Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Transferring Media Files Between Software Programs - Post 6: Family Tree Maker GEDCOM Imported Into RootsMagic 6

I am posting a series on transferring Media Files between genealogy software programs and an Ancestry Member Tree using a GEDCOM export.  Here are the posts to date:

Transferring Media Files Between Software Programs - Post 1: Project Defined and RootsMagic GEDCOM Created

*  Transferring Media Files Between Software Programs - Post 2: RootsMagic GEDCOM Imported to Family Tree Maker 2014

*  Transferring Media Files Between Software Programs - Post 3: RootsMagic GEDCOM Imported to Legacy Family Tree 7.5

*  Transferring Media Files Between Software Programs - Post 4: RootsMagic GEDCOM Imported to an Ancestry Member Tree

*  Transferring Media Files Between Software Programs - Post 5: Family Tree Maker 2014 GEDCOM Created

In this post, I'm going to import the GEDCOM file that I created in Family Tree Maker 2014 into RootsMagic 6.  The goal is to determine if all of the Media files transfer into the program and where they go.

1)  I renamed the GEDCOM file before I imported it, and then opened RootsMagic 6 and did a File > Import, selected GEDCOM, found the file in the Family Tree Make file folder, and the file quickly imported.  I saved it in my Software > RootsMagic > Databases file folder:

The database Properties (using File > Properties) listed:

*  270 People (same as FTM export)
*  78 Families (FTM export had 70 Marriages)
*  269 Places (FTM export had 274)
*  60 Sources (same as FTM export)
*  2507 Citations (FTM export had 280)
*  131 Media Items (same as FTM export)
*  1612 Multimedia links (not on FTM export list)

There are differences in that list for whatever reason.  The focus of this post is Media, and those numbers are the same.

2)  I opened the "Edit Person" screen for Ethel M. (Hall) (Powell) (Lathem) Kays (1907-1981):

I noticed that:

*  There was not a Profile picture (RootsMagic calls it a "Primary Photo") for Ethel, unless I select one.
*  No media items were listed on the Fact list shown above (there are no green check marks in the Media column), other than for Ethel's name.

When I clicked on the "Media" button on the screen above, I saw:

The only Media item is the one I made the "Profile photo" in Family Tree Maker 2014, as shown in the last post.

3)   I opened the "Edit Person" screen for Icis (Reeves) Powell (1879-1968):

I observed the same issues with the "Primary Photo" and the lack of green check marks for Media items on the Fact list.

4)   I opened the "Edit Person" screen for John Osker Snearley (1860-1932):

I observed the same issues with the "Primary Photo" and the lack of green check marks for Media items on the Fact list.

5)  So where did all of those 131 Media items go?  They are all attached to sources through the GEDCOM import.  Here is the Source for one Fact for John Osker Snearly, after clicking "Sources" on his "Edit Profile" window, then "Edit" and then "Media" on the "Edit Source" screen:

As you can see, the Media item for the 1900 census record is attached to the Source for the Fact, but it does not show up in the "Media" button for a Person, nor as a check in the "Media" column on the list of Facts for the Person.

In RootsMagic, for a Media file to appear in the Person "Media" screen and for the green check in the Fact Media column, the user has to "Tag" the person (so it appears in the Person "Media") and/or "tag" the Event (so it appears in the Fact Media list).  The GEDCOM file import did not add those Tags, and therefore they don't appear on the RootsMagic screens.  The exceptions are the three "Preferred photos" that I manually added in FTM 2014 - those had the person's name identified, and show up in the Person "Media" screen and a check next to the person's Name (RootsMagic put a "Tag" for the Name for those photos).

I went through the Sources searching for all of the Media items attached to Facts/Sources, and all of the items that were listed in Post 5 for the three persons tested.

6)  I clicked on the "Lists" menu item and then Media Gallery and saw all 131 Media items that imported into RootsMagic from the GEDCOM file:

In the lower right-hand corner, you can see the File name and location for the highlighted media item.  All of the Media items are in the Family Tree Maker > John Collins Ancestry Media file folder, which is where they were when the Family Tree Maker 2014 GEDCOM file was created.

7)  So we've learned that, as far as Media items are concerned, that an import of a GEDCOM file created in Family Tree Maker 2014 into a new RootsMagic 6 database:

*  All Media items were transmitted in the GEDCOM export/import process.

*  The Media item that I attached to the Person (as a Profile picture) in FTM was tagged with the person's name and shows in the "Media" list for the Person, but does not show as a "Primary Photo" for the person in RootsMagic.

*  The Media items that were attached to Facts in FTM are found in the Sources > Edit > Media screen for the Fact.  RootsMagic did not "Tag" those Media items to the Fact (the green check in the Media column) - they are only attached to the Source.

*  The Media items are all stored in one file folder - the folder that FTM 2014 put them in as the database was created.

I also noticed that the import of the GEDCOM resulted in:

*  Children were not automatically listed in birth order on the "Family View" in RootsMagic.

*  RootsMagic classified the Preferred Name (in FTM) as the "Name" Fact, and classified the non-preferred Names as Alternate Names.  

*  RootsMagic classified the "Preferred Fact" (in FTM) as the event "Fact," and classified the non-preferred Facts in chronological order.  

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/11/transferring-media-files-between_26.html

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Louis Kessler said...


Would you consider making these GEDCOM files with the media available for others to try with their programs?


Cousin Russ said...


Did you run the Data Error Report in FTM2014 to see if they were sorted correctly there? You can run that report (Publish Workspace, Person Report, Data Error Report) and in the Items to Include, just select the Sort Children error.

I am guessing that you may find that they are not sorted correctly in FTM2014.

There is a Global Sort Children feature, new to FTM2014 to do this. As ALWAYS, make a Back up BEFORE you do that.

I realize this is a test file, but, had to put the Back Up reminder for others.


Cousin Russ said...


This process has improved since the early days of BetterGEDCOM. It used to be that we couldn't get images across at all. A Step in the right direction. FTM2012 and FTM2014 and Roots Magic 6 play well in this area. I just got Legacy 8 but haven't tried GEDCOM FTM2014 to Legacy 8. I know it didn't work too well in Legacy 7.5.

The one issue Randy pointed out about the profile picture between FTM2014 and Roots Magic 6, I think, is that they are internal features in both programs that doing have a GEDCOM Tag to identify them as such.


Martin Stead said...

Hi Randy

I've been following your series on export/import of media files between applications and thought I would add my bit:

Almost certainly you will find that import to a web based program will not be able to pick up the media items. Typically a GEDCOM export will export the links to the media items using the FILE tag. For a web server to be able to go and get those files from your computer would break all the security rules - just imagine what could happen if any web server had access to any of your files!

As a result, to upload files to a web server requires the user to specifically identify each file that needs to be uploaded. And you can only do this one file at a time. However, there is a possible partial solution coming along. Currently only available in the latest version of the Google Chrome browser is the ability to upload a whole folder of files in one go. Whether this gets picked up by other browsers is a moot point, as is whether any of the web based genealogy programs will take advantage of it.

In addition to the FILE tag on a GEDCOM file (which only includes a pointer to your local file) there is the BLOB and OBJE tag. BLOB lets you include in the GEDCOM a complete raw image file, OBJE lets you include a raw document file (for example a Word document, which can then be opened by Microsoft Word). But to the best of my knowledge no programs include this option when exporting a GEDCOM.

Martin Stead

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