Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 - Post 5: Importing and Exporting Media Files with GEDCOM

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When I uploaded my RootsMagic 4 database, using GEDCOM, to Family Tree Maker 2012, I was happy to note that the Media that I had attached to several persons (mainly head shots, but also several records) were imported into Family Tree Maker 2012. 

1)  Here's the proof (I could show you the GEDCOM file, but this is more visual):

Here is the Media workspace in FTM 2012 for this database:


I chose Torger Sjursen Leland in the index, and saw his Person page:


There are two Media items attached to two Facts. 

I created a GEDCOM file for two generations of this family (just to make it easier and faster to work with), including Torger Leland, and made sure I had the two Media boxes checked):


The resulting GEDCOM file, when opened in FTM 2012, includes the two Media items, as shown below:


I thought to myself, "Self, that's wonderful, FTM 2012 also transfers Media files using GEDCOM."

2)  But wait!  What about Media downloaded from an Ancestry Member Tree?

I decided to do the same exercise using the database downloaded from Ancestry.com, which had 37 Media items (all attached items or uploaded from my computer files in the Ancestry Member Tree before syncing it with FTM 2012). 

The Media workspace for this database looks like:


The Person page for Frank Walton Seaver is shown below, and it has several Media items included:


I created a GEDCOM file for two generations that included Frank Seaver, checked the two boxes about Media items:


However, when I opened this GEDCOM file in FTM 2012, it includes no media items:



Not even the pictures I had uploaded to Ancestry.com from my computer files are included in the FTM 2012 file created by the GEDCOM process. 

I thought that I had made a mistake, so I did a similar sequence two more times just to make sure that the above happens.  Every time! 

 That made me say to myself:  "Whoa!  What happened here?  Is this Ancestry protecting any image downloaded from Ancestry Member Trees?"

That's the logical conclusion, isn't it?  Perhaps a Family Tree Maker developer wants to comment or explain why Media items are not transmitted in a GEDCOM file created by FTM 2012.

Update 4:30 p.m.":  Caroline Gurney, in Comments, noted:

"Randy, A GEDCOM file only includes the file pathways for the media, not the media themselves. In your first example, the GEDCOM contained the filepaths for the two media, which were presumably somewhere on your computer. So when you opened the GEDCOM in FTM 2012, the program was able to find the media from the filepaths. In your second example, the media files were presumably on the Ancestry server and so could not be found on your computer. That is why you need to use the built in Sync process in FTM 2012 to sync your data between your Ancestry tree and FTM 2012 on your desktop. Don't use GEDCOM. "

Thank you, Caroline, for this - it helps to understand what's happening.  However, the media files from the Ancestry historical records are included in the Media file folder on my computer and could be linked, but FTM 2012 does not link them for some reason in a GEDCOM file.  Here is the Media file for the starting database:


tHere are 37 images in this file residing on my computer.  I don't understand why they are not included in the GEDCOM file, unless they were purposefully or erroneously excluded by the creators of FTM 2012.

15 comments:

Russ said...

Randy,

Trying to clarify your 2nd test.

You had a file, that you had downloaded from Ancestry, that included your 37 media files, into FTM2012. Right?

When you are in the Media Workspace, are their links to each of those 37 files and you are not seeing any errors, right?

From here, you are Generating a GEDCOM file. There are a number of options, when you generate that GEDCOM file, Which one(s) did you select?

I am sure that you understand, but for your readers, the Media FILES are NOT part of the GEDCOM file. BUT, there are LINKS to those media files.

If those media files are in the < filename > Media folder, the GEDCOM file will have Links to that folder.

When Opening that GEDCOM file, in FTM2012 (again) it should find those links.

I haven't tried this, but IF the links are in the Media Folder, then you may need to use the Find Missing Media utility. OR, is the Media Workspace, on this Opened GEDCOM file blank?

Russ

Caroline Gurney said...

Randy, A GEDCOM file only includes the file pathways for the media, not the media themselves. In your first example, the GEDCOM contained the filepaths for the two media, which were presumably somewhere on your computer. So when you opened the GEDCOM in FTM 2012, the program was able to find the media from the filepaths. In your second example, the media files were presumably on the Ancestry server and so could not be found on your computer. That is why you need to use the built in Sync process in FTM 2012 to sync your data between your Ancestry tree and FTM 2012 on your desktop. Don't use GEDCOM.

