Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Moving from Flickr to DropBox for Photo Storage

Uploading is easy, Downloading is hard

It is easy to upload photos in batches to Flickr.  The upload wizard used by the site makes it convenient to drag files over to Flickr or select multiple photos from your computer.  However, photos can only be downloaded individually.  Even with that, you have to first select the photo, view all sizes, and then download the desired size - in my case, the original.

Options for downloading multiple images from flickr

FlickAndShare allows you to select a set of photos (now called an "album" on flickr) to either download or share with others.  It is Java-based and can be unstable from time to time.  In my case, when trying download my entire flickr library, the applet for FlickAndShare never loaded properly.  One nice feature of FlickAndShare is that it is free.  It is also an online service.  No download or installation is necessary.

Bulkr is a free program to download and use with limited functionality.  In order to download original size images you must pay, either per year for $30 or a lifetime price of $40.  Bulkr downloads images from selected set or your entire photostream to your computer.  From there, it was an easy transfer to DropBox.  FlickAndShare only permits you to download photos from your own photostream.  Bulkr allows you to download any photos that are public on flickr (as well as your own photostream).

Process for transferring photos

Step 1:  Download selected images from flickr using Bulkr.  I have over 3,300 images on flickr, but only downloaded about 2,000 that were part of sets/albums.

Step 2:  Move the images from my computer to DropBox.  Although files with small sizes are synced fairly fast between a computer and DropBox, several gigabytes worth of images took several hours to sync. 

Step 3:  Identify images that should be public and move them into DropBox's public folder.  Photos that I share with others, including images for this blog and my food blog will be stored in the public folder while everything that I want to keep private (family pics, etc.) will be stored in a regular folder on DropBox.

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