Lately I've been disgusted with SmugMug's weak iPhoto uploader. Their latest OS X uploader is supposed to capture caption data from iPhoto, but it failed miserably for me on 10.3.9 (probably never tested on that platform) and 10.4.7 (
This is more annoying than usual because Google's beta OS X uploader for their (beta) Picasa web albums works great. I payed Google $25 or so (love that Google checkout!) and I've used about 15% of my 9GB limit so far.
OTOH, Google Picasa albums don't have any printing services, you have to download images one at a time, and you can't password protect an album. SmugMug has passwords, though I don't recall if you can do multi-image download. If your Picasa "secret" URL is discovered anyone can view the album -- and I don't think there's any way to change the "secret" URL -- you'd have to create a new album, move the images, and delete the old one.
SmugMug has unlimited storage though images must be less than 10 MB, Google Picasa provides only up to 9GB though I expect that to increase. SmugMug, but not Google, will send a library CD to you for a fee -- a good backup to your backups. Both SmugMug and Google allow anyone to download a full resolution image, unlike stinky services like Ofoto/Kodak Gallery. Neither force viewers to sign up and both are very good about avoiding spam.
I don't believe either SmugMug or Google Picasa provide any facility to transfer images and metadata to a competing service, but I think both publish an API that might allow a developer to provide such a service.
Bottom line - I wouldn't mind if SmugMug were an option again. Happily the PictureSync Beta seems to have corrected the bug that rendered the production version useless. So SmugMug may turn out to be acceptable. I'm keeping them in the picture for now -- though if Google adds good print services SmugMug will be hanging by a thread.
If you do opt for SmugMug (always assume these services will go out of business tomorrow!), you can generate a kickback from me by using this link, or entering my email address (email@example.com ) or my coupon number (sTHk2jeMi228c ) in the 'Referred by' field. Just don't blame me if the service goes under along with your photos -- only Google's still beta photo service is likely to last over 10 more years ...
Update: See the comments from SmugMug's CEO -- he's saying their finances are more solid than one might suspect ...