November 30, 2020

Nerd Alert: What to do with All that Pivo Footage!

I've seen a lot of technical posts explaining how to work a Pivo, but I haven't seen any that address how to best manage all that footage as a blogger, and how to store all that footage without spending a bunch of money or wasting precious phone storage. I'm pretty techy and I've figured out a cheap and efficient system, so I'm going to share what I do.

Setup Steps

1. Let the Google Photos app manage your photos and upload them to the Google Photos cloud for you. Available for both iPhone and Android, Google Photos cannot be beat in terms of search functionality and integration into Blogger - with auto-backup to the Google Photos cloud turned on, photos appear in Blogger's 'add photo' menu seconds after you take them on your cell phone.

2. Set up Google Photos to only back up videos to the cloud over WiFi. Videos are big, and you do not want to be wasting all that data uploading them over your data plan.

Under 'Settings' in the upper right menu, click "Back up & Sync"

Click 'Cell data usage' at the bottom

Make sure the bottom two radio buttons are turned off.

How to create GIFs from Pivo that automatically show up in Blogger, and then delete the video from your local phone storage

1. Use the app of your choice to make GIFs from your video after it's complete. I use 'GIF Maker-Editor' on Android, which is free.

 



 

2. Let Google Photos back up the GIFs you create to the cloud, so that within a minute of you creating them on your phone, they're waiting for you in Blogger. (Sorry if you're on Wordpress!). In that same Backup & Sync section from earlier, under 'Back up device folders' make sure the folder for your GIF app is selected.

3. Once you're done making GIFs and your video has been safely uploaded to the Google Photos cloud over WiFi, you need to delete that video off your local phone storage so you have room to make more videos! The video will still show up under the Google Photos app once it's been deleted from the local storage, so you can still watch it on your phone after you delete it as long as you're connected to the Internet.

Google makes this super easy for you, by providing a button for "Free up only the things that have been safely backed up to the cloud" button. You don't need to worry about accidentally deleting the wrong thing and losing it forever!


How to save the whole video for long term storage, relatively cheaply

Okay, so by now you've gotten the video chopped up into bloggable GIFs, and it's no longer taking up space on your phone. Great. Now it's in the cloud, but cloud storage isn't cheap: both iCloud and Google Photos charge a monthly fee once you get above a limit that you'll easily hit with Pivo videos. If you want to keep lots of Pivo videos, you need to download them and then delete them off of the cloud, and then store them somewhere cheap.

There are two main options for this: YouTube (which isn't really storage, per se) and keeping the file on a local computer, external hard drive or a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device, with the NAS being the best if you plan to keep lots of Pivo videos/media/files in general.

A NAS is like a networked external hard drive with the ability to automatically protect its multiple hard drives from failure in a way a laptop or an external hard drive is not designed to do. It'll plug into your WiFi router and be accessible from any device on your home network.

Even if you're not techy, the NAS's of today are designed to be consumer-easy to set up, and you can even set them up to where you can view your files from your phone and away from the house. I highly recommend a Synology NAS, which is what I have:

Synology on the bottom, don't worry, you don't need to be this extra lol

My Synology is a rackmount model, but you can get a cute little white tabletop one too:

This is my current budget pick for a Synology NAS for the average home user (which will get the job done if all you need to do is store video you won't be accessing often, it'll be slow as hell doing it), and this is my budget splurge pick (which will get the job done faster). If you have more money than patience, the sky's the limit with Synology, which goes all the way up to small business-level performance.

Note that neither of those include hard drives, so you'll need to buy those separately. Both of these models have two drive bays, which will back each other up, so if one drive fails you don't lose any files. This means if you buy two 2TB hard drives for it, you'll end up with 2TB usable space.

On Cyber Monday today, you could pick up the budget Synology NAS above and two Western Digital Red 2TB hard drives for a total of $289.97 for 2TB of storage. For comparison, 2TB of storage in Google's cloud will run you $9.99/month, so the NAS will pay for itself in a little over two years.

ALL OF THAT SAID - once you've got the NAS and it's set up, you can add it as a folder to your PC or Mac, download your videos off Google Photos, and drag and drop them into the NAS folder.

Shown: downloading off Google Photos

 

My NAS is named Hanko <3

Once you've got the video downloaded to the local storage of your choice, don't forget to go into Google Photos and delete it from the cloud! Usually once a month I go through and download all my Pivo videos to my NAS and then delete them from Google Cloud. Definitely not every time I ride.

