Jump to content


Photo

Storage of Media Files


  • Please log in to reply
83 replies to this topic

#41 Rick Landrum

Rick Landrum

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 384 posts

Posted 04 March 2019 - 02:00 PM

 

I'm glad you brought this up. I meant to touch upon it in my original post.

 

For me, a cataloging system was always the technically correct way of doing it (i.e. what a professional librarian would do). The benefits of this are big (i.e. searchability), however, as much as I would have liked to implement a catalog, I went in another direction. The two deciding factors for me were the additional time I'd spend to maintain the database and, more importantly, I couldn't just hand off files to my relatives without them learning the cataloging system. Even though a catalog is how a library or museum would do it, after weighing the pros and cons based on my personal preferences, I chose not to do it.

 

Seems there are always trade-offs in life. :)

Thanks for the quick response.....

I also found the idea of changing my system to be pretty onerous....Instead I've settled on the following:

 

Rather than trying to change everything (RM & Windows directory) all at once, I'm taking a two part approach.

 

Step 1) Adopt the following on all new media adds to my data base immediately

Name the file per this model (attempting to link all media to a person)

Last Name, First Name, Middle Name (Maiden Name), (bxxxx) - Description

(example - Jones, Mary, Elizabeth, (Smith), (b1800) - 1850 US Census)

 

Step 2) Follow step 1) if renaming any existing media in Windows directory. Change file name in RM properties to match. If an Ancestry.com file ID was part of file name, save the ID in the Windows file comments to preserve the link. (example - @Ancestry.com 12345678910)

 

Step 2 is used anytime a person's RM profile/media is being reviewed/revised. It can also be used if campaigning through the data base to review all persons' media. However, until a review/revision is accomplished, the old existing file names will work just fine. The status of the media files will just be mixed until all files have been reviewed/revised.

 

This naming syntax seems to be working well. It has the same advantages that you mentioned in your post, and seachabilty is very good in both the RM Media Gallery and the Windows Media Directory. Other family members have no problem following the naming on the media files. My main concern with what ever process I would choose to use is the simplicity of adding and updating file names, and maintaing the synchronization between RM and the Windows directory. Obviously, it may take a while to get through all my existing media files and revise them to this model.

 

Live and learn..... :wacko:

Wished I had given this a lot more thought before I started using RM

Rick


RickL


#42 zhangrau

zhangrau

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1518 posts

Posted 04 March 2019 - 02:16 PM

Keep in mind that:

 

1) If you start by renaming the file in Windows, then you have go to RM and fix the link in the Media Gallery.

 

HOWEVER

 

2) If you rename the file in the Media Gallery or a Media Album (using [Properties] > [Change media file] then you are done. You won't have to also make changes in Windows - - - unless you want to add metadata to the file in Windows.



#43 TomH

TomH

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6254 posts

Posted 04 March 2019 - 03:35 PM

Name the file per this model (attempting to link all media to a person)
Last Name, First Name, Middle Name (Maiden Name), (bxxxx) - Description
(example - Jones, Mary, Elizabeth, (Smith), (b1800) - 1850 US Census)
 
Step 2) Follow step 1) if renaming any existing media in Windows directory. Change file name in RM properties to match. If an Ancestry.com file ID was part of file name, save the ID in the Windows file comments to preserve the link. (example - @Ancestry.com 12345678910)

 
That's a very similar structure to the batch renaming process I described in TreeShare – Rename Cryptic Filenames for Citation Media.
 
Here's an example of a revised file name:

Appleford, Lafe 1882-0 & Mailing, Mabel Jane 1893-1932 Marriage 1916 Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1785-1935@ONMS932_379-1231.jpg

Principal(s) BirthYr-DeathYr: Appleford, Lafe 1882-0 & Mailing, Mabel Jane 1893-1932
Event and Year: Marriage 1916
Ancestry database: Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1785-1935
@AncestryMediaName: @ONMS932_379-1231.jpg


Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#44 Rick Landrum

Rick Landrum

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 384 posts

Posted 04 March 2019 - 04:25 PM

Keep in mind that:

 

1) If you start by renaming the file in Windows, then you have go to RM and fix the link in the Media Gallery.

 

HOWEVER

 

2) If you rename the file in the Media Gallery or a Media Album (using [Properties] > [Change media file] then you are done. You won't have to also make changes in Windows - - - unless you want to add metadata to the file in Windows.

