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iCloud Photo alternative

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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No vintage photo filters applied: this is an untouched original digital photo from 2001. (Lake Garda, Italy, 2001)
No vintage photo filters applied: this is an untouched original digital photo from 2001. (Lake Garda, Italy, 2001)
Ahhh, the sweet taste of freedom: managing my photos using Shotwell on my tablet
Ahhh, the sweet taste of freedom: managing my photos using Shotwell on my tablet
In Apple Photos you can export the unmodified originals
In Apple Photos you can export the unmodified originals
Importing all photos into Shotwell caused my tablet to run a little hot (as it generated new thumbnails) - a problem solved using an rather analogue solution: a ventilator
Importing all photos into Shotwell caused my tablet to run a little hot (as it generated new thumbnails) - a problem solved using an rather analogue solution: a ventilator
In the macOS finder you can setup photo synchronisation using a normal directory on the file system as source - no need for a full fledged iCloud Photo library!
In the macOS finder you can setup photo synchronisation using a normal directory on the file system as source - no need for a full fledged iCloud Photo library!
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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