Don MacAskill
You heard it here on FriendFeed first: Announcing SmugVault - Store everything for next to nothing. -
This is brilliant! I've been waiting for a service exactly like this. - Chris Nixon
had a feeling this is what the announcement was when I noticed a SmugVault entry in the gallery drop down. Think I need to see which is cheaper to do direct S3 storage or using this. - dbcohen
So, anything? If I wanted to run my DMG archive off of Smug Vault, I'd be okay? - Mark Trapp
@Dave Cohen: S3 is cheaper (not much!), but you lose the integration and visual browsing interface of SmugMug. We're certainly not an S3 competitor here. If S3 works for you, awesome. :) - Don MacAskill
Awesome Don, nice one! Let's make a loud sound with this one! - Larry Kless from twhirl
@Mark Trapp: Yep, anything, including DMG or whatever. Currently it's 512MB/file max, but I'm working on making it 5GB per file. - Don MacAskill
Been waiting for something like this ever since I started shooting RAW! - Benjamin Golub
Awesome, thanks Don. This could be nifty for my design firm's off-site archive, especially if we can preview the good bulk of the files. - Mark Trapp
Argh! I just starting shooting RAW!! Must have!!! - Bwana ☠
hmmmm... store *everything*, next to *nothing*. Not sure I agree with that. Under this new service my 2TB archive would cost me $600 one time fee + $440 every single month, plus more for getting the images back. Seems like a few drobos are a better deal, no? I can't imagine paying over $5,000 a year for offsite storage. Of course this sort of service is probably not aimed at someone like me. - Thomas Hawk
@Thomas Hawk: Compared to competing photo sharing services with RAW support, and other pay-for-storage-in-the-cloud offerings, this is a very compelling price point. It's certainly not as cheap as a handful of Drobos - but then you have to do all the IT, deal with fire/earthquakes/etc. If you're cool with that, great. But many aren't. - Don MacAskill
@Thomas Hawk: There are two components for any really solid archive storage: Local, fast, always available storage and something offsite. That can be drives stored at a bank, tapes at an archival facility, or something like SmugVault. We view ourselves as the offsite component, not the replacement for the RAID at your house. - Don MacAskill
@Don, I'm just saying $600 upfront and $440 per month in my case certainly would not qualify as storing "everything for next to nothing." It would cost me more per month to store my archive than to lease a car. And my archive is only going to get bigger. - Thomas Hawk
Can I get access outwith the web interface? e.g. ftp or sync software - Chris Nixon
Already climbing the charts of rssmeme: - Benjamin Golub
I don't think storage in the cloud is yet economical for most heavy photographers. Even someone with only 500GB of images would still have to pay $110 per month which is an expensive cost. Better (and faster) to back up your images yourself on drives and give them to a friend to hold for you offsite. You can also remotely network drobos now to have one at your home, one at an offsite location and sync them for much, much, less money. - Thomas Hawk
I don't get why I'd use this over my $5/m Mozy account? - Phill Price
@Thomas Hawk: Remotely networking drobos? Makes me want to get them even more... Wish they weren't so expensive! @Phill Price: Yeah, I don't see how SmugMug's service beats the pants off of Mozy, except that I don't think Mozy has a Web-based file browser. Am I wrong about that? - dgw
@Thomas Hawk: We have Pros who charge $10-20K for a single wedding that generates a few GB of photos. This is very economical for money-making Pros. And we have tens of thousands of them. :) - Don MacAskill
I haven't remotely networked drobo's yet but Alex Lindesy said that he's doing this with his on the This Week in Photography (TWIP) podcast. Synching two drobos would not be cheap Voyagerfan, but certainly cheaper than paying $440 per month. I do have my archive backed up on cheap external USB drives though and offsite at my parent's house. Most of my finished JPG photos are online as well on photosharing sites which are sort of a secondary backup. - Thomas Hawk
@Voyagerfan5761 it does - and its automatic - Phill Price
@Phill Price: This offering is geared towards people for whom SmugMug is a vital part of their workflow. They've told us they want the archives stored alongside the photos, so their normal workflow is enhanced rather than disrupted. Absolutely using something like Mozy or S3 or whatever is cheaper - but for some, time and/or effort is more valuable than money. SmugMug isn't in the business of being the cheapest solution for anything we offer - we're a premium service. - Don MacAskill
