Flickr is easily the most popular photo sharing site and it is very easy for dedicated users to quickly amass a large volume of images on the service. But what happens when you leave the service? Or even if Flickr disappeared? Do you have local copies of all your images? Backing up, whether it be our local files or those in the cloud, is something we all know we should do, but many don’t – until something goes wrong and everything is lost!

Although Flickr does have a robust API its not easy for someone non-technical to download and backup all the images they have uploaded to the service. However there are a few solutions out there that aim to help you download and save your images locally.

One of the newer and better ones I’ve seen is Bulkr. This is an Adobe AIR tool (so you’ll need AIR installed). It has a simple interface and provides a very easy method for you to download and backup your entire photostream, individual photos or chosen sets (to local folders) via a few clicks of the mouse. You can select what size you want to download (although it would make most sense to grab the originals) and even embed the tags from Flickr into the image EXIF data.

If you’re guilty of not backing up your images, give Bulkr a go, and of course once you’ve got the images stored locally don’t forget to back those up too!

2 Comments

  • Dave Wild 2010 Jun 04 / 14:39

    Flickr ought to be ashamed of themselves for making it difficult to get at your data. I used Bulkr when I was backing up all of my photos, but really you shouldn’t have to rely on third party tools – this stuff should be built in to the product and easy to use.

    It should be possible to backup your data on the site that includes the photos, but also the comments and any other data added after the photo was uploaded – like people, tags, geotag etc..

  • nickpotter 2010 Jun 04 / 15:05

    Dave – I agree. However seeing as Flickr has shown no interest in improving its service or UI over the last few years I wouldn’t hold your breath for this to be included.

    They also have a weird policy on links too, encouraging you to link to them but then adding nofollow tags to any links you add in your photo captions (see my earlier rant!)

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