact that google photos is yet another API they will probably keep messing with and changing in the future, and I instead upgraded my Dropbox account to 2TB (which wasn't really an option when I first started with google photos) and am using Autosync https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ttxapps.dr... to push my photos out as is (Dropbox's photo sync wants to rename the photos for no good reason). Just pushing out the raw data from the phone directly where I can grab it on my synology on the backend seems like the best approach. But it's only been about 45 minutes and there's plenty of time for something to blow up, maybe I'll be back.
Isn't this embedded with the photo itself, the EXIF data? Or is that what the Google API strips out of the photo?
Also: Thanks for the link to timeliner, looks useful.
Looks like you don't support iCloud, not surprised I'm sure there's no public API and their API would be quite fragile and hostile to use.
I do use google photos on my phone, so everything syncs from iCloud -> Google Photos anyway.
I can take a picture on any device, or copy in a picture or video, or import from my camera SD card on any device, and within a few minutes I have at least 2 backup copies available.
I just wish Nikon, Canon, Sony, or anyone really would be able to integrate a DSLR/mirrorless camera into Dropbox or iCloud Photos so I could take out the manual import process :P
Given that eyefi exists, this is mostly a client-side software issue. We already have the technology, which is awesome.
This announcement breaks that and destroys the easiest option for downloading all photos from Google.
There is also Perkeep which is very interesting as well. https://perkeep.org/
Shouldn't jpegs have this data if geoloc was on at the time of shooting ? Am I right in understanding that you imply that this meta-data is somehow disconnected from the file on Google Photos ?
This is awwwwwwesome!!!
I was just the other night telling somebody I wish I had something like this.
Another feature (do you know anything that does this, or if it could be done in timeliner?) is if it could republish my photos to Facebook if it got them from Google Photos, and vice-versa?
This is indeed extremely sad.
I’m writing from an iPhone/Ubuntu perspective.
There's a setting:
"Remove geo location in items shared by link
Affects items shared by link but not by other means"
Edit: I just tried it, I downloaded a photo and double checked, EXIF location data was included.
That should make all the sponsors happy, right?
Joking aside, looks like a good project.
Sucks that EXIF is stripped upon being uploaded into Google.
I think I have enough backups.
Only alternative I can figure is to scrape the actual Google Photos web app.
All photos still exist in the cloud, backed up on a hard drive. Multiple copies are unlikely to fail at the same time.
a- the difference between Google Photos and Google Drive.
b- the difference between Google Photos and the folder titled "Google Photos" in Google Drive.
c- whether I'll be able to backup/restore the pictures from my Android phone to Google Drive.
d- whether this affects me at all.
Color me confused. And if I am confused, I cannot imagine what regular users will think of this.
> a- the difference between Google Photos and Google Drive
One is an photo all with storage. The other is a storage service that can also hold photos.
>b- the difference between Google Photos and the folder titled "Google Photos" in Google Drive.
The later was a way to access the photos stored in Google Photos through a filesystem.
>c- whether I'll be able to backup/restore the pictures from my Android phone to Google Drive.
I think you back them up to Google Photos.
>d- whether this affects me at all.
It does if you relied on access to your photos through a gdrive-synced directory on your computer.
Thanks to this integration, I can just run leave the Google Drive desktop sync client running and have a local backup of all my photos.
From the G release, "These changes will let you easily choose where photos and videos are stored across products." I want 1 product, one place for all my stuff. Isn't that what Google One (https://one.google.com) was supposed to be? From their promo copy "Your storage includes Drive, Gmail, and original quality images in Google Photos."
Nothing (except maybe Dropbox) passed this test. This was ~ 5 years ago.
Another commenter  pointed out that there's a separate announcement for non-business users: https://www.blog.google/products/photos/simplifying-google-p...
What do you mean you don't understand these? You spent no time thinking about them? You have never used this sync feature? (Your mention of Google Photos folder makes me assume otherwise.)
I'm trying to understand what kind of internal/mental model of these concepts you had when you said you don't understand it.
Mostly because these seem trivial, but naturally these are still pretty complex features (if someone wants to program/specify/test/verify/replicate them).
