Nextcloud 18.0.2: my first hands on take on NextCloud Photos.

Nextcloud 18.0.2 arrived on my box. (This time I actually let things run their course and didn’t early adopt, it took 2 months for it to be pushed. Admittedly I also simply didn’t have time.)

To me the biggest real news in this release is the new Photos app.

Maybe the biggest issue with Nextcloud before this Photos app was the performance (or the lack thereof) of the previous photo library. It was (still isn’t) not possible to pre-cache photos on an encrypted file storage, and by god, that gallery was slow! So much so that if you had an actual gallery (you know, more than let’s say 500 photos), it slowed to infinity; it was unusable.

Enter Photos.

Most importantly: the performance is fixed. It is a usable Photos app now.

Don’t get me wrong, and don’t have unrealistic expectations: this is a fairly minimalistic gallery app. I have to stress though: that’s OK. Active incremental delivery is better than big (but rare) bangs.

It will show a grid of your photos, like a basic Google Photos:

It will also show “Your albums”, but as of now this is not very usef… okay funny story here, I was going to say it’s not very useful, as it basically collects all folders with any photo of them, ending up with a heap of “albums” that are actually ebooks with cover images etc… Then 18.0.2 dropped (I initially wrote this about 18.0.1), and behold, in realtime the 2 sections I wrote on these are gone.

So it does show you a useful list of “Your albums”, which is actually your photos added to folders. There could indeed be an additional feature to tag or link photos to albums instead of copying them (which seems to be the current way); apart from that this actually does the job: you can view and, more importantly, share albums of your cat pictures, with loved ones, privately, via the standard NextCloud folder sharing method:

As a side note here: for a fun read about why you should considering moving your photos away from Google Photos, I suggest this fun read from Cask Thomson, incidentally also trying to get rid of the google grip.

I don’t tend to upload photographs with geolocation data embedded, but for those that were uploaded and later deleted, the .json files reveal the coordinates that were attached. As of writing, Google Photos gives users unlimited storage for high quality photos and videos at no [financial] cost. I’ll let you conclude why.

Side note over, back to NextCloud Photos.

I love the “Locations”, and anyone who was amused back in the day by Instagram’s photo map feature will love it with me. This is a map with your photos:

Love it!

Next step of course is to migrate my Google Photos library (about 400 GB of photos) to my own photo library, against Google’s will… but that’s a story for another day.

Header image: Gooi en Vechtstreek – taken by me.

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