In the transition from iLife '06 to '08, one of the shifts in iPhoto functionality was the deprecation of photocasts in favor of .Mac web galleries. Sure, your friends and family can still subscribe to an RSS feed of your pictures (and what kind of loving grandparent doesn't want a newsfeed full of Halloween costumes and messy-breakfast snapshots?), but despite the enhanced gallery views in '08, some key features didn't roll forward -- in particular, while '06 photocasts could include original size, full-res picture files for downloaders, '08 web galleries downsized and/or recompressed most photos. Some may not have noticed the degradation in quality, but for the photo purists, including my colleague Jeff L., this was not an improvement.
Today Jeff came by my desk practically jumping for joy. Tucked away in yesterday's iPhoto update to 7.1.2, where you'd least expect it, is a slender button on the web gallery dialog box: "Show Advanced," and we all know that means good things for Jeff and his poor pictures. There are two new options in the Advanced section: a checkbox to hide the title of the gallery on your .Mac galleries page (handy for those who have a photography 'hobby,' nudge nudge say no more), and a choice between optimized and actual-size photos for downloading. Huzzah!
If you've got a web gallery that could benefit from higher-quality download files, try the new setting and let us know your results.