April 25, 2008 – Better, Embeddable, Video


When we released SmugMungous video several months ago, our customers were ecstatic. Finally, their photos AND videos looked better on SmugMug.

As the dust settled, however, we saw there was still room for improvement. For starters, videos can really light up a forum post or blog and our Quicktime video solution didn’t allow embedding. So, we decided to go with something a bit… flashier…🙂

The move to Flash-based video is a win on many levels:

  • We built our video player with an interface that’s easier to use and easier on the eyes.
  • You’ll find a jaw-dropping full screen option. Keep in mind, the laws of the universe still apply: the higher the quality of your video is, the better it’ll look filling your whole screen.
  • Your videos are now embeddable outside of SmugMug, in forums, blogs, or any web page you’d like. Choose either the 425 (web/small) version or 640 (DVD/large) version.

We had to make some tough decisions along the way, though:

  • You need the latest flash player version to watch videos. Updating is easy and free, though, and you can do it here. If you are too out-of-date, you’ll see a friendly prompt when you try to play a video.
  • Flash has significant performance issues on Mac-based browsers when playing high definition h.264 video. We love Macs, and wish it wasn’t so. If you’re on a Mac, you’ll see the flash player for the smaller video sizes when they are embedded on other web pages. However, to keep the herky jerky at bay and to maintain a consistent viewing experience, Mac users will see Quicktime for all video sizes played in your SmugMug galleries.

You can read our CEO’s thoughts on SmugMug’s video offering on his blog.


We want to keep our customers happy AND their fans happy. So, we fixed up our share page. Now just two clicks stand between you and getting a meaningful link to thrill your fans.

  1. Click the Share button on your gallery pages. Or click the Share button you see at the end of a video played using Flash.
  2. Click a link. It’ll be copied automagically and ready to paste into an email, forum post, blog, or instant message.

New Goodies for Power and Standard Accounts

  • Our custom hostname and right-click protection features are now built into Power accounts as well as Professional accounts.
  • All SmugMuggers (Professional, Power, and Standard) can now force a viewing style for each gallery in their Customize Gallery settings.

Custom Categories and Subcategories

  • The custom category and custom subcategory pages (accessible from the Customize tab of the Control Panel) were cluttered and none-too-attractive. We shined them up.
  • The gallery creation page was confusing with regard to creating your own categories and subcategories. We tweaked it a bit to make this feature easier to understand.
  • We also updated the help pages accordingly

Help Page Overhaul

Have you noticed both our full help pages and visitor help pages look much improved?

Some customers thought our help pages were hard to read. They were black, with small font (kinda like this blog, eh?), and we’re sorry we left them that way for so long. The good news is, you let us know and we stepped up and made some changes. They are now white and wider, with larger font to boot. Lots of pages were also rewritten for clarity and updated for new features.

Bug Squashing

  • Fixed a bug where if you switched viewing styles from SmugMug to Critique, you weren’t being directed to the correct image.
  • Fixed a bug with slideshow and stats reporting.
  • Fixed an IE7 error in SmugMug style, at certain resolutions and with certain image sizes, the browser was hanging.
  • Fixed a pagination error in Journal style.


I stumbled upon some jaw-dropping digital art by a talented woman named Iryna Smolych. Combining photography and true digital manipulation, this freelance artist (who goes by the name Josephine) has found her own window into a magical world.

According to her biography page: “… Sometimes I want to make my own world, fantastic world, world without sufferings and anger, without envy and lie. I want that my world would be full of beauty and dreams, cleanness and love.”

You can see more of her portraits and landscapes here.

Square thumbs redux

Sometimes we do the right thing in the wrong way. Many of you requested a square thumbs tool over the years. Unfortunately, we launched when it was a good bit less than perfect, and you were quick to call us on it. We should never have released ‘square thumbs’ without providing an easy way to undo them. We apologize. No excuses, we should have done it better.

Thank you for your patience and invaluable feedback while we’ve worked to produce a better version.

  • You’ll find a new feature in the Photo Tools menu that will change your thumbnails to or from square as you like.
  • Checking thumbnails square/original under ‘look & feel’ in the Customize Gallery settings will change all thumbnails in that gallery.
  • When creating a gallery, customers not using quick settings are offered a choice of ’square’ or ‘original.’ The effect is shown in the Theme preview.
  • Creating new galleries using quick quick settings will default to squared thumbs unless you choose otherwise. Theme preview will reflect your setting.

We’ve posted more details at the Dgrin Square Thumbs Thread.

Watermarks: We’ve updated Watermarks to work similarly to the new Thumbnails tool. If you change your watermark settings in the Customize Gallery section, you’ll see a new check box: ‘Apply to existing photos in gallery.’ Checking this will add or remove a watermark from all photos in the gallery when you save the settings. Unchecked, the change will be applied to all photos uploaded from then on. The checkbox will only appear if you make a change to your current saved settings.

Slideshow: We’ve made some adjustments to our new slideshow to accommodate Adobe’s latest version of Flash Player. If you experience any difficulties, the Support Heroes are standing by to assist.

It is your passion that fuels ours.