SmugVault: Store anything — June 22nd, 2008
We dedicate this feature to our customers in Iowa who lost everything from tornadoes and floods.
See 30Bone’s photos.
We’ll try to answer some questions here that those pages don’t:
What is Amazon’s role, and what is yours?
- Amazon provides the physical storage, reporting, and billing.
- SmugMug provides the user interface for adding, retrieving, displaying, arranging, navigating, etc.
- SmugMug creates display copies from as many graphic and video files as we can, so you can see pictures as you browse, not just unintelligible file names.
How do I add and retrieve?
- We do everything in our power to enable you to add and retrieve your photos in as many ways as possible, including enabling developers to write applications with our api.
- You can use almost all existing SmugMug uploaders except for the Drag & Drop, which is being retired.
- Backup DVDs and SmugDav will also support SmugVault in the future.
How does bundling files work?
- For any gallery, when we see files with the same name but different extensions, we automatically link them into a bundle. For example, we would bundle Sunset.psd, Sunset.jpg, and Sunset.tif if they were uploaded to the same gallery.
- When we bundle, we add an icon to the display image to show it as a bundle.
- This way you only have to see one file but can tell it’s several file types of the same photo.
- You can use a new photo tool to bundle them manually, regardless of filename. For example, maybe you have 5 RAW files that you used to make a panoramic. You can bundle them together, along with the JPEG.
- We refer to files stored in your SmugVault as archives.
- When you hover over the large display size of your bundle, a save icon will appear. When you click it, you’ll see options to save any of the files in the bundle independently.
How do you navigate SmugVault?
- There are two ways: The same way you navigate any gallery with photos in it, and a SmugVault browser.
- You’re aided by a SmugVault graphic for non-displayable file types, like Word documents (see example, right).
- And you’re aided by an icon that indicates a bundle.
- If you click on the icon, you’ll be taken to a SmugVault browser.
- Note that there is navigation above the SmugVault browser that lets you see different levels.
How does displaying files work?
- A powerful feature of SmugVault is that we can convert many graphic file types so you can see what the photo is, not just guess from its filename.
- We can convert most RAW files and many other formats, but sometimes we’re foiled, so no guarantees.
- You have to enable this option in your control panel, on the settings tab.
- It doesn’t cost you extra because we don’t charge beyond your base subscription for storing JPEG files, and all this feature does is generate JPEGs for display.
- Note that when we convert from RAW, for example, we are only doing it for display purposes. So we make our normal display sizes, which is up to 1600×1200 if you enable X3Large.
- Some people could print from that and get good small to medium-sized prints, so use the image protection you normally do.
- Yes, if you have a pro account with watermarks turned on, the display copies will be shown with your watermark.
- No one can see or save your archives, only you. If you want to use SmugVault to transfer a RAW file to a friend, you’d need to give them a guest password if you’re a pro subscriber.
- Currently, each file can be up to 512 MB.
- We’re working on bringing that to 5 GB per file but have no estimated completion date.
- If you’ve uploaded a JPEG that becomes part of a bundle, it is the one used for display, not any preview files we would make from RAW files, for example.
- Video is a special case, because SmugMug does not currently save the unaltered original video you upload.
- Instead we convert it from whatever format you upload to h.264.
- And we may have to compress it more than you did in order for it to play smoothly across the Internet.
- There is an option in your control panel settings tab, to allow the file you uploaded to be stored as an archive in SmugVault.
- If you upload the video clips you used to make your final video, the same holds true. We wouldn’t know it’s a SmugVault item unless you check the option to archive videos. In any case, we will also make display copies so that you get more than just a filename.
As always, we love to hear your rants and raves so we can improve. You can post them to our happenin’ photography forum at www.dgrin.com, or send email (that we really will read and respond to): help at smugmug dot com.
All the best,
The SmugMug family