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Amazon Hacks by Paul Bausch

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Cache Amazon Images Locally

Caching product images locally can save your users several trips to the Amazon server and speed up your applications.

The easiest way to save an image locally is to visit the product detail page, right-click on the image, and choose “Save Picture As . . . “. Of course, “easy” is relative. If you have to do this for hundreds of products, suddenly it’s the hard way.

Luckily, every programming environment has methods for retrieving an image from a remote server and saving it as a local file.

The Code

Each of these examples takes an ASIN, builds the proper URL [Hack #5], grabs the image, and saves it locally as [ASIN].jpg.

Perl

This uses the getstore( ) function of LWP::Simple to request and save the file. $rp is the return code, and to shore this function up you could take additional action if it’s equal to 404.

use LWP::Simple;
$Asin = "0596004478";
$rp = getstore(
      "http://images.amazon.com/images/P/$Asin.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg",[RETURN]
      "$Asin.jpg");
VBScript

Writing binary files like images isn’t quite as straightforward with VBScript, so you have to turn to some unusual components. The ServerXMLHTTP component makes the request, which is written to an ADODB stream. The ADODB component has the ability to write binary files.

strASIN = "0596004478" strURL = "http://images.amazon.com/images/P/" & strASIN & _ ".01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" strFile = strASIN & ".jpg" 'Get the Image Set xmlhttp = CreateObject("Msxml2.SERVERXMLHTTP") xmlhttp.Open "GET", strURL, false xmlhttp.Send(Now) ...

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