Tutorial Thursday

FlickrFlickr is an extremely powerful resource for uploading your photos, especially if you’re like me and bask in the glory of their Pro account for just $25 per year. With a Pro account you get unlimited storage and no bandwidth restrictions. That’s the reason I use it to backup all of my images!

Uploading thousands of photos can be a daunting task, and that’s why I’m glad that I came across a tiny little app called FlickrSync. It’s free, open source, and runs on Windows XP SP2 as well as Vista. It supports one-way photo syncing…meaning it will take the photos on your computer and upload them to Flickr. It never modifies the images that are stored on your hard drive, so you don’t have to worry about permanently losing an image.

Here’s some of the features Flickrsync has to offer:

  • Works with both Pro and non-Pro Flickr accounts
  • Browse local folders and Flickr sets. Then match your local folders to the corresponding Flickr sets.
  • Create new Sets when uploading new folders.
  • Define Flickr permissions for each folder and other synchronization options
  • Preview all operations (including photo thumbnails) before applying them to Flickr .
  • Synchronize specific folders or all selected folders
  • Synchronize all image information, including metadata like title and description, keywords/tags and even geo information. Works great with Vista’s built-in tagging and caption system.
  • Use different synchronization methods according to your needs (ex: by date taken, by caption, by filename).
  • Define optional filters for each folder. For example: only synchronize to Flickr images that have a certain keyword/tag on a specific folder.
  • Support for all Flickr image formats

So now that you know exactly what FlickrSync is capable of doing, why don’t we take a look at how to use it:

Important: I’ve noticed a slight bug in the program, and it’s that you’ll get an error message if you have no sets in your Flickr account. So you’ll need to make sure that you’ve created at least one set before proceeding.

  1. Download and install FlickrSync (currently in the Beta stage).
  2. After installation you’ll be prompted to authorize FlickrSync so that it has access to your Flickr account.
  3. After FlickrSync starts up you’ll want to check the box corresponding to a folder on your computer that needs to be synchronized (your Flickr sets are shown on the right side):
    FlickrSync: Synchronize Photos with Flickr
  4. Now you’ll need to pick one of your existing sets or create a new one to be synchronized with that folder. Here you can also choose how you want FlickrSync to match up photos, what permissions they should be given, and whether you want to filter a certain set of images to be uploaded. Also, look closely at the two checkboxes located at the bottom of the window, because if you leave them unchecked some of your Flickr images might get unexpectedly deleted:
    FlickrSync: Synchronize Photos with Flickr
  5. Now when you’re taken back to the main screen just go to the Sync menu and choose the View and Sync option to synchronize your photos. FlickrSync will then show you which photos will get uploaded, and which ones will get deleted:
    FlickrSync: Synchronize Photos with Flickr

Tip: If you don’t want to synchronize all of the folders that you have setup, just right click on a folder (or on the corresponding set) and choose the View and Sync option. This will synchronize only the photos associated with that particular folder or set.

This is one app that I’m really glad I found. There’s no doubt that it will shave some time off of my photo management process, and all I’m hoping to see now is a scheduler so that I can automate the syncing process. Boy, you’ve gotta love when you come across free apps like this that are unbelievably useful!