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#1 Roger-Ohio

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:43 PM

In an effort to manage a large number of media files I created a number of subfolders and placed the images and files in the appropriate folders. Census, Buildings, VitalRecords, People, etc

Now as I clean up the files and re-establish the links I have a problem that RM doesn't seem to allow me to find the media files in the subfolders.

Is there a work around or am I missing something? With an antisipated 2 to 4,000 media files I really don't want them all in the same folder and am not sure if it is possible to have that many files in a single folder.

#2 kbens0n

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 06:14 AM

It seems like

Lists->Media Gallery->Tools->Fix broken media links

should have you covered
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#3 Laura

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 06:36 AM

You can also highlight a media file in the Media Gallery, select Properties, Change media file [bottom left on the screen]. This brings up Windows Explorer and you can move the file, rename it, etc. from there. When you save the file in RootsMagic, the path for that file will be changed.
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#4 Roger-Ohio

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 10:12 AM

Thanks for reply. Will test out your suggestions

#5 c24m48

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 09:16 AM

Now as I clean up the files and re-establish the links I have a problem that RM doesn't seem to allow me to find the media files in the subfolders.


The suggestions from both kbens0n and Laura are excellent. Let me add a few additional comments.
  • With respect to "RM doesn't allow you to find the media files in subfolders", when you first add media you end up in the standard Windows File->Open dialog, which is part of Windows Explorer. At this point, it's not really RM doing the navigating through your subfolders. Rather it's Windows itself, and in particular the Windows Explorer component of Windows. It certainly allows you to navigate up and down and across all your folders and subfolders.
  • As Laura indicates, the exact same Windows Explorer capability is presented to you in the Media Gallery when you click on Properties, Change Media File.
  • If you have thousands of files already in RM's Media Gallery and if the file locations don't match between RM and where the files really are located, then kbens0n's suggestion of using Fix broken media links is the fastest way to make things right.
  • Finally (and this is an overriding consideration in using media with RM): RM really doesn't give a hoot about your organizational system and your subfolders, etc. All it really cares about is the file name. That's not to say that you shouldn't have an organizational system and that you shouldn't use subfolders. You should. And when you enter a media file into RM, you certainly point RM to wherever the file is in your organizational system and your subfolders. RM doesn't actually copy the media file into RM. All it does is store a link to wherever you told it the file was. But having said that, whenever RM does its "Fix broken media links" thing, all it's looking for is the file name. It's only the file name that really uniquely identifies a file to RM, not your organizational structure or your subfolders. This is both good and bad. For example, you can have thousands of media files linked into RM, you can totally reorganize and move your files all around in Windows without telling RM you did it, and a single "Fix broken media links" operation will set everything right - provided you haven't renamed any files, and provided you don't have any files in one folder that have the same name as a file in a different folder. So your naming convention for individual files is as important or almost more so than is your overall organizational and subfolder structure. So you almost need to name your individual files so that the names would make sense even if they were all in one large folder, even if you really do the more rational thing and have a good organizational and subfolder structure.
Jerry

#6 c24m48

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 09:36 AM

So you almost need to name your individual files so that the names would make sense even if they were all in one large folder, even if you really do the more rational thing and have a good organizational and subfolder structure.


Indeed, if you make a sharable CD, then all the media files that are placed on the sharable CD are placed into a single, large folder. The process of making a sharable CD does not honor your existing subfolder structure at all.

This flatness of structure permeates all of RM. For example, the Place List does not have any structure such as country, state, county, etc. to help with navigating through the list of places. The Source List is a completely flat list, and your only hope of navigating it if you get very many sources into your database is to have a very logical and rigorous naming structure for your Master Sources.

It's not just RM. The whole online world seems to be going in the direction of flatness. For example, I both like and dislike various aspects of Gmail. One aspect about it that I hate is that it does not support storing your e-mail messages into nested subfolders. My main personal e-mail account is a Hotmail account, which does support nested subfolders. Gmail enthusiasts will argue that Gmail has something even better called labels, but the Gmail labels cannot be nested nor can you search just within a particular label. A RM equivalent is the way the search command in the Media Gallery will search for your search string in lots of different metadata fields associated with your media (which is a good thing), but since the Media Gallery has no nesting capability there is no way to restrict your search of the Media Gallery to just a subset of your media files (which is a bad thing).

