In my previous post I demonstrated how to query Reddit using Python and JOSN. My goal was a script to download the latest and greatest wallpapers off of image sub-reddits like wallpaper to keep my desktop wallpaper fresh and interesting. The main function of the script is to download any JPEG formatted image that listed in the specified sub-reddit and download them to a folder.

Allot of the script turned out to be managing URLs, handling exceptions and checking image types so that links to the most commonly encountered image repository: imgur worked. I opted to use the reddit hash id for each post as the filename for the downloaded JPEGs as this seems to be unique value, which means there are no collisions and its easy to programatically check if that item’s image has already been download or not. Although using a hash value instead of the items text title doesn’t make the most memorable filenames..

The single most frustrating thing I encountered when writing this script is that I have yet to discover a programatic way to work out the URL for an image on Flickr given a Flickr page URL. This is a real shame as Flickr is a really popular image hosting site with allot of great images.

An example of running the script to download images with a score greater than 50 from the wallpaper sub-reddit into a folder called wallpaper would be as follows:

python wallpaper wallpaper -s 50 

And to run the same query but only get any new images you don’t already have, run the following:

python wallpaper wallpaper -s 50 -update

You can find the source code for this post (and the previous) on GitHub at and the current source for the script is as follows:

"""Download images from a subreddit."""

from urllib2 import urlopen, HTTPError, URLError 
from httplib import InvalidURL
from argparse import ArgumentParser
from os.path import exists as pathexists, join as pathjoin
from os import mkdir
from reddit import getitems

if __name__ == "__main__": 
    PARSER = ArgumentParser( description='Downloads files with specified externsion from the specified subreddit.')
    PARSER.add_argument( 'reddit', metavar='r', help='Subreddit name.')
    PARSER.add_argument( 'dir', metavar='d', help='Dir to put downloaded files in.')
    PARSER.add_argument( '-last', metavar='l', default='', required=False, help='ID of the last downloaded file.')
    PARSER.add_argument( '-score', metavar='s', default='0', type=int, required=False, help='Minimum score of images to download.')
    PARSER.add_argument( '-num', metavar='n', default='0', type=int, required=False, help='Number of images to process.')
    PARSER.add_argument( '-update', default=False, action='store_true', required=False, help='Run until you encounter a file already downloaded.')
    ARGS = PARSER.parse_args()
    print 'Downloading images from "%s" subreddit' % (ARGS.reddit)

    ITEMS = getitems( ARGS.reddit, ARGS.last )
    N = D = E = S = F = 0
    FINISHED = False

    # Create the specified directory if it doesn't already exist.
    if not pathexists( ARGS.dir ):
        mkdir( ARGS.dir )

    while len(ITEMS) > 0 and FINISHED == False:
        LAST = ''
        for ITEM in ITEMS:
            if ITEM['score'] < ARGS.score:
                print '\tSCORE: %s has score of %s which is lower than required score of %s.' % (ITEM['id'],ITEM['score'],ARGS.score) 
                S += 1
                FILENAME = pathjoin( ARGS.dir, '%s.jpg' % (ITEM['id'] ) )
                # Don't download files multiple times!
                if not pathexists( FILENAME ):
                        if '' in ITEM['url']:
                            # Change .png to .jpg for imgur urls. 
                            if ITEM['url'].endswith('.png'):
                                ITEM['url'] = ITEM['url'].replace('.png','.jpg')
                            # Add .jpg to imgur urls that are missing it.
                            elif '.jpg' not in ITEM['url']:
                                ITEM['url'] = '%s.jpg' % ITEM['url']
                            elif '.jpeg' not in ITEM['url']:
                                ITEM['url'] = '%s.jpg' % ITEM['url']

                        RESPONSE = urlopen( ITEM['url'] )
                        INFO =
                        # Work out file type either from the response or the url.
                        if 'content-type' in INFO.keys():
                            FILETYPE = INFO['content-type']
                        elif ITEM['url'].endswith( 'jpg' ):
                            FILETYPE = 'image/jpeg'
                        elif ITEM['url'].endswith( 'jpeg' ):
                            FILETYPE = 'image/jpeg'
                            FILETYPE = 'unknown'
                        # Only try to download jpeg images.
                        if FILETYPE == 'image/jpeg':
                            FILEDATA =
                            FILE = open( FILENAME, 'wb')
                            print '\tDownloaded %s to %s.' % (ITEM['url'],FILENAME)
                            D += 1
                            print '\tWRONG FILE TYPE: %s has type: %s!' % (ITEM['url'],FILETYPE)
                            S += 1
                    except HTTPError as ERROR:
                            print '\tHTTP ERROR: Code %s for %s.' % (ERROR.code,ITEM['url'])
                            F += 1
                    except URLError as ERROR:
                            print '\tURL ERROR: %s!' % ITEM['url']
                            F += 1
                    except InvalidURL as ERROR:
                            print '\tInvalid URL: %s!' % ITEM['url']
                            F += 1
                    print '\tALREADY EXISTS: %s for %s already exists.' % (FILENAME,ITEM['url'])
                    E += 1
                    if ARGS.update == True:
                        print '\tUpdate complete, exiting.'
                        FINISHED = True
            LAST = ITEM['id']
            N += 1
            if ARGS.num > 0 and N >= ARGS.num:
                print '\t%d images attempted , exiting.' % N
                FINISHED = True
        ITEMS = getitems( ARGS.reddit, LAST )

    print 'Downloaded %d of %d (Skipped %d, Exists %d)' % (D, N, S, E)