Snell on Photos for OS X Beta

February 10th, 2015

Snell, of Six Colors, writing for TidBITS on the feature in Photos for OS X Beta that allows you to store your original photos and videos in iCloud and only keeping smaller versions locally on your Macintosh to save space:

It remains to be seen exactly how Photos determines whether you have enough space, and whether it’s just caching photos or if it truly makes a judgment about how much free space you have before deciding to hold onto your files. As someone with approximately 700 GB of family photos and a bunch of Macs with small flash-storage drives, I’m excited by the possibility that I can have access to my entire photo library on all of my Macs and iOS devices, even though they don’t have enough space to hold the entire library.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a paragraph like this over the last 13 years of using a Mac as my primary means of managing my photo library. And every time I get the feeling it could be true only to be disappointed for some reason. Either the apps are bad, or slow, or the Internet connection simply hasn’t been there yet.

This time it feels different, though. The “cloud” has finally matured to a point where it isn’t just a pipe dream that we can store a bunch of files on a bunch of servers out on the web and have all of our devices read from those libraries of data. Many cloud-based services have solved so many issues over the years that we now all take for granted how much of our data truly is in the cloud. All while our devices have slowly become smaller, thinner, lighter, and have become simple “Internet terminals”.

I’m looking forward to giving OS X Photos a shot this spring.