DIY Google-Photos Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by groovetek, Mar 28, 2021.

  1. groovetek

    groovetek Member

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    So with Google Photos unlimited free backup coming to an end, I'm wondering what people are using as a free alternative.

    I have alot of gear at home, so setting up NAS with RAID-0/5 isn't an issue - just the choice of what software/server/apps to use to emulate as much as possible the integrated nature of Google Photos with the phone is something that I'm looking to achieve.

    For example, ability to:
    * Synchronize a photo library with your own photo server
    * Choose which folders to backup from the phone
    * Choose to "remove from device" to free up local space on the phone

    Anyone who has gone down this path - any suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2. macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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  3. davros123

    davros123 Member

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    https://nextcloud.com/

    Take a look at NextCloud - it's a pretty cool DIY "cloud" with sync client and mobile app. (and alot more)
    I use it to auto sync all my photo's.

    ...and please not raid-5...<and no, I do not want to flame war on why it should not be used, just don't>
     
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  4. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    I'm currently using FolderSync Pro on my phone with an ftp server in a virtual machine. This way I can guarantee that files are uploaded, and I can do it when I want, currently when I plug my phone into a charger with wifi connected.

    It won't automatically remove photos and you won't get any google photos functionality, but since you know its backed up you can safely just delete all photos/videos on your phone.

    In terms of an actual google photos alternative, I've tried many of them and they are all terrible, a bloated photo viewer without features is not an alternative, at the very least it needs date organisation/search and EXIF/GPS data display/indexing.

    I've been hoping someone would build something as we get closer to Google Photos unlimited ending, but I haven't heard anything yet.
     
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  5. miicah

    miicah Member

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    Does anything replicate the smarts of google photos though? The ability to just type in "motorcycle" or "camping" and have it pop up 90% of the correct photos is just magic.
     
  6. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    There are a few desktop applications with face recognition, even Google's old school Picasa, but I'm not aware of anything any smarter then that.

    I think a fair compromise is just being able to enter dates or places into search which it can scrape from the EXIF data, but we don't even have that.


    This is why Google Photos was just an evil plan from the start. They used our images to develop their AI model so they have a monopoly on the market, and now not only do they want to become paid, but they are asking an insane amount of money knowing our 8k phone cameras will send us bankrupt paying for storage, and the can increase the price whenever they want because there is no competition.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
  7. miicah

    miicah Member

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    Is $2.50 a month really that expensive? Do you have more than 100gb of photos? I've been on google photos for over 10 years and I'm only just touching 16gb
     
  8. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    Easily more then 100GB.

    Anyone with a modern phone who takes photos/videos on a regular basis is going to easily be 500GB+

    Think of it this way, my S21 Ultra will use 1GB for 1 minute of video, and 50MB per photo at the highest settings. Even at standard 4k 30fps my reason cairns trip was 50GB+

    Its important to remember that while your current phone, or even the current latest technology might be manageable with the current Google Photos plans, future phones will use more space and Google Photos doesn't need to make their plans fit in with your new phone, which means you just pay more and more as time goes on.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    groovetek

    groovetek Member

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    Thanks for all the replies so far, and good to see this isn't something that is totally clear-cut/obvious yet.

    Synology + Photo Station seems to be the way to go. Incidentally I was given a DS411J with 10TB of drives for free last week from a mate, so may roll with that, however as it's a older model, it looks like it won't support DSM7 and the future Synology Photos app.

    So RAID-5 is a no-go? With a 4-bay Synology, what would people then recommend?
     
  10. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    RAID is not backup.

    You have the photos on your phone, and put them on your NAS. There's now two copies. You remove them off your phone. Back to one copy. No backups. One copy, at the mercy of your NAS's points of failure.

    All of this is risk management. How serious are you about the photos? What does it mean to you if they're lost? If there's a local fire or electrical storm or localised water damage or other "NAS destroying" event and your photos are gone, what does that mean to you?

    Beyond that, at multi-TB sizes, RAID5 is really not good enough. Some argue we surpassed the usability of RAID5 a long time ago, and I'd tend to agree. I run a NAS file system that mirrors everything to two separate disks in an array (kinda RAID1, but technically just mirrored transparently), and then I push another copy to cloud backup (BackBlaze specifically). At the very least if the NAS is damaged or destroyed, there's an offsite copy I can recover from.

    Ultimately everything comes down to your own risk-to-cost ratio. For me, RAID5 is off the table due to inherent risks it poses. Mirrored copies locally with a cloud backup are my minimum buy in for anything personal I care about, and all of it regularly checksum-verified.
     
  11. macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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  12. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I'm not a Synology user, but do they offer any sort of client-side encryption for cloud backups (independent to the cloud vendor themselves)?
     
  13. macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    I have no idea.
     
  14. Caffeine

    Caffeine Member

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    I use Synology photo station and moments (which has a mobile app, and automatically backs up photos, and can remove them from the phone to recover space)

    I'm running it all in a VM on my server using xpenology. It's awesome.
     
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  15. OP
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    groovetek

    groovetek Member

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    Massive like re: xpenology. Thanks for the feedback.
     
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  16. Caffeine

    Caffeine Member

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    Yeah I'm very impressed with it. I set it up initially on an old PC I had lying around, to see if it would do what I wanted. It worked flawlessly.

    Then I noted that for the price of the synology box I was considering, I could get a 2RU server with 32 xeon cores and 128GB RAM :) I can run the xpenology VM and a whole lot more!
     
  17. davros123

    davros123 Member

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    [QUOTE="Caffeine, post: 18866950, member: 36605"Then I noted that for the price of the synology box I was considering, I could get a 2RU server with 32 xeon cores and 128GB RAM :) I can run the xpenology VM and a whole lot more![/QUOTE]
    Holy mother of God! I just went and looked at the prices of them. Damn. Makes me feel a whole lot better about forking out 2k for my whitebox server.
     
  18. Caffeine

    Caffeine Member

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    They are great if you want a box that you can plug in. and it does everything you need without much effort.

    So much so that as part of my NAS setup I'm buying one to stick at my mum's place, so I can use it for offsite backup, and she can use it locally (and backing up her stuff to my end)

    She can just take it out of the box, plug it in to ethernet and power and not worry about it anymore.
     
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  19. supasaiyan

    supasaiyan Member

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    is there any pros/cons of QNAP vs Synlogy for a 2 bay?
     
  20. connico

    connico Member

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    I have amazon prime so i use amazon photo, I switched over from Google Photos when they removed unlimited photos from pixel phones
     

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