June 5, 2007

Upload your photos in an instant with Kflickr

Author: Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier

Uploading pictures to Flickr via its Web-based interface is a hassle, particularly if you have dozens of shots to upload. Linux users have a better choice, though, in the form of Kflickr, a simple application for uploading shots to Flickr that will have your family photos online in no time.

I don't do much editing or tweaking of photos -- I just dump pics from my camera straight to the desktop, then to Flickr. Sure, you can use digiKam, F-Spot, or any of the other photo management tools that are capable of uploading pics to Flickr, but in the spirit of good Unixy apps, I prefer a tool that does one thing and does it well.

Get started

Kflickr is included in several distros, but the version included with Ubuntu Feisty is a bit behind the upstream version, so I grabbed the package from the Kflickr site. There you'll find source tarballs and a Debian package of the most recent version -- 0.8 as I'm writing this -- and a list of distros that include Kflickr. The Debian package installed just fine on Feisty.

Once you have Kflickr installed, you need to authenticate with Flickr to be able to upload photos. Launch Kflickr (press Alt-F2 and type kflickr, or run the program from you application menu) and you'll see a button on the top right side of the window that says Authenticate New User. This will bring up a dialog that will walk you through authentication.

Once you've authenticated under Kflickr, you shouldn't need to do it again -- unlike signing into Flickr via the browser, where you need to sign in again regularly. After you set up authentication, Kflickr will pull down tag and set information for your username, so if you want to add pictures to any of your existing sets, or use existing tags, they'll be available.

Adding and uploading images

You can add images to Kflickr in a couple of ways. The first way is to click on the Add button on the upper left side of the window to open a file dialog where you can select the photos that you want to upload.

The easier way, though, is to just drag and drop pictures into the picture sidebar on the left side of the window. Open a file manager or drag a photo, or photos, off the desktop into the Kflickr window. That's all there is to it. If you accidentally add a picture you don't want to share on Flickr, highlight it and click Remove.

You can upload your photos at this point, but if you want to add titles, descriptions, and tags to your photos (instead of letting them have names like PICT2852.JPG) you can do all that within Kflickr. If you want to modify each picture individually, just click on the picture and add the title, description, and tags you want. You can also specify the copyright terms for each picture, and set privacy options -- pictures can be set public, private, or friends and family only.

Kflickr doesn't include much in the way of photo editing capabilities, but it does have one feature that makes life much easier when you're moving photos from the digital camera to Flickr -- you can rotate photos using Kflickr before uploading them. Just select the picture you want to rotate, and then click the rotate icon.

You can also adjust the upload size -- so if you don't want to upload the full-sized picture, you can choose a custom size or use one of Flickr's predefined sizes. Note that when you upload the full-sized picture, Flickr still generates its predefined picture sizes -- so you don't need to do anything to get the standard sizes from your original picture.

Once you're satisfied, click the upload button. Kflickr will start sending your pics to Flickr, and you can go do other things while it's working.

Do it in bulk

Most of the time, I add pictures to Flickr in large numbers. For instance, I took tons of pictures earlier this year when I went to Sydney, Australia, for Linux.conf.au 2007. I wasn't about to tag and title each picture individually, so I wanted a way to manage the pictures in bulk.

Kflickr makes this easy to do. First, drag and drop the photos you want to tag, or select them via the Add dialog. Then, select all of the pictures you want to manage. You can add titles, tags, and descriptions that will be applied to all selected pictures rather than just one at a time, and also manage the privacy and copyright options. Again, once you're finished, just click the Upload button and Kflickr does the rest.

Kflickr is not a particularly fancy application, but it does get the job done. It makes it easy to upload your photos to Flickr.

Click Here!