Media Files In or Out?


Geoff Johnson
 

I lead the Computer Club for the Family History Society of Cheshire.  We've formed a sub-group within the Club specifically to cover all aspects of Family Historian.  A growing number of members have adopted FH in recent years.  At yesterday's meeting I demonstrated my early steps of creating Media subfolders: using the information gleaned from the Topic I raised on 6th September - Media Files & Subfolders.  As questions started to arise, I realised that a number of members present did not hold their Media files within FH.  Their Project Media folders are empty!  Their media is held externally to the FH project.  Lively discussion then ensued as to which is the right way.

They could, or course, just leave their media outside of FH, but several are wondering about the enormity of `redoing' their source and citation media.

I've tried to look back this morning to try and find the `best way' arguments, but not got very far.

In Getting the Most from FH V6 Simon's chapter 4 strongly talks about Media relating to `pictures'.  I feel this is potentially confusing to a newcomer.  The vast majority of my media is certainly `pictures' but they're jpegs of BMD register images or census pages!

It seems to me that many users may be starting off with poor information or on the wrong foot

What advice can Groups.io offer?  In or Out?

Geoff Johnson


Geoff Johnson
 

Aha!  I've just found `Copy or Link in a FHUG 2017 posting which also covers this consideration: Copy or Link? - Family Historian User Group (fhug.org.uk)
My question isn't new, and the decision seemed then to be strongly in view of the merits of having an FH Media folder as well as the external one.  Double `backups' just have to be best!
That posting was over 5 years old.  Do the arguments still hold?
Geoff Johnson


Frances Atherton
 

Hi Geoff,

I personally import my media to my FH projects. They all go straight into my media folder and I don’t use sub-folders. If I need to find an image of a certain source I usually search for it on my Sources list and find it that way. But I can also find it by searching my media list. I keep copies of all my project media sorted by name separately to act as a back-up should I ever have a problem with my FH project file. 

I think that it is purely personal preference as 
To whether you store your media within your project or not and both ways has there advantages and disadvantages. 

I must also add that I store all my media as PDFs except photos of actual people or places. This is my personal preference too. 

Frances 

On Fri, 16 Sep 2022 at 11:49, Geoff Johnson <geoff@...> wrote:

I lead the Computer Club for the Family History Society of Cheshire.  We've formed a sub-group within the Club specifically to cover all aspects of Family Historian.  A growing number of members have adopted FH in recent years.  At yesterday's meeting I demonstrated my early steps of creating Media subfolders: using the information gleaned from the Topic I raised on 6th September - Media Files & Subfolders.  As questions started to arise, I realised that a number of members present did not hold their Media files within FH.  Their Project Media folders are empty!  Their media is held externally to the FH project.  Lively discussion then ensued as to which is the right way.

They could, or course, just leave their media outside of FH, but several are wondering about the enormity of `redoing' their source and citation media.

I've tried to look back this morning to try and find the `best way' arguments, but not got very far.

In Getting the Most from FH V6 Simon's chapter 4 strongly talks about Media relating to `pictures'.  I feel this is potentially confusing to a newcomer.  The vast majority of my media is certainly `pictures' but they're jpegs of BMD register images or census pages!

It seems to me that many users may be starting off with poor information or on the wrong foot

What advice can Groups.io offer?  In or Out?

Geoff Johnson


Mike Tate
 

Geoff,

The answer partly depends on which version of FH is being used.

Older versions did not cope so well with Media held outside the Project.

But FH V6, and especially FH V7, manage Media held outside Projects quite well.

There are two significant issues:

 

1) Media held outside a Project is NOT included in FH Full or Medium Project Backups.

However, as long as the user has a backup regime that includes all important files such as genealogy media then that is not a problem.

Anyway, users should not rely on FH Project Backups alone but backup all FH files independently including the customisation files.

See FHUG KB https://fhug.org.uk/kb/kb-article/backup-and-recovery/

 

2) Migrating Projects from PC to PC when for example an old PC is replaced with a new PC can upset Media links.

Media held within the Project use relative File links that migrate perfectly well from PC to PC.

Media held outside the Project will almost certainly have a different Windows file path on the new PC.

Thus the FH Media record absolute File pointers will become broken links marked with an X.

However, recent FH versions have a Tools > External File Links… Auto Repair Links button that should mend those broken links.

Also, that dialogue, and in FH V7 the Media Window, can display just the broken links to make them easier to manage.

