Picasa Albums


To display albums for a user in Picasa use the following syntax:

 [gallery type='picasa' user_id='xyz' kind='album'] 

Alternatively if you drop the kind attribute that should work too:

 [gallery type='picasa' user_id='xyz'] 

Here are the albums from Sayontan Sinha:

Note that the “Album for profile photos” is something coming from Google to accommodate Google+. If you want to eliminate it, you can use the optional filter attribute, wherein you only provide a comma-separated list of albums that you wish, i.e. filter='x,y':

The above is generated using:

[gallery type='picasa' user_id='sayontan' filter='VaibhavSBirthday']

Protected Albums

Picasa albums used to have a security setting, “Limited, anyone with the link”. Albums with such a setting have an authkey parameter appended to the end of their URL (e.g. https://picasaweb.google.com/111233011352590794218/Maui?authkey=xxxxxxxxx). Photonic lets you use this to display protected albums. The syntax just requires you to populate the authkey parameter in the shortcode as well.

If you haven’t got the authkey for an album that was created before Google ditched Picasaweb you can find out the same from Photonic → Helpers → Picasa / Google Photos. Note that the helper will only show you data that exists in the system; it will not create an authkey for you. To modify such albums see the links in the section below.

The following shows a protected album of mine:

Fun on the JetSki

I use the following syntax:

[gallery type='picasa' user_id='sayontan' album='Maui' authkey='xxxxxxxxx' layout='random']

Google Photos vs. PicasaWeb

In its infinite wisdom, Google’s current Google Photos doesn’t have a public API, and the old Picasa API remains. As a result Photonic is compelled to use Picasa’s API. In the opinion of many, Google Photos is a giant leap backwards:

  1. Unlike PicasaWeb there is no easy way to determine the ID of an album. I have gotten around this by providing a “Helper” for it. You can go to Photonic → Helpers → Picasa / Google Photos, put in your user name, and get the IDs. To get the IDs of Google Photos albums you will need to authenticate.
  2. As outlined above, PicasaWeb used to support a mode for “Limited” sharing. As long as it was still around, in PicasaWeb, restricted albums created in Google Photos showed up as “Limited”, while the classical PicasaWeb option of “Limited, anyone with the link” also existed for the same album. This permitted you to use the authkey provided by PicasaWeb. But now that PicasaWeb is fully gone, this option doesn’t exist. Google introduces something similar at first glance, wherein it generates a shortcode for an album that you can hand out. E.g. for one of my albums it gives me the link https://goo.gl/photos/TuWyKAdameiXTmdo6. I can visit the link, which expands out, but none of the details in the link help in the API. Moreover the shortcode cannot be expanded by the API without authentication! Try this link. For older albums created with PicasaWeb, the authkey still works, as shown above.
  3. In perhaps the least thought out move, Google made it very, very hard to make an album public. In fact, there is no way currently to determine a user’s public albums in Google Photos – you only see the older PicasaWeb albums. There are certain third-party workarounds that let you make albums public, but the process is very convoluted.