Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mac Flickr client

I am looking for a native mac application that provides an easy interface to my Flickr account. Requirements:

  • Uploading - need to easily filter out the good photos from the camera, upload and add metadata.

  • Browse photos in photostream, or by sets, tags, etc

  • Edit metadata

  • Save photos locally

From what I have briefly read, iPhoto 09 integration with Flickr is very limited. I use Flickr as the primary repository for my photos and iPhoto isn't intended to be a passive Flickr client. I found the following other candidates:
  • Photonic Really nice app. Demo is free but expires after 14 days. Registration is US$25. Can browse photostream and sets, no coverflow view. Can search by tags, but you need to know the tag names. Double-click a photo to view a larger version. Doesn't show descriptions and no metadata editing or slideshow. However, there is a convenient link to a photo's Flickr page to do these. Apart from assistance with tags, the other major missing feature is the ability to download a photo or set for use as a desktop background or with the screen saver.

  • FlickrEdit Java app that looks horrible with a clunky UI. However you can backup and download photos and sets. Apparently it saves some metadata in the IPTC header of downloaded files, but I can't see it with the mdls command.

  • DeskLickr Set the Desktop background to a Flickr photo. You can point it to your own account, but it only uses your public photos.

  • Cooliris Firefox add-on A 3D wall for viewing images. Works with Flickr, so if you open it on the first page of your photostream or on a Set page, you can view all those photos. My head is spinning from the animation, so it would be nice to turn that right down. More keyboard keyboard control (photo selection and paging) would make this really good.

  • Picture Sync Essentially just an uploader. Didn't seem very intuitive to me.

  • FotoViewr Webapp that provides 3D viewing of Flickr photos (like coverflow). Only works with public photos.

  • Fotobounce Windows only now, with a mac version due this year.

  • 1001 Didn't try this out.

  • Flickr Finder A very simple Finder-like column view. Content layout seems to be broken on Snow Leopard.

  • Photo Grabbr Didn't try it. Suspect it is public photos only.

None of the apps did uploading really well. I am using the standard mac Image Capture application to get photos off the camera. Finder Quick Look in Snow Leopard provides an easy way to look through photos and delete unwanted ones. The Flickr web site uploader and metadata editing work well enough.

Photonic is the easy winner for viewing photos. If it had better tag support and desktop/screensaver integration or the ability to download original images, then the license fee would be more easily justified.

I have made a Flickr set of my favourite photos for use in my screen saver. FlickrEdit is clunky, but I can use it to quickly download the whole set. This is all I use it for. It also includes an incremental backup feature (I need a backup solution too), but I haven't investigated that yet.