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Apple Photos - upload issues

  Stuartg48uk 14:44 29 Jan 2020

I could do with some guidance over problems uploading HEIC and movie files to Apple Photos in iCloud.

Over the years I’ve accumulated thousands of photos taken mostly on a variety of iPhones but also many earlier ones on various digital cameras and older scanned photos. They were originally uploaded to either a MacPro (2011, currently running High Sierra) or a Windows PC. From both these sources they were then eventually copied to a QNAP NAS. A few years back I decided to use Apple Photos on iCloud and paid for the full 2 terabytes of storage so all reasonably recent iPhone photos are automatically uploaded. I also managed to upload many of the scanned photos to Apple Photos in iCloud.

For various reasons (mostly incompetence) I ended up with multiple copies of many (but not all) photos on various devices and bought MacPaw’s Gemini to go through all the duplicates. Being a fail safe sort of person I copied all the photos from Apple Photos, the NAS and my Windows PC to a 4TB external USB drive connected to my MacBook and ran Gemini on that to sort the duplicates. (Which took several days running overnight!)

The plan was then to re-upload the cleaned up collection to Apple Photos knowing that iCloud itself would sort out any duplicates from the original Apple Photos copy and add any non-duplicated photos from other sources. (I only copied the Apple Photos collection to the USB - not transferred it.)

However when I tried to upload through from the external drive only the JPEG photos were available. All other formats (including all movie formats) were greyed out. This included HEIC, MOV and m4v. (I haven’t seen any movies with a QT extension in my collection.)

As HEIC has only recently become the default file system for Apple the HEIC files came from my iPhone 7 in which case theoretically they’ll already be uploaded to iCloud and I needn’t worry about them but, like I said I’m a fail safe kind of person and would prefer to have the option of iCloud at least taking a look at them and telling me they’re already in Apple Photos. More worrying are the movie files as many of these were taken on earlier iPhones and were not uploaded to iCloud but to my PC.

I thought the problem might be High Sierra on my MacBook as I’d read that you need Mojave to view HEIC files but no, I can click on them and they come up in Preview.

So if HEIC is now the native format for iPhone pictures, and they upload automatically from my iPhone camera why can’t I upload them from the external drive on my MacBook. And why are the MOV and m4v not available to upload? I understand I can convert the HEIC files to JPEG but am worried if I do they might replace the lossless HEIC files in iCloud. And, more importantly, what format would I need to convert MOV and m4v files into to get them to upload?

Sorry, this has been a bit lengthy but I thought I’d better outline all I’ve done so far. Any advice or guidance would be appreciated.

  retrotech 00:06 30 Jan 2020

Have you google it?

  Stuartg48uk 16:10 31 Jan 2020

Hello retrotech,

Yes, I’ve googled it but can’t find any satisfactory guidance. Mostly it comes up with solutions to download issues whereas my problem is with upload.

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