The one (stupid) feature

My wife and I started using Amazon photos a while ago. I didn’t think that much of it first, but it was included with our Prime membership, and offered an automatic upload from our phones, plus free storage (for photos), so why not?

Fast forward a couple of years. We’ve since cancelled Prime, and I wanted to switch to Dropbox, which has comparable automatic upload, a mobile app, and superior sync with a proper linux client. But I couldn’t. Why? Because of this one (stupid) feature.

Which one?

No. It’s not the AI face recognition, nor the advanced search for scenes like “beach”. Nor is it the family share feature. It’s the most basic thing: the ability to jump right back to one year ago, or two, or three. It’s called “Memories from”, and I don’t even think Amazon lists it as one of the features or benefits of Photos.

one stupid feature (memories from)

We have a small child, and my wife spends literally every evening opening Amazon Photos. Looking at recent videos and photos we took, and then jumps back to 2017, 2016, 2015 … And it’s fun. We really see how fast he grew. Our old apartment. The holiday destination we were at 2 years ago. It’s so simple, and so powerful. And as far as I’m aware, no other photo gallery has it. Dropbox certainly doesn’t.

It’s even worse with Dropbox. It can’t recognize dates when photos were taken. Some of them it would. But some would simply be classified as “Dates missing” no matter what I do. I click on the image info, and it shows me the date. Exifinfo shows it too. Everything is there. But Dropbox can’t figure it out.

So now I’m probably going to cancel Dropbox, and stick to Amazon Drive and Photos, even though I genuinely intended to do the complete opposite. Just because of that one (stupid) feature.

2 Replies to “The one (stupid) feature”

  1. 1) Just put photos that were taken in 2015 to “2015” folder, in 2016 to “2016” folder, etc.
    2) Use VPS with some amount of storate and mount it as filesystem.

    Take a full control of your data. I usually don’t rely on these weird _services_ which are basically redundant layer on top of regular files and directories.

  2. That’s definitely sensible, but it won’t work with my wife, who simply wants to use her iPhone, and there’s not that much control over which folder a new image or video goes to.

    This reminds me a bit of the famous reply when Dropbox was launched on HackerNews:

    “… you can already build such a system yourself quite trivially by getting an FTP account, mounting it locally with curlftpfs, and then using SVN or CVS on the mounted filesystem” :)

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