Need to backup your Flickr photos? Check out Bulkr & Flickredit

Good morning all,

I recently uploaded my 10,000th (!) photo to Flickr. Since I have some (but not all) of them in local folders on my home network file server (a Synology DS109 – highly recommended, BTW), I decided it was time to get everything backed up properly. This has been on my to-do list for a while.

Anyway, earlier today, Teryl Magee posted a Facebook update about Bulkr, a $29.95 utility that promises to back up your photos (or anyone else’s!) with just a few mouse clicks. It’s free to “try” but the free version lacks some strategically critical capabilities, including the ability to “select all” when identifying sets for download and the ability to back up files in their original sizes. I hate crippleware as much as the next guy, but since these two features in particular were crucial to me, I went ahead and ponied up the dinero. The image below shows the application happily backing up my stuff. It was still cranking along when I had to leave for work…

When I got home, it had finished working, backing up 10,128 files into 184 folders (sets), representing over 12gb of data. It did exactly what it said it would do. At $29.95, it wasn’t cheap, but it was effective. I consider it a necessary cost given how important Flickr has become to my digital lifestyle. That said, this capability is something I’d hope the Flickr folk are considering to make available to Pro subscribers like me in the future.

Back to Bulkr … I like the interface, it’s clean and easy to navigate. My cable modem connection is pretty speedy (20 mb/s) so the backup didn’t take long. I am less happy with the fact the software does not allow incremental backups, leaving it up to the user to recall what needs to be saved. I’m also somewhat concerned that the service allows anyone to download anyone else’s photos – regardless of license. That isn’t good, and, there should be a way to easily prevent that and respect the wishes of the images’ rightful owner. But for individual use, it’s just fine.

Another option is FlickrEdit:

Image credit: FlickrEdit

I’d actually used the previous version of this tool, FlickrBackup, with some success, though it started to choke on my backup when it got extremely large. The software is free and works essentially the same way Bulkr does, allowing you to specify what to back up and where. It also works quickly. The latest version runs as a Java applet in your browser – no download required. Here’s a list of its features (source: http://sunkencity.org/flickredit/):

Display your Flickr Photos and Sets
Display your Not in Set, Recent, Favorites, Contacts and Group photos
Search photos based on date and tag
Backup your Flickr Photos and Sets
Backup Title, Description, Tags, and Copyright and store them into the IPTC header of the images.
Upload new photos to Flickr (including asynchronous upload)
Edit Photo and Set info, add comments to Photos and Sets
Rotate photos
Delete photos or Sets
View a photo or selected photos slideshow
Switch between multiple Flickr users

So, there you have it – these two utilities will help you back up your Flickr collection – and more. One costs $29.95 and handles even the largest collections with ease; the other is free but does a good job as well, particularly with sets having under 10,000 photos. 🙂 Decide for yourself which is best!

Hope this helps,

-kj-

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