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Free alternative to Google Photos

Using offline photo library management software

Aug. 31, 2020 -

After encountering the umpteenth ‘magic’ bug while managing my iPhone’s photos, I was done with it. Apple came a long way since it launched iPhoto (the predecessor of iCloud Photos). But for something as valuable as my personal memories, I want to be in full control. Read along to learn how I migrated my photo library away from the iCloud, using free, open source software.

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Yesteryear’s memory cards - note that they are sized in MB, as in mega, not gigabyte!
Yesteryear’s memory cards - note that they are sized in MB, as in mega, not gigabyte!
Happy together: Using the native iOS Photo app to browse through my entire photo collection managed with Shotwell
Happy together: Using the native iOS Photo app to browse through my entire photo collection managed with Shotwell
I used sequential filenames with a manually set prefix
I used sequential filenames with a manually set prefix
Importing new photos from my camera is easy - very much like the Apple iPhoto ad from 2002!
Importing new photos from my camera is easy - very much like the Apple iPhoto ad from 2002!
Batch converting HEIC image files to JPG using a VPS with a ton of CPU power
Batch converting HEIC image files to JPG using a VPS with a ton of CPU power
My first Mac in 2006: a G4 Mac Mini with 1GB RAM running OS X Tiger
My first Mac in 2006: a G4 Mac Mini with 1GB RAM running OS X Tiger

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