Flickr is part of Yahoo, and Yahoo is about to be swallowed up by Microsoft.
I’m one of several hundred users who are preparing to up sticks and remove their photostream from Flickr if that happens.
However, it’s not as simple as backing up the entire stream on a bunch of CDs, or even on my website. I have a lot of photos, a basic hosting package and no CD burner (no, really!) I also don’t believe in hard drives, which is why I just bought an EeePC with a 4 (four) GB solid state drive.
As you can probably tell, I believe that the future is in online storage and web-based applications. Even if that means putting my trust in Google, for now.
But this makes it difficult to export my Flickr photostream to another photo sharing site.
Until I discovered the Flickr Importer Tool on Ipernity.com (via the Microsoft: keep your evil grubby hands off of our Flickr pool, natch).
This smart little script imports 200 of your photos at a time, starting at the beginning and keeps right on going.
Until you’ve reached your quota limit, that is.
That’s one of Ipernity’s little secrets. Fair enough so long as I’m using their basic free account. But not only do I not have a clue how to subscribe/upgrade; their ‘pro’-account equivalent also seems to have a teensy-weensy upload limit. And my photostream has 2717 pictures, and counting.
Other things I don’t like about Ipernity:
They sucker you in with openID, then your login is by email address. Let’s see how much they’ll spam on my (spare) gmail account.
The site is the bastard child of Flickr and Myspace. And it looks like it has the drawbacks of both. But that would be forgiveable in a startup that’s still trying to find its feet. It’s just not something I want to trade my Flickr account in for.
It’s a French site, their help pages are not (as yet) translated, and I can’t find any help in French either. They really need to employ some English speaking staff pronto. And some German speakers because the Germans are allegedly experiencing difficulties in accessing photos labelled as ‘moderate’ or ‘restricted’ on Flickr and are migrating to Ipernity en masse in an attempt to escape censorship. (Of course, that means that Ipernity will soon become a haven for porn, but I can’t bitch about that yet. It doesn’t bother me either, so long as porn spam is kept to a minimum.)
In conclusion: I would give it the benefit of the doubt, and well done on the Flickr Importer (a tiny script that runs under the Greasemonkey extension and could very easily be adapted by, oh, say Picasa).
The upload problem aside (even if it means tedious downloading of photos onto my machine and uploading them from there, a few at a time), among the other allegedly ‘unlimited’ sites I’ve looked at so far, I liked the look of SmugSmug—until I stumbled across this quote:
Try us. You’ll discover why more than 80% of customers who joined us in the last 5 years never left.
Almost one in five of their customers appears to be unhappy with the service…
Zooomr seems to experience long outages, but it’s one to watch.
I’ll do a more detailed search on the usual suspects such as Photobucket, Snapfish etc. later on. There are many issues to address, aside from the upload limit. What is the individual picture size? Can they be re-sized? Can they be tagged/shared/commented on? And perhaps most importantly: does the site offer a Creative Commons license?
Most of my Flickr pics (those that aren’t private) are CC-licenced. That means that Microsoft probably can’t get its grubby fingers on them, even if they’ll take over copyright for all uploads from here on in. My past photostream is probably safe.
For now I’ll wait and see.
P.S. Ipernity really is more of a Flickr clone. I’m pleasantly surprised by it. And I’m blown away by their import speed. If there was a way, I’d migrate my entire stream in a flash, even if it does mean that I’ll have to manually re-rotate every single vertical image again.
P.P.S. Fun question: can you bulk-edit all your links on WordPress to re-direct to Ipernity?