So, I feel I understand them, but just because I have a very-very basic guess of how this might have been implemented. (Which is basically how I think I would have implemented it.)
So here's a little history of my usage:
Once upon a time, I used Picasa. Can't remember if it was a separate product that Google bought or if it was always Google's. I stored pictures from my vacations there.
Then Picasa ceased to exist. I believe Google automigrated all the pictures to... Google Photo? Or whatever it was called.
Fast forward till recently, and I got an email warning that Google Photo was about to be end-of-life'd. Soonish. I wasn't sure if I had to do something about it. I followed some unclear tutorial by Google, and I think that created the "Google Photos" folder. I'm not sure. I'm also not sure if what I did was enough to backup my photos. I hope so!
Then I got my phone stolen! I thought I had lost all the pictures on my phone, some of them with sentimental value (I know, I know... backups!) Then I was surprised to find Google had automatically backed them up to... Google Photo? Google Drive? I'm not sure. I do know they are not easy to navigate now. I don't remember asking my Android phone to sync my pictures, either. Maybe I did. Who knows?
Nothing about this seems intuitive or trivial to me. I know if I put more effort into this I could understand it, but I honestly don't think I should have to. And I don't think regular non-tech users will find it understandable even if they read the documentation and tutorials.
Google themselves seem to understand it's not exactly clear, which is why they say "some users are confused by [...]".
Of course I think it's absolutely a mess. (Reading Google documentation is probably the most important thing NOT to do, it just confuses people while generally being completely unhelpful and less than useless.) And this is because Google is a master of failed communication. They just so suck at it, I don't know how can they consistently be so bad at it.
Anyway, the products and the concepts and the engineering and the flow is mind-boggingly simple.
Picasa evolved to Google Photos. The desktop client vanished. There's a Google Photos app, default on [all? most?] Android phones. And it has a backup/sync function, so if you connect your Google account it syncs photos to Google Photos. (This can be disabled, and there are probably countless apps that can/do backup to Google Drive though!)
Google Drive is completely separate, except they added an optional feature pseudo-folder. Which was bound to confuse people. Because [I guess] they exposed the underlying "files" from Google Photos. (Of course they are just blobs on a blobstore and tables in a DB.) So they connected that API/DB from Gphoto to Gdrive, and made it look like files. Which is stupid, because the semantics was never defined/cleared for users who are not somehow imaginary-systems engineers.
I don't feel like this is a solution that adequately addresses user confusion, but rather arbitrarily introduces it.
This is a good change. There is no reason to sync them to Drive if Photos's underlying storage is not Drive in the first place, which it sounds like it is not.
That won't sync? I thought just photos on Drive wouldn't sync.
Really hope they give users a proper heads up and opt out button like "hey your photos are about to be duplicated do you want to keep the old copies?"
edit: "If you use Backup & Sync to upload photos and videos to Drive and Photos, it will upload a copy to each service, but it will not take up duplicate storage." I assume this applies here too
(Disclosure: I work for Google, but commenting here isn't my job)
Last part that's unclear, my Pixel auto uploads to Google Photos -- is that changing? (does anyone know?)
> You’ll still be able to use Backup and Sync on Windows or macOS to upload to both services
Wait, I'm confused. The only way I could find to do this before was to enable dumping my photos to Drive and then allow 'Backup and Sync' to sync that folder. I must be missing something.
I setup a Syncthing app on my phone and aimed it at my photos folder on my device. Once I connected it to the syncthing on my computer, it p2p securely syncs them over the internet, resulting in the same magic effect.
My old alternate to that is Onedrive which has a Camera Upload feature in its app that uploads your photos to a Photos folder in your onedrive which you can have synced to a local folder on your computer.
Same result either way, one is p2p and Open Source, the other is proprietary.
Unfortunately besides millions of lines of continuous
log_decorator.pyo:137 Entering in DoesAutoLaunch().
log_decorator.pyo:137 Returning from DoesAutoLaunch().
there is nothing indicating why the batch process starts and immediately quits and then restarts again.
At least I can delete the 240MB log file now while I search for another service that lets me backup my 75GBs of photos and displays them neatly on an iPad/iPhone.
