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Don’t trust iPhoto with your Flickr photos.

iPhoto Flickr

I found out yesterday that iPhoto, when integrated with Flickr, alters your sets based on iPhotos limitations and doesn’t let the user know.

I’ve been using Flickr for years and have been very happy with it. Once Lily was born the number of photos I uploaded increased dramatically. I’ve now got nearly 900 Lily photos, all in one album.

A while back I got iPhoto ’11 (v9) and was very excited for the Flickr integration. I hooked it up and realized that iPhoto allows a max of 500 photos for a Flickr set. This meant I couldn’t use iPhoto to continue adding photos to my Lily set. I was disappointed, but I left the integration anyways as the backup was nice.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized that nearly 1/2 of my Lily photos were gone from her set on Flickr.

I panicked! For a moment I thought I had lost hundreds of my daughters photos that I uploaded to Flickr. Yes, I had them on my machine, but how did I lose so many online?

Then it hit me, all I had left in my set was 500 which was the same as iPhoto’s limit. Turns out when iPhoto’s max is hit, it removes the excess images from Flickr as well with no warning to the user!

The good news is that iPhoto merely removes them from the set, it doesn’t delete them from Flickr. So I had to go into iPhoto, remove the Flickr integration, and then go into Flickr and add all the photos back into Lily’s set.

I’m not sure who at Apple thought that limiting an album/set to 500 was a good idea, or better yet alter Flickr’s photo sets without getting buy-in from the user, but this is a huge disappointment. iPhoto has now lost some of my trust.

9 Responses

  1. Sleepydude says:

    Dude that sucks. Have you contacted Apple about this? I would. They might do something about if enough people contact them. I use Flickr but I do not have a photo set like that. I’m sure I would if I had kids.

  2. Mukesh says:

    Man that does suck. I just added the integration, then tried to upload photos to my set (which at 800 photos in it) and got that error message of max 500. Then I left it to do a Google search and found this post. Immediately I removed the integration but not sure if I have lost any photos from the set yet. This is a mess, I got onto the iPhoto bandwagon after friends telling me how cool iPhoto is and how cool Apple is (yes, they are fanboys) and I didn’t know Apple had this huge bug in their product. I know what my friends will say… since Apple designed it this way then it must be wrong to put more than 500 images in a set!

    Thanks for the post!

  3. Matt Bernier says:

    I am having a similar problem, whereby when I upload a new set to Flickr through iPhoto it will delete the oldest set from Flickr.

    It does not ask me, it just does it and says “the set xxx has been removed from Flickr”. This is AMAZINGLY ANNOYING. I am so upset right now, because it already took hours to upload all those photos to flickr in the first place.

  4. John says:

    i just figure out that iphoto removed all my images from flickr (i dont have pro account)
    i upload some images and because i all ready had a few (wich i really like them) iphoto remove them.i try to browse them but i can’t

    • Thomas says:

      Try contacting Flickr support and explaining the situation. They have backups, but I don’t know if they’ll give them back or not.

      • John says:

        Thanks tomas. Contact them but they dint reply so i lost all my pics 🙁

        • Dan says:

          I think that your pictures are probably just there it is just that Flickr won’t show more than a certain amount at a time on a free account. I ran into this and read that if you deleted some you would see the more of the old ones which I wasn’t about to do but I was able to search by I think title for one that was no longer showing and that brought up the picture. I thought about how I was using Flickr, whether I really wanted to have so many photos up on Flickr all at once and decided I did so got the Pro account and suddenly all my old pictures were visible again…. Time has passed now and I’m reconsidering the approach of just putting up a few of your very best as done on 500pix and I may give them a try for that.

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