Flickr As A Photo Backup Part Three, Sync Experiments

I’ve been writing about how I use a free one terabyte limited account on Flickr.com as a handy offsite backup for every digital photo I have taken or scanned in the past twenty years, using a free tool called FlickrSync which I got free from https://flickrsync.codeplex.com/

It’s old but it works. (Check below for links to the previous articles)

My old Flickr.com account is public but disused, but since it’s free I set up a second one a few years ago to backup my digital photos in the cloud as yet another copy just in case.

If you haven’t been reading along: Flickr offers free accounts with ONE TERABYTE of photo storage. So you can share them online. But that’s not required: You can leave some or all of the folders or individual photos private.

Here’s some things about that process I have discovered or had to test out so I could feel comfortable with its behavior.

TIP: YOU CAN EDIT THE FOLDER NAME IN the upload tool BEFORE you upload instead of after. Then you don’t have to go online to annotate right away, and presumably the tool will remember this setting for future additions to the same folder. (Strangely I do this the other way round because that’s how I started, but also because it forces me to review the upload (for accuracy etc.) and organize it immediately while it’s still fresh.)

creative uploads flickr photo backup online storage

Yes, you can rename folders inside Flickr after you upload and it seems to track that it was started with a differently named folder. This is useful in a case like this: I only wanted to upload a subfolder of say “2016_12 EVENT” called “EDITED”, and it displays as a folder tree in the app, but it uploaded as “EDITED” which I expected. The sync tool (and Flickr, really) doesn’t care about any folder hierarchy, just the folder it’s doing. So then I added the date and event value in Flickr for easier recognition and sorting. It did not pop back up in FlickrSync after this since the photos didn’t change.

CAVEAT: Now that I have renamed the folder, the sync tool wants to see it as a NEW folder and add the photos in it as new uploads. Because you can put copies of photos or files with the same name in Flickr, it’s clearly looking at the folder name first then the files in each folder.

Anyway, to complicate things I recently moved to a Network Attached Storage device (think a monitor-less computer that is generally giant hard drive storage with some service apps) which I have mapped to a different drive letter on my computer. It recognized the photos and folders when I started syncing from it, though I tried to do a clean changeover, that is I didn’t combine selections from both drives.

Future uploads, previously from assorted computers, can now be done from the same universal storage location thanks to my giant storage NAS. But really that’s not a backup. It’s a convenient media dump. If it crashed I would lose so many things, if there weren’t copies strewn around. Make copies!

So if I synced a folder in the same location on the folder tree and named the same on my local computer, and then select it with the sync tool from the mapped NAS drive, it is under a couple extra folder names . For example, if
DriveLetterA:\1pix\2016\2016-06\ is originally mapped to
DriveLetterB:\1photos\mine\2016\2016-06
but the sync tool still recognizes there is nothing to do.

What if there is a folder with the same name in a different place?
DriveLetterA:\1photos\mine\2015\flashy
DriveLetterB:\1photos\mine\2016\flashy

creative uploads flickr photo backup online storage

Well, if the photos are named the same in this same-named folder, the app says “Nothing to do.” If you have changed the name of the photos, OR if the folder is a duplicate name but the photos are not (say in a different number range) it will want to sync it.

If the photo SHARES a name but it in fact a different photo (probably based on size) IT WILL STILL WANT TO SYNC IT! Which is great news if your photo ID number loops around or you like to reset it on shoots.

(I tested this by copying a photo over and renaming it with one of the existing photo names in a name-duplicate folder — mind you this a fresh folder that hasn’t been uploaded. You want to find out if you rename a copied over photo to the same name as one you have already uploaded in the same folder, well, you go figure that out. Clearly you are curious. Give in!)

