I suggest you ...

FTP Uploading

We've all used the various uploaders that are available. And all of us have had an instance where an uploader doesn't work, or suddenly stops working, thereby disrupting our entire workflow.

Transferring files over the Internet isn't rocket science. In fact there's a special protocol for it--the File Transfer Protocol, or FTP for short. FTP is much more robust than http for sending files. It is cross-platform and supports almost every computing device out there, new and old. This way, the only time uploading stops working is when something is broken at SM, not when some code on a third party uploader needs updating. Exposure Manager has FTP uploading capability.

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      • James commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The currently available methods of uploading files to Smugmug is painfully and excruciatingly slow. Please, please, please add FTP!

        Thank you from my heart in advance!

      • threeshoes commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Now that I no longer use Aperture for my cataloguing and RAW conversion, the lack of FTP is narrowing the choices. I've had a look at the third-party uploaders and I frankly don't trust them to stay in business. Nor do I want to have to use Lr just to be able to upload from my catalogue on disk. Please, SmugMug let's have FTP.

      • Samir commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I just uploaded a video to one of my galleries and saw an option to upload from dropbox. My first thought is 'Really?' Preference has been given to a proprietary system vs the decade old standard of FTP?

        After seeing this, I have no doubts now that FTP uploading definitely can be done. Vote to make FTP happen. Let your voice be heard!

      • Aduboboot commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @aaron, respectfully...

        could you please be honest with us all about whether you will be adding a significantly faster upload feature to SmugMug. I honestly am sooooo tired of the slowness of the SmugMug uploading system and still "years" behind in uploading all my albums because I just can't let my computer turn for months on end just uploading to your site. I don't know what I have and don't have up.

        The idea would be to have my entire library online and functionnal for sharing, etc... is that so strange to your team?

        Although I love your site and it's all I use for now I think I'm going to cash in if I don't get some encouragement that this vital function is coming. I have a hard time believing after all the comments you've heard on this forum from pros and the years this post has been going that there is still no attempt to remedy.
        This is my last try, then I'm gone. Please, Smugmug, I truly hope you will tell usit's coming!

      • WeddingPhoto567657567 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We need the ability to upload multiple galleries at a time by dragging and dropping folders!!! We separate our wedding photos into 15-25 folders for our brides and upload them each as a separate gallery inside a parent folder. Being able to drag and drop the folders and then set the gallery settings later would save hours of copying and pasting the gallery names and dragging and dropping each folder!

      • Wendy Rueter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please add FTP Uploading support. Here are a few reasons why:

        1) When shooting tethered (ether via USB or WiFi) this would allow photos to be directly uploaded to a gallery without them even touching Lightroom. This would be very useful for photo-booth kinds of events where we want to get photos to participates directly, ASAP, without any kind of post-production processing

        2) This would allow real-time access to these kinds of photos on a SmugMug galary while at an event...which could be a revenue opportunity for the photographer (such as at a community event).

        3) This would enable various custom or 3rd-party apps to push photos to SmugMug. This would for example allow a photo to go through a defined workflow process, and as part of that process be automatically "published" to a SmugMug gallery. This allows more structure in the way post-processing happens when multiple people / approvals are involved--rather than having an individual interactively drag-and-drop a file

        4) This would allow automatic synchronization of photos from other cloud storage sources (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) which could be useful when trying to publish old archived images to a SmugMug gallery, or when trying to incorporate images from multiple sources (say an event where multiple independent shooters upload to a shared cloud folder...and these shooters don't have / shouldn't have access to my SmugMug account...such as participants at an event)

        5) This would allow automatic synchronization of images with local photos on my computer or network...which opens up various workflow options for me

        Remember that multiple file synchronization utilities exist to automatically push files to FTP. The uses I have in mind are not just using Filezilla (or other) interactively...but rather to automatically move photos to SmugMug.

        I understand that if 2-way FTP were enabled (to allow downloading from SmugMug via FTP) this would likely open up multiple security options, such as bypassing the need to pay for images and the like. I would be fine with an FTP upload-ONLY (with no download).

