Update: With the release of Google Photos the information in this article is no longer relevant.
With the rise of cloud-based storage services (OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive) it’s fairly handy to be able to store all your photos online as opposed to backing them up on physical media. The one caveat among the cloud-based storage services is that you can only store so much before you’re required to pay for additional space. Thankfully if you don’t mind sacrificing some resolution then you can leverage Google+ to store an unlimited number of photos. Now right off the bat you get 15GB of storage space with Google Drive. When you upload images to Google+ that have a resolution greater than 2048×2048 they take away from your drive space. And so the catch here is that you have unlimited storage space for photos that are 2048×2048 or smaller. You have the option for Google+ to resize images to meet this resolution when uploading but I’ve found that the resulting images contain more artifacting than I’d like to see. So the solution is to resize all your photos manually before uploading them. This allows one to resize their photos with a 100% JPEG compression quality (Google+ only cares about resolution so you may as well get the best out of it, right?).
To perform this task you could use an expensive tool like Adobe Photoshop but in this case I’ll show how you can batch resize your photos using ImageMagick (a free set of tools for manipulating/converting images).
For Windows users:
- Install the appropriate binaries from here
- During installation make sure the box is checked for Add application directory to your system path
For Linux (Ubuntu/Debian) users:
- ImageMagick is included in the software repository so you just need to run the following commands to install it.
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install imagemagick
Resizing the photos
Next open up a command prompt/terminal and navigate to where the photos are that you want to resize. There you’ll want to create sub-folder to store the resized photos. Then run the following command replacing output with the name of the sub-folder you created.
mogrify -format jpg -verbose -auto-orient -resize 2048x2048 -quality 100% -path 'output' *.JPG
Once that’s done just go into the sub-folder and your photos should all be resized and ready to go.