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iChat2Flickr update : Direct Upload Action

My last post detailed an automator action that would upload a copy of your ichat buddy icon everytime you changed it with a built in camera. Unfortunately, it had to use the mail program to send the picture to flickr by email.

But what should I find on [|TUAW] this week but the [|OSX Automator Flickr Upload Action] by James Pitts! So here’s an updated version of the script. This will allow for easier uploads and more reliable data.


ichat2flickr automator action

ichat2flickr.gifSince I started using a Mac with a built-in iSight, I’ve been changing my buddy icon every morning. It’s always a bit of a surprise how it comes out, because you only get 3 seconds to pose. Some of them were turning out pretty funny, and I wanted to be able to store and share them. So I wrote this automator script to upload the new picture to flickr using the email to flickr method.

The keys to this project were:

  • Buddy icons are stored in ~/Library/Images/iChat Recent Pictures/
  • Automator can create and send a mail message with an attachment
  • An Automator Workflow can be saved as a plugin, and run as a Folder Action whenever a file is added to the folder.

This script is saved as a plug-in Folder Action on the ~/Library/Images/iChat Recent Pictures/ folder. When it sees a new file added to that folder, it copies it to ~/Pictures/Flickr Selfportraits/, then changes it from a TIFF to a JPEG, then attaches it to a new email in the Mail program, then sends off the email to flickr.


  1. Open the workflow in Automator.
  2. Customize the email details with your [|Flickr Upload by Email address], customize tags if desired, and choose an email account to send from.
  3. Save as a Plug-In, Plug-In for Folder Actions, Attached to Folder: ~/Library/Images/iChat Recent Pictures
  4. Change your buddy icon in Adium or iChat, and test it out!

I’d like to be able to upload to flickr directly from the automator script instead of having to use the Upload by Email function, but I haven’t found anything that does that yet. I did find [|this Automator Action], written by Fraser Speirs which does just that, but it’s not intel-friendly at the moment. Maybe I’ll offer to help him update it.

Have fun, and please leave a comment if it works or doesn’t work. I’m new at releasing Automator workflows.

Note:Apparently, an Automator workflow is really a folder, not a discrete file. I’ve zipped it up into an archive now for distribution. Drupal did NOT like trying to attach that.