      • Nelson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would also like to see the FTP upload/download option added to SmugMug. Current browser based upload methods are slow and unreliable. It has been this way for way too many years. Now with the NEW SmugMug happening in a few days, let's get on with a more reliable FTP upload option.

        The FTP upload and download option does not have to be fancy. It can just put everything in a user's home directory and let the user move files to correct galleries later.

        A step forward would be to allow sub-directories (aka folders) to be created during the upload, each with the new folder or gallery name defined. They can then be deployed to their final destination.

        An ultimate implementation would be to map the full site of an user to a set of folders under the home directory. One can then use the FTP tool of choice (ex. FileZilla) to quickly sync up between the local computer and remote SmugMug site. Local files and directories become remote folders and galleries.

        I am adding the date to my post as for some reason the dates of previous posts are not visible?


      • Samir commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Ladies and gentlemen, it has been several, several years since I initially started this suggestion. Little did I know that the uploading process was peeving many other than myself. And even after years, this suggestions' staying power only reinforces what we SM users (new and old) want--FTP uploading.

        Vote and let's make it happen.

      • Samir commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate


        I haven't visited this thread in a while since my life has been on hold for two years while I've been taking care of my parents, but let me give you a few answers and use case scenarios where the existing uploading infrastructure (as I remember it) would fail me as a user and how FTP would solve them.

        First case--duplicate uploads or failed uploads. Dupes don't happen with FTP, and failed uploads could be easily retried. The existing uploaders have gotten MUCH better in these areas, but I still have to check the number of files uploaded each time I upload and correct any mistakes.

        Second case--speed. At one point before multi-megabit upload bandwidth was available, I had 3 cable modems and a multi-wan router to tie them all together. But because each upload needed its own thread to utilize all the bandwidth, I had to launch multiple instances of the web uploader to saturate everything. I think it issue has been somewhat addressed with the multiple threads available in the uploader (been a few years, so this could be completely wrong now), but it still didn't work seamlessly and would crash. Almost all FTP clients handle multi-thread uploading with ease.

        I don't think the primary use case is bulk-upload. We have Starexplorer for that. I think the main use-case is just getting the images up fast and reliably (outside of lightroom and aperture).

        To answer your specific questions:
        1. I will create a gallery first using a preset and modify it as need be.
        2. If I could bulk upload with all galleries on my preset, sure.
        3. I don't use such organizational structures, so my workflow is a bit different. I keep everything by date with the original dates and filenames. I then upload all the images for a particular date twice--once to my archive, and once to a working gallery. Once I have verified that all images have arrived in the working gallery, I move the images as necessary to individual galleries and work with them from there. For me, the gallery organization part isn't the crux of it--it's just getting a max speed, dead-reliable upload. I always have to double check.

        Right before Smugmug added video (remember that a couple of years ago?), I almost switched to Exposure Manager because of the ultimate FTP uploading system they had. You would upload to your account, however your file structure is. And then you could later move these files into galleries--all within the web interface. It was quite slick, and ultra fast. Because publishing video was also a feature I needed, I stayed with SM, but it was a close call.

        I want to thank you for visiting this discussion and taking the time to work with us on a solution. I know it's a high priority to us users.

      • Marcelo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I can not have control of the speed of uploading photos, please I want to use FTP

      • mastix commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I too am in Photoshelter. But the price for storage is unreal. If they ever have ftp here I will open an account here.

      • Donald Bakewell commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree. FTP is a must! Those opposed are fine with the weak "social networking" type of uploading offered by Smug since they are only uploading 1-3 events per week typically. Now those of us who are uploading 30+ events every week, the lack of FTP support becomes a HUGE PROBLEM!

