Yesterday, Yahoo!'s secret plans to shut down their Delicious bookmark sharing service were made public. While there are no published plans to shut down the popular Yahoo!-owned Flickr photography service, the general shakiness of all things Yahoo! seems to be making many people nervous.
Since many people have a ton of photos uploaded to Flickr -- iPhoto makes it simple to share your pictures through the service -- we decided to give you some ideas on how to quickly and easily back up your Flickr photostream to your Mac. This isn't a bad idea anyway, since many iPhone photography apps have made it easy to upload photos to Flickr, but it's a little less simple to get 'em back out and onto a computer. Here are some ways to back up those photos.
Direct Downloading: If you only have a few photos on Flickr and don't particularly like Adobe Air applications to sully the silicon of your Mac, there's a free and simple method of saving your pictures. While you're in your Flickr photostream, select a photo and open the actions menu. Click the "View all sizes" link on the menu, which displays a page showing a number of different sized images (see below). Click on the photo you want to download (probably the largest one), and it will display a link next to the word "Download." Click that link to download the image.
Bulkr / Bulkr Pro: Searching for Flickr backup or download tools, it's easy to see why Bulkr is quite popular. This Adobe Air application runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux machines, and the basic version is free. For me, that ended up being perfect for downloading the 140 or so images that I had stored on Flickr. Unfortunately, large format photos may not download in their original size.
For US$30 (currently on sale for $24.95), Bulkr Pro gives you access to original size images and also provides a way to download Exif (Exchangeable Image File Format) metadata for the Flickr images you're downloading.
Photo Grabbr 1.43: This is another free Flickr bulk downloader for Mac, this one from developer Vince Tagle. Photo Grabbr is a bit slow, but it gives you access to those big photo libraries you want to back up and it's not dependent on Adobe Air. Unlike Bulkr, Photo Grabbr will download photos in their original size for free. If you use the app and like it, Vince suggests that you donate a few bucks for the health and welfare of his two cats.
FlickrEdit: FlickrEdit (below) is a cross-plaform bulk downloader, this time in the form of a Java application. It's fast, it gives you previews of photos before you download them, and you can also use the app to watch a slideshow of your photos online or view Exif information. It's free, it's fairly fast, and it also gives you the option of backing up directly to CD or DVD.
There you have it -- a sampling of applications and methods to rescue your precious photos from the grasp of Flickr. If you know of another app that we haven't listed here, please tell us in the comments section below.