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943 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It seems that photobucket just derailed everyone in early July by asking you to PAY for a previously FREE service.
As a consequence, a lot of images in lots of threads no longer work

I personally use Google Photos so I've not been affected. I find it easy and convenient to create shared albums and then to put a link to my albums in my threads
I worry that Google knows too much about too many people.... but I really don't care if they know that I have 500 pictures of snowblowers.

Here is an example of one of my albums related to a Bobcat machine...

This next link also talks about photobucket alternatives but I cannot vouch for any because, like I said, I just use google photos

It looks like it will be a bunch of work to update your threads to manually convert them to use (say) google photos ... but it will be worth it.

I was hoping to find an automated way to just grab all your photobucket images and with a single button click set up alternate google photo albums that match the way you had them organized on photobucket.... But I haven't found one.

If google are on top of this they might be writing such a tool even as we speak.

However, in case they are not doing that, if you are willing to make the effort, google photos will get your thread images working again for free.

What a pity that so many threads are now screwed up by this!

943 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Are any of the forum moderators or administrators able to do a site-wide search that looks for photobucket hotlinks and counts them?

It would be interesting to know just how big a problem this is on the site.

If you guys are linux-literate and if this forum is hosted on linux (I'm guessing it is) , then I'm thinking of a grep or sed or awk script that finds the text representing a photobucket hot link and outputs that list to a file then pipe that file into wc.

The syntax for a photobucket hot-link should be fairly easy to figure out by looking at the html for a few messages that have hot links in them
EDIT: searching for might be good enough. I cannot do it because my search is limited to 500 hits according to the forum configuration options.

Does that sound like something easy to do?

I used to be a software architect before I retired. I'm rapidly forgetting everything but I might be able to help create an automated way to find messages with photobucket links in them, identify the poster, then automatically PM the authors of those messages with a list showing the following info

a) author ID and URL
b) thread ID and URL
c) message ID and URL
d) the photobucket links in that message

At least that way folks would know which links they have in which messages without having to try to hunt them down.
It's another question how many people would be willing to retrofit their messages... but some people might if we could make it as easy as possible to do so.

140 Posts
They wrecked a lot of forums with their greed.

In many forums one is not allowed to edit a post after a given time period.

943 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
....In many forums one is not allowed to edit a post after a given time period.
Yes... but I would imagine that the "super administrator" (or whatever name is used for that role) can change that policy if they wish.
Maybe temporarily, maybe permanently. It's just a setting somewhere on a forum configuration page.

This is google's chance to basically put them out of business overnight if they want to.
If I was working at google labs right now I'd be thinking long and hard how to make that happen and help out all the forums at the same time.

Maybe Photobucket were a victim of their own success. Too much data to host and no clear plan how to monetize that. I understand their dilemma.
It's not greed, it's capitalism......err.... yes maybe you're right ;-) To be fair... the company maybe started off with altruistic intentions... but that doesn't pay the rent.
From that perspective (the shareholders' perspective) , maybe it's the right CEO after all?

Right now I'm more interested in recovering all those great photo resources here on this forum. It's possible if people care enough about it.

943 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Just a bit more information on the Photobucket versus Google-Photos thing.
There should be lots of information out on the web for the millions of people who used to use free accounts and now find they are being charged.
However, if you need (or want) to switch to a different free service... Google Photos gives free accounts for Photos in the same way that you can get free accounts for Youtube-videos.

There's (at least) two parts to this.
1) Getting your photo albums off Photobucket and downloaded to your machine in zip files
2) Deciding if you want to upload them to a free google-photos account. That way you can share them with friends, family or even just make them totally public (but read-only).

1) Downloading from Photobucket.
Even though I don't use Photobucket, I looked at their docs and you CAN download your albums (one at a time) ending up with one zip file per album.
Here's how..
Downloading Albums ? Photobucket Support

2) Uploading to Google-photos
The user interface is an easy drag and drop. There are (at least) three main ways you can do this

a) drag photos one at a time (or several at a time with multi-select) - this is going to be time consuming and I do NOT recommend it

b) drag an album folder (one album at a time) and drop it - all the photos in that album will be uploaded and you can give the album/folder a name "My trip to Disneyland 2011"

c) If you have a single folder which contains MULTIPLE album folders, You can upload the whole shooting match with a single drag-n-drop of the top folder.
(i) The advantage is that all the photos from all the folders get uploaded in one drag-n-drop... go watch a movie while they upload.
(ii) The disadvantage is that they will all end up in one GIANT folder which you would probably rename to be "All my photos".
I'm not sure why google did it that way.. but there you go. You can of course shuffle photos from one album to another later.. if you choose to do so.

