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Bulk add categories to media?

Bulk add categories to media?

Posted: 17 Nov 2012 2:47PM GMT
Classification: Query
I have over 1500 media items, most of them photos (seriously, only 30 aren't photos). I am trying to organize them by adding categories to them to make certain types of photos easier to find. For example, all newspaper clippings can go under a "Newspaper" category.

However, I find when I select more than one photo at a time and add the category, it only adds the category to the last photo I selected.

Do I REALLY have to go through 1500+ images and individually add a category for each one?! That would take hours to do something I could do in minutes with a bulk add feature. Why does it seem like FTM is always lacking some kind of basic function? It took them years to add a sync feature and now I'm discovering crap like this. Disgraceful.

Please, someone tell me I'm wrong.

Re: Bulk add categories to media?

Posted: 17 Nov 2012 3:47PM GMT
Classification: Query
You can categorize multiple items, just not by using the button in the right pane, which is likely an oversight on the part of the developers. Use the option from the media or right-click menus, and you'll find it works.

Re: Bulk add categories to media?

Posted: 17 Nov 2012 3:55PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you! I agree, this is a major oversight as the right window is so obvious, it's only natural one would use that to add categories. I am relieved there is another method to bulk add though, thanks! Now my only complaint is that when bulk adding, it seems to take a long time to complete the task. It takes about a full second or two to add the category to one item so when trying to add it to 20+ items at the same time, it freezes the software up for about 30 seconds to a minute. The first time I tried it, I thought the software had crashed! But no, it's just incredibly slow.

Re: Bulk add categories to media?

Posted: 17 Nov 2012 4:05PM GMT
Classification: Query
I have complained about this design flaw several times to support. I even created a blank tree with 10,000 media items to demonstrate the problem, but I haven't gotten any acknowledgement.

The good news for you is you only have 1,500 items to categorize. FTM is still relatively efficient with those numbers. (If you had 5,000+ then you would be seeing delays of several hours when working with 20+ items.) As you get more categorized, it will speed up. The fewer items you have in the category you're viewing, the faster it works.

I encourage you and everyone else to recreate this problem for yourself and submit feedback to Ancestry support or directly to the developers. This should be something easily fixed, if we can just get someone who knows what they're doing to look at the problem.



Re: Bulk add categories to media?

Posted: 17 Nov 2012 4:17PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks for the information, I will definitely submit feedback directly to ACOM's support/developers in hopes of resolving this.

Re: Bulk add categories to media?

Posted: 17 Nov 2012 8:10PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 17 Nov 2012 8:13PM GMT
Are you linking the pictures to an outside directory or allowing FTM to copy the photos to its own directory?

I do not have much media attached to my family tree but those that I do, I have the linked to the directory where they originally resided.

All of my data, pictures, census, document, etc are maintained in a set directory structure. It basically consist of the families of the four grandparents of my wife and I. In the primary family subdirectories are subdirectories for all of the maternal sides of that family All primary, and maternal family subdirectories have at least these subdirectories.

--Documents images of any family document
--Census: Images of all appropriate census reports
--Burials: Tombstone images and cemetery maps.
--Pictures: Pictures of the family
--Residences: Pictures of family homes or farms

There may be more subdirectory as needed.

In this way if I wish to add a picture of person A to FTM, I direct FTM to the appropriate subdirectory in MY directory structure. If I wish to look at a picture of Person A I open the appropriate sub family directory open Pictures and they he is.

Re: Bulk add categories to media?

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 9:49AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 18 Nov 2012 10:02AM GMT
Thanks Keith, but I mostly add items to my online tree (because I'm not always at a computer with FTM), then sync to FTM, which I use for any features the online tree doesn't have (charts, reports, advanced finds, etc). So I don't think that would work for me.

I've just sent FTM feedback on how it would make more sense if the most obvious method to add a category would bulk add - and that the slowness of bulk adding categories is unacceptable. Plus, I find it really annoying that I can only select full rows or columns at a time. What I mean is if I want to select the last two items on one row and also the next several rows beneath them, I can't. It will only select items in the last two columns! So I have to first select the full rows with the shift button and then add the two items from the top row individually with the ctrl button. I have never known a file management program to do this.

I described the media section of FTM as "slow and clunky" and told them I felt like I was using a poorly designed program from the 90s. I also had a dig at them for taking so long to add a sync feature and then making customers pay for the upgrade in order to use a feature that should have been around a long time ago. That STILL urks me.

I have no idea if they'll listen or not but considering how much money I've poured into this company (I've had an annual subscription for years now), you'd think they could try to resolve the issues I'm having.

Re: Bulk add categories to media?

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 3:35PM GMT
Classification: Query
Robin,

Good for you for providing feedback. I don't know how much it helps, but I can't imagine any company that doesn't appreciate getting thoughtful feedback from customers.

It was good too to mention the multiple selections. Shift-selecting does not work in FTM the same way it works in Windows or other programs. The only alternative is to individually CTRL-click on each item, which is just one of many time-consuming steps necessary to work around a shortcoming in FTM.

The synchronization feature in 2012--when it's finally working as intended--is such a significant addition that I feel is worth paying an additional fee to get via an upgrade. It's just been frustrating how poor the implementation has been to date. We've all unwittingly been beta testers of the new feature, and it's frustrating to pay money to upgrade to use a half-baked feature that risks data corruption and loss of work. It's some small consolation though that they decided to shore up 2012 and not release 2013.

Re: Bulk add categories to media?

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 3:39PM GMT
Classification: Query
I know a lot of people had issues with the syncing but I have been pretty lucky on that part, for once. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

Re: Bulk add categories to media?

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 5:00PM GMT
Classification: Query
On my systems running FTM 2012 the "Shift and Ctrl" key does allow the selection of files, as designed in Windows.
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