The Keeper of the Keys recently pointed out to me that Flickr’s 200 photo limit could potentially cause problems while sharing images. She was talking about her own photostream but it pointed out a potnetial problem with my photostream too. Of course, I knew about the 200 photo limit, but I mistakenly believed that linking directly to an image tag allows you to access images beyond this limit. It doesn’t – thus accessing links to my earlier image albums would essentially have given a 404 error. Flickr does allow you to access beyond 200 if you access it via a set, but that’s not helpful as free accounts can have only 3 sets. So it was either upgrade to Flickr Pro (enticing, and it’s pretty cheap too) – or shift the albums to my own server at no cost. I chose the later because I’m paying for hosting anyway and have excessive amounts of storage and bandwidth lying unused.
I’m NOT unhappy with Flickr. I simply love the service and it’s an excellent way of sharing and discovering photos. A service must have a business model to survive – and I don’t blame them for stunting free accounts.
In particular, this plugin: Gallery2Flickr, which allows you to synchronize images and albums to and fro from your Flickr account. This turned out to be extremely useful as I could import in images into albums in my gallery install based on Flickr tags. It only took me time because I prefer a folder-based hierarchy. For people who prefer to have a photostream with tags, things are inifinitely easier: just go to the primary album, import first 200 images, delete them from Flickr, import older images…and so forth. Importing automatically imports ‘keywords’ – Gallery-speak for tags – into the system, so you’re ready to go from the word ‘go’. The best part is that shifting to Gallery2 doesn’t tie you there. In case, say in the future you get a Flickr Pro account, then you can use the same Gallery2Flickr plugin to export all your images to Flickr. All of this technical jiggery-pokery is possible thanks to Flickr’s extensive API which allows for a wide range of manipulation.
There you have it – my photo library has now shifted to gallery.ankurb.info. I made the changes across all old posts too, so my RSS feed start acting crazy and throwing up old feeds. Sorry for that – but I sure hope you’ve a better experience viewing my photo gallery now. :D