Jerry

#7 Renee Zamora

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 09:59 AM

Confirming we have this discussion noted in our tracking system.

This is a personal reply to Jerry.

It's not just RM. The whole online world seems to be going in the direction of flatness. For example, I both like and dislike various aspects of Gmail. One aspect about it that I hate is that it does not support storing your e-mail messages into nested subfolders. My main personal e-mail account is a Hotmail account, which does support nested subfolders. Gmail enthusiasts will argue that Gmail has something even better called labels, but the Gmail labels cannot be nested nor can you search just within a particular label. A RM equivalent is the way the search command in the Media Gallery will search for your search string in lots of different metadata fields associated with your media (which is a good thing), but since the Media Gallery has no nesting capability there is no way to restrict your search of the Media Gallery to just a subset of your media files (which is a bad thing).


Gmail now allows nesting labels under each other. So you do get the Sub-folder effect.
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#8 c24m48

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 11:01 AM

This is a personal reply to Jerry.

Gmail now allows nesting labels under each other. So you do get the Sub-folder effect.


(This is getting dangerously off topic, and I'm aware of the irony of having an off-topic conversation with the forum administrator! :) )

I do realize that Google added something they call nested sub-labels. I think they did this back about 2010, and of course I was whining about the problem well before 2010. But my understanding is that the Gmail implementation is not really nested sub-labels in the same sense as nested subfolders in Windows. Here is what Google did. They allowed label names to include the slash character / and they displayed a standard tree structure for labels with + and - signs in the tree nodes to expand and compress the tree nodes - to all appearances, all very much like Windows subfolders.

For example, suppose I have a lot of e-mail about RM6, and I want to divide the e-mail into sub-labels - one for e-mail about features, one for e-mail about bugs, and one for e-mail about wishes for the future. So in Gmail I would create four new labels called RM6, RM6/features, RM6/bugs, and RM6/wishes. Given this structure, I would see a tree just showing the RM6 label with a + sign. If I click the + sign, then under it I would see bugs, features, and wishes as sub-labels. So far, so good, and I can browse through my about RM6 e-mail by label and sub-label just like I can browse through files in Windows sub-folders.

But given this structure in Gmail, what if I want to search the RM6 label and all it's sub-labels, like maybe searching in RM6/* ? Well, I can't do it. The reason is that Gmail sub-labels really aren't sub-labels at all. Each sub-label is really its own free standing label. For example, RM6/features is really it's own free standing label whose name is "RM6/features". It's not really subordinate to the RM6 label at all. Gmail creates this smoke and mirrors illusion of sub-labels with their little tree thingy. And if all you are doing is browsing, it even acts like it's real sub-labels, and it's actually very useful. So I'm not saying that what Google did was of no value. It's actually quite valuable. But it's not real sub-labels until you can use the tree structure not just to browse but also to limit the scope of searches.

So if ever RM decided to add a little nested structure to what are now flat spaces, I would hope that the nested structure would apply both to browsing and also to searching. (How's that for getting at least a little bit of this message to be on topic.)

Jerry

#9 Renee Zamora

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 11:41 AM

Thanks for getting us back on topic! ;)
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#10 TomH

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:46 PM

it's not real sub-labels until you can use the tree structure not just to browse but also to limit the scope of searches.

(Sorry for straying away again but I'm just getting into GMail labels). It certainly can limit the scope of searches, arguably in ways more versatile than the inclusion of all subdirectories. You can restrict the search to any combination of labels. Taking your example of searching on RM6/* to search the RM6 folder and its three sub-folders, the equivalent Gmail search would be:
{ label:rm6 OR label:rm6-features OR label:rm6-bugs OR label:rm6-wishes searchterm }
Yes, it's a more complex search phrase but also more flexible - other labels could be OR'd and searched at the same time.

What about searching for unlabelled items that you might want under one of these labels?
{ searchterm in:inbox OR in:sent -(label:rm6 OR label:rm6-features OR label:rm6-bugs OR label:rm6-wishes) }

What is a hierarchy of folders? It could just be a naming hierarchy as in Gmail with the "/" divider (transposed to "-" in the search phrase) so I think it would be possible for Google to introduce a wildcard for label names that could expand the search phrase to OR all sub-labels.

