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Media Gallery display Linked/Unlinked statistic

media gallery tagging media

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#1 Vyger

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 01:54 PM

I would like to see a future version of Media Gallery display a statistic of linked media versus unlinked media within the user chosen multimedia folder under Tools > Program Options > Folders and its sub folders. This at the very least would be a good indication of the scale of work to be done. If such a recursive comparison utility was incorporated within Rootsmagic it could also be made available under tools where the user would simply select a folder to compare and choose to include sub folders or not.

 

Expanding on this it would be very beneficial if a list of unlinked files could be displayed with 'open with' functionality to aid there correct linking to the Rootsmagic database and therefore making it more complete.

 

I often find unlinked files within my collection that provide valuable steps forward in my research so I know how important linking all files can be. Such an unlinked media list could be sorted by user defined order like file name, file type or date created. This is one area where Rootsmagic can really provide great help in managing ever growing media collections which tend to expand at a much greater rate than files can ever practically be linked.

 

Providing a check box list of file types to be included/excluded in such a comparison utility would allow users to deselect obvious extensions such as .ini and any other file extensions they want to exclude from the comparison.

 


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#2 Renee Zamora

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 11:06 AM

Confirming enhancement request is in our tracking system. 

 

Vyger, I've been thinking about this problem that you have with media. So, I've done a little thinking about it, so this may get personal. But, I hope beneficial to others too. 

 

The RootsMagician has a list of criteria that allow him to decide what program changes would be the most beneficial to the majority of users, and fit within long-term development schedules. Granted, design changes could be made to the media gallery to make it flow better. But, is it really RootsMagic responsibility to provide organizational management of files outside of the program?

 

Now I ask myself, why is it Vyger has a problem managing what media he has or has not attached to RootsMagic?  Why is it other users are not appearing to have this same problem? If we designed something to double check that media in specific folders are attached to RM, does that mean every user has the same desire? Everyone stores and manages their media files differently, some may not even want all media in a specific folder to even be attached to RM. So, it comes back to is this RM roll to even do this type of management?

 

Personally, I think this management needs to take place outside of RootsMagic. I haven't talked to the RootsMagician about this so I'm not reflecting his position at all. That is why your suggestion is in the tracking system. 

 

What I think needs to happen is an SOP - Standard Operating Procedure, to prevent media from being unattached to RM to begin with, or track and management files so they are attached. I have tons of SOP's stored in my head, but many people write them down until they become habitual habits. For example, I attend a meeting and take notes, when I get home I take all my notes out of my bag and put them on my desk. Then return the bag to its proper place ready to use for the next meeting. Finally I sit down and work on processing my notes I placed on my desk. (Which can take on a whole new SOP) These steps insure my actions prevent difficulties later on, like a bag not ready for my next meeting, or notes misplaced and assignments not done. 

 

An SOP for prevention of unattached media would be attach media to RM as you download and store it on your computer. It's a slow process, but slow and steady wins the race. That's probably what most users are doing. That works well and good if you don't hit the media jackpot with a mother-load of images to download off the internet. 

 

If its necessary to store and not attach right away then you need a SOP to track and manage those files. In a perfect world I would want to save and then color-code those files not attached. This would allow me to visually see that attaching still needs to be done. Just like I do with tracking projects inside of RM.  But, I don't think you can color on the file level in Windows.  

 

I am sure if a bunch of us put our heads together we could find just the type of program we need outside of RootsMagic for tracking files. I did a little preliminary searching and saw a program that might help with this - http://www.xyplorer.com/product.php . At least its something to research more on. The other ideas could be to use metadata or some type of tagging in properties. Once you find a method of coloring, labeling, tagging, files etc. to track that status of attachment to RM, then you would need to review what is already attached. 

 

The Media List report can assist in that. Save the Media List as a TXT file. Then open it in Excel. Remove the 1st column so you only have the full path name. Then sort on this column. You can then systematically go down the list comparing your computer files and "mark" those not currently attached. Once that work is done the SOP for handling new media will keep the backlog from becoming out of hand. You will need another SOP to manage how you "unmark" the status after attaching them to RM.

 

I am very hopeful that we can find a solutions that will be helpful to a lot of us.