Caroline Gurney said...

Sorry that I misunderstood your original post, Randy. I thought the GEDCOM had been downloaded from Ancestry. If you are creating the GEDCOM from a file within FTM 2012, then the media file links should be included provided you have checked the box: File > Export > Output format > GEDCOM 5.5 > Include media files. If you've done that, try looking at the GEDCOM you produced to see if it includes the file paths. They'll be in a similar format to the following (taken from my own GEDCOM):

1 FILE C:\Users\Caro\Pictures\Genealogy\Gurney\Caroline3.jpg
2 TITL Caroline Gurney nee Bentley
2 DATE 2004
0 @M3@ OBJE

If the file paths are in your GEDCOM then the problem is they are not being picked up on import of the GEDCOM back into FTM 2012. (I'm not asking why you want to export and reimport in this way - I guess you have your reasons!)

In the Media workspace, try Media > Find Missing Media.

Randy Seaver said...

Caroline,

Thank you for trying to understand and help. My reason for creating a GEDCOM file is so that I can transfer data into another software program or another online tree. My hope was that the Media uploaded to the Ancestry tree from my files, or attached in the Ancestry tree from Ancestry records, would be included in the GEDCOM file created by FTM2012. Apparently, they aren't when I open the GEDCOM file in FTM2012. Russ has been trying to duplicate my problem offline.

Since there is no media linked in the GEDCOM file, there are no Missing Media Files to capture. The Media workspace in the opened GEDCOM file is empty, as is the Media file folder on my computer.

Media items that I had uploaded to my RootsMagic database, then GEDCOMed into FTM2012, are listed in a GEDCOM created by FTM2012, and are in the Media workspace for the opened GEDCOM file, and are in the Media file folder on my computer..

This all is very complicated! I think that most users just want it to work the way they think it should - i.e., if the FTM2012 file has media, then a GEDCOM file created from that FTM2012 file should have media too.

Russ said...

Randy,

You said; "if the FTM2012 file has media, then a GEDCOM file created from that FTM2012 file should have media too."

What WE are not addressing here, is HOW does one user get the Media Files from one user to the other.

Since you can open any GEDCOM file in a word processing program or another genealogy program, there will be NO media files in that GEDCOM file.

This just gets the DATA from one place to another. The GEDCOM 5.5.1 and FTM2012's version of a GEDCOM only adds LINKS to the images that are in FTM2012.

Oh, this is the same from any other of the Genealogy Programs that I have tested in this specific area. GEDCOM = NO Media / Image files.

What has to happen if you want Images in that "new" created from a GEDCOM is to get the Media files from one place to another or one program to another.

FTM2012 has the Find Missing Media option, and / or the CTRL+F5 option, but IF those media files are NOT on the SAME computer, the CTRL+F2 won't find the media files.

So, and maybe this is the mis-understanding here, and I'll blog about it shortly, is to package up those Media Files and transport them to the other PC, other user. Bundle that Media Folder into a ZIP file might work. But those media files must be sent to the other PC, or other User.

Just watch the Upload or Download to Ancestry.com. With FTM2011, we could download the Family Tree Maker "friendly" files from that AMT. That is a two step process. Data then Media. That happens now in FTM2012, Data then Media.

Getting the Media to another PC, another Program has to follow the same process.

I think you will find that Roots Magic does the same thing. Create a GEDCOM from RM4, and look at the GEDCOM file. Are there any IMAGES in that GEDCOM? Don't think so. But, you WILL find, if my memory serves me correct, Links to those images, just like FTM2012.

So, do to what we are trying to accomplish is a Two Step Process. The Data is transported via a GEDCOM file, the Media via 1 JPG at a time, or bundle them up in a Zip File.

Does that make sense?

Russ

Randy Seaver said...

Russ, thanks for the clarification.

I understand what you're saying and agree - I mis-typed when I made the comment, and cannot edit it. I know that the GEDCOM file has only a link to a media item stored in a file folder on my computer.

The purpose of this post was to show that an Ancestry Member Tree downloaded to FTM 2012, and then creating a GEDCOM from it (selected individuals), does not have links to media in the GEDCOM file that were included in the AMT and the FTM 2012 file.

