The bane of online existence is that our data is invariably scattered in different places. And nothing is affected more by this than photos. In all probability, you have pictures on different services – Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Instagram, and many more. The end result is that when you need to find that one photo you are looking for, you don’t know where to begin searching. Wouldn’t it be better if all your photos were collected in one place, ready to be accessed at any time?
PixelPipe promises to make this easier by letting you migrate images and videos from one web service to another in a dead-simple interface. So whether it’s because you’re running out of space or you simply want to change your image host, this just might be the magic wand you have been looking for.
Getting started couldn’t be easier. Just PixelPipe visit the site and you’re prompted to sign in with your Facebook or Google account. There’s no direct registration option to do it, unfortunately. Then it’s just five easy steps to migration.
Step 1: Select the Source
As you can see from this image, the design of the site is quite pleasing and invites you to use it. I have tried out other migration tricks in the past and they always involved scripts or programs that looked a little daunting. PixelPipe seems easy enough for a child to operate, and that makes you feel reassured that nothing will go wrong.
From the grid of icons, select the source(s) that currently hold your photos. The options you have here are Facebook, Facebook Pages, 500px, Flickr, Google Drive, Instagram, MySpace, Photobucket, Picasa, Shutterfly, SmugMug, and the European social network VK.com. Clicking on any icon prompts you to sign into that service and grant PixelPipe access to it. IMPORTANT: Do read the access PixelPipe is asking for and choose what you want to grant and deny.
Sadly, there is no way to select multiple sources. So if you want to migrate all your Flickr, Instagram and Facebook photos to 500px, you are going to have to run through the PixelPipe process for each service individually. We wish there was a multiple service option, it would have made things a lot easier.
Step 2: Select Media
It’s time to select the folders that you want to transfer to your new service. PixelPipe gives you a grid layout of the current pictures and videos in your online album, and you can either Select All with the button or pick and choose by clicking them individually.
There’s a Grid View to give you a quick overview of all the folders you have in the service, and this makes picking and choosing quite easy. But if you aren’t sure which folder you are looking for an need a preview of the images in it, hit the List View button. It’s a longer scroll, but you get to see thumbnails of the contents of the folders.
Step 3: Edit Details
This is the place where you get to customize the images you are going to be transferring. No, there are no fancy image-editing tools, but in this space, you can pick and choose the images you want to transfer out of individual folders. You can also add individual descriptions and tags for easier identification.
This is quite a cool addition, if you ask me. When transferring photos from Facebook to a new service, it proves especially helpful since you might have several duplicates or pictures where you were tagged on Facebook that you don’t want.
Step 4: Select Destination
As the name suggests, this is where you choose the web app you want to migrate to. The choices are aplenty: 500px, Box.com, CX.com, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Facebook Pages, Flickr, Google Drive, MySpace, Orkut, Photobucket, Picasa, Shutterfly, SkyDrive, SmugMug, SugarSync, VK.com and YouTube.
Click and sign into any of the services and you’re given a few more options. You can choose to preserve the existing folder structure or upload it all to a specific folder. And we would recommend checking the option for ‘Attempt to preserve file order’ – it’s slower, but definitely worth it if your images are already arranged in a way you want.
The cool part here is that you can choose multiple destinations. So if you wanted to take all your photos from Facebook and put them on Picasa for the world to see as well as back them up on your Dropbox, this is the easiest way to do it. Select as many services as you want.
Step 5: Summary
This final page gives you a summary of what you are attempting to do. The first part, ‘From’, shows the web app you have chosen to migrate your images and videos from, and gives you a quick round-up of the number of albums and files you are transferring.
The second part, ‘To’, shows you where you are migrating your data to, providing additional information such as the file types supported by that service, the amount of free space it has, and any other errors that might come up. For example, as this image shows, Photobucket supports only alphanumeric characters in file names and replaces unsupported characters automatically.
This is also where we ran into a bit of a problem with PixelPipe. While it shows the amount of free space your ‘To’ has, it doesn’t tell you how much space is needed for everything you are migrating. So there’s no way to know whether it will fit or not – a problem we ran into once. PixelPipe simply stops the migration process once the destination runs out of space, leaving you the only option of deleting space and then starting the whole process all over again.
Still, provided you know your space restraints, you can just verify that everything is all right and hit the ‘Start Transfer’ button; and yes, you can choose to auto-notify your friends on Facebook when you’re done.
That’s it! There’s no need to wait around. The transfer process has begun and PixelPipe will send you an email when it’s finished, along with a summary of what happened.