Having been burned once by Adobe Photoshop Elements last decade, I'm extremely wary of trusting any tool over simply organizing photos into folders on my computer.
With Elements, I tagged so many pictures only to discover none of that information could be exported. With iPhoto, I came trusting it only to have the mess that is Apple Photos come along.
And I get it. I really do. I keep hearing what you told me, , just trust in the cloud and stop losing my mind trying to organize all this stuff myself. And I'm SO SO SO close to wanting to do that. But...
With my music, I can make playlists and know that those playlists will sync anywhere. If I fire up iTunes and make one, Google Music merrily will read all that and keep Google Music in sync. I also have fairly complete control over how I want to store my original music locally. I can organize the files by artist or album or so on. And I can easily have those files, so that on the off-chance some cloud goes nuts or some company folds or some new fancy DRM comes along, my MP3s are safe.
I want that for my photos. I want to know that I can have all my photos synced to a local drive in addition to being out on Google’s cloud. And I can by letting Google Photos make a folder in Google Drive. BUT sometimes the original file names don’t seem to be preserved. There doesn’t appear to be a way to control the folders so that you could have album specific ones (I do appreciate deeply the chronological format, however). Perhaps most important, Google Drive doesn’t work with external drives. I have 500GB of photos which aren’t going to fit on most typical laptops today. Support external drives!
I deeply appreciate the collections that are getting made. But after having just uploaded those 500GBs of photos and videos, it’s gone kind of mad. Trying to scroll through and find them all is very sluggish on desktop. On tablet, it’s easier but still needs to be improved. I know, now that I’m caught up, it won’t be so bad with so many coming in all at once. On the other hand, I think plenty of people already have many. We need a better collections / albums browsing.
While I appreciate we’re in a mobile first / cloud first world, there are times I’d like to do some batch processes on my desktop, where I have a keyboard, horsepower and lot of screen real estate. The way I’d like to do that is with Apple Photos. Except not, because Apple Photos is only for Apple devices. And Apple Photos wants to insanely download all my photos if I use it to some degree. Hey Apple, even if you’re going to compress my pictures, when I’m working on a 128GB laptop, trying to fill all my storage with ALL photos isn’t on.
Still, I want something like Apple Photos that could talk to Google Photos. I want some photo management app for desktop, a real one. And you know, Google has Picasa. So can’t that be brought into the 2010s finally and catch up to become Google Photos for Desktop. Please? Pretty please, because despite all the auto-organization that’s happening, there are times we still need to do some things ourselves. An app would help.
By the way, I’d so love if you could figure out what a screenshot is. I take a gazillion of them for work reasons. They’re all mixed in with pictures of my family, and it’s just kind of a mess. I suppose I should just ignore them all and focus on the auto-collections you make for me as well as ones I make. But they bug me. I want to put them all in a folder called Screenshots and be done with it. And, that may be what I’ll do — except as mentioned above, I don’t want to do all that organizing, find that Google goes “poof” for some reason and then I’m back to square one if all those screenshots can’t be put into a folder on my local computer in specific way. Hope that makes sense.
Speaking of my family, my wife wants ALL our family photos. And I want all of hers. We want one big family photo thing. But I can’t share a stream of all my pictures. And if I could, I’d be sharing all those screenshots I take. It would be nice if there were some way (and maybe I’m missing it) for families (or anyone) to more easily share large numbers of pictures. That would be especially helpful because if you make one of those great automated collections, she get one with her photos, I get one with mine but we don’t have one with our joint photos.
And speaking of sharing, what is up with the inability to stop sharing things. Perhaps this is a bug, but I have large number of albums that all say they’re shared. There’s no way that I can find to see who they’re shared with or how. Nor is there any option I can see to remove sharing. I think maybe, just maybe, things that were shared within an album on Google+ might be causing this bug. But suffice to say, if you’re going to report that something is shared, you should show how or to whom and provide a way to turn that off.
Back to editing, the faces thing is great. But I take a lot of pictures of TV shows and such to share, so I have all these celebrities staring back at me when I go to do a search. Which is kind of cool, but I’d rather have the most important people I’m after showing first. I’d also like to be able to set the photo used as a thumbnail for these people.
Also, how are we still not able to search through our photos by devices. I was desperate for that feature two years ago. I still am.
I know I’ve rambled on here. I hope it’s somewhat helpful. What I really hope, I suppose more than anything, is that we get a desktop app that can let us manage our photos with some control where we want it and in a way that ensures for us that any organization we do — or even you do — won’t somehow get lost in years to come.
- Marketing Land & Search Engine LandFounding Editor, present
Danny began covering search engines in late 1995, when he undertook a study of how they indexed web pages. The results were published online as "A Webmaster's Guide To Search Engines," a pioneering effort to answer the many questions site designers and Internet publicists had about search engines.
Danny currently works as the founding editor of Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, which cover all aspects of digital marketing, search marketing and search engine news. Danny also serves as chief content officer of Third Door Media, which owns Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, Digital Marketing Depot and the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. Danny also maintains a personal blog called Daggle and writes CNET's Common Sense Tech column.
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