Flickr Command Line Uploading – sort of!

So the ongoing project right now is to upload all 4000-some odd photos that I have stored on various machines up to my Flickr account. The sheer volume of images is quite staggering, as each uploaded pic has to be put into the appropriate set and tagged. Some of the uploading tools have been somewhat handy, but since the vast majority of my pics are stored remotely on a linux box, GUI tools aren’t much help.
There’s really no decent ‘command line tool’ for batch uploading pictures, but I think I’ve found a fairly decent way using Flickr’s upload by email function.
Using a simple hand-entered script and Mutt‘s powerful command line functions, a directory full of images can simply be emailed to flickr, tags, text, titles and all.
Here’s a sample run uploading a single directory. The tags can be set in the Subject line of the mail, or via the email page on Flickr. You pre-set the tags, then submit the images:

dbs@boomer:~/pictures/maine-may9-1998$ for i in *.jpg
> do
>   mutt -a $i -s $i    echo $i done.
> done
dave-1.jpg done.
dave-n-michael.jpg done.
don-finishes-up.jpg done.
final-dock-assembly.jpg done.
house-1.jpg done.
lake-1.jpg done.
lake-2.jpg done.
ready-to-unload.jpg done.
scott-steel.jpg done.

Simple, eh? Then I go to Flickr’s ‘organize’ function, toss the new images into a set, and then I’m ready for the next batch. The images show up on Flickr in a matter of seconds, so I can do any size directory, from submission into a set, in about 2 minutes. The script is entered on the command line, so to upload the next directory, I reset the tags on flickr, cd to the new dir, and just up-arrow to the script, and hit enter. Boom!
Of course I have something like 400 directories to work through, but if I do a dozen or so a night, I’ll get through them eventually.


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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7 thoughts on “Flickr Command Line Uploading – sort of!

  1. Yah know. This sort of thing always leaves me asking the question “how can we expect ordinary people to do these kinds of thing?”
    And the answer is “nyah nyah, you can’t use it, loser.”
    Increasingly, I’m comfortable with that.

  2. Eh, this sort of thing isn’t targeted at Joe User really. It’s targeted at the hyper-geek (HI!) that wants to do something that isn’t in the pointy-clicky interface or toolset.
    I’m pleased that flickr is aware enough of this fringe group to offer the tools and hooks so we can ‘go around the edge’ when needed, but I’m certainly not going to tell my grandmother how to do this 🙂

  3. On a related note, I’ve been abusing your hospitality by hosting my photos on Homeport, using the Gallery software. I’ve been meaning to post about how well-designed and annoyance-free this package is.
    If the disk space or bandwidth used thereby get a bit much (extremely unlikely, I think), let me know and I’ll bite the bullet and move it to Flickr.
    And we still have Zach’s sweater. 🙂

  4. I’ve used Gallery2, and really did not like it. I found the interface painful to work with, and Flickr means I don’t havbe to deal with software updates, database, files and directory management, bandwidth, or the like.
    As far as galleries on boomer, no problem there. We’re doing fine for disk and bandwidth (actually the disk space problem on /home is primarily my photo library, hence the reason I’m moving off boomer 🙂
    And we’ll get the sweater at some point.

  5. Your target is the hyper-geek, yes, but you know what? Geeks really need to do a better job of groking people.
    I was observing that this stuff (like, how WOULD you upload a bazillion pictures to flikr if you’re not a geek?) is incomprehensible to the average Joe point’n’click. I know that’s not your audience, but I beg that your audience think about what I said.
    I think geeks need to talk about that more. Irrational people don’t always deal well with being forced to use the artifact of some distant rational decision. It makes them cranky, and goodness knows, we need more cranky people, right?
    None of which has anything to do with your post, which is wicked cool and very Whee! Well geeked!

  6. Um. Sorry. In other words, I wasn’t complaining that your thing wasn’t joe-point’n’click-ready, I was just thinking out loud that your thing is very clever, and wondering how real people would try to do that before they gave up and watched Jackass one more time.

  7. Whoops! Yes, you’re actually dead on right. I should in fact label some of this stuff “WARNING, IF YOU’VE WATCHED ANY OF THE FOLLOWING MOVIES MORE THAN ONE TIME, YOU SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT THIS…”
    I’m sure someone would get huffy about it though 🙂 🙂

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