Migratr – Backup And Migrate Your Online Photos

Migratr.com LogoI discovered this application via The Global Geek Podcast Episode 59 It’s called Migratr. Migratr was originally developed to allow you to download all of your photos from one web service, then import them into another. But, as Dave mentioned on the show, this tool has a dual purpose.

It can also be used to download all of your photos from a supported online photo hosting service such as Flickr and allows you to create a manual backup. In this how-to article, I will be illustrating how to use this application.

The first thing you need to do is download and then install the Migratr application. Migratr uses the .NET framework which makes it compatible with Windows only. The latest version of the .NET framework which is 3.0 can be downloaded here

Step 1. is the authentication process. As it stands, Migratr supports the following photo services: Flickr, Zooomr, 23HQ, SmugMug and Picasa Web. Since I use Flickr, thats the option I’ll choose. After clicking the Authentication button, the Flickr homepage will load letting me know that Migratr wants to link directly into my Flickr account. At this point, your going to want to click on the blue OK, I’LL ALLOW IT button. Now that Migratr is authorized, it’s time for step 2.

Step One Of The Migration Process

Step 2. Click on the Finish Authentication Button

Finish The Authentication Steps

Step 3. Now that the Flickr account is authenticated, I can begin the Import process, which will download all of my photos that are currently within my Flickr account. After clicking the Import button, you’ll be given the opportunity to select where the photos will be stored. For simplicity, I’m going to select a newly created folder on my desktop. Since I have over 700 images, this ought to be interesting.

It took nearly 20 minutes for migratr to download 783 Flickr photos. The amount of time it takes for your Import will vary depending upon your Internet connection speed and the number of photos in your account.

Beginning The Import Process

Along with all of my photos, Migratr also produced an XML file. This XML file is the important asset that allows for the importing and exporting to different services. The XML file contains all of your tags, album titles, individual image titles, and image descriptions. Essentially, all of the meta data that is associated with your account.

At this time, you can either continue with the program to import your photos into a different service, or you can close the program, with confidence that you now have a full backup of your photos that you can store on an external hard drive or DVD. You never know, some insane virus or technical failure could wipe out Flickr. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

For the sake of this article, I’m going to create a brand new account on 23HQ and see how the exporting process goes.

Step 4. After your import is finished, click on the CONTINUE TO EXPORTING button. Since I created a new account on 23HQ, thats the one I am going to select. Click on the authenticate button to begin the authentication process.

Time To Export The Photos Into 23HQ

Step 5. Click on the Finish Authentication button.

Finish authenticating then begin the export process

Step 6. Click on the Export button and select the folder where your imported photos are located. That is precisely what I did and it took an insanely large amount of time to upload photos. My upstream connection is only 512K. The lesson here, if your going to import photos into a another service, make it an overnight affair.

The photos that uploaded into my 23HQ account looked as though they retained all of the information that was attributed to them on Flickr. Migratr seems to have done it’s job and it did the job fairly well. Before I let you go, there are a few more things that you should know or at least consider before making any hasty moves.

Albumns Were Transferred Successfully Tags Were Also Transferred Successfully A number of photos were succesfully exported

The first is that I use a Flickr Pro account. This means I have the ability to upload an unlimited amount of photos. Unless you have a pro account for any of the services that are supported by Migratr, you won’t be able to move your entire account over to a new service in one try. Secondly, Zooomr appears to be supported even though their API has yet to be released. As it stands, Zooomr does not support mass uploads. If you try to export your photos to Zooomr through Migratr, you will be presented with an error, telling you that the authentication failed, try again later.

Even though the program works now, it’s been awhile since Alex has posted anything on his Migratr site. I really hope he continues to support and improve upon this product as it’s BACKUP functions are enough for me. Alex, if your out there, let us know what’s going on and thank you for producing this awesome application.

3 thoughts on “Migratr – Backup And Migrate Your Online Photos

  1. Jeff, great review and how to on this app. Glad to see that it worked well as a back up tool.

    This type of in-depth look at an application is something that we often don’t have time to do – so I am glad that someone does :) Nice work and a great follow up.


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