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[SCRIPT] Quickly download entire PicasaWeb albums
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Magic Banana
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Posts: 1872
Location: Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brasil

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:08 pm    Post subject: [SCRIPT] Quickly download entire PicasaWeb albums Reply with quote

[mylife]
I finally succeeded in making my mother understand that there exists cleaner ways to share her Christmas pictures than filling up her contacts' mail boxes. Thus, she has got a PicasaWeb "gallery" she feeds via F-Spot. She had such a success with her "novel" approach that the rest of the family now does the same. Now, she wants to download a whole album without having to visualize the pictures one by one.
[/mylife]

Google restricts the download of entire albums to users of its proprietary (and Windows only) software Picasa. Searching solutions on the Web, I discovered an incorrect Bash script having in dependency a XML parser and a C# program which was reported to work with Mono. All in all, nothing to please me. Furthermore, both take in argument the RSS feed address (instead of the URL of the album you receive in the invitation mail) and cannot download at once all the public albums of a given user.

Hence, I looked at the source code of PicasaWeb pages and quickly understood it will be easy to achieve my goals in a few lines of Bash and without any dependency (the most complicated commands I use are wget and grep!). Here is the result:

/usr/bin/picasaweb-download:
#!/bin/bash
# Distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License v3 or later
# AUTHOR: Loïc Cerf
# e-mail: magicbanana@gmail.com

WGET_OPT="-q -T 180 -t 3 -c"

EX_USAGE=64
EX_NOHOST=68

if [ -z "$1" -o "$1" = "--help" -o "$1" = "-h" ]
then
    echo "Usage: $0 url [destination]"
    exit
fi
page=${1#*picasaweb.google.*/}
if [ "$page" = "$1" ]
then
    echo "\"$1\" is not the URL of a PicasaWeb album or gallery" 1>&2
    exit $EX_USAGE
fi
temp=`mktemp`
if wget $WGET_OPT -O $temp "$1"
then
    finalPage=${page#*/}
    if [ -z "$finalPage" -o "$finalPage" = "$page" ]
    then
        # $temp is a gallery
   if [ -z "$2" ]
   then
       destination=`grep -m 1 "^var _user" $temp`
       destination=${destination##*nickname:\"}
       set "$1" "${destination%%\"*}"
   fi
   mkdir -p "$2"
   cd "$2"
   grep -E -o "$1"[/]?[[:alnum:]:.%~_-]+ $temp | sort | uniq |
   while read album
   do
       "$0" $album &
   done
    else
        # $temp is an album
   if [ -z "$2" ]
   then
       destination=`grep -m 1 "^var _album" $temp`
       destination=${destination##*title:\"}
       set "$1" "${destination%%\"*}"
   fi
   grep -E -o {id:\"[0-9]+\",s:\"[[:alnum:]:\\.%~_-]+ $temp |
       while read picture
       do
      picture=${picture##*\"}
      picture=${picture/\x2Fs144/}
      wget $WGET_OPT -P "$2" ${picture//\x2F//} &
       done
    fi
else
    exit $EX_NOHOST
fi
rm $temp


Using this script is very easy: picasaweb-download URL [destination]

The URL may either point to an album (public or private with the authentication key terminating the URL) or a whole gallery. For example, the following command will download the album titled "GPLv3-2006 Conference" from the PicasaWeb gallery of "Ramprasad B":
Download an album:
$ picasaweb-download http://picasaweb.google.com/ramprasad.i82/GPLv32006Conference/

To download all his public albums:
Download a gallery:
$ picasaweb-download http://picasaweb.google.com/ramprasad.i82/


The destination is optional. If present, it is the directory (if it does not exist, it will be created) where the pictures will be downloaded. If absent, the album (respectively the gallery) will be downloaded in a directory having its title (respectively the author's nickname). In the case of a gallery, every album will be downloaded in a separate sub-directory bearing its name.

To be able to download galleries, this script must be saved in a directory of the PATH variable (typically /usr/bin).

Obtain the root permissions:
Obtain the root permissions:
$ su

Open your favourite text editor (here gedit) on a new file in a directory of the PATH variable (here /usr/bin):
Edit /usr/bin/picasaweb-download:
# gedit /usr/bin/picasaweb-download

Copy-paste the script in your text editor. Close it and, finally, make the script executable:
Make /usr/bin/picasaweb-download executable:
# chmod 755 /usr/bin/picasaweb-download


Any feedback (even positive :lol: ) would be appreciated.
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Magic Banana
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Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 1872
Location: Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brasil

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Free Software is Good! A user, named Peter Woulfenberg, has just mailed me to suggest a very simple and clever improvement to my code. His proposal fits in one character: '&'. Placed at the end of the line downloading a picture, it makes this job run in the background. In this way, the script continues and starts downloading the rest of the pictures. Following the same idea, I made an analogous modification to grab several albums in parallel. This script is now amazingly fast. Thank Peter for these performances. Thank Free Software too. Indeed, if this software was proprietary, you would still be stuck with poor performances.

Just try it! I directly made the modifications on the first post of this thread.

I am not sure about it but I think this script now presents a limit bound to the maximum number of processes per user (there may be running as many wget processes as there are pictures to download). Any information about such an issue would be appreciated.
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