Information Technology Reference
probably has a camera too. As the number and size of your images
increases, you may find that duplicates and versioned backups alone
don't entirely meet your backup needs.
For one thing, it can be extraordinarily difficult to find just the right
photo from among thousands of similarly named files when it comes
time to restore your data from a backup. Although Spotlight, iPhoto,
and Aperture can use keywords and other metadata to help you find
photos when they're on your main hard disk, they won't help you when
they're on a drive stored offsite, or on a stack of DVDs. (For solutions
to this problem, see Cataloging Software , below.)
Photos are also among the files you're most likely to share with other
people. If you've ever created an online photo album using iCloud or an
online photo sharing service, you know how easy (and addictive) photo
sharing can be. Although the files you've shared online do, in a sense,
constitute a backup of the ones on your computer, you probably
haven't shared all your files this way—and you most likely uploaded
low-resolution copies of the images anyway. Wouldn't it be great if you
could back up your photos online, and still have the ability to share just
the ones you want? (You can! I explain how in Photo Sharing Services .)
Don't forget that photos are different from the kinds of digital data
that you create from scratch. Although you wouldn't enjoy spending
months rewriting The Great American Novel, it's at least conceivable.
Recreating photos of a new baby or an important life event, on the
other hand, simply can't be done.
Luckily, numerous tools, services, and strategies exist for the express
purpose of making photo backups as painless and secure as possible.
Consider these options in addition to (or, if you prefer, instead of)
duplicates and versioned backups.
Although iPhoto has its flaws, it's a reasonably good choice for
managing digital photos. It even has the built-in capability of backing
up your photos to optical discs (although it's a manual process, and,
as I've said elsewhere in this topic, optical discs don't have a future on