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#3 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 07:07 PM

If I understand what Renee is suggesting, let me make the following distinction. I have a small set of folders into which I place files that are to be linked into RM. I used to have many more such folders with many more levels of nesting, but I have decided to flatten and simplify my structure somewhat due to the fact that RM does not honor my folder structure. Rather, RM goes only by the file name. Under these circumstances, a file goes into my small set of folders for linking to RM only if I actually link the file to RM. And files not inside the small set of folders are not linked to RM. It's not to say that I can't make a mistake in this scheme, but that's the general idea.

 

Maybe or maybe not it would be a good idea to have a mechanism either inside of RM or outside of RM to compare the list of files linked to RM to the list of files in my small list of folders. Whether such a mechanism exists or not has nothing to with managing my files inside of RM or outside of RM. I consider that I am managing my files outside of RM. Period. And I wouldn't want it any other way. But even with managing my files outside of RM, it would still be very nice to have mechanism to compare the list of files linked to RM with the list of files in my small set of folders to be sure that the two lists match.

 

By "linked to RM", I mean simply that a file is in the Media Gallery. I think the larger issue than the one Vyger raises is better to understand which files in the Media Gallery are associated with which objects in RM. You can sort of use RM tools to understand which files in the Media Gallery are associated with which objects in RM. But it's really slow, manual, and clunky. From within the Media gallery, you can highlight any media item and see its tags (see the objects in RM with which that particular media item is associated). And from any object in RM that can be associated with a media item, there is a way to see the object's associated media items (the best I can remember). So it sounds like the problem is solved. But it really isn't.

 

For example, suppose a researcher made a decision to associate a death certificate image with every single death event for which death certificates exist and which can be obtained without violating privacy laws. How would you run a report of all the death facts which were or were not associated with a death certificate inage (or with any media item).  You really can't do this kind of processing from within RM, and I do it all the time with SQLite. I think this kind of reporting is perfectly appropriate to be supported from within RM, whereas managing my media files in general in my Windows folders is much better left outside of RM.

 

Jerry



#4 TomH

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:03 PM

The RM program assumes, invites, promotes the placement of media files under a default media folder but provides no (easy) means to move files. So it pushes the user to use external tools to copy or move files to the default media folder or sub-folder and rename them before adding them to the gallery. It is especially the addition of many files to the gallery that motivates bulk movement by external means and can result in many files under the RM default folder that have yet to be linked to RM, let alone tagged. I agree that there should be means within RM to identify files under the default folder (or any folder) that are not linked to the RM Media Gallery. Their addition to the gallery should be facilitated, e.g., bulk addition. And as Jerry describes, improved means of reviewing tags and media.


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#5 Vyger

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 03:56 AM

Renee, none taken :D

 

I personally do not have a problem as I overcome it some years ago, I have a strong file naming convention, a strong folder system and I would say a greater percentage of my media files linked to RM than most other users. However I do know that regardless of my best intentions or SOP's it does creep out of sync over time as I do collect media faster than I can link it through standard RM functionality at the moment. From an RM perspective I save all new Media in a "@to be linked" folder within my Genealogy root folder and then once correctly linked and filed use the "fix broken links" when necessary.

 

Again personally, if I find a collection whether it be on of off the web I load up my shopping basket there and then, collect all the media or scan all the media loaned to me and work to link it later. The alternative would be to spend some hours linking to RM one by one and return to that web source hoping that I can regain my place in the search results or spend weeks or months working through linking media which has been generously loaned to me, not my SOP.

 

I have always found that looking at how people do work and programming to suit how is much more productive than recommending that they all change how they work, that in my experience rarely happens. A computer program which uses simple computing power to help me in my needs quickly becomes my friend but why should I even bother with the computer when I already have loads of pens and paper.

 

My reason for posting any wish is to enable enhancement and development of Rootsmagic, in this case I believe this is a trap many users fall into and if I am correct in my assumption then such an enhancement could be a sales point for undecided users, but the Rootsmagician would have a better idea of that from his field trips. It's also possible that my work flow is unusually sloppy and this problem only applies to me with everyone else having perfectly linked media collections. My repeated assertion as regards such a simple utility is that media items are an extremely important source in our genealogy quest and of no value whatsoever if buried in a bottom drawer.

 

My SOP is that once I find something difficult to achieve or protracted in it's functionality I put pen to paper rather than finding some way round the problem, this perceived problem and enhancement will never get mentioned again, I accept it is my problem.

 


But even with managing my files outside of RM, it would still be very nice to have mechanism to compare the list of files linked to RM with the list of files in my small set of folders to be sure that the two lists match.

