Use GoogleCL to Upload Photos to Picasa Web Album

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Jan 05, 2011 GMT
Dmitri Popov

If you are using Google's Picasa Web Album photo sharing service and you want to automate the process of uploading photos, the GoogleCL command-line toolset can come in rather handy. Once installed on your machine, you can use it to perform several tasks such as creating albums, uploading and tagging photos, downloading photos, etc. directly from the command-line. Better yet, GoogleCL is pretty straightforward in use. For example, you can upload all photos in a directory to a specific album using the following command:

google picasa post --title "Travel Photos" /home/user/photos/*.jpg

If the specified album doesn't exist, GoogleCL automatically creates it for you. When you run GoogleCL for the run, you have to authorize it for use with the Picasa Web Album service.

To automate the uploading process you can write a simple Bash script and create a cron job to run it on a regular basis. The script below uploads all photos in the /home/user/photos directory to the Travel Photos album and then empties the directory:

google picasa post --title "Travel Photos" /home/user/photos/*
echo "Photos have been uploaded."
rm /home/user/photos/*.jpg

If you want to tag the photos during upload, then the command should look something like this:

google picasa post --title "Travel Photos" --tags berlin /home/user/photos/*

To run the script on a regular basis, you need to set up a cron job. Run the crontab -e command, specify the following cron job (replace the sample path with the actual path to the upload script) and save the modified crontab file:

@hourly /home/user/ >> /home/user/picasaupload.log

This cron job will run the script every hour and log the result in the picasaupload.log file.


  • Synchronizing rather than uploading

    I think what most people want is actually to synchronize (without deletion) a local folder with picasa, and that's something you can not do with googlecl....
    I wrote a small jar to solve this problem. It is available here: http://vincesoft.blogspot.c...automatically-synchronize.html
  • No error checking

    and all files will be lost if the server did not accept them
    for example, when an error:
    "Loading file /home/user/photos/1.jpg to album Travel Photos
    Failed to upload /home/user/photos/1.jpg. (400: Bad Request)
    1 photos failed to upload"
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