* Better support for non-image Media

Post Reply
avatar
Denis
Silver
Posts: 7
Joined: 06 Sep 2014 13:54
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Co. Cork, Ireland

Better support for non-image Media

Post by Denis » 11 May 2016 15:10

Hi
I'd like to add a word of support of a wish list item for enhancing the treatment of non-image media items, especially PDF files. This is something I missed when I moved to FH from FTM eighteen months ago. FTM (since version 2012 I think) displays thumbnails of PDFs and is able to open them in its own image viewer with basic controls for the viewing scale and for navigation between pages. I hope something similar can be provided in FH.

I realise that v6 improved things a lot by recognising file formats and displaying the appropriate application icon, and I discovered that a double click on the icon in the viewer pane opens the file in its own application. That's good and very useful, but often what's needed is simply a quick glance at the item.

For me the greatest value of PDFs is their ability to bundle together related pages. Long documents such as Wills don't then need to be split into several images, and census returns can be kept in the same container as their related pages. It also allows scanned photos to be stored neatly and easily together with their reverse side: family photos with annotations on the back, or cartes-de-visite with their studio details.

Bear in mind also that PDF is the file type supplied for download by several important repositories, including the UK National Archives and the National Archives of Ireland.

Sorry I haven't contributed to the forum before, but I have been learning a lot from everyone's discussions.

User avatar
tatewise
Megastar
Posts: 16599
Joined: 25 May 2010 11:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Torbay, Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Better support for non-image Media

Post by tatewise » 11 May 2016 17:11

I have started a new thread for this that is also derived from Even more Internet savy (12607).

On a point of fact, non-image Media icons for such as PDF, Word Doc, Text, Audio, Video, etc, and the ability to open in their own application editor/player existed in FH V5 March 2012 if not earlier.

Wish List item Ref 457 Display thumbnail of attached PDFs dated May 2010, already exists for you to Vote on.

A point that has been made elsewhere is that space available in an FH Media pane/window is cluttered with FH controls, whereas a separate application has a full window. It is not clear to me what is so advantageous in adding Media features to FH that are better served by a separate application. Even image Media in FH cannot be edited, but need a separate image editor. So is it not best for each user to choose their preferred image editor, PDF viewer/editor, word-processor, audio/video player, and let FH invoke that rather than provide an inferior internal capability?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

avatar
Denis
Silver
Posts: 7
Joined: 06 Sep 2014 13:54
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Co. Cork, Ireland

Re: Better support for non-image Media

Post by Denis » 13 May 2016 17:23

Ah sorry, I must have misremembered about the application icons in v5, at least partially. However, looking now at my media collection in thumbnail view, while most of the PDFs (and the solitary Word file) have their application icons correctly, quite a few do not and are shown as large crossed-out rectangles. In the latter cases Picture view displays "Object type not recognised" - and yet the green toolbar button (and the file link) open the files normally. Perhaps there are technical differences between the PDFs that confuse FH.

Thanks for the link to the existing Wish List item: I've cast my vote now!

I completely agree that it's not appropriate to incorporate media editing into FH, but I'm not requesting that; I'm only suggesting and hoping that PDFs - in particular - could be viewed/previewed to the same (limited) extent as ordinary images and for the same reasons. It's certainly not essential any more than this facility is essential for jpegs etc, but one of those enhancements that make life a little easier for the user.

By the way, I do agree also that the media window is a bit cluttered and that the preview area could be re-thought, but I guess that's another topic!

User avatar
tatewise
Megastar
Posts: 16599
Joined: 25 May 2010 11:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Torbay, Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Better support for non-image Media

Post by tatewise » 13 May 2016 21:44

The crossed-out rectangle usually indicates a broken link to the Media file, but in this case I suspect it is caused by a mismatch between the Format field and the Linked File type. e.g. For a JPEG file they must both be jpeg, and for a PDF file they both must be pdf, etc.
I will double check tomorrow, and review your other comments.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

avatar
Denis
Silver
Posts: 7
Joined: 06 Sep 2014 13:54
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Co. Cork, Ireland

Re: Better support for non-image Media

Post by Denis » 14 May 2016 07:54

Thank you Mike. Yes, that's it. Simple when you know the answer! It seems that for JPEGs (and possibly for other file types on the drop-down list), FH doesn't care whether the Format field is populated or not; but for PDFs it does have to be set correctly. Something to watch out for in future.

User avatar
tatewise
Megastar
Posts: 16599
Joined: 25 May 2010 11:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Torbay, Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Better support for non-image Media

Post by tatewise » 14 May 2016 08:59

The relationship between the Format and File Link fields is very idiosyncratic.
They do not have to match, and for image Format Media that takes precedence, but for other Format values the File Link takes precedence.
The Format drop-list does not even list all the recognised image file types, and if you accidentally add a trailing space it is not recognised.
I raised [#567826] Multimedia FORMat Field Problems with Calico Pie over 2 years ago, but nothing has happened.
The Show Project Statistics Plugin (among other things) will report such exceptions.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

Post Reply