Hi - 

Appreciate the hint - but I've been told this before and I must be doing something wrong becuase I can never get this to work. Example - A media file is called "Test1" in the RM Media gallery. The same file is also saved in my Windows RM Media Directory as "Test1". I find the file in the Media Gallery, bring it up, go to properties, rename the file "Test 2", and nothing happens. The file in the Media Gallery shows a broken link, and the file in the Windows directory is not changed. I have to go change the Windows Directory file name to get the file to sync with RM. 

 

Any idea what I might be missing? It would certainly be easier if only having to change the file in RM Media Properties.

Thanks

Rick


RickL


#45 zhangrau

zhangrau

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1518 posts

Posted 04 March 2019 - 07:14 PM

This example is based on the Media Album for a Place.

The process is identical in the Media Gallery or in any other Media Album (person, fact, etc.)

 

rm7-rename-media-file.png



#46 les.warden

les.warden

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34 posts

Posted 04 March 2019 - 07:39 PM

 

I rename every image and PDF during the download process, and place the new file into my appropriate subfolder. Often, I open those media files in Photoshop and/or Paint for additional edits. Then I go back to RM and tag those files to a Master Source, Citation, Place, Person and/or Fact. During that step I assign a Caption and Description to each media file.

 

 

 

zhangrau,

Using a cross between your naming convention and a couple others, I've adopted a file and naming structure. I have essentially the very folder structure you have and essentially follow your above process. Because the files start with [bur], [cem], [mar], etc, what I've found is once I move files into 0new, rename them, then I can find what I need quite easily with them sitting within 0new folder, without the next step of moving them into individual folders. Is there some significant gain I'm missing by not moving them to their individual folder? I've moved a few, but have held off doing them en masse from 0new. 



#47 zhangrau

zhangrau

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1518 posts

Posted 04 March 2019 - 08:19 PM

Old school answer?

Yes, a file folder can get too full. Well, back in days of DOS and Windows 3.1 (remember those?) a folder could hold only 500 files. If you tried to save file #501, it just vanished. Whoops !!!

 

Newer school answer?

How many files is too many to conveniently sift through?

The kids at Microsoft have had fun re-programming the file system over the years, but this question (for me) revolves around how many screens of file names do I want to read before my eyes glaze over and I start to make mistakes?

https://stackoverflo...rticular-folder

 

My database situation?

File > Properties indicates that I have over 26K media files, with 205K links.

At roughly 25 files per screen, that's over 1000 screens to plow through. No, I think that's too many.

 

A sampling of number of files in sub-folders:

birth = 3800

burial = 2200

death = 1700

marriage = 3600

newspaper = 1550

publications = 950

 

For me, spreading the 26K files out works much, much better for my brain function.

 

Your mileage may vary.



#48 Jerry Bryan

Jerry Bryan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3589 posts

Posted 04 March 2019 - 09:32 PM

zhangrau's explanation and screenshots are excellent and really need no further explanation. But there are two key points to keep in mind.

  1. Even though you start the renaming process from within RM, RM does not rename files. Instead, RM opens a Windows dialog and you do the rename inside the Windows dialog. It may seem like you are still in RM when you do the rename, but you aren't. You are in Windows.
  2. Having done the rename within the  Windows dialog, you can't just exit from the Windows dialog and return to RM. Instead you must select the renamed file as the "new file" to which you are changing the the media file. Indeed, remember you got from RM to the Windows dialog by clicking the Change Media File button in RM.

It's hard to tell from your description, but I suspect you are doing step #1 and failing to do step #2.  (I just realized that my step #1 corresponds to zhangrau's step #2 and my step #2 corresponds to zhangrau's step #3.)

 

Jerry



#49 les.warden

les.warden

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34 posts

Posted 04 March 2019 - 09:36 PM

Old school answer?

Yes, a file folder can get too full. Well, back in days of DOS and Windows 3.1 (remember those?) a folder could hold only 500 files. If you tried to save file #501, it just vanished. Whoops !!!

 

Newer school answer?

How many files is too many to conveniently sift through?

The kids at Microsoft have had fun re-programming the file system over the years, but this question (for me) revolves around how many screens of file names do I want to read before my eyes glaze over and I start to make mistakes?

https://stackoverflo...rticular-folder

 

My database situation?

File > Properties indicates that I have over 26K media files, with 205K links.

At roughly 25 files per screen, that's over 1000 screens to plow through. No, I think that's too many.

 

A sampling of number of files in sub-folders:

birth = 3800

burial = 2200

death = 1700

marriage = 3600

newspaper = 1550

publications = 950

 

For me, spreading the 26K files out works much, much better for my brain function.

 

Your mileage may vary.