 

So holding Media outside the Project is not as problematic as it once was as long as the user is aware of the consequences.

In my opinion, it is advisable to keep all Media inside the Project or all outside the Project but not a mixture.

 

Mike Tate

 


colevalleygirl@colevalleygirl.co.uk
 

Inevitably (with FH) it depends.

 

Neither alternative precludes you from structuring your media in a hierarchy of your choice.

 

Keeping media within the project Media folder is simplest, if the media in question is only used within FH (and within a single project).  It simplifies backing up all your project data in one go (but if you have a comprehensive backup strategy for ALL your data, this is a marginal benefit.)  It simplifies migrating a project from one PC to another as the links within FH are relative links and will survive the migration unbroken (but the facilities for repairing broken media links in FH6/7 are good enough for this not to be a major consideration IMO).  You might run into file path length problems if you have a deeply nested file structure and long project name.

 

Keeping media outside the Media folder is a better option if: you’re running into path length problems; you use your media in more than one project or more than one programme; or you can’t face moving them into the Media folder (although again the facilities for fixing broken links make this a lot easier than you might expect.


Adrian Bruce
 

On Fri, 16 Sept 2022 at 11:49, Geoff Johnson <geoff@...> wrote:

... They could, or course, just leave their media outside of FH, but several are wondering about the enormity of `redoing' their source and citation media. ...

 
I'll try not to repeat what's gone before but in terms of "redoing" source and citations, if you move stuff into your project's media folder, the source-records and citation data won't alter (well, not normally!) because they don't (normally!) refer to filenames or folders on the disk. Only the media records inside FH will need to change to point to the new location(s). And, so far as I understand it, the Auto Repair Links facility will do all that for you. (I guess this implies that you need to move, not copy, all the media images to their new home, otherwise there won't be any broken links to repair.)

Adrian
 _._,_._,_


Vyger
 

Geoff,

There is no right or wrong way as already stated, just considerations, backing up your precious collection would be a big one to me.

I have over 15k media files in a folder structure I maintain outside the FH project. My reason is that FH is only one of many programs which accesses and updates these files, one being Adobe Lightroom and then several genealogy programs. Therefore if I edit, crop or update metadata in any file the resulting single file is the new reference for all. I have audio, pdf and video files which will often be edited in an external program, these are all linked.

Thankfully FH gives the option to 'copy' which will still leave any original folder structure intact but then you have two file copies, if you edit one then two different file versions.

My folder structure all branches from My Documents folder and that complete folder is kept in sync between my laptop and desktop. For example I am in Portugal on vacation, I have edited numerous files and deleted a lot of duplication. One example was over 7k files in a FH project folder where I must have been doing a test and forgot to uncheck the 'copy media' option. All these deletions and edits will get sync'd to my desktop as a first task when I return home.

My desktop in turn is then sync'd to an external hard drive so I have 3 copies of files, asking FH to create a fourth copy is not something I need.

Everyone works differently, for me a sync and backup regime is vital, losing media through mechanical or user problems is not an option.

As already stated having one master media file of the latest version available to all programs is the second important consideration, I have suffered in an alternate regime.

I plan a video on media management to replace my 2017 RM centric video, so maybe late October. Things have moved on, FH 7.0.15 introduced some great new possibilities and your question has prompted me for some other important considerations I should consider covering.

Hope this helps a little,

Jackson

On Fri, 16 Sept 2022, 12:05 Geoff Johnson, <geoff@...> wrote:
That posting was over 5 years old.  Do the arguments still hold?
Geoff Johnson


Bob Hunter
 

On 16 September 2022 at 12.27, Mike Tate suggested that a significant issue with media being held outside of a project is that it is NOT included in FH Full or Medium Project Backups.

 

All I can say is: that is such a GOOD thing!  I have 9000 Exhibit / media files totalling 31.5 GB (33,906,374,272 bytes) and if they were backed up everytime I backed up my project data I would very soon run out of space and also of time to do it.

 

I have a separate protocol to regularly (2 or 3 times a day) to back up changes to my “Exhibit” folder which runs alongside of my project backup.

 

Peace of mind is best satisfied however by the fact that all my live family history data is held on my computer’s drive D which is a RAID 1 array (so everything is backed up as it is being created). I am surprised that more people don’t use RAID arrays for their data stores.

 

BobH

 

 


trevithick
 

Mike Tate,

I was unaware that FH backups would not backup my external media files.  Thanks for that bit of information.

