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Old Mar 15, 2006, 3:17 PM   #1
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Hi. As I'm planning to take more and more digital photographs, I want to find a flexible and reliable way for storing them. I don't find burning on CDs or DVDs very practical. I'm also not very fond of the idea of building a RAID system or something as big as that. Also, the ability to share pics online wouldn't be bad.

So I've been thinking about using a service like Flickr Pro. With about $25 a year I'd get unlimited space, full image resolution and the online features. However, I wonder how reliable this system is? I suppose they have a decent physical back-up maintenance, but how about the longevity of the whole service? I know Yahoo's behind it now, so I suppose they have the muscle to keep it running. Another thing to consider is that if I one day decide to migrate to another system, how difficult it would be to d/l or transfer all my pics to some other system?

What do you think, is the idea viable at all? Any other solutions like that?

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Old Mar 15, 2006, 4:20 PM   #2
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The easiest thing to do is have a portable hard drive set up over USB and use something like Microsofts Free Synctoy. Then all the files in say your my pictures directory will be backed up to the hard drive. Takes no more than 2 minuets to set up, no skill or opening the computer required. Then you can take the portable with you as you move, etc. Then if one fails, you can restore form the other. The problem with this is the lack of online sharing and things such as a house fire.

FLickr is cool, and easy to use. Yes you have "unlimited" storage, but note you are limited right now to 2 GB per month upload so that unlimited really means 2gb the first month, 4 gb the second and so on. I doubt they would just go out of business and you lose all your files one day. They have many many servers and locations. If they were to go out of business I would imagine you would have some notice to remove your files. Also, you cant upload/downlaod over FTP, only using their web app and or email. That makes it a pain for me to upload alot of images a time, and a pain to download alot at a time.

So in my opinion Flickr is great for sharing selct photos, and for groups and such, but not for file storage. There may be others. I personally use the hard drive method with one hard drive backup at my house, and once every couple of months bring another that I keep at work home to archive in case of fire/etc at my house.
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 5:56 PM   #3
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I figure from ten to sixty Gb per year of photos, for an open ended number of years, its far too much for online backup. Sure, they may not go out of business, but your subject to thier every whim anyway. I'd NEVER want to download twenty gigs of photos....

External hard drive, buy two and rotate one to your desk drawer at work or a friends house... if you rotate every month then you'd never lose more than a month of pictures.
Consider web sharing a separate endeavor
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