If you’re using Aperture (or iPhoto) then you know that there is built-in support for exporting to Flickr … but in my opinion it’s a horrible implementation that doesn’t work the way I expect.
Fortunately there is a much better alternative FlickrExport from ConnectedFlow. FlickrExport has been around for a long while and it’s a fairly mature product with a lot of features. After having selected FlickrExport in the export command you are presented with with a dialog box similar to this:
This is where you control what gets sent to Flickr, by default FlickrExport fills in the title, description, tags and location info based on the info available in Aperture. You can add/change this info as you like and that is what gets sent to Flickr (see below for warning).
In addition to this info you can set the privacy, set, safety, and content info that is specific to Flickr. It’s also possible to send photos directly to different groups by selecting them from the group listing.
While the basic features are pretty obvious there are also some very functionality that is less obvious. First of all, open the preferences and look at the General tab, here you can do two important things: control if the full keyword hierarchy should be exported (very useful!) and what meta-data that should be added back to Aperture. By enabling the addition of Flickr ID and Flickr URL it becomes really easy to find photos on Flickr based on the info in Aperture (it’s much easier to find stuff in Aperture). Using the “Add a keyword” feature it makes it really easy to find the photos you have sent to Flickr in Aperture.
The “Photo defaults” control the default privacy and what FlickrExport should do if you upload a photo a second time (add or replace existing photo). The “Tags” panel makes it really easy to exclude certain keywords in Aperture to get exported to Flickr, there is also an option that allows you to exclude whole hierarchies of tags. I use this to have some tracking info for my photos that I don’t want publicly visible and by excluding them here they never show up at Flickr (see below for warning).
In the main dialog, check out the search box for groups and the ability to define presets for various sets of groups, you might for example define a preset for the flower groups you’re sending photos to. When it’s time to export a flower photo you don’t have to select the various groups one by one, you just select a preset and you’re done.
Another preset of interest is the possibility to define various locations.
What is missing?
For me personally FlickrExport is missing one thing: support for multiple Flickr accounts. I never thought I would need this but it turns out that I use more than one account and it’s a pain to either switch user or use another method for uploading.
Apart from that FlickrExport does everything I need.
FlickrExport sets the meta information on Flickr based on what you see in the main dialog but Flickr also reads info from the EXIF/IPTC info the is embedded in the image. This means that if you allow people to see detailed EXIF/IPTC info on Flickr they can see the original info.
If you’re using Aperture (or iPhoto) and Flickr there is nothing to think about, forget the built-in Flickr support and buy FlickrExport. There’s nothing else that comes close.