Yes indeed, I remember the good ol' DOS days.  :blink:  Haven't been gathering files for RM for too long, and just checked my 0New folder. A whopping 155 files. VERY easy to sift through them...for now. Point taken! I'll be moving them out before long.



#50 Rick Landrum

Rick Landrum

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 384 posts

Posted 05 March 2019 - 08:59 AM

This example is based on the Media Album for a Place.

The process is identical in the Media Gallery or in any other Media Album (person, fact, etc.)

 

rm7-rename-media-file.png

zhangrau,

Thanks very much

I figured it out ... (duh!!)

I was expecting a change in the RM "change media file" field to change both the Windows file name and the RM file name. In fact it is just the opposite. Using file rename up in the file list (in RM Media properties) causes both to change.

This will be a big help

Rick


RickL


#51 Rick Landrum

Rick Landrum

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 384 posts

Posted 05 March 2019 - 09:06 AM

 
That's a very similar structure to the batch renaming process I described in TreeShare – Rename Cryptic Filenames for Citation Media.
 
Here's an example of a revised file name:

Appleford, Lafe 1882-0 & Mailing, Mabel Jane 1893-1932 Marriage 1916 Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1785-1935@ONMS932_379-1231.jpg

Principal(s) BirthYr-DeathYr: Appleford, Lafe 1882-0 & Mailing, Mabel Jane 1893-1932
Event and Year: Marriage 1916
Ancestry database: Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1785-1935
@AncestryMediaName: @ONMS932_379-1231.jpg

TomH,

I tried this previously and it works great. However, I was of the understanding that this only works for media imported from Ancestry using TreeShare. While that is a big help, I have many many media files imported from other sources in the past (including many manually imported from A.com before TreeShare) that I need to clean up. My post was really referring to those.

Thanks

Rick


RickL


#52 Rick Landrum

Rick Landrum

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 384 posts

Posted 05 March 2019 - 11:32 AM

 

zhangrau's explanation and screenshots are excellent and really need no further explanation. But there are two key points to keep in mind.

  1. Even though you start the renaming process from within RM, RM does not rename files. Instead, RM opens a Windows dialog and you do the rename inside the Windows dialog. It may seem like you are still in RM when you do the rename, but you aren't. You are in Windows.
  2. Having done the rename within the  Windows dialog, you can't just exit from the Windows dialog and return to RM. Instead you must select the renamed file as the "new file" to which you are changing the the media file. Indeed, remember you got from RM to the Windows dialog by clicking the Change Media File button in RM.

It's hard to tell from your description, but I suspect you are doing step #1 and failing to do step #2.  (I just realized that my step #1 corresponds to zhangrau's step #2 and my step #2 corresponds to zhangrau's step #3.)

 

Jerry

 

Jerry,

It is really a two step process within RM. The first is renaming inside the Windows dialog and the second is sort of accepting that in the Change Media field in RM. I was missing the first step, thinking that the second step would do it. Anyway, it is working for me now.

Thanks

Rick


RickL


#53 TomH

TomH

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6254 posts

Posted 05 March 2019 - 03:22 PM

I tried this previously and it works great. However, I was of the understanding that this only works for media imported from Ancestry using TreeShare.

 

Yes, those scripts work only on TreeShared media from Ancestry. With some modification, I daresay they could be made more general.


Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#54 Nettie

Nettie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1647 posts

Posted 05 March 2019 - 03:52 PM

I also do photos/media like zhangrau.  the websites are repositories of sources, not in my opinion a place for family trees.  They are on my hard drive. Make your own procedure and stick with it.  It works better that way.  


Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0 


#55 KFN

KFN

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts

Posted 05 March 2019 - 04:07 PM

Old school answer?

Yes, a file folder can get too full. Well, back in days of DOS and Windows 3.1 (remember those?) a folder could hold only 500 files. If you tried to save file #501, it just vanished. Whoops !!!

 

Newer school answer?

How many files is too many to conveniently sift through?

The kids at Microsoft have had fun re-programming the file system over the years, but this question (for me) revolves around how many screens of file names do I want to read before my eyes glaze over and I start to make mistakes?

https://stackoverflo...rticular-folder

 

My database situation?

File > Properties indicates that I have over 26K media files, with 205K links.

At roughly 25 files per screen, that's over 1000 screens to plow through. No, I think that's too many.

 

A sampling of number of files in sub-folders:

birth = 3800

burial = 2200

death = 1700

marriage = 3600

newspaper = 1550

publications = 950

 

For me, spreading the 26K files out works much, much better for my brain function.

 

Your mileage may vary.

