Sunday, September 11, 2011

A script to upload files to Picasa Web Albums

Today I backed up all my family pictures and videos to Picasa Web Albums.

For several months I have been thinking of ways to backup my pictures to somewhere outside my house. I wanted something simple, scalable and inexpensive.

When I read that Google+ users can store unlimited pictures sized <= 2048 x 2048 and videos <= 15 minutes long, I decided to try using Google+ to back up my media.

Full disclosure: I work for Google, which probably predisposes me to like and use Google technologies.

Unfortunately I had my pictures in so many folders that it wasn't very convenient to use either Picasa or Picasa Web Albums Uploader to upload them.

Luckily, I'm a programmer, and Picasa Web Albums has a public API for uploading images. Over the course of an afternoon, I wrote a Python script to upload my pictures and videos from my home computer to my Picasa Web Album account. I put it up on GitHub: picasawebuploader

Good things:
  • The Google Data Protocol is easy to use.
  • Python's built-in libraries made file and directory traversal easy.
  • OSX's built-in "sips" image processing utility made it easy to scale images.
Bad things:
  • The documentation for the Google Data Protocol is not well organized or comprehensive.
  • It's undocumented how to upload videos. Luckily I found a Flicker-to-Picasa-Web script that showed me how.
To do:
  • Use multiple threads to upload images in parallel.
  • Prompt for password if not supplied on command line.