Using Amazon with WP 2.7

My former handy plugin for inserting images and product information from Amazon into my blog stopped working with the upgrade to WordPress 2.7. I’ve been floundering since then, putting off posting book reviews and such because it was such a pain pulling in the Amazon images of the right size, without all the extra little bits (like “SALE” and “Click To Look Inside!”) that seemed to be added separately.

Well, this post explained a lot of what was going on in Amazon images, although I only “got” the gist of it (trust me, not that technical here). But it seemed clear that it was possible to put up a clean image linked back to an Amazon product page without too much extra fuss.

Abusing Amazon images feeds out a lot of product images, putting out the same book cover (say) in a variety of sizes and formats. By experimentation, I found that they don’t actually have all the sizes and formats stored. Instead, they have a system that generates each requested image. The details of size and format are built into the image’s URL. – Ibid

More searching yielded this reasonably simple method, which puts a Javascript bookmarklet up on the toolbar where it can be clicked in order to generate a large image, sans advertising cruft:

Amazon Image Bookmarklets

If you ever find yourself looking for images of book covers, album art or commercial products, here are a few handy bookmarklets to grab the image from Amazon.

(Blogula note: SRSLY, go to Global Moxie to grab the Javascript bookmarklets)

Now browse to any Amazon product page and click on one of your new toolbar links. The largest available image for that product will be displayed in your browser with the indicated effects.

I will add that I took out the bookmarklets links because I’ve had problems with Javascript quoted in a blogpost before, so I’m just being a cautious beast. And also since I prefer to work with a medium image most often, I added a second bookmarklet, renamed it “Amazon Medium” and adjusted the size code in Properties:

_SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg</pre> instead of <pre>_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Now supposedly it’s possible to add drop shadows with more code magic, but I’ll stick to my usual method if I want them. There’s lots more else you can do for fun (that first post WAS titled “Amazon Image Abuse,” after all) but for my needs, this will work until someone decides to fix the borked Amazon plugin.

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3 thoughts on “Using Amazon with WP 2.7

  1. I use a fairly low-tech method — a couple of HTML snippets in Ecto/Linear that have the image code (surrounded by the drop shadow code) and a link code — both of which then only need me to change the ASIN to what it should be for the product. That lets me avoid any Java or the kind of screwy stuff that the Amazon toolbar inserts.

  2. I still could use ecto/Linear, but that’s only on the laptop and I’m blogging more from desktop machines.

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