Getting Media into TNG
The concept of "Collections" in TNG is a way to separate media files into smaller logical groups or categories. While it is not a general Genealogy concept, the "Collections" concept is implemented in some PC Genealogy programs as "Media Types" "Categories", or "Collections". The Collection names that are built in to TNG are Photos, Documents, Histories, Headstones, Videos, and Recordings. Site administrators can add collections such as Military Records, Censuses, and Homes. See Media - Collections
Media Collection Folders
In a typical TNG installation, the media files associated with each collection (each media type) are stored in a subfolder under the main TNG folder. Usually a TNG installation will have subfolders named "photos", "documents", "histories", etc. However, some PC genealogy software (such as Family Tree Maker) can only handle one media folder, and that media folder is typically mapped to a single folder on the TNG site where all media files associated with the site are located.
If you have more than one TNG tree, it is typical to have folders for each tree located under the main TNG folder, and folder for the media collections under the tree folders. However, it is also possible to keep files for multiple trees in one folder, either divided by collection, or in a single large media folder.
Representing Media in TNG
To have media files in TNG, you need three things:
- The media files themselves stored in one or more folders as described above.
- Media database records. Each media file that is accessible to TNG is represented by a record in the database table tng_media. The media table holds information about each file, including, but not limited to:
- Its filename
- Its "FORM" or filename extension, such as "jpg", "doc", "pdf", etc.
- The path from the TNG root to the filename
- The "collection" it belongs to
- A title
- A description
- Geocoordinates indicating where a photo was taken or where the event in a story took place
- The dimensions of image files (width and height)
- Links between media records and other data records. Media files may be associated with people, marriages, and sources, and even (more rarely) with repositories and places. Media records can also be associated with specific events in a person or marriage record. In addition, media files may be associated with TNG "Albums", which can then be associated with a person. All media links are stored in the tng_medialinks database table.
Ways to Add Media Files to TNG
There are (at least) 5 ways to add new media files to TNG and associate them with other entities. Some of them also upload the media file(s) to the server, and others require you to upload the media files separately, using FTP or a file manager. The first four methods listed here all are appropriate if you are managing all of your data by editing People and Family (etc) records in TNG. The fifth is appropriate if you upload and replace all of your data with a new GEDCOM file.
Also, only the first of these methods is available to people who are just "editors" and not "administrators".
Person or Family Editor
When you are editing a Person or a Family, you may add a single media file, and associate it with that person or family. See Add New Media - Linked to Person or Family.
Media >> Add New - One Media Object
The screen at Administration >> Media >> Add New creates a media record, describe it, and associate it with (i.e link it to) other objects (e.g. People, Families, Sources, Places), or even specific events.
Upload A Media File
This form lets you browse your home computer for a single media file and upload it. See Media - Add New
Media Items not Attached to a File
For the Histories Collection (and other Media Types that behave like Histories), you don't actually have to upload a file if you enter Body Text into the Media record. The Body Text field lets you enter formatted text, and, in essence, substitutes for HTML media items. See an example at Histories - Creating.
Media >> Import - Files On the Server
The function at Administration >> Media >> Import creates Media records for all files it finds in a selected collection folder and its subfolders (if the files are not already defined for the selected mediatype). It simply uses the filename as the Media record title, and does not help you establish any media links. You'll need to edit each new Media record manually.
This funtion must be used with caution. It will not work properly
- On sites that use the thumbnail prefix to put thumbnails in a subfolder, since it will create new Media records for files in a thumbnails subfolder.
- On multi-tree sites, since it will scan the media files of all trees, and
- If media objects have been imported in conjunction with a GEDCOM import, since this import will not recognize files already imported via GEDCOM.
Media >> Upload - Files from your PC
The Administration >> Media >> Import screen is a very powerful screen that
- Uploads multiple files from your home computer,
- Lets you define a description and some other attribute for each media record, and
- Lets you define Media Links (links to people, families, etc.) for each file, or for all files.
Media Import with GEDCOM
This process is quite different from the others. When you upload a GEDCOM file and check the. "Import Media if Present" checkbox, the import process will import Media Links from the GEDCOM file, and will create Media records for any new media objects mentioned in the GEDCOM file, but the Media files themselves are not in the GEDCOM file, and must be uploaded separately, using either FTP or a File Manager. See Import Media Using GEDCOM.
- Media - Collections
- External Link Collection
- Media - Add New - Collection
- Media - Add New - Collection (Military Ribbons example)
- Getting Media into TNG - A summary of the various techniques.
- Add New Media - Linked to Person or Family - For Editors as well as Administrators
- Media - Add New - Import one multimedia file into TNG. Then link its new Media record to other objects.
- Histories - Creating - Create a new TNG Media record without importing a multimedia file into TNG.
- Media - Import - Import files that are already on the server, but not already defined as Media records.
- Media - Upload - Upload several media files, import them into TNG, and link them (individually or collectively) to other objects.
- Import Media Using GEDCOM - Upload new media files that are referenced inside of a uploaded GEDCOM file.
Other Useful Articles
- Batch updates of IPTC tags using IrfanView
- Folios on how to handle multi-page documents as if it were a single TNG media object
- Folios - Examples
- Media Functions on how to hook videos into TNG
- Preserving Digital Photos