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Author Topic: How to combine metadata resulting from multiple (network NAS) navigation paths?  (Read 480 times)

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kproegler

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I have been a ThumbsPlus user and promoter for many years.  The database and files resided locally on my PC, which changed OS and hardware several times.  All seemed to be fine. I have close to 200K thumbnails.

Last year, I changed my home setup so pretty much all my files are on a NAS.  Other than an occasionally performance blip, all seemed well.

A couple of months ago, I converted OS again (Win7 to Win10).  I actually built a clean WIN10 system, and reinstalled applications.  I had some puzzles with ThumbsPlus and ended up installing/uninstalling several times trying different things.  It finally seemed OK.

It wasn’t, and I think it goes back to the NAS conversion a year ago.

It seems that ThumbsPlus things I use a lot – galleries, keywords, annotation – are connected to how I happen to be navigating to the image.  I have 3 choices which until now I paid no attention to:
•   A path name starting with \\fieldcloud5\nasonly1\OURPICS...
•   A path name starting with \\192.168.1.90\nasonly1\OURPICS...
•   A path name starting with  N:\OURPICS…  (“N” is a mapped drive referring to the NAS location)

It appears from spot checking through the galleries, that most thumbnails there happen use the \\fieldcloud5....path name.

SO:
•   Which of those methods of navigation is the best?  I thought that the mapped drive is best, since I can keep it the same and change NAS locations and configurations. But the gallery observation seems to contradict this.
•   Does the answer to this depend on how I originally navigate to the database location?  i.e. are some of these relative to that?  BTW, the database file name path displayed is of the \\fieldcloud5.... Navigation choice
•   And the biggie – how can I best merge – or at least identify – annotations, keywords and gallery membership information that I using something other than this single, “best”?  Specifically:
o   Assuming that \\fieldcloud5\naslonly1\OURPICS.... Is the best navigation choice, and I should always use that:
   How do I get the annotations, keywords and gallery membership information that exists only in thumbnails with other paths into those in the preferred path?

Whew.

I am pretty decent with MS Access and have other reasons to learn Python if those are part of the solution.

Daan van Rooijen

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Quote
It seems that ThumbsPlus things I use a lot – galleries, keywords, annotation – are connected to how I happen to be navigating to the image.

Correct. ThumbsPlus identifies images (and matches them to their record in the database) by their full path. Depending on settings, type of medium and on whether it's a network environment, these elements may be used:

 - Server name
 - Drive volume label
 - Drive serial number (CD/DVD removable media)
 - Folder and subfolder names that lead to:
 - the Filename
 - Full UNC path

(note that drive letters are NOT used!)

Quote
I have 3 choices which until now I paid no attention to:
•   A path name starting with \\fieldcloud5\nasonly1\OURPICS...
•   A path name starting with \\192.168.1.90\nasonly1\OURPICS...
•   A path name starting with  N:\OURPICS…  (“N” is a mapped drive referring to the NAS location)

Yes. To avoid this, you have to be consistent in how you navigate to your images. Options | Preferences | Disks & Folders may help you by turning on/off some entries in the folder tree. You can make often-used long and tedious paths 'favorite folders' (Tree menu) so you can jump to them quickly.

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It appears from spot checking through the galleries, that most thumbnails there happen use the \\fieldcloud5....path name.

Hint: You can display the path underneath each thumbnail, and sort the thumbnail view on path. Use the light bulb icon and the primary sorting field in the toolbar above the thumbnail listing.

Quote
SO:
•   Which of those methods of navigation is the best?  I thought that the mapped drive is best, since I can keep it the same and change NAS locations and configurations. But the gallery observation seems to contradict this.

I don't know if any method is always better than another, but I don't use a network myself. Theoretically one method might be faster or more reliable than the others. I think your preference for a mapped drive makes sense though.

Quote
•   Does the answer to this depend on how I originally navigate to the database location?  i.e. are some of these relative to that?

No. The location of the database file is irrelevant. But how you navigate to an image when you thumbnail it decides where in the tree it will show up. And if you later browse to it through a different path, TP won't recognize it and won't match it to the thumbnail record that it made for it earlier. At that point you could thumbnail it again, and you'll have two records for the same image. Well, you already found that out :)

Quote
How do I get the annotations, keywords and gallery membership information that exists only in thumbnails with other paths into those in the preferred path?

You might be able to use Access or MDB Viewer and/or Python to manipulate the database directly, but there's a simpler method. When you copy or move images around using ThumbsPlus, it will automatically update their database record to reflect the new location. So, you can use that to make all your images accessible through a single path, like this:

- First: Make sure that Options | Preferences | Thumbnails | Make Thumbnails Automatically is OFF

- Second: Make sure that you have good backups of your database and image files.

- Decide on which path you'll be using exclusively from now on. Let's call that the Master path.

- Make a new subfolder in it with a name like 'Oldpath-A'.

- Now go into the tree panel and open one of the 'wrong' old paths. Find the images (thumbnails) there that contain valuable data (keywords, annotations, user fields, gallery assignments).

 [side note: these functions may come in handy when you're finding/collecting images of interest: 'Include Child Folders' (right-click on folder name in tree) to see images in subfolders. 'Tag' thumbnails (INS or Thumbnail | Tag Selected). And Edit | Select by | Tagged. Note again that the thumbnail listing can show keywords, annotations and user fields below the thumbnails.]

- Move or drag&drop those valuable images into the OldPath-A subfolder of your Master folder. If they're in a folder structure that you want to preserve, I guess you'll have to do this on a (sub)folder by (sub)folder basis.

 [side note: of course, the master folder is the same physical location as the path from which your are moving the files. By making a subfolder and moving the images into that, you avoid that images will accidentally try to overwrite themselves]

- When done, make another subfolder there, OldPath-B, and repeat the last two steps for images that had been thumbnailed through the other wrong path.

- If any non-valuable thumbnails are still present at the old, 'bad' locations, you can select them and press Shift-Del to remove these thumbnail records from the database without deleting the actual image files. You can also do this with any non-valuable thumbnails in the Master path and its subfolders.

- When done, all your valuable images can be accessed through the master path. But you'll still want to move the ones in the OldPath-x subfolders to a different, final destination within the master path. Also, there may be non-thumbnailed images in/below the master path that you'll still want to thumbnail (and maybe assign keywords to, etc).

- After so much shuffling and deleting of records it may be a good idea to run Database | Advanced | Compact and Repair.

If you decide to use this method, it may be a good idea to start small with only one or a few files to see if everything works as expected. Good luck!
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