        FTP is the only way to cue up 40+ different events containing 32,000+ images total and click one button to start the mega upload, go to sleep and wake up in the morning with every file in the correct gallery. (I have Gigabit) ;)

        A great work around though (that I use) is a program called Star Explorer. http://www.starexplorer.com/
        You have to purchase the software but once you do, it offers an alternative method of cuing up 30+ galleries to upload all starting with one click. The guy who developed it is awesome with support feedback, etc too. With out Star Explorer, I would have jumped ship years ago!

      • Aduboboot commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Can we get an official reply from SmugMug on this issue?
        Especially now that our only option for this (SmugFTP) is stopping his service?
        You cater to professionals but offer uploading no different than social media services.

        Please could you offer a bulk uploading service? I hope you will respond.

        You will then be quality at every level... (this being the only thing that really "peeves off" your more serious customers.)

        What do you think?

      • Randy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @aaron, From my perspective, you're missing the point. Having followed this thread for years now, people want FTP (or, these days, SFTP, which uses SSH). FTP/SFTP is a far more reliable, cross-platform, and scriptable protocol than the web services API. It can be used with a limitless variety of clients on pretty much every device and OS.

        The fact that FTP also has a concept of directories is a nice aspect, but far from the sole or most important use case.

        Whatever platform you use must support SSH, so why not add SFTP? Your underlying platform probably already has it.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why not allow us to ftp folders (directories in ftp talk) to smugmug and then customize the gallery setting. Right now, I can upload my different catagories from the same event by dropping them into the ftp.
        So that's where FTP comes in...
        3) Go to bed and let your computer upload all night... =) =)
        I completely agree. Without this, smugmug is not a practical option for the large events I cover and hope to host on smugmug.

        Please help all of us who require ftp to make our lives and uploading multiple folders in events easier!

      • Jens Puk commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Theres a great app called Send to Smugmug that i just discovered that might help with some of these issues. It lets me you choose a set of photos or folder and send it to your account, there is a field you fill out to create new or upload to existing galleries as well as the ability to change some of the more important options (security etc) Look for it on google

      • Iain Weir commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm in disbelief that you can't ftp images directly to smugmug.

        FTP may not be for everyone, it's certainly not pretty, but it's solid and functional.

        I typically upload 2-12,000 photos at a time following events and have never had anything but bad experiences uploading through browsers. Being able to ftp means I can bulk upload from phone, iPad, laptop, whatever. (yes through my phone is expensive)

        Having tried hosting my images on my own site and using fotomoto which hasn't really worked as well as I'd hoped I was pretty much sold on smugmug until I read this, having googled it I see zenfolio don't offer FTP either.

        I've got about 200GB of images hosted on photoshelter, who I'm very keen to leave for a variety of reasons but migrating them without being able to do it directly via ftp isn't going to happen... funnelling everything via my broadband will take months!

        Out of interest, why isn't it considered an option? I'd have thought ftp was a staple for a lot of professional photographers.

      • Adminaaron (Director of Product Management, SmugMug) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is all very good discussion. What I feel like I'm really hearing is that the request is for the ability to upload folders of images and have them upload as individual new galleries. It seems like that's the use-case at least.

        What if you could do that by dragging a bunch of folders into the web-browser and have it create galleries as required? You drop a bunch of folders into your web-browser, the uploader opens, and in the morning you get a bunch of galleries.

        That leads to a few questions:
        1) What settings do the galleries take on? Normally you create a gallery first so you can give it a title, description, set its privacy settings, display settings, etc.

        2) If the answer to #1 is some default settings, are you OK having to go in and individually manually edit the gallery settings for all the galleries that were created?

        3) How would Folders that contain sub-folders AND images be created? On SmugMug folders cannot contain images (only galleries can). Should we create a gallery inside that folder with the same name as the folder and put the images in there? Ex: You upload a folder "Nature" that has photos and a sub-folder "Landscapes". On SmugMug a folder called "Nature" would be created as well as a gallery called "Nature" and a folder called "Landscapes".

      • Randy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Ham, if you don't know why you would want to use FTP (or more likely SFTP), then just ignore this thread as it doesn't affect you. No one would ever force you to use FTP/SFTP. There's no call to denigrate those of us who do need it.

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