Back in the days prior to Windows NT and the versions after Win98 the MS-DOS backend of Windows (yes remember Windows, even Win10, sits on an MS-DOS subsystem) all had problems with file name collision in the 8.3 file name formats  Again, remember that all MS-DOS based systems by default store file names in 8.3 format (even Win10) with a reference to the long name that you see in Windows Explorer.  In systems prior to Windows NT files with names longer than 8 characters were renamed to use the first 6 characters of the file name (stripping spaces) followed by a "~" and a number 1-9.  If more than 9 files where generated then it produced a file name using the first 5 characters "~" 10-99.  Thusly if you started all of your files with a similar set of letters you would run out of 8.3 files names.  With Windows NT and beyond a magic algorithm was created that generated 8.3 files names that generated more possibilities.  If you are interested in knowing what 8.3 file names were generated by MS-DOS you can run a command DIR /-n and it will list out the 8.3 name.



#56 KFN

KFN

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts

Posted 05 March 2019 - 05:14 PM

First let me say that zhangrau's folder structure has a lot going for it and I would not discount or disparage his folder ideas.

 

However, I look at my folder structure and file names from a slightly different perspective than others in that I look at where information comes from at higher levels and that I have multiple “users” of the data located in these folders.  By users I mean, as a genealogist I have genealogy software, my wife is a scrap booker and uses software to produce her books, as a wood carver I use photos and documents from my catalog to give me ideas, as an occasional writer for a newspaper and publisher I generate documents using information gathered from my structure.  Therefore my top level folders are different.  I also have software that can manage both pictures and documents

Four major sources:

  1. Civil
  2. Church (Religious)
  3. Census (Enumeration)
  4. Publications
  5. Vacations
  6. Gatherings
  7. Objects

In the days before Windows 7, my folder structure had multiple layers, and was very verbose.  After I learned that I could use software to manage my pictures I changed to a very flat directory structure, see above, with some room for one level down where needed.

 

I also knew that with the software managing my pictures I could store the pictures anywhere, I now have a server that stores my files.

 

In the beginning (Win 3.1) all photos were stored with 8.3 naming and with lots of directories.  When I moved to Win98 I could start using “camel nomenclature” i.e. “JohnDoeBirthdayParty2000.jpg”.  Once I learned about cataloging at libraries and museums I change this over to use reference numbers on photos, ie: G20190112-0001.jpg and embedding tags and titles into the image that the software would use in searches.  The reference numbers are very specific to the way Museums mark objects.

 

I also entered the reference number into my genealogy software in the GEDCOM OBJE record REFN field so that it will display when I bring up the image and can look the image up directly.

 

Yes this transition took a some time to complete, by then I had many thousand photos, but it works well for me and now that I’m saving web pages, book reference pages, and other paper documents as PDF files the software will manage them as well.



#57 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3420 posts

Posted 05 March 2019 - 05:15 PM

zhangrau,

Thanks very much

I figured it out ... (duh!!)

I was expecting a change in the RM "change media file" field to change both the Windows file name and the RM file name. In fact it is just the opposite. Using file rename up in the file list (in RM Media properties) causes both to change.

This will be a big help

Rick

 

Glad you got it Rick, the screen shots were very explicit but there if that little quirk of the extra click.

 

I posted a video on this some time ago including tha value of metadata and thought I had posted the link previously, link below, better late than never, the only modern change is moving towards the 4 letter gedcom tag in parentheses.

 

Rootsmagic Media Management


We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.2, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#58 JimDavis79

JimDavis79

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 10 March 2019 - 10:40 AM

Some programs in windows still impose a path length of 256 characters. I’ve experienced zhangrau’s issue at work with long file names and folders that have a lot of characters.

My advice, is to developer folder names that are short, and contrary to everyone’s advice to not name files with anything but a coded reference number.

I use file attributes and a well developed reference number for all of my photos which number well over 200,000. As a professional computer geek and a trained librarian I prefer developing a file naming convention that resembles a cataloging system and using a database to store information about the images, documents and pdf files that contain my genealogy information, as well as photos from vacations, articles for publications I’ve written (along with the research I did for the article) as well as the artifacts in my various collections, I’m a collector but my wife says I’m a “pack rat”!

 

KFN, you and I have corresponded about this before, and I remain an admirer of your system.  I decided, somewhat like cj1260, to lean toward usability of folders and files by people who do not have my passion for dusty family history.  I keep discovering old photos and letters in family attics, being up to about 25k photos alone, not to mention the similar number of genealogy media items.  I worry that my work will be lost if when Charon ferries me across, I have made it too hard for family to find the old photos and that letter from 1864.  So, I've adopted a human-readable folder structure and file naming system, and I embed data in the photo files:  where/ when/ whom/ comments written on the item/ etc.  I write this only to share my reasoning with anyone who might be making similar decisions.


