I use Flickr very infrequently. Usually it’s to upload a picture I want to make sure doesn’t get lost in a hard drive shuffle, or sometimes it’s to post a few screenshots for my folks, to show them how to do something. But almost without fail, whenever I use Flickr, I get annoyed at its upload capabilities. Flickr offers a desktop upload application for Mac and Windows, but not Linux. Flickr’s web-based uploader is better than it used to be, as it now supports multiple files at once, but it’s still a little limited. Thankfully, KFlickr exists for KDE users (and GNOME, although there are other Flickr uploaders for GNOME Linux).
KFlickr is a basic uploader, compared to others I’ve used. But that’s okay, because my uploading needs are few, and KFlickr is far and away a more capable uploader than the web-based option from Flickr itself. They both support multiple, simultaneous uploads, so why is KFlickr better?
First, because it offers more functionality and flexibility. With the web uploader, you can upload multiple files at once, choosing a privacy rating before you do so. Then after uploading, you are able to add tags and descriptions. You can also rename your photos and add them to a set. The tags and set are applied to the entire batch of recently-uploaded photos, while the titles and descriptions are for individual files. If you want, however, you can use Flickr’s Organizr, which allows you to add tags to individual images.
KFlickr, on the other hand, gives you a lot more. The first problem I have with Flickr’s web-based uploader is that it makes me wait. If I know I’m going to add tags and descriptions to my images, and what sets I’m going to put them in, I think it makes more sense for me to do this before the upload, as opposed to after. If I have to wait until the photos are uploaded before editing all that data, that means I either have to find something else to do, or sit there and wait, while they upload. And if I go away, it means I need to remember to come back. If I could just edit all that data to my satisfaction, and then upload, that would be better. KFlickr does that. And it does it with more flexibility than Flickr’s uploader.
With KFlickr, I can edit information on a per-item or group basis. I can use the same description for all my images, or create a new one for each. I can edit tags for the whole group. or for each image. If almost all of my photos will belong to a set, I can assign that set for all the photos, then go back and change the few that are different. And if I want to set my privacy settings the same way, I can.
KFlickr is also more powerful than Flickr’s web-based uploader. Two features in particular stand out. First, I can rotate my images. This is useful for photos just out of a digital camera, which often are rotated 90 degrees one way or the other because of how the camera was held. KFlickr lets me set the rotation the way I want it. The other feature is the ability to set the upload size. This is particularly important for people using the free Flickr account, which has an upload bandwidth limit per month. With today’s digital cameras taking such high resolution photos, full-size images can be huge. KFlickr allows me to upload the image at full resolution, but also allows me to set a smaller one. This is useful not only for saving space, but in the event that your images are intended to be viewed on the web, it just makes sense.
Finally, KFlickr allows me to use it with multiple accounts. This is useful for families who might all have individual Flickr accounts, or for individuals who have different accounts for different parts of their life (work, home, church, sports, etc.).
All in all, I’m really pleased with KFlickr. It takes a lot of what annoys me about the Flickr web-based uploader and not only makes it better, but it provides an easy, fast and friendly way – from my desktop, even though I’m using Linux and not Mac or Windows – to upload to Flickr. As mentioned, KFlickr is designed for KDE and fits in beautifully. It will work equally well with GNOME, but for GNOME users, other options do exist. Still, if what I’ve described sounds helpful and more useful, give it a try; I wasn’t disappointed, and I doubt you will be either.