It looks like Picturelife to Smugmug is working…
So, I clicked the link from Smugmug, created an account, and it imported my Picturelife photos to it. At first glance, at least.
Now, I’ve not done any quantitative assessment of this yet, but first impressions are encouraging:
- The organisational structure is by year/month, just as for the Picturelife exports.
If you had gone to the Picturelife export page, you would have seen the chance to create zips for each month. This looks like the same organisation. It should make it straightforward to understand which photos you have, and which you don’t – say, if you used Picturelife exclusively between cetain dates.
- The metadata appears to be preserved. Photos have metadata dates that match when I remember taking them. I saw a few have captions that I added in Picturelife. That’s good. [Edit: the help page notes titles/captions have copied, but comments have not].
- The process works on self-hosted S3 buckets too. I have a self-hosted bucket, not Picturelife-provided. Smugmug imported all (?) the photos OK. And I can log into my bucket and see my photos still there.
- You can download a zip of your photos by album, one album at a time. It’s a bit slower than doing the whole lot at once, but perfectly fair – it’s exactly how Picturelife permitted it, and each zip could be hundreds of MB or GBs as it is. It even does the zipping in the background and mails you a link, like Picturelife did.
- The errors seem to have been copied across too. I found some problems, such as a movie thumbnail that showed one image, but the movie that played was completely different. Or Picturelife failed to find the movie at all. I had found that in Picturelife, and I’m finding the same in Smugmug. I’m not sure if they’re exactly the same errors, but I would presume they are. I’m not sure if these errors crept in when originally being uploaded, or during some ‘glitch’ when Picturelife was on the ropes. Either way, it looks like those movies are gone. I should be able to check if they’re really gone in the original S3 bucket.
Generally, it seems at first glance a very clean migration. The organisation is much as was in Picturelife. The download process is as in Picturelife. I presume the downloads will include XMP metadata. This is probably the best possible outcome, if all your photos are there.
And how about the 14-day Smugmug free trial? Am I going to stay with them?
Well… we’ll see. The service seems very similar to Picturelife, albeit targeted at photographers selling their photos, rather than family sharing. Having said that, they seem to cover that too, as they other users, comments, link and album sharing, sharing by tags, etc.
However, it does lack some of the tools of Picturelife. They have all the usual transforms, crops, rotates, and a more detailed editor – PicMonkey, rather than Aviary- but it’s slightly harder to access, and slower. The iOS app appears less functional – it’s beautiful, allowing viewing and link sharing, but no editing. Both are missing the calendar, the map view, face tagging, and (in iOS) the search function, which are big lossses.
I think most ex-Picturelife users will be happy with Smugmug, and continue to use them. I’ve moved my process to Mylio now, so I’ll be a little more cautious, but heck, I may just continue paying Smugmug while I make up my mind.
EDIT: Note the Smugmug, FAQ for the migration here, including some ‘hidden pages’ to access things like RAW files. The more I read, the more I am impressed.