Photo Stream

Discussion of issues related to iCloud, Apple's "cloud" service designed to store and sync your music, photos, apps, calendars, and documents
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Ray Bentsen
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Photo Stream

Post by Ray Bentsen » Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:43 pm

Photo Stream can be thought of as a temporary cloud-based "album" that is kept in sync across multiple Macs, PCs, and iOS 5 iThings (via Wi-Fi or Ethernet) ... as long as they are all linked to the same iCloud account.

To use Photo Stream on a Mac, you first have to upgrade to OS X 10.7.2 ... and following that upgrade iPhoto to version 9.2 .

Then, assuming that you have already created an iCloud account, iPhoto will present you with a screen asking if you want to turn on Photo Stream as seen in the first screenshot.

Photos can be added to Photo Stream in any of the following ways:
• drag a photo from iPhoto into the sidebar Photo Stream album
• import photos into iPhoto
• take a photo (or screenshot) with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch ... if Photo Stream is turned on in Settings > iCloud

iCloud stores your new photos for 30 days so your devices have plenty of time to connect and download the photos. Your iOS devices keep a rolling collection of your last 1000 photos. You can save your favorite shots to your Camera Roll or any other album to keep them on your device permanently.

Note in the second screenshot that Photo Stream on my Mac shows screenshots from my iPhone and iPad ... and all without syncing.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Photo Stream

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:20 pm

Ray Bentsen wrote:Photo Stream can be thought of as a cloud-based "album" that is always kept in sync across devices that have been both upgraded to iOS 5 and that are linked to the same iCloud account.
If it's like an album that implies that I have full control over what is synced from my iMac to my iPhone, correct? So it's like picking an album to sync in iTunes.
The screen I saw seemed to indicate that all photos from the last 30 days would be synced to my iPhone. In my case, that'd be nearly 400 photos, most of which I won't want to sync.
Maybe I misread that, though I can't parse out what the message actually means.

And, as I mentioned elsewhere, apparently I can't even test that without moving all calendars, etc. to iCloud, which I can't do until all our Macs are up to Lion.
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Last edited by Stephen Hart on Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ray Bentsen
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Re: Photo Stream

Post by Ray Bentsen » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:42 pm

Stephen Hart wrote:If it's like an album that implies that I have full control over what is synced from my iMac to my iPhone, correct? So it's like picking an album to sync in iTunes.
The screen I saw seemed to indicate that all photos from the last 30 days would be synced to my iPhone. Maybe I misread that, though I can't parse out what the message actually means.
Well, that is why I put the term album in quotes.

From what I can tell so far, the only Photo Stream options you have are now located in iPhoto Prefs (see screenshot). From there you can turn on/off automatic uploading ... although I think it would have been more convenient to have that control on the main iPhoto screen.

Note that Photo Stream can NOT be accessed by logging into your on-line iCloud account, so I see no way to edit the Photo Stream content once it has been uploaded ... including deleting individual photos or changing the photo name.

Photo Stream seems to simply be a mechanism of giving an iCloud subscriber an easy way to get photos from one of their own devices to another ... and was never intended to be a replacement for MobileMe gallery, where you could share your photos with distant family and friends.
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Ray Bentsen
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Re: Photo Stream

Post by Ray Bentsen » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:34 am

Ray Bentsen wrote:I see no way to edit the Photo Stream content once it has been uploaded ... including deleting individual photos or changing the photo name.
As of iOS 5.1 and iPhoto 9.2.2, individual photos can now be deleted from Photo Stream.

Here are the specifics:
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JerryFreilich
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Re: Photo Stream

Post by JerryFreilich » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:45 pm

I have just begun fooling with iCloud and PhotoStream after several years of being VERY MISTRUSTFUL of this technology. So let me ask you gurus... if I take a picture with my iPhone, I see that it is now in my PhotoStream and appears instantly and magically in iPhoto on my Mac. So here's the big question... where does that photo ACTUALLY reside??? In other words, when I perform a backup of my computer to my external hard drive, is that photo "mine" and resides on my computer, and it will STAY THERE????? Or is it some chimera that will disappear at some point 30 or 60 or 120 days from now at the whim of an Apple server?? This is VERY IMPORTANT!!!

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Ray Bentsen
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Re: Photo Stream

Post by Ray Bentsen » Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:23 am

JerryFreilich wrote:So here's the big question... where does that photo ACTUALLY reside??? In other words, when I perform a backup of my computer to my external hard drive, is that photo "mine" and resides on my computer, and it will STAY THERE????? Or is it some chimera that will disappear at some point 30 or 60 or 120 days from now at the whim of an Apple server?? This is VERY IMPORTANT!!!
As long as the second check box in the iCloud pane of iPhoto preferences is checked (and it is by default), photos in your stream will automatically get downloaded to your Mac's iPhoto library ... and thus will get backed up.

;)
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Ray Bentsen
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Re: Photo Stream

Post by Ray Bentsen » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:29 am

To answer the question about the location of Photo Stream photos:
As long as the settings in System Prefs>iCloud>Photos>Options are set to download photos (see first screenshot), the photos all get stored in your user library (see second screenshot) ... so they all get backed up, whether you use iPhoto or not.
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JerryFreilich
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Re: Photo Stream

Post by JerryFreilich » Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:13 pm

Thanks Ray, this was very helpful.

Although I have to admit I'm somewhat stumped because I've had all those check boxes checked for some time but the iCloud update seems to occur at odd and unpredictable intervals.

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