Friday, May 01, 2009

TimeMachine doesn't back up iPhoto (if iPhoto is open)

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my travails with backing up my obscenely huge iPhoto library. It turns out that although Apple promises to "[take] care of everything else. Automatically. In the background." the truth is that Time Machine won't always back up an iPhoto library if it's open. In fact, it won't back up my iPhoto library ever if it's open. Is it backing up yours? I don't know. You should check.

I promised to get back to you when Apple got back to me. They did finally call me last week, and said, well, to solve the problem, simply close iPhoto and then do a backup. Well, Time Machine is supposed to backup on its own. That's the whole point. What's the point of automating backups if I have to choose them manually? The guy from Apple offered to walk me through starting a new iPhoto library (oh yeah, that's really helpful, thanks).

Maybe I'm naive, but I was pretty amazed that the guy didn't say, "Oh yes, this is a serious problem. We have our technicians working on it and as soon as they have a solution we'll get back to you."

No, he made it sound like I was being a whiner. And that it was my fault that Time Machine wasn't working as advertised. That there was something wrong with my iPhoto library. Give me a break.

But I got a few notes from people saying they had relied on Time Machine for backing up iPhoto and then lost their photos because of it. So, help me get the word out: Time Machine is not reliable about backing up iPhoto. Be sure to check your backups, do them manually, and spread the word so that no-one loses precious files.

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