ColeValleyGirl,

Thank you for your input.  A criteria not mentioned is disk space.

My computer has three drives; C:\ is a 500 GB SSD drive for only the OS and programs that install themselves in C: such as FH.  My E:\ drive is for Data only and is also a 500 GB SSD.  Family Historian creates projects there.  My photos that are shared between programs exist on this drive, and I have thousands; countless related to family, events, and genealogy.  F:\ drive is a 1TB HDD that is for Backups only.  Both the System and the Data are backed up twice a week.

My Data drive with my photos is now dangerously crowded and adding FH photos to my project will push it to its limits.  I know, I could buy a 1TB SSD and upgrade.  I'm not ready to do that.
--
Mark Trevithick


Jan Murphy
 

On 14 September, Paul Howes presented a webinar at the Guild of One-Name Studies on his Howes One-Name Study.  https://one-name.org/HowesONS/ 

If I recall correctly, the recording will be available to the public for a week before it goes to the members-only area. 

Paul uses Family Historian along with TNG for the website.  His GEDCOM is text-only. There was no handout for that presentation, but the video and handout from his talk on Family Historian is available at this link: https://one-name.org/family-history-software-for-your-one-name-study-seminar/#h_38383749621642848845827

In that handout Paul says:

Having started from zero in 2008 our file today contains about 191,500 people.
Our GED file is approaching 7 million lines, 134MB with NO images – all text, almost all
entered by hand. 

The obvious advantage to not including images is to cut down on the size of the GEDCOM.  (I presume that Paul started with FH before Projects were a thing and has carried on with his prior workflow.)   He also uses very rudimentary notes about sources (1850 US Census). If I had a project that size, and wanted to save space in that manner, I would keep a separate file with full source citation information, for my own reference.  But I wholeheartedly agree with Paul's advice to be consistent, whatever you choose to do. 



Jan Murphy
Moderator Pro Tempore




On Fri, Sep 16, 2022 at 10:54 AM trevithick <mark-fhgroups@...> wrote:
Mike Tate,

I was unaware that FH backups would not backup my external media files.  Thanks for that bit of information.

ColeValleyGirl,

Thank you for your input.  A criteria not mentioned is disk space.

My computer has three drives; C:\ is a 500 GB SSD drive for only the OS and programs that install themselves in C: such as FH.  My E:\ drive is for Data only and is also a 500 GB SSD.  Family Historian creates projects there.  My photos that are shared between programs exist on this drive, and I have thousands; countless related to family, events, and genealogy.  F:\ drive is a 1TB HDD that is for Backups only.  Both the System and the Data are backed up twice a week.

My Data drive with my photos is now dangerously crowded and adding FH photos to my project will push it to its limits.  I know, I could buy a 1TB SSD and upgrade.  I'm not ready to do that.
--
Mark Trevithick


John Hanson
 

Jan

I must go and watch that when I have the time – as a one-namer myself (and a lot of them use FH) I well accept the issues

 

The Halstead archive is small compared to Paul’s with only 38,000 people, 13,000 families and 800 trees. Even without images the file is 34m but is well sources

I hate to think of the problems and load times if I added the over 20,000 images of over 25GB and there isn’t a single census image in that lot

 

There are indicators for what images are available, but they will all stay out of the project

 

Regards
John Hanson - researching the Halstead/Holstead/Alstead names
Researcher, the Halsted Trust - https://www.halsted.org.uk
Research website - https://www.halstedresearch.org.uk

 

 

From: family-historian@groups.io <family-historian@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jan Murphy
Sent: 17 September 2022 01:17
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: Re: [family-historian] Media Files In or Out?

 

On 14 September, Paul Howes presented a webinar at the Guild of One-Name Studies on his Howes One-Name Study.  https://one-name.org/HowesONS/ 

 

If I recall correctly, the recording will be available to the public for a week before it goes to the members-only area. 

 

Paul uses Family Historian along with TNG for the website.  His GEDCOM is text-only. There was no handout for that presentation, but the video and handout from his talk on Family Historian is available at this link: https://one-name.org/family-history-software-for-your-one-name-study-seminar/#h_38383749621642848845827

 

In that handout Paul says:

Having started from zero in 2008 our file today contains about 191,500 people.
Our GED file is approaching 7 million lines, 134MB with NO images – all text, almost all
entered by hand. 