—– David

P.S. Check out my other blogs in this series here:

Flickr As A Photo Backup Part One, Get Started
Flickr As A Photo Backup Part Two, Select and Organize
Flickr Backup Part Three. Sync Experiments (this one)

P.P.S. Click here to get Lastpass for free (or the paid version, I don’t care) and start thinking about more secure passwords without losing the convenience of knowing what they are! Or check out a podcast like TekThing and see what other ones they have experimented with.

Flickr As A Photo Backup Part Three, Sync Experiments was originally published on Creative Uploads

Flickr As A Photo Backup Part Two, Select and Organize

On the last episode of Creative Uploads

To backup my photos online in an efficient way I use an app called FlickrSync which I got free from https://flickrsync.codeplex.com/

Flickr offers free accounts with ONE TERABYTE of photo storage. And this then makes it easy to share your photos online.

As I said, I set the upload tool defaults to set all uploaded albums and photos to private. After they are up there, I could change settings for them by folder or by photo, but I don’t feel the need to advertise the address so I haven’t yet. Someday I will leverage the rating system so find forgotten gems I forgot to share or need to use in something.

creative uploads minimize maximize flickr photo backup online storage

In the upper right on windows (left on Mac) of any window are icons to minimize, maximize and close that window

The program likes to run full screen: I toggle the size to a window using the controls in the upper left. The icons on the right are the folders available, and if you double-click them it opens that very folder ON FLICKR! So you can see what’s up there already.

Once you have selected your folders, you click the Sync menu item, then “View and Sync All” and it opens up a preview window with the files it wants to upload. In my case I usually see NEW or REPLACE (sometimes I edit inline — this can be just because I changed the rotation on a photo locally.) under the thumbnails.

Confirm the choices by clicking sync and it will do it, or Cancel to edit them.

creative uploads flickr photo backup online storage

It will sync and while it takes a while, there is a progress bar on the bottom and thumbnails get checked off as you go. You don’t have to babysit it. it will get back to you when done with messages that it is successful or not. If not, you can run the sync again — all your selections are still selected, this is very handy if you just had a network issue.

I’ll leave it to you to figure out how to manage the files once on Flickr, I sort by date so I lead with the year and month and maybe location as I take them. In Flickr I then create COLLECTIONS by year and add the relevant ALBUMS (created by the sync) to them. (There are Galleries as well but they only hold about 50 photos.)

creative uploads flickr photo backup online storage

Collections do not have this limit. You can also customize a Mosaic icon for collections with 12 images, making it pretty easy to find things visually. Oh, that’s the year we went there; saw that….

I do have Flickr installed on my Android phone and iPad, so those photos are also uploaded automatically, even before I copy them to my computer (for editing easier browsing and to keep them all together (before copying to my main local storage for convenient access and viewing). If you do that you can probably skip syncing that folder in the steps above, but I like to manage that part on Flickr.

Apparently I have 116,044 photos online now, using 52.5% of my free terabyte of storage. Now that Verizon is buying Yahoo, I don’t know if that will change, but since they are all about getting you to use data (to upload and download and share) I am not worried. In any case, it’s free for now and my photos are safer because I have a backup. Will worry about changes when they happen.

Their home page is here: Flickr.com. One terabyte, safe in the cloud and password-protected.* Free.

This exploration will be continued in my next post, where we test the system and experiment to make sure it uploads what we expect and lesaves no photograph behind. Please bookmark, subscribe or follow me to tag along! Thanks!

—– David

P.S. Check out my other blogs on this here: (full links to come after the posts do)

Flickr As A Photo Backup Part One, Get Started
Flickr As A Photo Backup Part Two, Select and Organize
 (this one)
Flickr As A Photo Backup Part Three, Sync Experiments (coming soon!)

* Yes, Yahoo had a massive data breach a few years ago they didn’t reveal for a while. So have some other sites that still haven’t , you can be sure. We don’t actually know if the hackers shared the data, just that it wasn’t secure. Best practice for us means use a strong password and change it often.