I went ahead and wrote a simple app that reads iCloud metadata and uploads directly to Google Photos API. It synced everything in a day.
I dont understand how did they manage to mess this up so bad.
Instead, after reading the article, I am just confused. I have no idea which photos are on drive and which are on photos - are they going to count double towards my used storage?
Regardless, I'm happy to have all my photos backed up elsewhere. And maybe this is the last piece of motivation I need to finish setting up a self-hosted cloud - storage is certainly cheap enough.
As far as the change, I can't imagine it will suddenly start counting against your quota. They're just stopping the behavior of syncing between the two folders.
I'm already planning to get off ChromeOS (unscrew the write protect screw!) and Google services, but this takes it one point further.
If they remove this option, they should better integrate Google Photos with Chromebooks. Chromebooks have somewhat buggy Drive integration, but it's there. Android at least have it better, because if you can select files from Drive, you can do the same with Photos. GMail finally has proper integration with it.
I also used the integration to move some photos to Photos, because it is was easy on a Chromebook.
With current resource hungry GMail, Maps and Photos low end Chromebooks are almost unbearable. And that was supposed to be their niche.
there is no way to download all your photos once they are "backed up" to google.
if they called it "transfer to google" that would be fine, but using the terminology "back up" which implies an ability to "restore" is a class-action in the waiting. the app actively deletes the photos from your phone, puts them into their cloud app, and then you are forced to interface with the cloud app to actually do anything with them.
i have years of my life "backed up" into google photos and no way to download them to a computer for printing, editing, sorting, etc, except one by one!
the only pseudo-official way to get all of them was via drive, and it already fails for large collections (i haven't read why they are discontinuing it but maybe something related).
are you kidding me? thanks google.
without even looking at this article and post if have been migrating off google to iOS. i have over 13,000 photos and videos in google photos that i tried to "take out" this weekend and move over to icloud:
-the take out process gave me 3 zip files with total size of 108gb when only 80gb are actual images/videos. there is essentially 2x .json files for each picture that google adds their own data to
-the takeout process absolutely breaks live photos. the 3MB originals become 200K stills.
- the take out process creates .mov files which are not importable into photos/iclouds
- the take out process creates .jpg files which are not importable into photos/iclouds, they're full size pictures but the only .jpg that works is a duplicate at fraction of original size.
- out of over 13K "take out" files i was only able to import a little over 11K, what happened to the 2K images i have no idea, i don't even know how to parse through them, with all of the extra.json files all over the place it's an effing mess.
i tried also downloading directly from photos apps. after it "creating a zip" archive for me about 6x in 8 hours and constantly failing i did notice that my browser tried to download over 60 individual 2gb zip files, a complete mess that never did work out.
i finally got the back up & sync option working (the one that's actually going away) and was able to sync, overnight, all 13K images and videos to my desktop. there are no extra json files and all live photos seem to be exactly as they were.
tonight i'll be deleting the 11K photos from icloud and re-importing the clean 13K files i downloaded through backup&sync last night, I hope it goes much smoother.
i think this is intentional lock-in by google, as long as you use the google photos app on ios it shows you all images just fine, along with live photos, but what you forget is that you no longer own these photos, not in bulk anyways. as soon as you try to take them out you get crippled versions on there and you see the level of privacy invasion that google take your photos to (by adding their own tag data through .json files).
if you have a lot of images invested in google but are not on the android platform really do consider getting out now.
After July 10, 2019 it seems like https://photos.google.com/apps and https://takeout.google.com/settings/takeout might be the only options.
I've had an ongoing support ticket with Google One for the last six weeks about syncing. The entire process is just broken.
I have a normal-ish workflow; take photos with my camera, process on my MBP and export to a folder that Google Backup and Sync is meant to sync with Photos.
What actually happens is some files sync and others don't, GBaS then informs me "15 files couldn't be added to Photos, they are in your Google Drive taking up 45mb" and gives me a list of files. No info on what went wrong, no error, no clue. Then I'm left to manually pick up what's left. But the problem isn't with 'my' stuff, I send the photos to Google and they're meant to organise them. That all works, the problem lies between Photos and Drive.
