Merging and Deduplicating a Whole Lot of Google Photos

The point of this blog post is to say that I’m preparing for an eventual move to another photo cloud service. I’m also trying to keep my local backups neatly organized. So, I wrote a small command-line tool to specifically deal with the Google Photos backup format that you’ll receive if you request a dump of your data.

It takes Google’s directory structure and all their duplicated files, merges, sorts, and deduplicates your photos and videos into a sane folder structure – the one I’ve been using for over a decade.

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GrannySmith

And so now I think about not just all the photos and videos – but the 65,234 comments across 16,752 items we’ve shared. (How do I know those exact numbers? I’ll tell you in a minute.) Each one may be insignificant by itself. But combined? They represent 2,596 days of shared family history.

And when I think about losing the post she made about our newborn son in the hospital? Or the one she commented on last week? Only because there’s no way to get access to that trove of data? It breaks my heart.

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