 

This would, however, have been an easy enhancement to incorporate within RM, I think value added but maybe not so lets just leave it there. I wrote a rough Excel workbook that done the job for me and it can be found on the link below, maybe try it on your own collection and see just how complete it is. I have since tailored this more to my own needs where it actually creates a New Individual and tags the media to the appropriate event in the gedcom all from the information contained in my file naming convention.

 

http://sqlitetoolsfo... Attach Utility


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

 

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Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#6 MVS

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 05:12 AM

If I can put my view in. My perspective is that I use media as my proof. Many of the enhancements and focus in updates in recent years has been on how sources, splitting, not splitting and all that stuff. It does not interest me. I try to be very accurate in what I record but I know that my audience is my family and I communicate with them through the RM data, online. Not through printing a history with a lot of source citations and so on for the footnote (who reads them>!).

So for me, for example, if I find a reference to a family member in the book I scan the page in the book, file it in my well organised file structure, link it into the RM records of the people concerned and make a note in the description of the book/page etc.

So when someone is viewing the record they can see the data for themselves. Which would you rather have? A source note that tells you what book to go and find and read or a copy of the pages to read directly? I know that my family are not going to go off to the library to find the book - but they will read the page if it is scanned on disk and already linked to the record.

This is my approach for everything I find; books, magazines, wills, census records, photographs, BMD certificates, newspaper articles, and so on.

Now in an ideal world, as Renee says, every type of image or file would be linked in as soon as it arrives and no-one would ever need to worry about "unlinked" records and so on. But in practice we all end up with loads of "this might be relevant but I am not sure yet" or "I will take photos of all the gravestones in this churchyard while I am here" type of thing and the more that can be done to manage them from within RootsMagic the better. In fact - this is a CORE requirement of my genealogy research and currently I have to use cumbersome methods to imperfectly manage it outside of RM. ie. - (i) convert database to UNshare all the events (ii) export new database to a GED (iii) run other programs to produce reports from the GED and then repeat i, ii and iii every time I update the database.

So Renee, your suggestion that the management of these files should take place outside of RM does not appeal. I do it currently and it is very cumbersome.

I would make a further comment. The production of the new unified software that will run on a Mac as well as a PC and the production of Android and other versions is doubtless extremely time consuming. I have no doubt that the development teams are extremely excited. But I am not excited at all and I imagine that all of the Windows users who have no intention of running on a Mac are also not excited. Because to us it is meaningless. What we want is enhancements to the software we have got and there is a well worn log of these requirements, often the same requirements, going back over many releases, in the areas of image and file handling, geodata and geocoding, shared events, better tailoring of the screen layouts to each user, better use of increased screen sizes and so on and - on which never seem to be addressed. And I see a lot of "I want that too" from the people on these bulletin boards.

MVS.

#7 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 07:18 AM

So when someone is viewing the record they can see the data for themselves.

 

I wonder if you might clarify or amplify what you are doing so that your family members can see the data for themselves? My data is set up so that my family members can see transcriptions of the data - transcriptions of death certificates, transcriptions of obituaries, transcriptions of courthouse marriage records, transcriptions of census records, etc. - all through printed reports produced by RM or Web pages produced by RM. But if I wanted family members to see the images of the records, I would have to print them from outside of RM (or from within a bunch of galleries in RM that only contain one image each), or I would have to put them on my Web site from outside of RM (most of my Web site is created from outside of RM anyway). The reason the galleries for records contain only one image each is that the galleries are associated with extremely split Master Sources.

 

Thanks,

Jerry

 

P.S. I think this is a great thread.



#8 MVS

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 09:02 AM

I wonder if you might clarify or amplify what you are doing so that your family members can see the data for themselves? Jerry


Jerry, Nothing very sophisticated to share the information - they use RM Essentials to view the database and once this data is loaded and set up I just send them, from time to time, a memory stick with the RM database and directories containing related images and files so they can overwrite the old data/directories with the latest. So there is a single file structure across all our PC's.

A couple have the full version of RM so they can do more reporting-wise - but none of them are actively doing research so the data updating capabilities are not relevant.

I know nothing about the online system that RM started offering in V5/V6 (?). I would not be keen in putting all my data/images online - even if the system were secure.

regards, MVS

#9 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 10:04 AM

Jerry, Nothing very sophisticated to share the information - they use RM Essentials to view the database

 

Aha! A very nice idea. Similar to but slightly more sophisticated than a sharable CD.

 

Jerry







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