Feature Ideas/Flickr Import

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Importing photos/media from flickr

There is going to be a common situation: a current flickr user wants to switch over to MediaGoblin but not lose all of their photographic/video history. What can we do to help them?

Import of Photos/Videos

The import of photos from a user's flickr account has multiple parts/steps.

  • Download all versions/qualities (eg: small, medium, large, original for photos and non-HD and HD for videos) of each photo they have in flickr.
    • With each version, record the URL where it lived on flickr's servers.
  • Retrieve all user-added metadata.
    • title
    • description
    • tags
    • geolocation
    • sets
    • collections
    • Copyright/License
  • Record any groups the photo/video has been added to
    • The group "display name" along with the group URL
  • record "social" information added to the picture, e.g.
    • comments
    • number of people who have "favorited" the photo/video

The last step is, of course, to add the photo/video to the user's account and inject all of the relevant info into the db. It might be wise to not delete any of the collected information even if MediaGoblin doesn't yet suppport its use/display (you never know when the information might disappear from flickr).

Connecting MediaGoblin version to flickr version

Because some people will not completely delete their flickr account (or may be simply testing out MediaGoblin) we want to make user freedom of choice as strong as possible. Thus, displaying cross site information on MediaGoblin is one way of not inflicting lockin-like behavior.

Some ways of connecting the MediaGobline version to the flickr version include:

  • displaying an "Also on flickr" text link/button to the photo on flickr
  • displaying an "In X groups on flickr" text link/button
  • displaying a "Favorited X times on flickr" text link/button

Tools of the trade

There are many tools in use that attempt to backup users flickr accounts. There are even a few that are written in python and thus might be good reference implementations for this feature.

  • offlickr
    • backs up photos and at least some metadata
    • uses the flickrapi python module
  • flickrtouchr
    • does not download metadata
  • OpenPhoto has a Flickr export tool, written in Python (SamatJain is a committer). It backs up all metadata, except (at the moment) comment and number of favorites, groupings (sets, collections).
  • flickrbackup (although Offlickr seems strictly more powerful)
  • FlickrDownload - downloads all photo metadata. Does not download comments.
  • do you know of others?
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