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Apple iCloud escape plan


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Apple iCloud escape plan
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-08-26, 17:19

A while ago when the Apple subscriptions came out I said I would never buy them. Then came the photos problem Mrs T ran into and so we subscribed to the storage upgrade for iCloud Drive. Ultimately it went up to 2TB to help her store her photos. She is personally at 1.3TB all by herself.

Then we realized we wanted Fitness+ because it was helping us lose weight and made certain workouts fun. We used it almost every day but we paid for it by the year so it would only be $80 saving us some money. Now we barely use it at all. I have my routing and she has hers and Fitness+ isn’t in the mix, though it could be.

Then my mom wanted the kids to have Apple Arcade so she gave me $60 to pay for 12 months of it. So we ordered Apple Arcade.

Then I realized I wanted Apple Music for new music options without commercials (or outright begging by KLove). At this point It would have been most cost effective to pay for the Premier One plan as opposed to a la cart.

Now I’m looking at the fact that I pay Apple $32 a month (after taxes) and it just creeped up on me. I cannot believe I got here, but it was all justified at the time.

Personally, I want to keep Apple Arcade for my kids because they really love the games and my mom is paying for it anyway. What I’m really needing to figure out is how can I break free from Apple for all the other services.

I don’t use News+ or AppleTV+ at all.

Storage isn’t a problem… sort of. I’ve told my kids to start using Synology Drive and store everything on my NAS now instead of iCloud. However, iDevice backups won’t fit on the free 5GB plan. This part I need to figure out. I have an iPad and phone which is something like 8GB or so of backups.

Photos is a BIG part of my problem. I know Synology has a Photos option too, but I think it struggles with HEIC. I need to get it figured out either way though because I need to be able to give up the $10 a month for convenience. Especially when I have plenty of room on my NAS(es).

Music, I still have my huge music library on Plex so I don’t have to worry about it, just will have to figure out another way to play new music and not deal with commercials. Not a real problem, just one that isn’t worth me giving Apple that much money a month.

So help me with an escape plan please. There has to be software out there that are better options. I (and each family member) can sync our devices to computers for free and not deal with iCloud for backups, but I’m open to third party options if there are good ones, I’ve just never looked into them.

I think Photos really is the big rock in the pile of crap I’m having to figure out.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-08-27, 01:51

I haven't tried it yet, but I've read good things about PhotoPrism. TrueNAS has a one-click-install thing for it. That means it has freely available Docker images, and I figure your Synology could handle that easily.

https://github.com/photoprism/photoprism - source
https://github.com/photoprism/photoprism/projects/5 - development roadmap
https://demo.photoprism.app/browse - live demo
https://docs.photoprism.app/developer-guide/media/ - supported image formats (including HEIF's .avci, .avcs, .avif, .avifs, .heic, .heics, .heif, .heifs)
https://docs.photoprism.app/getting-started/docker/ - docker guide

Oh, hey! Well, look at that:

https://docs.photoprism.app/getting-.../nas/synology/

Quote:
Visit the Synology Knowledge Base to learn what kind of CPU and how much memory your device has. We recommend hosting PhotoPrism on a 64-bit system with at least 2 cores and 3 GB of physical memory. High-resolution panoramic images may require additional swap space and/or physical memory above the recommended minimum.

RAW image conversion and TensorFlow are disabled on devices with 1 GB or less memory. You will have to resort to 32-bit Docker images to run PhotoPrism and MariaDB on ARMv7-based entry-level devices like the Synology DS218j.
but

Quote:
Will my device be fast enough?

This largely depends on your expectations and the number of files you have. Most users report that PhotoPrism runs well on their Synology NAS. However, you should keep in mind:

initial indexing may take longer than on standard desktop computers
the hardware has no video transcoding support and software transcoding is generally slow
So, maybe export a mount to a nearby machine that has beefier hardware running the container?

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
  quote
drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-08-27, 06:05

The amount of time spent building and maintaining a less than optimal experience doesn't seem like a better value from over here.

Would switching to a PC/Android-based ecosystem deliver any cost/performance benefits?

...
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2022-08-27, 19:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
The amount of time spent building and maintaining a less than optimal experience doesn't seem like a better value from over here.

Would switching to a PC/Android-based ecosystem deliver any cost/performance benefits?

...
Not really, and it's more disjointed.

As it is I use iCloud to sync files between my PC and my Apple devices. IMO there isn't a really elegant way to get out of iCloud as an Apple user, at least not with the same functionality, without exposing your home network to more external connections. I guess a VPN would help?
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-08-28, 14:13

Moving to PC/Android is not an option. However, I've been told by Mrs T that she REALLY wants to keep Apple Music. So even though I have tons of music in Plex, it isn't the same and isn't as integrated as Music and Siri.

Sooo...

I'm still exploring this but with the likelihood that I will not be getting rid of the One plan anytime soon.

That said, Synology Drive works great for an iCloud Drive replacement with my NAS. I already have a VPN through my NAS so I don't need to change up anything with that. Tons of space and no need for iCloud. We can have one device sync to iCloud for free (5GB) and any other above that sync to a computer. So phones to iCloud for free and iPads to computers kinda thing.

For photos, I'm working with Synology Photos right now. It is included free with the NAS so it is easy to test out. So far I'm backing up from my iPad to it and it is taking a while for sure. I've got ~25k images to be synced over. Mrs T, she has over 250k though. Heck, her having all of our photos is why we went to the 2TB iCloud plan. I'm not sure the NAS is going to be enough to handle her library... but I'm still going to try as a backup.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-08-28, 15:35

Coming back to this, I think the worst part is we all kinda go "nothing is as polished as iCloud so why bother". I know I have been fighting that. I mean, it is all integrated and simple... but for a fee.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2022-08-28, 17:20

I hear you on that. I am mostly all in on iCloud, with just my work email on Google Suite at the moment.

It is so easy to keep everything seamless and backed up that it's hard to justify moving away from it, besides the simple fact of "Because I don't want everything tied up in one place."

We do use AppleTV fairly regularly and I use Apple Music pretty much daily. Appel News is also something that both my wife and I use a few times a day at least.

Since I was already paying for increased iCloud storage and Apple Music, the bundle just made sense. It's a lot to put into one basket, but the convenience outweighs the negatives for me at the moment.
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2022-08-28, 23:25

My only problem with switching iCloud for a NAS is that the NAS is in the users home. House gets robbed, burns down, washes out in a flood, or name your other natural disaster, and everything is gone with your home. Yikes. As much as I dislike using cloud storage, it's kind of protection against that. I pay less than $15 a year for iCloud (I only pay for storage, no Apple music, TV+ or any of that other subscription crap...), I can pay for that for many years before I could equal the cost of good NAS setup.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-08-29, 08:58

YOU ARE ALL NOT HELPING!!!!



I'm trying to get rid of this monthly money leach and I keep getting pushed back to it. I already have the NAS and TBs of available storage on it. The fact that I don't have an off-site replication is the real problem I have. I can get that, but at about $12 for 2TB as opposed to $10 for iCloud. $12 is from Wasabi and is S3 storage with ingress and egress included for the monthly fee of $5.99. iCloud is integrated and "seamless" for our devices.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2022-09-01, 09:01

If you want to lower the cost dump everything, other than the storage for offsite backup. The rest seems like a waste.
  quote
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