It's frustrating because individually, both are fine. I'd go as far to say as Photos is great. But give me a tool dedicated to photos please Google.
> Currently, G Suite users can choose to sync Photos to Drive. This means that when they upload a file to Photos, it’s automatically uploaded to the Google Photos folder in Drive. Once these changes go into effect, this folder will stop receiving updates. It won’t go away; it will just stop syncing with Photos.
How does this solution solve the problem stated above!? Have they done any actual user research on this? Surely there is a better UX to solve for this rather than just totally severing the connection between Photos and Drive. I am glad to hear that my photos won't be lost in this.
I'm sure a vast majority of Google Photos users are mobile only, and so this change will be more or less invisible. But, jeez. You'd think this whole issue could be resolved with a single helpful tooltip...
This is absolutely ridiculous, I feel that they should have just continued the idea that photos is a view layer on top of storage. Now I guess I'll just have to give them more money for more storage now that all my photos will double count towards my quota if I choose to use both services.
> If you use Backup & Sync to upload photos and videos to Drive and Photos, it will upload a copy to each service, but it will not take up duplicate storage.
Android to Google Drive to Desktop photo sync was one of the few things that actually worked perfectly, which I set up for family members. Now I have to explain to them why their expensive phone, laptop and desktop can't fucking copy a picture from one to the other. But I'm sure there's some shitty, intolerable Fischer-Price web UI in which you can't do jack.
This feels pretty gross to me. I can understand them wanting to make the separation clearer, but they should have had a sync solution in place first.
I guess it was nice while it worked, but this is another nail in my Google account coffin.
Is this a pivot to leverage photos for ecosystem lock-in?
I guess I'll have to migrate them to some other scheme...
is a command-line tool (in Python) that downloads (incrementally) your Google Photos content directly using the Photos API, not through Drive. I just set it up recently.
The two main caveats are the lack of location info and that it won't re-download photos that have been edited.
As far as I can tell there's no option which can replace the Google Drive + Google Photos functionality they are deprecating here.
Google Photos API bug report (not that it'll do anything): https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/80379228
I use this daily. I am a big fan of Google Photos currently but that may quickly change if this is implemented. I currently use rclone on Linux to backup my Google Photos. It is great and I can modify or delete my photos from any device within Google Photos and then have the changes synced to my desktop and backup service. What you are doing will make it a lot more difficult to backup my pictures or keep a copy saved locally.
I initially resisted when they changed their pricing scheme and set up my own "self hosted" solution. After about 5 months of this I decided I missed Flickr and that it was worth the 60$ a year or whatever(I honestly don't know).
Not affiliated in any way but I do hope they get more customers and stick around, it's a good service.
The combination they're deprecating is not offered anywhere else.
Long answer: https://medium.com/swlh/my-automated-photo-workflow-using-go...
I have my NAS mounted to my MacBook where I process photos and transfer them to my NAS, the Flickr auto uploadr puts them up on Flickr. I wish this would be possible from my NAS which may be something I am missing.
I suppose you lose the ability to go from Phone -> GPhotos -> Gdrive -> NAS. I'll check out the medium post when I'm home though.
I may be one of the only people on Earth who miss Allo. I started using it with one of my friends when our SMSs kept dropping and we both got addicted to the ability to google things inline and both see the same results. Really added something to the conversation. We also sent a lot of pictures (1000+) so maybe we contributed to it getting shut down.
I expect MS and Sony to eat Google's lunch on Stadia, but we'll see. If it's successful it would be amazing for the linux gaming community, since all games on it would have Vulkan support at some level. I wonder what will happen to the games people bought if it gets shut down.
At this point everything (files & photos, calendar, contacts) but my email (which is with FastMail) is self hosted or backed up on my NAS (and consequently, the cloud storage backup). Home automation is also all done through Home Assistant and local Z-Wave devices (I used SmartThings way back when, but switched to HA).
Though it's not easy enough for non-tech-literate people to do, I think it's close. Maybe a hosted NextCloud instance + auto backups would be good enough for most people.