The other thing I don't like about this service is that it has a built in cost increase. The more you shoot the more you store, the more you store, the more you pay ongoing. You pay *more* in the future not less, even though storage gets cheaper. I'd rather have an "all you can eat" sort of plan that controlled future price increases. Still, for the casual photographer with less than 50GB of files, this might be worth looking at. Although even 50GB is $22 a month, a far cry from "next to nothing." - Thomas Hawk
@Thomas Hawk: Actually, that's not true. As Amazon lowers their prices (which they've done twice in two years already, and I expect another one "soon"), we'll lower ours the corresponding amount. Your storage will get cheaper. - Don MacAskill
@Thomas Hawk: While I appreciate the feedback, you're not really comparing apples to apples here. Go find me a photo sharing site that accepts and stores RAW/PSD/etc for less than ours as part of their workflow. We will *definitely* not be as cheap as local storage, that's a given. The question is how we compare to other similar offerings. And in that regard, we're much cheaper and (more importantly) much better. - Don MacAskill
Bear in mind that this is an offering our customers have been *begging* for at a price point *lower* than they said they'd pay. My customers are likely very different from you - but that doesn't mean it's not a valid, useful, game-changing offering. - Don MacAskill
@Don, I might not be comparing apples to apples, but I'd still never pay $440 a month for a service like this. The "store everything for next to nothing," was the part I thought was a bit misleading. The service is actually quite a bit more expensive than someone simply copying their files to an external drive and giving it to a friend to hold offsite for them, without reoccuring monthly fees. - Thomas Hawk
saying the Oakland Mercedes Benz dealer is cheaper than the Beverly Hills Mercedes Benz dealer doesn't mean that you still can't find a cheaper car somewhere else -- or take the bus or bike for that matter. You get to the same place no matter if you drive a Mercedes, a Prius, take BART or bike. Some ways just cost more than others. - Thomas Hawk
I am a pro photographer. I shoot less than ThomasHawk but have my fair share of events. I would like to just see a storage through online means regardless of file type such as Xdrive. But at larger increments such as 1GB at a time not 1MB. Any thoughts Don? - Photo Larry from twhirl
"next to nothing" refers to some of our (to remain unnamed) competitors. And it jives with what our paying customers have told us they'd pay for this service. We could have gouged them and charged the $1/GB or whatever they said they'd pay (or that they pay elsewhere now) - but we chose not to. Apologies if it doesn't fit your world view. :) - Don MacAskill
Yes, but the Oakland Benz dealer will sell you the same Benz that Beverly Hills will. A Drobo and SmugVault aren't even remotely the same. So again, you're comparing apples to apples in your analogy, but not the actual product comparison. It's fine, I get it - you won't use it. But that doesn't mean it's not a good product. - Don MacAskill
@Photo Larry: You can store 1MB, 1GB, 1PB with this. Whatever you want. So you're not limited to 1MB. If I somehow gave that impression, I apologize. SmugVault is unlimited and pay-by-the-drink. Only pay for what you use - no commitments. - Don MacAskill
Don, I'm an edge case. I'm sure this offering is just right for many of your customers. Some people like to drive Mercedes and don't mind paying -- it's a huge market. I just like to take the BART, that way it costs less and I can process photos to and from work. :) - Thomas Hawk
This may be the clincher for me. I've been thinking about using SmugMug for a while. They already allow users to sell photos -- which is something I've wanted from other photo sharing sites for a while -- they offer good prints as well, and now they have this. Very nice. - Raoul Pop
@Thomas Hawk: Everything we do at SmugMug is more BMW than Toyota, let alone BART, that's for sure. :) - Don MacAskill
Don: Wow. I like this thread esp. for the comments. I withdraw my request for a smugmug invite. That is a pretty elitist view of things. I will just wait until I fill my free off-site storage and then pay an "economy" photo hosting service. - Mathew A. Koeneker
This just hit TechMeme Hey Gabe Rivera - how about including this thread on TechMeme? - Mike Doeff
mike it hit because i linked to don :) - Allen Stern
Brilliant! I love betting on the right horse. You go Smugmug! - Leo Laporte
It would be awesome if Techmeme could include FF conversations! Seems like a natural fit, but the problem would be how could Techmeme know *which* of the conversations to append to the article. Sometimes the biggest conversation around an item will happen in the oddest place. Hard for Techmeme to know which is *officially* the related or best conversation. - Thomas Hawk
