Monday, January 30, 2023

Switching on iCloud Photos

Matthias Gansrigler:

65 photos were unable to upload, according to Photos on my Mac. Why? I couldn’t honestly tell you. Photos didn’t tell me. It should have, if you ask me. I’d have liked to know. And there’s no way to retry to sync those photos with iCloud. They’re just in the “Unable to Upload” smart-album forever.

Albeit, a bit of online research reveals an Apple support document with one of the weirdest and Apple-unlike solutions to a problem I’ve ever come across:

Step 1: Export the photos in question “unmodified” to a folder on your disk.
Step 2: Delete them from Photos (scary)
Step 3: Import those photos you just exported into Photos again to retry their syncing.

It worked (mostly), but still, why can’t I just do this in Photos itself?


An interesting tidbit: All my synced devices show a different photo count.


4 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

This is the heart of nearly every Apple software issue I have. I can abide that sometimes things don’t work. But it’s this obsession with being opaque that drives me crazy. There’s a problem, we won’t tell you what it is or even if there’s an issue in some cases. No progress bar, no status update, no retry button. It’s all automagical, except when it constantly isn’t.

I’d expand this comment to apply to the whole of modern computing. It seems to me that developers are so dedicated to the concepts of automation and machine learning that they increasingly take control out of the user’s hands. Why? Maybe because they truly believe it’s better for most users. But I doubt it. I suspect it’s because the cooler thing to do is to embrace machine learning rather than to empower the user with more control.

Stories like Matthias' are why I left Apple Photos behind. I still use the app to view photos, but not to manage them. I manage my files myself.

@BillyOK @Darren This Douglas Adams quote seems more apt now than ever:

"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at and repair."

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