Keep ahead of that by using a password manager. I finally got comfortable with Lastpass which is free (not a trial) and can be had by clicking here. A few handy but not critical premium features can be had for a buck a month. I’m cheap and even I pay for them (like, you can share a folder of selected logins to other users –even free accounts.) My post on Lastpass is here if you want a simple overview.

Flickr As A Photo Backup Part Two, Select and Organize was originally published on Creative Uploads

Flickr As A Photo Backup Part One, Get Started

Get your ducks in a row and back up your photos, at least one copy, somewhere sort of safe! Start today for free!

I have an old Flickr.com account that I haven’t used in a while, but a few years ago I set up a second one I keep private just as a backup of pretty much every photo I shoot. It’s not my only backup, but it is offsite, spacious and free. Why wouldn’t I do it? Well, if it took a lot of time, right? Here’s how I do it so it doesn’t take a lot of time.

First: Flickr offers free accounts with ONE TERABYTE of photo storage. And this then makes it easy to share your photos online. But they don’t require that and there are some good privacy settings. Although Yahoo has has some leaking password issues, so use a good password and change it every so often. Good advice for everywhere.

SIDENOTE: My post on the free Lastpass password management tool.
It’s free, or for a buck a month you get some nice additional features.
Just click here to get it and decide for yourself.

Now back to Flickr: to backup my folders in an efficient way I use an app called FlickrSync which I got free from https://flickrsync.codeplex.com/ and though it hasn’t been updated in a while but still works.

creative uploads flickr photo backup online storage
I set the DEFAULT for the FlickrSync app to add them privately; I don’t want to have to change it every time or forget to change it; I do try to confirm that every time. Also I have it set to never delete images. If I create a duplicate in a different folder or with a rename, I can catch it on Flickr later — I don’t want to automatically delete things without human intervention. I would rather have a second copy than none at all.

Only one user on the account; that’s me. Maybe I will share with my wife someday, but she can see them when we are at home and doesn’t look for a five-year-old photo on her phone during a discussion just to punctuate a discussion. She’s a fine, patient woman.

One of the things I like is when I have synced, I just close it, and when I reopen it it remembers what I had checked the the last time, so I can pick up where I left off, a week or months later.

If I resync a folder that has pictures, it will add any new ones and not worry about the others (probably takes a little longer comparing, so I do uncheck them as I go if there is not going to be anything new in them.) Since I sort by months that’s pretty straightforward.

creative uploads flickr photo backup online storage

I do have a 2016phone folder though, where I have offloaded all my phone pictures, sometimes it’s broken into folders of a few months at a time: that one I leave checked through the year and it keeps it up to date.

Occasionally there are errors or photos it doesn’t want to upload. I retry, and sometimes that works. Other times I discover the files are huge and I don’t want to upload them. (Often I will create a quick JPG of these just to have some version of the backup in place, that’s the point after all.)

For these problem files you can temporarily move them from the folder and back or rename the extension. I have also had luck trying the Flickr embedded web uploader for the tricky one and then the rest of the folder can be uploaded since it skips the existing image. But sometimes Flickr just doesn’t like the file.

I’ll continue this FlickrSync backup discussion in future posts, where I’ll detail my process and do some experimenting, which I like to do with complicated things to improve my understanding and confidence in what I am working with.

Please bookmark, subscribe or follow me to tag along! Thanks!

—– David

P.S. My loose candid photos usually end up on my megawatson.tumblr.com page, alongside observations, comments and other amusements. Back when I had a LG flip phone and was a stay-at-home dad, I briefly fed a Flickr page, but also the late, lamented PicasaWeb, even before Google bought it. It’s been folded into Google Photos, with some better features but poorer ability to organize and manage, in my opinion. I put an event on Flickr a while ago to share with the organizers and participants, but I haven’t made time to curate a feed for it, and don’t want to simply duplicate the same stuff everywhere. Tumblr tends to be the big feed for user convenience, but even that doesn’t currently get all these Creative Upload posts.

