Update on Flickr/ Dropbox Post

Awhile back, I showed you how to automatically upload Dropbox photos to Flickr. It's a handy bit of information to have since Flickr upped their photo storage to a whopping 1 terabyte.

Unfortunately, the method I outlined doesn't work.

Essentially, it involved using an IFTTT recipe to upload to Flickr photos that are stored in your Dropbox public folder (since only the public folder has the API capabilities to do such a thing). The problem is that Dropbox puts your photos into a special "Camera Uploads" folder. If you move that folder, as I instructed in the post, it doesn't stay there... Dropbox just recreates the "Camera Uploads" folder and continues to upload your photos there.

I've searched high and low for a platform-agnostic, online solution, to no avail. There is, however, a fix, and it involves creating a symbolic link.

If you're not familiar, symbolic links basically trick your computer into thinking there is a file or folder where there isn't. It creates a link between two folders (or files), and when your computer tries to access the "ghost" folder, it's actually accessing the one it's linked to (it's simpler than I make it out to be). If you want a primer on symbolic links, stay tuned.

So, to fix the Dropbox/ Flickr problem, we're going to create a symbolic link between the default Camera Uploads folder and a folder in your Dropbox public folder. That way, when a photo is uploaded to your Camera Uploads folder, your computer will "think" that photo is in the folder required to upload it to Flickr. Simple, right?

I'm not going to go into creating symbolic links here, because others have explained it better than I, so I'll just point you in their direction. First, check out this post to see how it's done on Windows or Linux (in Linux, it's extremely easy; in Windows, it's a bit trickier). Mac users, check this out. Those posts also contain a bit of background info on symlinks, so you might want to read up, because they can be an extremely handy tool to have in your toolbelt.

Once the symlink is set up, everything should work as expected, provided you went through my instructions in the first place. If not, just deploy this IFTTT recipe.

Of course, the advantage here is that all your photos are on Flickr, which offers tons more storage (in the free tier, anyway). So, you can safely go through your Camera Uploads folder and delete to your heart's content to save that valuable Dropbox space... but check to make sure that the method's working first! I wouldn't want you to delete any photos that aren't backed up.

One last thing: this method uploads every camera you take from your phone to Flickr, so keep that in mind, and make sure to pour through your Flickr privacy settings accordingly. If you want a more deliberate approach, I recommend this recipe, which requires you to move the photos you want on Flickr to a specific folder, but which also requires no symlinks.

There... I think I covered all the bases. If anyone has anything to add, hit me up on Twitter or add your thoughts in the comments.

Note that, as of this post, Disqus integration is down. I'm looking into it, and hope to get comments back online soon.


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