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Apple iPhoto 09 Flickr integration is bad, very bad

I am very, very pissed off with Apple’s iPhoto to Flickr integration. It’s seriously broken software. Here are just some of the reasons why – interface and interaction designers please take note:

  • Uploading photos in bulk does not preserve the order (any order) in the Flickr stream. So your photostream gets whack out of order.
  • When you upload photos it assumes that whatever event, album, or smart album you’re currently viewing the photos in should be created as a Set on Flickr. Oh and if the event, album or smart album contains any ‘special’ character that Flickr won’t like in a set name, it won’t do the upload and doesn’t tell you why not.
  • Deleting the spuriously created Flickr Album in iPhoto means the photos are removed from Flickr. After iPhoto tells you it won’t actually delete any photos! (it means from iPhoto, not Flickr).
  • I tried moving the photos to another Set using Flickr’s interface, and removing the now-empty spurious set. IPhoto then asked me if this remotely-removed set should be removed, when I answered yes, somehow iPhoto still managed to delete the previously-moved photos from Flickr.
  • Did I mention that iPhoto flakes the photostream order?

Most of this will also probably apply to the Facebook plugin integration too. This is seriously poor software from Apple. It effectively lies to you about what it’s doing. Yet again proving that Apple doesn’t like to play nice with others. Do not use the Apple-provided iPhoto to Flickr integration. It’s stuffed.

[UPDATE. More information from a iPhoto-Flickr plugin author here: … ]


  1. Scot Mcphee wrote:

    Here’s another WTF with it. Sometimes – and I can’t discern the actual rule – if you update title, tags, and description on Flickr, the changes will make their way back to iPhoto. But only sometimes … and not in any apparently easily comprehensible rule.

    (update – I comprehended the rule: you have to change the photo’s tags on Flickr, then all changes to title and description will propagate back to iPhoto)

    Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 01:47 | Permalink
  2. Gavin wrote:

    I totally agree with you there Scot. I was really excited when the new Flickr up-loader was announced for iPhoto 09. I even decided to upgrade my Flickr account to pro so i could upload all of my 35GB worth of photos onto Flickr.

    When i upload through iPhoto 09 it takes forever and every time i re-open iPhoto it is continuously syncing with Flickr. The worst part is (which i find really annoying) If you then decide to delete them from your events folder or pics folder (thinking they are safe being uploaded onto flickr via iPhoto) think again because if you want to delete them it will then sync back to your Flickr account, now come on someone please prove me wrong on this point- Is the a setting on either Flickr or iPhoto so this doesn’t happen? What i want it to do is, upload them then be able to delete them off my HD so i have a backup online and nicely organised.

    I really thought Apple were onto something good here with intergrading Facebook and flickr into iPhoto 09. Obviously not.

    Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 10:48 | Permalink