I love Picasa, a free photo management tool, and Flickr, a great (also free) online photo sharing/storage service. Picasa, now owned by Google, does have its own photo sharing service and it is quite good. However, I give Flickr the nod because it has more professional features that I use and seems more mature in it’s development. So, if you’re like me, you want a way to integrate the capabilities of Picasa on your computer (it runs on Mac and PC) with your online Flickr account, there’s a solution. It’s a Picasa plugin called picasa2flickr.

If you watch the video above, you’ll see how to install and use it, but essentially it gives you another button allowing you to perform the uploading action on a given photo or photos. You will need to also have the free Flickr tool Flickr Uploader. Once Picasa and Flickr Uploader are installed, you can click on the picasa2flickr link and it will add it to the Picasa button along the bottom of the program’s screen. Now uploading photos to your Flickr account is as easy as finding them in Picasa and pushing a button.

Flickr Phone

An important, and long-awaited announcement from Flickr is their new iPhone application and it looks to be a good one. I literally started playing with it a few minutes ago and quickly grabbed some screenshots from the iPhone screen. The opening screen gives a nice slideshow of photos from your contacts. One of them, depicted above, is from our former DTLT student Serena Epstein. In short, it allows viewing photos already in your Flickr account, as well as uploading photos that you have just taken, or photos from your iPhone library.

I had been using FlickIt and AirMe to upload photos to the Flickr website, and another app called Darkslide to view my Flickr photos. However, the new Flickr app does it all, and seems to work quite seamlessly as it includes the ability to geo-tag photos. It is one of those iPhone apps that immediately feels right to use, almost like it was there from the beginning. The one downside is that uploads do not include the camera information. So far the only way to get that information included is to use the email to Flickr method. Let’s hope that an update will fix that shortcoming.

All in all, it looks like this program will be on the hallowed “page 1” of my iPhone. It was worth the wait. Here’s the link to the Apple Store for the application.

Instant Image Publishing

Several weeks ago I posted about AudioBoo, a way to instantly post audio on the web and feature that content in a WordPress blog (at UMW Blogs). In my continued fascination with instant publishing, I wanted to bring you the equivalent in instant image publishing.

Here’s what you need. An iPhone, using its built-in camera. An app called AirMe, which you set up to upload the image you take, to an account of your choice. In our case we use the Flickr service. I’ll talk about the Flickr piece in a moment, but I don’t want to gloss over how AirMe works. I grab the iPhone and start the free AirMe app. It works on top of the camera app and it allows me to take a picture, if I like it I use it, or I retake it. I can also use an image that is already on my iPhone. As long as I’m connected to the AT&T network, it will instantly start uploading. In 30 seconds, give or take, it’s done.

Now it’s available on Flickr. So, similar to the audio recordings on AudioBoo, the image is instantly hosted on a photo sharing site. However, like we also did with AudioBoo we are going to republish it to a WordPress blog automatically. We again employ our good friend FeedWordPress. We use the RSS feed from Flickr using the tag iPhone. In no time at all the image is up on the blog.

I have a preset title of “Latest iPhone Photo” and it posts the thumbnail that links to the Flickr page for the photo.

Caution, of course, needs to be exercised because it will publish whatever photo you send. The current iPhone has even better quality than the one I own, and network coverage is getting better all the time. This will only get better and easier with time. I was hoping to have this procedure worked out in time for my MS Ride this year but . . . better late than never.