I think option 2b makes the most sense because that will maintain the same folder structure that you used to have over on Photobucket

I won't give any more information unless specifically asked because the online FAQs for Photobucket and Google-photos have all the nitty gritty details.
I just wanted you to know that FREE alternatives ARE available and I've been using google-photos for a couple of years and I am satisfied.

Here is a test album I created on google to test out option 2c above.
I call that "the recursive album drag-n-drop feature". I'm not sure how deep the recursion goes but you'll easily be able to test it yourself.
The six images started out as 2 photos per folder distributed over 3 folders under a single master folder...
When you drag-n-drop the master folder, the images all end up in a single giant album.
That's why I recommend using option 2b instead

Google has some other neat built-in options that are either "cool" or "spooky" depending on your level of paranoia.... I lean towards the latter ;-)
(1984 Orwellian dystopia and all that jazz) Orwell was a visionary... he saw it coming... he just got the year wrong.
They can do image-recognition to spot whenever there is a dog or a cat or an airplane in your photos. This lets you search for all your "dog" photos.
Is that cool or is that spooky? <rhetorical question>

Super Moderator
6,670 Posts
photo bucket really messed up a lot of forum write up's with their tactics but I don't blame them I blame the forums that don't or didn't provide a way to host pic's. I know it takes up a lot of band width but there re many forums that do their own pic hosting so you don't need PB. as for the pic, I have nothing on PB that isn't still on my home computer

943 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
photo bucket really messed up a lot of forum write up's with their tactics but I don't blame them I blame the forums that don't or didn't provide a way to host pic's. I know it takes up a lot of band width but there re many forums that do their own pic hosting so you don't need PB. as for the pic, I have nothing on PB that isn't still on my home computer
Actually this forum does (or did) let you upload pics. I even figured out how to do it once. There was however an upload limit for freeloader access.
It makes perfect sense to want people to pay for services. They have to pay the rent somehow.

The only institutions that can ever offer anything for free must get their funding from somewhere. Maybe from central government (in which case you pay via taxes) or maybe if funded via a charity (in which case you are depending on the altruism of donors to pay). With google for example, you are also paying (indirectly) by giving them more information about yourself than you will ever remember about yourself. People forget things... google never will.... that's what makes it all feel very spooky and Orwellian to me.

Another way of paying (implicitly) is by allowing service providers to spam you with ads (ad-blockers can get round that one). Like the man said..."ain't no such thing as a free lunch".

Here's the thing though.... have you ever wondered what you were doing on 13th January seven years ago at 1:17pm? Google knows! So does the CIA and the FBI and Facebook (if you use it.. I don't). That is "1984" all over again.

Next add in all the metadata information that's coming soon (or is arguably already here) from the "internet of things" and those wonderful institutions will also know much more...what temperature your house was, when your garage door opened and closed, what food was going off in your refrigerator, where you were and how fast you were traveling, etc etc.

On top of all THAT.. the recent legislation to allow your IP provider to track and monitor every URL you click on without even telling you they are doing so, and no way to opt out, means they also can infer what you were thinking. I can't believe anyone sat by and allowed the government to pass that bill! They also included verbiage in that legislation to try to prevent it ever being reversed. Who voted for those idiots? <rhetorical> No point using a VPN.. that's just moving the problem not solving it.

Let's not forget the recent company in Wisconsin (I think) that is offering their employees under-the-skin microchips to get past the security doors.
Very spooky indeed.

Like the man who used to refer to himself as Prince said.... "I'm gonna party like it's 1984".... at least, I think that's what the song was called.... I forgot... but google didn't.

For all paranoid schizophrenics reading this post... now is a good time to take your meds because they really ARE watching you! ;-) Wait.... don't take those meds.. you were right!.. or were you just imagining it?
{insert theme song from X-files here}

Sometimes I intentionally google for "best recipes using human body parts"... just to mess with Google's neural-network algorithms ;-) Why is that FBI van outside my house?

Here's a song to cheer you up (hosted by Google of course) ;-)

943 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Got a response from the CEO of Photobucket via the newspaper
There's light at the end of the tunnel.
We are currently working on a solution for these users that we will announce shortly, and we appreciate their patience.

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