Eileen said...

My experience in FTM 2011 has been that none of my media links were ever found when I exported my file to GEDCOM 5.5 in FTM 2011. When I import that file into any other program on the same computer no media files are available. I was hoping FTM 2012 would fix this.

Today, I export my file as FTM 2008/9 and import that directly into TMG, which preserves my media links.

I then export the file from TMG to GEDCOM 5.5 and import that into Legacy or Roots Magic and my media is preserved. It always seemed to me that I should be able to export to GEDCOM from FTM and have my media links preserved. I am waiting for my FTM 2012 to arrive. This will be my first test. I have hundreds of media files attached, mostly documents.

Caroline Gurney said...

Randy, did you look at the GEDCOM file as I suggested, to see if it has the links to images in it? You can open a GEDCOM file in Wordpad or any word processing program. If you're not happy doing that, I'd gladly take a look at it for you.

I'll give you a practical example to back up what Russ says about GEDCOM only transferring the links, not the actual media files. I have a family history website at http://www.carosfamily.com. I transfer my data to that website via GEDCOM. Now that FTM 2012 allows me to link media in a GEDCOM, all the links are there on my site. HOWEVER, I have to separately FTP my media files to the site in order for those links to lead anywhere. If you look at this page: http://goo.gl/1xGl1 you will see that there are 163 linked photos. Some of the links have a thumbnail, the others have a camera icon. The thumbnails show that I have uploaded the photo to the site to go with the link. The camera icons show where I have not yet done so.

Caroline Gurney said...

Eileen, FTM 2011 did not allow you to include media links in a GEDCOM file - that option was greyed out. FTM 2012 does allow you to do so and it works - which is why Russ and I are so puzzled about the problem Randy is experiencing. Incidentally, I don't remember Ancestry flagging this change to GEDCOMs as one of the new features of FTM 2012. It is a big deal for me and I was delighted to find it as one of the features of the new program.

Russ said...

Randy,

I went to my AMT, and generated a GEDCOM file from that AMT. No Links.

Next step, to download that tree into FTM2012 then generate a GEDCOM file from there.

1 FILE C:\Users\ { user name } \Documents\Family Tree Maker\ < filename >.ged

Here is the link, in that GEDCOM file to the Images that were downloaded.

1 FILE C:\Users\ { user name } \Documents\Family Tree Maker\Inferential Genealogy Study-2012_Current Media\ < filename >.jpg

In the above example, is a Census Image.

It was in the Media Folder, after the download of the Data, then the Media files. I didn't have to use the Find Media or the CTRL+F5 command.

Russ

Russ said...

Eileen,

You said: "My experience in FTM 2011 has been that none of my media links were ever found when I exported my file to GEDCOM 5.5 in FTM 2011"

The is true, FTM2011 did not generate a GEDCOM 5.5.1 file (which includes a link to an image), as I remember. But I also remember that it could READ a link to am image.

I have a test, where I exported a GEDCOM from RM4 that had an image, FTM2011 found that image.

I do not recall the details of exporting a GEDCOM, to see if it had those links.

The links to images were quietly introduced in FTM2011 as I remember.

Russ

Russ said...

GEDCOM Export from FTM2011 will NOT generate the links. Just tested it. The Export with Links is New to FTM2012.

Russ

Russ said...

Randy and others,

Last year I did a lot of GEDCOM testing. You can see them here:

http://bettergedcom.blogspot.com/p/data-tests.html

I knew I has tested this:

http://bettergedcom.blogspot.com/2010/12/media-files-with-links-in-gedcom-file.html

That was a file from Roots Magic 4 to FTM2011, that had an image.

The thing to remember is that image was already on my computer.

Russ

Eileen said...

Russ & Caroline,

Thank you for letting me know that FTM 2012 now supports media links. FTM is my primary data entry software but I hated that I could not export all my media.

I am now very excited and can't wait to get my 2012 copy (the mail is always slow here). If Ancestry had advertised this change I would have been first in line to order. This is a very big thing!

Anonymous said...

Randy, I see RootsMagic has a sale on their software. It has several features that I do not have with FTM. It looks like I can publish my tree to the web, make a cd to share with family and several other features. The publishing it to the web would be great. Can I upload my information from FTM with pictures to the RootsMagic?