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.
Amazon.com 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. â€“ Ibid
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.
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.
_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.