I think I managed to replace all of my Photobucket links in time. When I last checked, Photobucket hadn't got around to removing my access to third-party hosting, but I've seen some broken links (for cover art) on AO3, so Photobucket has started cracking down. Those of you who don't have Photobucket accounts may not have heard that Photobucket will only allow members to link to the photos in their albums if they upgrade to a paid account. The cheapest option is the Plus 50 plan at $59.99 a year. The most expensive plan (and the one Photobucket is trying to push on users) is the Plus 500 Plan at $399.99 a year. Any way you look at it, it's extortion. Okay, it's not as if Photobucket isn't entitled to charge money for some of its services, but even $59.99 a year isn't cheap, despite the 52 GB storage it provides. I think Photobucket currently offers 2 or 3 GB storage for its free accounts. I've only used 5% of mine. I obviously don't need 52 GB storage. I decided to be cheap, move all of my photos to Imgur, and go through the painstaking process of replacing all of my photobucket links on Dreamwidth, LJ and AO3.
As I haven't had any work coming in lately and I wrapped up my course, I've had some free time on my hands. I don't think I would have beat Photobucket's deadline (whatever it is) in time if I hadn't. Unfortunately, replacing the Photobucket links with Imgur links wasn't as straightforward as I hoped it would be. For one thing, the Imgur links don't retain the original file names the same way Photobucket links do, so you have to scroll through the photos in a given album to make a match. Oh, and when you upload photos on Imgur, they seem to be sorted randomly, so there's no logical order as to how they will appear in an album. That makes matching up photos a fun job as well. *rolls eyes* Well, at least Imgur is free (at the moment) and doesn't have the kind of incredibly annoying and intrusive ads that pop up on Photobucket. For the last couple of years, I've hated going on the Photobucket website, so I certainly won't miss it. Saying that, I might continue using Photobucket to store photos. Thankfully, Photobucket isn't charging people for that service, and I like the idea of having an additional backup for my photos.
I only started using Photobucket for third-party hosting when I began posting through Dreamwidth (as Dreamwidth only allows photo linking), so I didn't have to replace every photo I originally posted through LJ. However, I think I will replace the LJ album links with Imgur links in case I ever have to leave LJ. That should be something I can work on over a longer stretch of time (I hope). It's the kind of thing I can do in front of the TV. I've made a list of all the entries that need to be edited. For a lot of posts, there are only one or two images that need to be replaced.
Isn't blogging fun? If Imgur ever decides to adopt the kind of extortion tactics that Photobucket uses then I'll just have to throw in the towel. I don't think I could go through the process of replacing all those links again, especially as there will probably be hundreds of new photos to add to the batch!
Crossposted at http://rusty-armour.dreamwidth.org/162552.html