So I think Gmail's labelling system is pretty powerful and flexible. Its search functionality would be enriched with the addition of the label wildcard and the storage of search phrases or views for fast recall. That would do as a very good model for search functionality within RootsMagic (back on track :rolleyes: )

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#11 Vyger

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 03:29 PM

So your naming convention for individual files is as important or almost more so than is your overall organizational and subfolder structure. So you almost need to name your individual files so that the names would make sense even if they were all in one large folder, even if you really do the more rational thing and have a good organizational and subfolder structure.


The point Jerry makes is very important especially as the media count increases. Many years ago I collaborated with 2 other researchers sharing scanned documentation on a single name research. It quickly became apparent that we were duplicating a large proportion of the media we collectively held due to the lack of any naming convention and had to take a stop to agree a structured way forward.

We did agree and whilst is may not be perfect is has served me well for the last ten years. The naming convention achieved sorting and also some categorization for searching. Once I combined this into my own folder structure I had the virtual filing cabinet which I very much needed. A couple of examples of the file structure we chose are below with a brief explanation :-

smith-john,1900-jan-29-(b) - (birth registration document)
smith-john,fellows-margaret,1920-feb-14-(m) - (marriage registration document)
smith-john,1970-sep-12-(obit) - (copy of obituary)

The structure is quite simple but the key is that many searchable components exist within the file name. Also placing like documents into specific surname or document type folders achieves a useful grouping through Windows Explorer sort on the file name grouping duplicates for easy recognition.

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Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

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#12 Roger-Ohio

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 12:39 PM

Thanks for all the On and off topic comments :rolleyes:

With the suggestions from both kbens0n and Laura I went back and discovered part of the problem was of my own making. First the thousands of media files are currently not linked to RM facts or people but I had started and had about a hundred when I saw that I was having problems finding the file I wanted in the "flat file" listing. At that point I decided I needed a better system of folders and sub-folders so started to re-organize the files. At the same time (ya my bad) I decided I needed to clean up the file names.
What seemed to happen with RM (Win Explorer) not "seeing" the files is I was renaming and moving files around then with both RM and Win Explorer still open I tried to "fix" some of the links but at that point it seems the Win Explorer that RM used wasn't seeing the new file structure I had just changed. I guess it needed to be refreshed but since I hadn't shut anything down it was not getting refreshed. Since I was having problems I shut stuff down, then reviewed the suggestions from both kbens0n and Laura.
After re-opening RM and WIn Explorer I could now see the sub folders. I was also able to use the Fix Media Links which worked for all the files I had not changed file names on.


Sooooo Bottom line.
I have developed both a folder and sub-folder naming convention for me to use.
I have also developed a file naming convention that I hope will allow me and RM to find files. Before I get too far along. Will RM run into problems if I have more than one file with the same name but in two different sub-folders? :wub: Would rather I knew that now than discover this is a problem down the road and have to re-design my naming convention and also have to again rename and re-organize my media files again.


It might help if I explained why I have so many media files. I am working toward "Paperless Genealogy" where images of my sources are used as media attached to various facts. In reality I only have a small number of original documents so am trying to avoid filling file cabinets with paper copies of documents. Even in the case of irreplaceable originals, such as an 1889 birth cert from Ceylon India, I have created digital copies. Since I also make digital copies of all this documentation and distribute copies on DVD of all my source citations across three states I am not concerned about loosing any of this research information due to any natural or man-made catastrophe.

#13 c24m48

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 12:57 PM

Before I get too far along. Will RM run into problems if I have more than one file with the same name but in two different sub-folders? :wub:


Yes, it will have problems. Don't do that.

As is often the case, the whole truth is a little more complex and subtle than my "don't do that" comment would indicate. You actually "can do that", and it will mostly work. The key thing that won't work correctly is Fix Broken Links, but most everything else will work. Even the creation of a sharable CD will still work after a fashion. Duplicate file names that might arise from making a sharable CD will be handled by giving the duplicate file names sort of a version number so that the duplicates don't have exactly the file name and hence aren't really duplicates anymore. I don't know if it's RM that's doing the version number thing or if it's Windows. It may be a little bit of both.

Jerry