iPhoto/Photos backup to Flickr

iPhotoBackup           photos

SPOILER ALERT!!!

The new app for Apple Photos is here!
photos

and now, the FAQ :)

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New app for Photos? Cool!
Can I just continue my backup after I converted my iPhoto/Aperture db?

Apple changed its logic totally between iPhoto and Photos (which forced me to create a new full re-coded app, btw, and not just add an update.
Also the ties between the pics and Flickr have been enhanced so that we greatly reduce
the risk of having duplicates.
But all this comes to a cost…. You cannot just continue your backup switching from an app
to the next. You need to start it up again: the new app will not know what the old app already saved in Flickr. Also, the new app does not use the same photo id than iPhoto or Aperture. Every improvement has a cost, they say :)

In my Flickr account all my sets have a cryptic thing under their set name… Can I delete/change?

NOooooo !!!

This “cryptic” thing (like “fDKz7fg5%/dà09K” or “Bgf45Tu-Ghh6%dd4-Hdde23-4HàJ”) is the iPhoto or Aperture uniqueID of an event. In essence, this is the link between iPhoto/Aperture and Flickr. This link let the app not re-upload something already there.

Anything I should do before I begin?

Please, start by repairing/rebuilding the iPhoto/Aperture Library.
(cmd-alt-click on the library in the Finder). Then re-run the app :)
Over the years and updates after updates, our Libraries tend to get messy.
iPhoto / Aperture do not care about their library that much since it’s about displaying not sending somewhere else! They include some ‘coping mechanisms’ to right what’s wrong.

Exporting to Flickr (or Picasa for that matter) needs a clean library, and therefore, a repair/rebuild is welcome from time to time.

Can I pause the transfer?

Of course! just push the main button (the one which started the transfer) it will pause the upload. Of course, since things could have changed in the meantime in Flickr, when resuming, the app will first re-scan Flickr.

Arghhh… my internet connection dropped. What will happen?

Relax! Not only the app will pause, but it will resume BY ITSELF as soon as
the connection is restored. Ain’t it nice? :)

Is it a full backup? or incremental? or?

The app will load on Flickr all your iPhoto/Aperture content, in the same way your events are organized (and soon with the same title-photo ;) ).
When you run it a second time, it will only upload what is missing on Flickr.
if you change pics in iPhoto/Aperture (change the event/set, rename the set) it will be updated in Flickr.
If you delete pics in iPhoto/Aperture, ONLY if you check the option will
the content be deleted from Flickr.
In NO cases the iPhoto/Aperture content will be modified or deleted.

When resuming, why are some pictures re-uploaded?

In principle, pictures/videos are not re-uploaded. What can happen is that while advancing to the last uploaded media, the app can find a picture or video which transfer was unsuccessful and will try to reprocess it. Flickr tends to reject media after the fact, with no justification. bad Flickr :)

Even when I update Flickr, I still see the same
number of photos to upload on the progress bar

Yes, by design :) In fact, the app will ALWAYS list all photos/videos in the progress bar.
What the app will do if, say, only 3 photos needs to be uploaded, is scan Flickr
then skip over all the media but the 3 in question. So you will see the bar go very fast and stop when an upload is needed.

The upload is very slow. Can it go faster?

Unfortunately, not really. The reason why the upload is slow is not a limitation of the app, but rather a restriction by Flickr.
Say you have a nice 5Mbps upload bandwidth. Only the upload counts, of course.
So a 5 MB pic (average size of an iphone or camera at 8/10 Megapixels) @ 5Mbps upload speed takes 8 sec to load + 2 sec for Flick to process
and return the “OK got it”. – 10s per pic at best. But it’s not the worst news!

 Flick has a limited bandwidth. Do the following test. Go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/upload/ and select a 4 or 5Mb photo from your mac.
upload it. just count the time. See now ?
But that’s not merely all… Flickr is quite restrictive on the
flow of calls to their database engine: max 1 call per second.
Said otherwise, even if your pic would upload in half of a millisecond, you’d have to wait for a sec to load the next one. Wait… is that right? NO, there is worse!!! The 1 call per second is ACROSS all users!!!! so it’s 1 call per sec per APP, not per USER :(
So, i’m trying to go around this and frankly, speed is not as bad as you’d think.

If I the transfer stops for some reasons, when I run it again, will it create double entries?

Nope. Here is what will happen:

1. The app will scan Flickr to list what’s in there
2. The upload will start again listing all photos currently in your iPhoto or Aperture library BUT skipping over whatever is already in Flickr to only upload what is not there.

Note: If you have 5723 pics/videos in Flickr, the total to upload is still 5723, only the app will not re-upload what you already did and will appear to ‘jump’ over lots of pictures.
However, if you stopped last time at, say 2155, it might not skip directly to 2155, but upload some pictures along the way that were not found on Flickr (see below)

Some pictures or videos seem to be reprocessing.
Why is that?

If a picture is not found on Flickr, it will be reprocessed. It sometimes happen when Flickr does not commit the transfer previously done (in other words, some media can appear to be uploading ok, but end up being rejected without any notice.

The upload sometimes freeze. What can I do?

What’s happening is that Flick is still reporting as processing the picture but nothing’s moving. I will try to monitor for that, but, in the meantime, you can briefly disconnect from internet and reconnect. it will force the app to signal a network issue and skip over the picture (to be re-uploaded in a subsequent run)

[Advanced features] Why are some photos with geo-loc not appearing on the main map?

Do ask Flickr :)
These photos appear on a map per request, but, indeed,
do not appear on the main map.

[Advanced features] I cannot find tagged photos when I’m calling the tags in the Flickr search box.

Yep. Flickr is weird sometimes!
Go there http://www.flickr.com/photos/YOURFLICKR/tags/
All your tags are listed alphabetically and you can access the media from there

[Advanced features] Geo-Location does not
seem to upload

Did you set your preferences and authorized it? In your Flickr account, you need to set
your Geo-preferences at the following address:
http://www.flickr.com/account/geo/privacy/?from=privacy

GeoLoc - EN

I renamed a PhotoStream Event and still, it’s not counted as a not-photostream event and won’t upload.

Indeed. No cheating here :) renaming a Photo stream event does not turn the event into a  standard one!! What you actually have to do is select all pics/videos from that event in iPhoto and drag all to the event menu on the leftmost column.
Then give it a name and you know have a non-photostream event that can be uploaded with the ‘do not upload photo stream’ option on.