 

You might ask, do I need to keep every video of every ride ever? No, but with hard drives being so cheap these days, and with the videos living on my NAS instead of on my devices, it really doesn't matter if I keep them or not, so I may as well. I often go back and watch lesson videos in particular.

I think that about covers it. Questions? What are you doing with all that media? Are you keeping it all or watching it and deleting it?

15 comments:

  1. This was so timely, thank you!! Based on the $900 Facebook pony blog I just bought a Pivo on a black friday deal and was already wondering how fast it was going to eat through my Google photos storage.

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    1. Awesome, so glad it helped! Especially with Google Photos changing their storage policy next year, most users will only get 15GB free, which for me would be like five Pivo videos, so it goes fast. I already pay for 200GB/month for Google Photos just to store photos + Google Drive stuff + Gmail, I don't want to upgrade to the 2TB/month plan unless I have to.

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  2. Thanks for this post! I dont' have a pivo, but still struggle with appropriate back up and storage of tons of photos. I have a digital SLR, so to keep file size and quality, I run out of options quickly. I also have an ancient Mac that needs to be backed up. Guess who is going shopping for a NAS today? lol

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    1. Nice!! Yeah I originally got my NAS because I also have a DSLR, most of the folders in that screenshot contain stills. If you're only using it for cold storage that you won't access often, and you're not playing videos off of it, you're definitely fine with a slower/cheaper one. File transfers will take eons and scrolling through the photos won't be fast either, but they will be safe.

      I didn't want to get this far into the weeds in the post, but for absolute safety especially with media you care about, consider backing the NAS up to a cloud service too once you're done, so that you have redundancy within the device but also your stuff is safe from a house fire. Not every cloud service will back up a NAS, so I use Backblaze B2 for this, it costs me I think $6/month for the license plus less than a quarter a month for around 300GB? of data.

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    2. Good tip on the cloud based storage as well... I have been using google drive and icloud. Will check into backblaze as well. I should likely do a thorough review and consolidate my cloud storage. I've been dabbling with the free levels on a couple and should likely commit to one so I'm a bit more organized!

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  3. This hurt my brain, you're way smarter than me when it comes to tech stuff. I just cut the videos down on my phone into the chunks I want to keep, sew them together in Splice, and then upload to Vimeo or Drive and make GIFs from there lol. The sad, lazy person's solution. Yours is much more thorough.

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    1. Lol, that's a valid strategy too, which is why I qualified that you only need to go down the NAS rabbit hole if you really want to keep all those videos. Mainly Pivo people (judging from the Facebook group) need to learn how local storage and cloud storage works, and how to delete files off their phones, if that's all people take away from this post, I succeeded.

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    2. You're totally right about that part! I wish I was technically inclined and organized like this but alas I definitely am not.

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  4. Hooray, thank you! I've been considering NAS for a while now, already have a 2TB drive, so this is perfect.

    Quick question; will the NAS device ride your wireless network's speed or your internet speed? My internet speed is garbage but we have a good router. (So - does it use the internet to talk to your computer - or just connect over wifi to other devices?)

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    1. Great question! It rides your local network only, so it goes from NAS to your wireless router (via a physical connection, not wireless), and then from the wireless router to your laptop via WiFi, and has nothing to do with your Internet speed, unless you choose to set up the external access or the mobile app access that I talked about.

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    2. Perfect, thank you. One of the few downsides to Vermont - 25mbps DSL only unless we want to shell out $$$, sob.

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  5. People should still pull their saved videos off the cloud regardless. Google will be ending it's unlimited photo storage in June of next year.

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    1. Yeah I decided to generically tap dance around that in this post, it was long enough, but it's true it'll be even more important next year (although anything you upload before June will never count toward the limit, as long as it's not full res). I've been paying for Google Drive/Photos storage for years so IDGAF, but it'll be a shock for a lot of people.

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  6. I have a bunch of memory sticks and sd cards I keep saying I'll save them all on. But currently they're in the cloud. I pay for a lot of storage though (both to icloud and google), so I can continue with that for awhile! Lol. Thanks for the tips though, I should probably go the external route at some point.

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    1. Haha! Yeah, I mean, you gotta figure we'll all be accumulating this footage for decades, if not with Pivo, with the next thing that comes along. Makes sense to plan ahead before you start paying a pile of money for cloud storage.

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