This change makes sense to me because it mirrors what I do on my computer, but it seems like a step back from the idea that mobile and desktop/laptop paradigms are supposed to be merging. It seems like that’s what they were trying to do, but it was too confusing so they changed it.
I finally got my home backup system setup to my liking, and it's super simple and requires little to no effort on upkeep:
1. Google Photos synced to Google Drive.
2. Google Backup & Sync installed on the computer.
3. Backblaze Personal Backup software installed on the computer.
Every time I take a picture, edit a document, etc., it's automatically and effortlessly synced to Backblaze.
I had a Linux Box with Restic installed, but required more effort than I wanted to put in.
Now I'm going to have to rethink how I backup my 40k+ photos.
What I'm doing at the moment is I use foldersync on all my devices, basically mine and my wife's mobile phones.
But I sync the photos onto gdrive. It's only later that I discovered photos automatically looks through your gdrive and shows you your timeline and does fancy, spooky face recognition.
Which is working at the moment, but will this flow be affected? Sounds like maybe not as they are talking about some sort of separate photos storage that goes to gdrive, not the other way.
I store every photo and video I’ve ever taken [hundreds of GBs, first photos are from my teens in high school circa 1997] in Apple Photos; highly recommend it. Yes, you pay a bit for the storage. Yes, it’s a closed ecosystem. Yes, I also backup my originals to Backblaze. But deprecation, ever, is highly unlikely while the UX is top notch. More good things coming for photos in iOS 13!
Because Drive integration for Photos allowed me to do exactly that. Last I checked iCloud will lock down all my photos onto a platform that's not even accessible on Linux.
I have iCloud Photos and pay for it, but I want to make sure I have a local backup too so I use NextCloud to sync to my NAS (which is running a NextCloud instance). You could also use the Plex app, or there's things like Resilio Sync that can auto-upload photos.
I'm not aware of an open source solution for auto-upload other than NextCloud (and possibly OwnCloud, but I don't use it), but I wouldn't be surprised if there was one somewhere or an app that did auto-backup to SMB/CIFS/WevDAV/whatever
“Lock down” is hyperbole. You can mount Apple filesystems (including the one storing your photo library) from a Linux workstation or server over the network.
I admit that if you’re looking for an open API for photo management, iCloud is not for you. But it works for most people.
I share my Apple Photo albums with android users without issue. I hope this was helpful despite your snark. I’m just trying to help.
Most people’s time is worth paying for something that just works.
Occasionally a drive will fail and need to be replaced, or a photo will disappear or be corrupted by gnomes, but I don't mind tinkering with it.
My wife, on the other hand, is an iCloud devotee, and has almost 200GB of photos backed up to iCloud. Pretty much every photo she's taken on every one of her iDevices since the iPhone launched. It has never lost a photo. It automatically tags everything. It automatically syncs to her computer and iPad. She can access it from anywhere.
If there was a sane way for me to import and manage 30TB of raw photos in iPhoto, I might follow her lead.
The worst part is that Google Photos is a dead end. Like put photos into a hole which you can only edit with Google internal tools. Not ideal for all creators and more professional photographers although I'm a big fan of Google Photos.
The Google Drive sync they're deprecating today is what made Google Photos not a 'dead end'. I've been using it for 3 years and am really bummed that this means I'll have to give up using both Drive and Photos.
Google Photos is terrible. Bad UI. Bad organization. Slow. And useless for videos.
Really happy with it so far. Simplest way I've found to be able to get my photos and other stuff synced between multiple devices + family and friends (through shared albums)
If you have more time than money, look for an open source alternative.
If you have more money than time, iCloud is the answer.
For family plans, Google/Apple both run 30 bucks/year for 200 GB shared by up to 6 people.
Comparable MS is 100/year for 6x1 TB, with Office thrown in.
(Just spent a few minutes looking this up earlier today. Have all three free tiers, use MS most.)
You're not gaining much in functionality with iCloud than you would with just paying for Google Drive now that they've made this change.
- all Google stuff backed up
- replacement/self service path identified
- explain to friends and family over past year or two
- libre phone
50% - Non internet regular digital camera (older)