Google Photos

Published in category Opinion
on Christian Mayer's Weblog.

Google has a new service called Google Photos. You can choose between High quality (free unlimited storage) and Original (xx GB storage left).

I tested it with .jpg and .png files. When you choose High quality .jpg files are always been edited by Google. No matter which file size or image size.

$ sha1sum -b IMG_1428_800_original.jpg IMG_1428_800_google.jpg
191b0b1b442778a3d3bb1ac2a84fddf1f73dda67 *IMG_1428_800_original.jpg
3e598acaf0159bfdceee9efe81a6b3e756462213 *IMG_1428_800_google.jpg

On the High quality option the help page says:

Size: Save high-quality photos and videos while reducing size.

So Google is reducing the quality of the original image. But you get the exact file when you use a PNG file.

When choosing the Original option the image sizes are subtracted from your GDrive’s free space. The images are original.

$ sha1sum -b IMG_1428_800_original.jpg IMG_1428_800_google.jpg
191b0b1b442778a3d3bb1ac2a84fddf1f73dda67 *IMG_1428_800_original.jpg
191b0b1b442778a3d3bb1ac2a84fddf1f73dda67 *IMG_1428_800_google.jpg

Anyway, we don’t know if Google let the files untouched forever. Maybe they alter the files in one year; or two years; or in five or ten years. So getting the untouched original file with the exact same SHA1 hash is not guaranteed.

The Goal

My goal was to create a Ruby script which converts any file to a valid .png file for uploading it to Google Photos. Maybe you do not want only image files backed up to Google Photos but also other formats such as .mp3. Or maybe you want to encrypt your images with GPG before uploading them to Google Photos.

Recent Posts

About the Author

Christian is a professional software developer living in Vienna, Austria. He loves coffee and is strongly addicted to music. In his spare time he writes open source software. He is known for developing automatic data processing systems for Debian Linux.