Since my hard drive issues, and the resulting nightmare with Reynolds Data Recovery1, I’ve done quite a bit to make sure I’ve got proper backup systems in place.
- My desktop machine is using a RAID 1 configuration, and is backed up nightly to an external drive using SuperDuper.
- The critical data on my web server (MySQL and SVN) is backed up to S3.
I do like having secondary off-site backups for stuff that is hard to replace, and photos definitely fall into this category. In fact, photos are really the only hard drive recovery data I’m holding out hope for at this point (I’ve had to re-create most everything else I was waiting for).
I really like my experience with S3 so far, but I’m considering using Flickr for my photo backups, because it has the added benefit of optionally making my photos available via a web interface if needed. A Flickr Pro account along with the Flickr Backup project or similar seems like a pretty decent combination.
Anyone out there tried this?
- All of the effort I’ve spent to work with them has been a complete waste of energy. I’m basically writing off those hard drives and the data now – if I ever get it back or hear from them again it’s a bonus. [back]
Flickr is my de facto backup, as I realized after I lost a hard drive this summer. I don’t take the time to put every photo in there, but rather all the ones I care about.
And now worrying about the backup is Flickr’s problem, not mine.
I have been interested in ProtectMyPhotos, since Flickr doesn’t allow photos over a certain size. It does cost money, but for backup it is worth it.
Also Zooomr allows ANY size picture for unlimited backups for FREE for any blogger. That is also another way to go, since it is A) Free and B) allows large picture sizes.
I think Flickr is a great photosharing site, but for backups, I certainly do not make them my first choice.
I find flickr to work under most circumstances. The size issue only comes into play if you’re using a very large file size to save your images. With the pro account they will preserve the original file you uploaded (as opposed to only the resized versions if you don’t have a pro account). As for getting a tangible backup you can use one of the services they promote that will send you a DVD of your photo’s.
I’m not sure if you have a pro account yet with flickr, but if you don’t, let me know and I might be able to talk “Santa” into giving you a late present. Heh.
Nick– PMP doesn’t support Mac yet. Zooomr interests me (yes, I signed up for the blogger deal), but I already use Flickr a little, as do more of my friends, and I like that they are backed by Yahoo!. Flickr’s API allows them to be a decent backup service – I can’t find anything about Zooomr’s API in the first few search results.
SmugMug is another nice option – very photographer oriented, but I don’t see a downloader app (maybe could write one through their API).
Matt– Thank you, very much appreciated!
I’d expect that as soon as you start using Flickr or any other online service like that as a backup mechanism, you’re going to get burned.
A little common sense suggests to me that they are not a backup service; using them as one can only end in tears. I can hear the screams in the distance already, when Flickr or other have some sort of data loss and everyone cries foul that their ‘backup’ is now not there.
If you want a quality backup for your photos, why not consider putting them onto DVD or some sort of external media?
As noted above:
That replicates the photos locally onto 3 different physical drives.
And (with emphasis added):
I thought that I commented to this while on my Treo, but perhaps I was dreaming.
I fall into the same category as sog: if the photo is any good, I upload it. If it’s not, it doesn’t stay on my HD. I know myself well enough to know that I’ll never get around to fixing any of the subpar photos, so … why keep them?
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