Looking for a way to share digital images with others without a .Mac account or a personal Web site? Smugmug offers photo sharing for everyone from average users sharing vacation pics to professional showing off their portfolios. It’s even been used by Howard Dean, who until recently was running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. President. Now the company has introduced a new version of their Mac Uploader, a standalone solution that integrates with iPhoto and allows you to upload hundreds of images to the service with just a couple mouse clicks.
Smugmug offers three user plans: standard (US$29.95 per year), power ($49.95), and professional ($99.95). All three can host an unlimited number of photos, but power and professional users can also share an unlimited number of video clips with a maximum size of 8MB each. Monthly traffic allowances are 2GB for standard users, 4GB for power plans, and 8GB for professionals.
Professional users can also use guest passwords, sell images (Smugmug provides an online storefront), watermark their shots, substitute their own domain name for user.smugmug.com, and co-brand with Smugmug by customizing template banner ads. The Mac Uploader works with pro accounts to upload and convert thousands of photos to a virtual gallery that’s capable of selling and delivering images.
You can also use the new Mac Uploader even if you don’t keep your images in iPhoto — it features an option that allows you to simply drag your shots into the application. The only catch is that you need to run Mac OS X. If you’re still on OS 9, you can use Smugmug’s Java bulk uploader, which works inside your browser. You just need to make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer.