My wife and I are taking more photos these days, and like most people, we now need a "photo storage strategy" - a solution for managing all of the digital photos we take. We have a couple of thousand old photos, and new photos coming in via our iPhones and our digital camera.
Our criteria for the system were:
- Easy-to-use photo management software for the wife.
- Large storage capacity (the 60GB on the Macbook Air was filling up fast).
- Cloud backup.
The solution we came up with was:
- iPhoto. Wife was already using it.
- 1TB external USB drive that we already have.
- CrashPlan $6/mo cloud backup.
We considered various alternatives.
- Alternatives to iPhoto: Picasa. But people say it's not so easy to use. Plus my wife already knows iPhoto, although she finds the photo-book functionality annoying to use. I told her to just use albums instead of photo-books.
- Local Storage: For network drives like Synology ($500) or Zyxel ($250) I'd rather not pay. A nice thing about the Synology is that you can do headless backups (no computer required) - I'm not sure about the Zyxel. There's also the WD MyCloud ($150) but it has terrible reviews.
- Cloud Backup: Google Drive and Dropbox don't seem to work well with external USB drives. MS OneDrive says that they do work with external USB drives, but I don't trust it, given that Google Drive doesn't. So I'm left with CrashPlan and BackBlaze, which are pretty much on par with each other.
One cool thing I discovered about iPhoto is that when I sync our iPhones and camera with it over USB, it figures out which photos have already been imported, so it imports only the new ones. Nice!