 

The obvious advantage to not including images is to cut down on the size of the GEDCOM.  (I presume that Paul started with FH before Projects were a thing and has carried on with his prior workflow.)   He also uses very rudimentary notes about sources (1850 US Census). If I had a project that size, and wanted to save space in that manner, I would keep a separate file with full source citation information, for my own reference.  But I wholeheartedly agree with Paul's advice to be consistent, whatever you choose to do. 
Jan Murphy

Moderator Pro Tempore

 


Mike Tate
 

Jan,

Sorry, but I must correct a misrepresentation in your posting.

 

Media files are NEVER held within the GEDCOM file, so have no impact on its size other than the tiny Media text record per file.

Media are separate files that can be stored inside or outside the FH Project folder but that is nothing to do with GEDCOM file size.

Nowadays no products can ever keep Media within the GEDCOM file since the BLOB feature was removed.

 

Mike Tate


Vyger
 

Jan, thank you for sharing that information, everyday is a school day.

In line with this thread my genealogy differs greatly from the early days in terms of media attachments. In the early days there were cumbersome boxes of paper files backing up my research whereas the modern program has become more of a digital librarian to give me ultra quick access to the original (now digital) material I want to reference.

If I remember correctly an early version of FTM embedded media in program, that took the media beyond my access for editing, bloated the program and would simply not work for me now. Mike Tate beat me to it in providing that important clarification, media links add very little to GEDCOM file size when compared to other things like sourcing, but the gains are immense.

Jackson


On Sat, 17 Sept 2022, 01:17 Jan Murphy, <packrat74@...> wrote:
On 14 September, Paul Howes presented a webinar at the Guild of One-Name Studies on his Howes One-Name Study.  https://one-name.org/HowesONS/ 

If I recall correctly, the recording will be available to the public for a week before it goes to the members-only area. 

Paul uses Family Historian along with TNG for the website.  His GEDCOM is text-only. There was no handout for that presentation, but the video and handout from his talk on Family Historian is available at this link: https://one-name.org/family-history-software-for-your-one-name-study-seminar/#h_38383749621642848845827

In that handout Paul says:

Having started from zero in 2008 our file today contains about 191,500 people.
Our GED file is approaching 7 million lines, 134MB with NO images – all text, almost all
entered by hand. 

The obvious advantage to not including images is to cut down on the size of the GEDCOM.  (I presume that Paul started with FH before Projects were a thing and has carried on with his prior workflow.)   He also uses very rudimentary notes about sources (1850 US Census). If I had a project that size, and wanted to save space in that manner, I would keep a separate file with full source citation information, for my own reference.  But I wholeheartedly agree with Paul's advice to be consistent, whatever you choose to do. 



Jan Murphy
Moderator Pro Tempore




On Fri, Sep 16, 2022 at 10:54 AM trevithick <mark-fhgroups@...> wrote:
Mike Tate,

I was unaware that FH backups would not backup my external media files.  Thanks for that bit of information.

ColeValleyGirl,

Thank you for your input.  A criteria not mentioned is disk space.

My computer has three drives; C:\ is a 500 GB SSD drive for only the OS and programs that install themselves in C: such as FH.  My E:\ drive is for Data only and is also a 500 GB SSD.  Family Historian creates projects there.  My photos that are shared between programs exist on this drive, and I have thousands; countless related to family, events, and genealogy.  F:\ drive is a 1TB HDD that is for Backups only.  Both the System and the Data are backed up twice a week.

My Data drive with my photos is now dangerously crowded and adding FH photos to my project will push it to its limits.  I know, I could buy a 1TB SSD and upgrade.  I'm not ready to do that.
--
Mark Trevithick


Jan Murphy
 

Thanks, Mike! I'm far from being a GEDCOM guru.  I appreciate the info.

I'm under the weather right now, so apologies to Paul if I mis-represented what he said in the webinar.

Jan Murphy
Moderator Pro Tempore



On Sat, Sep 17, 2022 at 2:36 AM Mike Tate <post@...> wrote:

Jan,

Sorry, but I must correct a misrepresentation in your posting.

 

Media files are NEVER held within the GEDCOM file, so have no impact on its size other than the tiny Media text record per file.

Media are separate files that can be stored inside or outside the FH Project folder but that is nothing to do with GEDCOM file size.

Nowadays no products can ever keep Media within the GEDCOM file since the BLOB feature was removed.

 

Mike Tate