04
Sep
08

Migrating photo galleries

If you have kids and live away from your extended family, online photo galleries are pretty much a necessity these days. I’ve been running one on this server since 2004, when our daughter was born. I’ve been using Gallery v.1 and it’s worked out pretty well for me. However, as I get closer to graduating, I’m aware that my ability to host this site will change. Figuring out what changes to make and actually making those changes could be both time-consuming and headache-inducing.

At the very least, the URL will need to change. However, I’d like to stop having to do admin work on the computer, like dealing with upgrading to the latest version of the software or troubleshooting hardware problems. So, ideally, I’d like to migrate all my photos to an online photo sharing site. I’ve been looking at the various options but none has really jumped out as a the logical choice. I have a lot of pictures, so I’m resigned to paying for a “pro account”, as they’re called on many sites. Generally, this amounts to $20-25/year, so it’s no big deal. There are a bunch of criteria that I’m judging the sites on but I won’t get into details now – I’ll save that for a later post.

In the meantime, I’ll focus on one criterion: that a tool exists that would allow me to automatically migrate my existing albums to a new location. I was aware of a sourcforge project called gallery2flickr, which will migrate your Gallery v.2 albums to Flickr. However, it’s nice to have choices and I was afraid that I would be locked into Flickr because it was the only service with a migration tool. However, today, I discovered Migratr, which will convert between any of 10 different photo sites, including Gallery v.2, Flickr, Zooomr, and Picasa Web. This gives me a lot more options.

Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, all these migration tools work with Gallery v.2 while I run Gallery v.1. So, I’ll need to migrate my Gallery v.1 albums to Gallery v.2 albums. I’m not sure how difficult this will be. I’m pretty sure that it will involve at least two steps, though: 1) upgrade from my current Gallery version to the latest version in the v.1 line and then 2) convert that installation into Gallery 2. This could be complicated by the fact that Gallery 2 uses a MySQL database and I’m not sure if I remember the root password for the MySQL server on the machine, which I’ll need in order to create a new user, which, in turn, I’ll need to give Gallery 2 access to the database and the appropriate tables. If things don’t go smoothly, this could turn into a huge pain since I need my MySQL installation for my blog, which, incidentally, is something further that I will need to migrate before too long…

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4 Responses to “Migrating photo galleries”


  1. September 4, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    You really need to take a ton of photos to go over the limit of some of these sites. I use Picasaweb quite a bit. It’s pretty easy.

  2. September 4, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    A link to help you on your merry way:)

    http://codex.gallery2.org/Gallery2:migration

    Is a guide to migrating from Gallery 1 to Gallery 2. The really handy thing about Gallery 1 is that, since it doesn’t rely on mysql, backing it up is as easy as zipping the installation folder & images folder (if the images folder isn’t inside the main install folder). If things go wrong, you can always start over:D

    Good luck with the migration!
    -Alex

  3. 3 Colin
    September 4, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Alex, thanks for the link. I’ll have to check that out. Other than the whole migration issue, I don’t feel the need to upgrade to Gallery 2. The 1.x version has served me well and I’m not convinced that I would really benefit from the changes in version 2. Part of me is tempted to sign up with a hosting service, tar and zip my existing gallery installation and scp it over. Anyway, I’m going to look into the issue in greater depth and let you know what I decide.

  4. 4 Colin
    September 5, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Adrian, the issue isn’t so much how many pictures I take but how many pictures I have taken. If we were to migrate our current photo gallery, that would involve migrating over 2800 pictures. Most of these pictures were taken with our 3.2MP camera, which produces jpegs in the 1.2MB range, so these pictures alone would represent about 3GB – enough to substantially exceed the 1GB limit for free storage on Picasa Web. That said, it’s taken us over 4 years to get to that point, so the 10GB package would probably be adequate for a few years.

    In many ways Picasa Web looks good but I’m wary of Google. Actually, I’m wary of most of these online services. They all seem very interested in forcing you to give them rights over your content that they have no business having. The sketchiness of their Terms of Service makes me want to host things myself. Maybe if we end up getting FIOS when we move, I will.


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