Allen, Gabe recently mentioned that he was starting to look at FriendFeed as another source for discussion (see - Gabe's last comment). I think this is a case where it would make sense for Gabe's algorithm to include this in the discussion. - Mike Doeff
@Thomas - here's one approach to your question about how Techmeme would "know" which conversations were best: - Hutch Carpenter
@Mathew A. Koeneker: SmugMug invite? We don't require invites. We've been in production for more than 5 years - no invites required. Just a credit card. :) I'm not sure how I (we?) are being elitist, though - we're offering something both better and cheaper than anyone else. How is that elitist? Am I missing something? - Don MacAskill
@Matt: You do need a SmugMug account, yes. They start at $40/year (unlimited JPEG/GIF/PNG storage), or roughly a latte a month. :) - Don MacAskill
Is anyone else not surprised that Thomas Hawk is trying to crap on a thread about a competitor's product? A quick browse on his blog shows crapping on competition all over the place, while his own pet project flounders in obscurity. - Jim
Hutch, great blog post, interesting method -- using activity by authoritative FF folk to determine which post to link right? Would love to see FF conversations on Techmeme as they definitely provide valuable commentary on the story. - Thomas Hawk
@Don, I sent a Tweet about this about two hours ago but never got a chance to get back gere until now. Looks like a lot great discussion has been going on. - Larry Kless from twhirl
Jim, I don't view SmugMug as a competing product *at all.* I doubt Don does either, but maybe I'm wrong. Two very different markets and services. I actually like SmugMug as an service alot, and especially the people that work there, their high service and community engagement. I just wouldn't pay $440 a month for something like this. I call it like I see it. BART is not a competitor to BMW, even though both get you where you want to go. - Thomas Hawk
@ Don: I was being a tad ironic as well as perhaps I misunderstood the post "@Thomas Hawk: Everything we do at SmugMug is more BMW than Toyota, let alone BART, that's for sure. :) - Don MacAskill" I like being frugal and wish that we had better public transportation in StL. I am OK if that is your target demographic (ie. BMW) but it seemed like a slam on those that are not. - Mathew A. Koeneker
@Thomas - and yet you keep arguing a red herring. There is a huge difference between local storage and off-site storage. In order to replicate the security of storage in the clouds, you have to set up multiple synced off-site storage locations. There is a reason that lot of top photographers store their photos in banks and other secure vaults. - Jim
@Thomas - that's right. Techmeme has a heavy bias for those who have been on Techmeme previously. Leverage that to identify conversational hot points. - Hutch Carpenter
@Thomas - a perfect example is world famous photographer Jacques Lowe who stored 40,000 negatives of the Kennedy family in the safest location he could find. He stored them in a bank vault, and 11 years later they were all completely destroyed when 2 planes hit the World Trade Center, right next door. Off-site + redundancy is extremely important to a lot of photographers. - Jim
Jim, I'm not arguing a red herring at all. $440 per month to store my archive is *not* "next to nothing." It's a perfectly valid point to make in light of the headline of the post. The fact that I can archive cheaper other ways is another point entirely -- but worth mentioning given that people might be looking for other cheaper alternatives. Maybe $440 per month is "next to nothing" for a rich guy like you, but it's not for me. Do you work for SmugMug? - Thomas Hawk
@Mathew A. Koeneker: Oh, no, that wasn't a slam at all. I have a BMW, but I love BART too. But when we chose to build a business, we intentionally chose the premium space. Not only am I more interested in it, but the free / freemium / economy space is crowded and a rough business to be in. I built this business with an awful lot of sweat - I didn't want to get into a brawl with companies like Yahoo and Kodak, too. - Don MacAskill
@Thomas - sorry, I was referring the ongoing Drobo discussion. Sticking right to the cost, I guess it is a matter of perspective. You are a prolific shooter, and have a sizable collection, so it will indeed cost you more. The question is how much the absolute security of those files are to you. It varies dramatically from photographer to photographer. For hobbyists with a big collection, I suppose the price would be a bigger deal. (continued, sorry... got too wordy) - Jim
