Now this is slick. I just got off the phone with Jeff Bianco over at CustomCD.us and they have a great new service called Backupr.com that will make a back up copy of all of your Flickr photos tags, and other meta data for…
Huh, what’s the catch?
No catch. For a limited time Backupr.com is offering to archive all of your original size resolution Flickr photos, pay the postage and mail you a DVD of them. This is in part because they don’t have a commercial API key from Flickr yet but also they want to test this service out with Flickr users and by offering it for free they will be sure to get a lot of people taking them up on the DVD.
I just ordered mine online and will be able to give you more details on how it works when I get it in the mail, but the achive process was pretty painless. I just authenticated via Flickr for Backupr.com, went through a couple of steps to get all of my photos and sets on the DVD and then entered in my basic shipping information and that was it.
With regards to the metadata, this DVD backup probably represents the best solution that I’ve seen to date but it still is not perfect. The backup metadata is kept in an XML file that is accessed by a flash based application that they send with your photos vs. embedding it in the EXIF data.
I like this service at Backupr.com much better than the current Flickr DVD backup service from Englaze for three reasons.
First, well, duh, it’s free. Englaze charges $30 (I hate it when companies say $29.95) for the first thousand photos and then $4 for each additional thousand.
Second, you don’t have to archive all of your photos, in addition to choosing all of your photos you have the option to select just which ones you want.
Third, Backupr.com provides an XML file with the metadata associated with your images whereas to the best of my knowledge Englaze does not.
It would also seem to me that third parties and other photo sharing sites *might* be able to write code to somehow convert this XML metadata file into the EXIF photo fields in order to make photos more portable than they are on Flickr today. This is something of course that I’ll be sure to look into (wink, wink). This is also of course *not* how Backupr.com is offering or marketing these metadata files but represents in my opinion still a good step forward towards user portability of data.
Nice work CustomCD.us!
Update: Stewart responds: You can follow the thread here.
“I like how Jeff Bianco will call Thomas Hawk and tell him, but not us (Flickr). Kind of bizarre. We will probably shut them down shortly since this is commercial, violates the TOS on a few items and is using our logo on their site without permission. Sorry if that breaks it for anyone (though it apperars to be broken already for me as well). Presumably they’ll be willing to talk and can come back online soon.”
Update 2: A bit more clarification from Stewart:
“[Reality: new, high quality backup service – great! Free DVDs for Flickr users – super! Not using a commercial key (and all the other stuff) – no!]”