P.P.S. Check out my other blogs on this here: (links to come after the posts do!)

Flickr As A Photo Backup Part One, Get Started (this one)

Flickr As A Photo Backup Part One, Get Started was originally published on Creative Uploads

I Need More Storage Space

Been off filming a dance recital and ingesting the digital files. I usually film two shows and combine the best numbers in each. This gives me inspirational luck the first time through, and familiarity with dances the next. Plus when someone misses their mark or just plain doesn’t show up for a night I have it covered.

This time I shot part of the third show too, by studio request, since there was a special one-time-only guest for it.

Doing two different nights takes a little more time shooting, but I only do a quick multi-camera edit before deciding which numbers to polish, and even that gets me more familiar with the dances and appropriate pace and style presumably speeding my subsequent edit process. Also it’s fun.

So far it’s been a three-camera shoot but this time I upped it to four for just because I could, all different models for later frustration. (Had a second cameraman for a change but only on one camera.) This let me experiment with shooting event video with a Canon Rebel (wide shots) without the fear I had no backup angle. Also I put my Go Pro up in the air on my tall mic boom pole. I like the aerial but think I prefer my usual front stage floor level shot, because it made the young dancers seem more dramatic and imposing. It will be great for the more fluid lyrical numbers though. I’ll see in the edit. I have a wide angle shot like it used to provide but at a higher, less dramatic angle.

We’ll discuss camera details another time, and I also shot some video comparisons via phone, iPad and my Canon during rehearsal for a quality comparison post.

But in the meantime I have over 500 gigabytes of raw files between the many cameras and audio recorder plugged into the sound board.

It all still fits on my system but I need to decide how to backup my projects when done to make room for more, instead of continually adding larger drives to my system, right?

I was torn between buying plain drives as backup, or drives in enclosures because it seems to me that the cheap deals you want to get are not always the most reliable choices. When both the drive and the enclosure can fail, that’s not good. Besides you don’t know which it is until you try to pull the drive out to test separately. So I think I should go with raw drives, plugged into a SATA bay in my computer for the transfer, or connected via a handy SATA/IDE to USB adapter I picked up ages ago for computer support work. They should also take less space to store than my current box of different branded external drives and their various power supplies and cases.

(Vantec made it, like this one: //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=megawatson-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00GRNUKOK&asins=B00GRNUKOK&linkId=bd7efc61a2bbc98ae470b20943eeb5eb&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true
http://amzn.to/29AwX0v which is USB 3 and may in fact work for some less strenuous editing projects (maybe not four cameras), though I am still using the USB 2 version http://amzn.to/29gbCeI)

But I don’t want to edit on them, I will do that first in a folder named for the year, month, date and event, with subfolders by which (Friday, Saturday etc.), and in those folders by device (camera, audio).

Those are the assets I import into Adobe Premiere, in a project set to the same folder, with the project file saved under the top directory.

Back that project file up to another computer often. And expand your automatic project saves count. Be aware that you will want to use the file with the last date created to recover your project from these auto saves should you need to, not necessarily the incremental number.

I have had good luck with Western Digital drives but everyone has a favorite lucky flavor. I used to love Seagate but had poor luck with their hybrid SSD/HDD throwing out black errors and don’t like that.

You don’t want to use SSD drives for long-term offline storage; they are built for speed but when not active they do not hold data as long as magnetic disc drives according to several studies. So put them in your system, not your storage closet.

But get some drives, and you can easily back up your complete project folders, prep a project and hand it to an editor or collaborator, or just make room on your editing system for the next big thing, or video game or music library….

While you’re at it, maybe throw some important documents on one and store it with a trusted friend or family member. Trade it  with a second regularly. It doesn’t take a lot of time once you make a habit of it. Like multi camera shoots.

— David

P.S. That document backup habit, you can do that with a couple of flash drives if your documents all fit on them.

I Need More Storage Space was originally published on Creative Uploads