Home > Uncategorized > Tip for downloading Picturelife RAW files from Smugmug

Tip for downloading Picturelife RAW files from Smugmug

OK, I’ve learnt this the hard way.

If you’re downloading Picturelife RAW files from Smugmug, while Down Em All seems the most efficient way to do this, you may find that your download times out.

Downloading multiple files simultaneously with down ’em all


This is because the URL for the file is created dynamically with a session key in the URL. Once the session times out – around two hours – then the URL is no longer valid. That means that of the 1200 RAW and AVI files I’ve queued to download, I may download 50-60 before the session times out and all the remaining files fail to download, as their URL is no longer valid.

What this means, is that I have to go back to the download page – logging back in to Smugmug first., otherwise that page is empty – re-open down ’em all, and then manually locate where it left off in the long list of files. That takes a while, but once done, I can Shift-select everything from the last file on, and continue.

So – what can you do better? Well – sort the list alphabetically by the description before you start the entire process. This means that when you have to go back and start again, you can at least find where you left off easily, by working by alphabetical/alphanumeric order.


Wrong – sorted by order in the download page


Right! – sorted by alphabetical file name

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. August 30, 2016 at 6:07 am

    Hey there, I’m the founder, CEO & Chief Geek at SmugMug. Loving reading your blog, thrilled you’re able to get your memories back, but dismayed to read we might not be signing the URLs properly.

    I believe we’re signing them so they last 7 days, but it’s possible there’s a bug somewhere, and I can help get that sorted out. Love to help and fix that problem if you’re interested. I’ll check back here tomorrow, or you can email me (I’m just don at smugmug), or you can contact our Support Heroes directly.

    • damo
      August 30, 2016 at 6:52 am

      Hi Don, thanks for the update. Yep, it’s evident that the work done has a lot of pride and attention to detail in it, for what is a one-off requirement! It sounds like the timeout might be wrong… I have a lot of script blockers and the like on Firefox, but as you say, a signed time-limited AWS S3 URL should not be affected by those

  2. August 30, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Hey, so I checked some URLs manually here on our end, and I’m seeing 7 day expirations on them. Would you mind inspecting the URL and let me know what the values for `X-Amz-Date` and `X-Amz-Expires` are so I can try to track down this bug? Thanks!

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