@Thomas - but imagine you are make your living from your photos, and you can virtually guarantee the safety of your life's work for $440 a month. I am definitely a hobbyist, but there are definitely some files I want to make 100% sure I never lose. So I am probably somewhere in between, and part of my library will find its way online. - Jim
@Jim, $440 a month is *alot* of money Pal. Certainly not "next to nothing." You could by three drobos. Stick one at your mom's house in Florida and give another to your friend in Germany and network them all together -- and this would still be cheaper than buying this service, at least for me. I'm not sure the incremental "safety" of cloud storage over multiple location backups is worth it to me. - Thomas Hawk
and you still haven't answered the question whether or not you work for SmugMug. You have a private FF account and are only known as "Jim." As far as I'm concerned you may as well be an anonymous shill. - Thomas Hawk
Nice idea, but I'm not sold on the idea of cloud storage. Having multiple physical backups in different locations is very cost effective these days, and in the event of a catastrophic failure, restoring from the cloud is a time-consuming prospect. If you have enough data, shipping one of your other backups would be cheaper -- and faster -- than restoring TB's of data from the cloud. - Jeremy Brooks
is it insured? - NoahDavidSimon
I might as well be an anonymous shill, I am not a blogging/social sort of person. I registered just to post in this thread because your attitude bugs me. I used to subscribe to your blog because I love your photography, but got sick of your ranting and raving about everything. Unfortunately, I have now contributed to the crapfest this thread is... I'm out. - Jim
I think the main thing going for a service like this is the simplicity of it, which may be worth the cost for some people. - Jeremy Brooks
By the way, I'm not saying that this is a *bad* service. I'm sure that there are many customers at SmugMug who want this and at this price point. Otherwise they wouldn't be offering it. And I'm sure it's a good business for SmugMug as they probably make a differential between what they pay Amazon and what they charge their customers. Win-Win. I'm just saying it's not right for me is all. - Thomas Hawk
So Jim, you are posting here anonymously and only signed up for FF to post to *this specific* conversation about SmugMug, and yet you've been asked three times whether or not you work for SmugMug and you avoid answering the question every time. Okie dokie Pal, gotcha loud and clear. I'm sorry if my saying $440 per month doesn't sound like "next to nothing" to me hurts your feelings. - Thomas Hawk
okay, I lied... I didn't quite leave yet. :( I am not from SmugMug. I just don't want to get into personal details, I am a private person. really out now, just didn't want to leave that hanging. - Jim
...and this is pretty much what I was afraid would happen to FriendFeed eventually. I was just hoping for a bit more time. @Don, good luck on the launch. I always love to see other small businesses succeed, so I hope you guys make a bajillion dollars. - jakebf
@Thomas, for the record, Don is subscribed to the feeds of all SmugMug employees that have FF accounts. - David Parry
Wow, I go get some lunch and the thread devolves into trolling. Can has moderation? Let's get back to talking about the product, mmkay? - Don MacAskill
@InsaneNinja: You cannot skip the JPEG step entirely if you want to see all your edits, no. We just generate non-edited proofs. I'm hopeful that someday we can offer something even better, but for now, export both the JPEG and the DNG. - Don MacAskill
And I envision a Lightroom like interface to the vault so you can browse and search the vault like you would your local albums, select the photo(s) you want to work on and put your work back when you're done, somewhere safe. Which I'm giddy about to build, you know, when they invent 30hr days.... Also, for me this is going to be for the images that are very valuable to me either emotionally or monitarily, not everything, which solves the 'where will my important photos be in 15 years' problem. - Sam
@Don: That makes sound business sense on a lot of levels. )BTW, I think that this is the first time I saw what would appear to be troll induced flickers of flame.) - Mathew A. Koeneker
Oh, I wasn't referring to Thomas. ;) - Mathew A. Koeneker
Two questions: One, how on earth is uploading my entire archive going to happen ( I've got 50+ GB and rising fast- my upload speed is terrible even with broadband in the UK - talk about progress and being a First World Country) and Two is there API support for this??? - Roberto Bonini