Backup

F-Stop allows to make full/incremental backups of your photo stream. This picture shows Backup View

Backup View

On top left of this view there is main selector of backup elements. On top right there are some statistics about last backup job.

Finally there are galleries/sets selectors to allow backup of specific elements.

Running backups

To run a backup, change backup destination clicking the Path Bar then click the Play button

BackupBar

If you choose the same directory every time, F-Stop will perform incremental backup (e.g.  will download just newly added files to your photo stream)

Elements to Backup

By default, F-Stop performs backup of an entire account. This includes:

  • Photostream
  • Favorites
  • Galleries
  • Photosets

N.B. It’s not possible to backup groups due to sizing issues. Generally groups contains several thousand of photos. Making a backup would easily fill your hard drive.

F-Stop can also backup a subset of all photos of a Flickr account. To do that, it’s sufficient to uncheck “Backup Entire Account Content” checkbox and manually select elements to backup.

It’s important to note, that as long as your backup destination directory remains unchanged, you can run multiple different backups and F-Stop will add missing elements to backup destination directory. In this sense F-Stop writes to destination directory in append only: it’s not a sync utility but a real backup utility.

Consider the following scenario:

Your Photo stream at Time 0 contains 4 photos named A,B,C,D. You run a backup. In your backup destination directory F-Stop will write files A,B,C,D

At Time 1 you delete B from your photo stream and add file E. Your photo stream contains (again) 4 photos but, this time, named A,C,D,E. You run a backup. In your backup destination directory F-Stop will write file E BUT WILL NOT REMOVE FILE B. At the end of the backup, your directory will contain files A,B,C,D,E.

In this way, your backup directory will allow you to recover files deleted accidentally from Flickr. However, if you make a lot of deletion from your stream and you don’t want to keep them indefinitely, you can adopt a retention strategy changing backup destination. For example you can run all your January backups in a directory named January 2015, February backups in a directory named February 2015 and so on. After 6 months, you could start to delete older directories.

File Naming

F-Stop uses a specific naming convention for file naming during backup. Although this add a certain degree of complexity during navigation of backup destination folder, it’s the only way to achieve the following goals:

  • Identify unequivocally files between runs (needed for incremental backups)
  • Allow photos named in the same way on Flickr to be saved as discrete files on disk.
  • Remove special character from photo names that are not allowed on files on disk.

Space efficiency

Photo streams includes all photos of sets (but not viceversa). In other words, backup of photo streams/sets creates duplicate files on disks. To avoid this you can adopt the following strategies:

  • Photostream backup skipping Photosets backup. In this case you have a space efficient copy and safe (it contains all photos) of your photostream but you lose information about how photos compose sets.
  • Photosets backup skipping Photostream backup. In this case you have a space efficient copy of your sets. This copy could considered safe ONLY if your sets contains all photos of your photo stream (e.g. every time you upload a photo, you add it to a set)

Obviously, if space is not a problem, you can backup both (which is the default)