I just got through uploading every last one of my photos to Flickr over the weekend, with an Ethernet cable snaking across the floor from the router to my iMac, and a new app on that iMac to do the work. The app is called F-Stop, and while it’s a little glitchy in its UI, it was rock solid where it counted: pushing around 22,000 JPG files up to Flickr.
Previously, I recommended the Finder as a good way to reliably send big batches of pictures up to Flickr, but two things changed my mind. One was when I left the upload running overnight and found that the Finder, although it had apparently finished uploading, had only sent around 2,000 of a folder containing 3,000-ish images. Because there’s no way to compare a list of what has been uploaded to Flickr against what’s on my Mac, that meant starting over.
The second was that I spotted F-Stop in the Mac App Store, a free front-end to Flickr that is powerful but idiosyncratic. The app offers a fantastic way to upload batches, and you can even queue up batches and have them upload one after the other.
Over the past week, I’ve put all the photos I’ve ever taken (excluding film, anyway) into a single Lightroom library, gathering everything from iPhoto and Aperture into one place. I hate iPhoto, and I have all my RAW photos already edited in Lightroom, so that seemed the best option. I then exported everything to 70%-quality, full-sized JPGs, organized into YYYY/Month folders.
To upload, I found the best way was to drag a year’s worth of Month folders into F-Stop’s batch upload panel. It can see photos in folders, but not inside subfolders. I tried using Spotlight in the Finder to display all the images within the various subfolders (select the master folder and type a period into the search box. All files will be shown, from all subfolders, and you can select them and drag them together) but this reliably made F-Stop crash after it uploaded a few files in that batch.
So I used folders. You can also set the target photoset, add keywords (tags) and choose to resize images on upload. I’d already exported them at the right size, so I skipped this last part.
Hit “Upload” and you’re off. You can then get to work on the next batch, and either choose to have it upload at a future date, or just hit the upload button again to add it to the queue, whereupon it’ll start uploading when the current batch has done.
F-Stop has a ton of great browsing and organizing features, too, although it feels a little rough around the edges – maybe it works better on pre-Mavericks machines. You can browse your photos, other folks’ photos, and even view super0details info about them, including histograms, and links to all sized of the picture that exist on Flickr.
But for me, so far, it was the uploading that shone. It just carried on, swallowing errors into an Errors log for dealing with later, and just getting on with the job until it was done.
I’d like to see a better progress bar. It’s an animated candy-strip that really tells you nothing. Better would be a simple readout telling you how many photos were remaining. There’re also notifications of successful uploads for individual photos, but not a notification that a batch is done.
Still, it’s free and works very well. Check it out on the Mac App Store.