Google Photos will corrupt your system — avoid it
Internet companies make a lot of false promises from the performance of websites to promises of ease of use. But the truth is the Internet is still a long way from being perfect, mainly because of the corruption of some companies like Apple and Google and Microsoft. These companies promise services at high and often repeatable costs, but deliver poor quality and no customer service. One of the worst is Google Photos.
By Ray Hanania
I really used to enjoy taking pictures with my old 35 MM Canon. You could buy a camera roll of 24 pictures or even 36, in color or black and white, take your pictures, and then turn the roll in to the local Walgreens to have the pictures developed.
Oftentimes, you could get duplicates for free.
I’d flip through the 36 photos over and over again, really enjoying them. And then I could save them to a photo album where people I knew could enjoy them, too.
Not any more. Photos have been ripped from the comfort, convenience and security of the photo album to the greed of the companies that dominate the Internet. They develop apps and software and online services that make big promises but always fail to deliver on the basics.
The costs continue to skyrocket, and the customer service continues to drop.
One of the worst is Google Photos. Google Photos is a part of the massive seven headed internet Demon called Google. Parts of Google are great but many parts continue to deteriorate. In fact, while we often worried about claims of how our print photos would deteriorate and eventually disappear — or be hard to manage — the truth is the the internet is where the worst deterioration takes place and where the worst confusion and disarray consumes your life.
Google Photos just doesn’t work the way you need it to work. But it works the way Google wants it to work so they can continue to squeeze you for money by charging you to “store” your pictures online on their servers where your privacy is insecure and the status of your photos is not up to your whims or desires but up to the policies and needs of Google.
I have nearly 10,000 photos at Photos.Google.com. I can download them one at a time, which is extremely time consuming and laborious. Or, I can do what most people do, snap pictures, send them automatically (without you even being asked) to a place on Google where they lure you in with limited space and then slam you with outrageous fees when your stockpile of photos increases.
And the number of your photos will increase quickly and dramatically, because the system is made to push you to abandon quality and instead embrace quantity. Quantity that you have to pay a huge price to maintain.
Google Photos claims to allow you to download your photos to your laptop, which no person int heir right mind would do. But, you might want to download it to a hard drive, or a home cloud that you probably have been forced to create through just as much hassle and mayhem.
But they don’t. They don’t allow you to download your photos in bulk. They offer a system that claims to allow it, but it doesn’t work. But why should Google care? You have to pay your fees and they collect them quickly and efficiently. And you have no choice.
The system takes your photos and breaks them up into 17 files of 2 Gigabytes each. It takes hours to backup the system. And they don’t back it up on your computer or hard drive. They force you to back to up onto their system, so that it eats up more space and more quickly forces you to face the eventuality of having to pay more to buy more space online.
That’s the scam. They make it hard to remove photos and easy to store them online, eating up space until you have no more space. Then they slam you for $100 to increase your space. Once. Twice. Three times. And when you try to back those photos up, they basically eat up 34 GB of space so they can force you to pay more.
And just in case you decide to make the time to navigate through the muck of their confusing, user-unfriendly system, spending hours to back up your photos and create 17 new backup files that are 2 GB each, they add another roadblock.
In order to place the files onto your hard drive at home to have your own copies of YOUR OWN photos, you have to download them one at a time. You can download a few together, but not too many because the download from Google doesn’t work very well.
Oh yeah, Google’s download system doesn’t work. It’s inefficient and unreliable. So when you try to download the”backups” you only have one or two tries to do it. But, because the downloads don’t always work and the downloaded files get corrupted, you can’t complete the downloads at all. That’s because Google counts the interrupted, incomplete downloads as a download. Each download is counted whether it works or not.
When the downloads fail, you’re forced to re-archive your files on Google, again, eating up more space and then re-downloading the files hoping that the way Google breaks up each file into 17 different files is the same as they did the first time. Otherwise, you might have to try downloading each of the broken up files again one at a time hoping they don’t crash as they did once before.
Of course, knowing the low quality of Google services, chances are the downloads won’t work the way they did before and you are stuck. It’s as if Google did this on purpose, because in the end, you are forced to pay more because the system doesn’t make it easy to save your photos or reduce your storage.
Your only recourse is to delete your Google account and hope that you have downloaded copies of your photos to your system so you can view them.
Keep in mind when you download from Google, Google does not preserve meta data on the photos. They claim they do, but they really don’t. So when you download the files, you won’t be able to Display them in a directory by Date taken, to help you sort through the mess.
In fact, that’s the perfect word to describe Google Photos. A real MESS.
Don’t waste your time trying to communicate with anyone at Google because they don’t have time for people like you and me, regular consumers who Google long ago abandoned for huge, greedy profits.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist, author and former Chicago City Hall reporter. He is a pioneer of computer writing authoring the Computer Column in Computer People Magazine in Chicago in the 1970s and 1980s. Reach him at www.Hanania.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)