Best regards, Jim

"When you shake my family tree, nuts fall out."


#59 Rick Landrum

Rick Landrum

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 384 posts

Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:22 AM

 

KFN, you and I have corresponded about this before, and I remain an admirer of your system.  I decided, somewhat like cj1260, to lean toward usability of folders and files by people who do not have my passion for dusty family history.  I keep discovering old photos and letters in family attics, being up to about 25k photos alone, not to mention the similar number of genealogy media items.  I worry that my work will be lost if when Charon ferries me across, I have made it too hard for family to find the old photos and that letter from 1864.  So, I've adopted a human-readable folder structure and file naming system, and I embed data in the photo files:  where/ when/ whom/ comments written on the item/ etc.  I write this only to share my reasoning with anyone who might be making similar decisions.

Jim,

I have been following this thread for some time. I'm currently reviewing/revising my RM tree, and I am working to "better" organize my sources and media. I've read all the replies and heard many good suggestions. However, one thing still bugs me. I've heard numerous persons suggest creating "subfolders" and filing items by categories. It seems to me that if you name your media according to some human-readable structure, then there is no need for different folders. All the records could be searched by using parts of the file name. (For example, persons name and census records.) 

 

I'm just wondering what the advantage of having sub folders, vs one media folder, would be? Everytime you change the location of a file, this creates a requirement to change the link in RM. It also creates a problem with new media added by say Ancestry Tree Share. You would have to not only rename every file, but also manually move every file from the RM default directory to a different folder.

 

Just trying to get a clear understanding of what might be the best process.

Thanks

Rick


RickL


#60 JimDavis79

JimDavis79

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 10 March 2019 - 12:34 PM

I'm just wondering what the advantage of having sub folders, vs one media folder, would be? Everytime you change the location of a file, this creates a requirement to change the link in RM. It also creates a problem with new media added by say Ancestry Tree Share. You would have to not only rename every file, but also manually move every file from the RM default directory to a different folder.

 

Rick, no telling if my answer will be satisfying, but here goes.  I never use Tree Share to bring down media items, but rather download separately and manually link.  I do the same with Family Search, Find My Past, and all the rest of the paid repositories.  I separately maintain my Ancestry tree, and ne'er the programs shall meet!  Lots of extra work, to be sure, but I'm insulated from programming decisions made by Ancestry and indeed, Roots Magic.  My manual implementation of repository connection ensures data and filing integrity and avoids the problem you've mentioned of finding and renaming files brought in by the various APIs.

 

To answer your folder question, here are a few things:

 

1.  In the case of Ancestry, there is significant file name reuse and meaningless file names.  For example, in the Ancestry media folder, I have nine files labeled "1880 United States Federal Census," with eight of them differentiated with trailing numbers in parentheses.  Impossible to know what they contain without opening and reviewing each one.  I think having a single media folder will eventually lead to this, especially if you use the automatic connections between your RM files and the paid repositories.

 

2.  I wrote my own genealogy program in the 1980s.  When devolving the data structure for the program, I realized that genealogy revolves around the individual and connections to others (duh!) and created the relational database accordingly.  I carried that data structure into my file folder structure and collect all media items into a single subfolder for each person.  The format of each subfolder name is "Last First Middle RIN."  (In the case of shared items, like marriage licenses, I file with the primary person.)

 

3.  Having the RIN in the folder name is pretty important to distinguish common/ reused family names; the RIN lets me look at the folder structure to pick out the particular John Smith I want.  It also lets me do speculative data collection and separation as I bust through brick walls.  Having all files for all persons in a single folder would be problematic for this work.

 

4.  I have other subfolders below the root for anything else I want to keep separate from the people folders, such as a collection of photographs of a single cemetery; copies of letters that don't seem to belong with any particular person; extracts from books and sources; files for various genealogy programs and organizations; etc.  My most important non-people folder is titled "Gen files to process," and everything new goes straight in there to be worked on as I can.

 

The reasons for any particular subfolder structure (indeed, even having one at all!) lie with the desires and processes of the individual family historian.  Use what works for you, not only in filing, but also in source lumping, citation format and every other aspect of this fantastic pursuit!  Hope this helps, I'd be delighted to explain further.


Best regards, Jim

"When you shake my family tree, nuts fall out."