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FTM 2012 Media Directory Preferences

FTM 2012 Media Directory Preferences

Posted: 1360026411000
Classification: Query
I have not been able to find the answer to my query on the Message Boards.

Tools>Options allows allows for a default directory to be set up for new tree files.

File>Backup allows for backup to a Working Directory, or Custom Directory, etc - including media files.

However, after attempting to backup to a Custom directory for a renamed tree, it seems media files are always sent to the Working Directory, whereas my preference is for media files to be kept with the Custom Directory.

I cannot find how to do this despite trying to specify the Custom Directory in both Tools>Options and File>Backup.

Can anyone please help with this?


Re: FTM 2012 Media Directory Preferences

Posted: 1360028791000
Classification: Query
Are you backing up using File>Backup and ticking the include media check box?

John D

Re: FTM 2012 Media Directory Preferences

Posted: 1360030695000
Classification: Query
"Are you backing up using File>Backup and ticking the include media check box?"


Re: FTM 2012 Media Directory Preferences

Posted: 1360031690000
Classification: Query
If that is the case the Media is included in the backup file you created. It's all one big file and when you restore it a media folder will be created.

Re: FTM 2012 Media Directory Preferences

Posted: 1360033713000
Classification: Query
Yes, I am aware that one big file is created, but I do not want to restore from each backup.
How is it possible to arrange for FTM to create and progressively update a Media directory which is accessible though my Custom Directory, and not C:\Documents\Family Tree Maker?
My C:\ drive is slow and becoming full, and I prefer to have all media accessible though my Custom Directory which in this case is via Dropbox for backup purposes.

Re: FTM 2012 Media Directory Preferences

Posted: 1360034480000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1360034565000
When you add media to a person, fact, citation, etc you have the option to link to the media or copy the media into the Family Tree Maker Media Directory. If you link, instead of copy then the only thing generated is a link to your media files in your Dropbox Folder. Then, when you backup the file, don't include the media.

Have you looked into this? I think it will do what you want but am not entirely sure.

Have you tried doing this with a small test tree just to see what will happen?

Re: FTM 2012 Media Directory Preferences

Posted: 1360149081000
Classification: Query
Thank you, yes, that is an option.

However, my aim is to have all my data accessible through my custom FTM directory, including media as a sub directory.

Why is in not possible to arrange for FTM to create and progressively update a Media directory which is accessible though a custom FTM Directory, and not default C:\Documents\Family Tree Maker Directory?

The Help files seem to indicate this should be possible.

Re: FTM 2012 Media Directory Preferences

Posted: 1360162539000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1360162638000
I'm not sure if I still understand what you are trying to do, but offer the following comments.

I would strongly suggest NOT to use the option to LINK to images outside of the FTM Media folder. That introduces the possibility that as the years go by, those files will be moved or deleted and you may not realize the link to those images inside of FTM is broken for years after. Besides, adding those images to the FTM image folder creates an additional level of backup.

My understanding, altough I admittedly haven't tested it, is that the FTM Media folder must be in the same directory as the FTM file it is for. For example, my main FTM file is at"

C:\Users\User\My Documents\Genealogy\Family Tree Maker Data\Tom2012\Tom2012.ftm

And associated Media folder is at:

C:\Users\User\My Documents\Genealogy\Family Tree Maker Data\Tom2012\Tom2012 Media\

The FTM file is usually so miniscule to the Media file that both should fit wherever you want them with no problem - ie your Dropbox folder. For example, my FTM file has 65,000 poeple and is only 200 MEGS, but my media folder is 12 GIGS, primarily census records. My FTM file is only a fraction of my FTM media folder.

The File > Backup option creates an archival backup with a date in it. I have changed my structures so that all of my archival backups are on removable media, primarily because they take up so much room on my C drive. In fact, I don't use the File > Backup option, but normally just copy the files themselves, with a date in the file name to the removable media. There used to be an advantage with compresssion via the File\Backup option, but that option does not compress my files hardly at all, so have basically stopped using it.

As a matter of note, I also backup my files with their normal names (a continuously written over backup - not an archival backup), with Carbonite and also an automatic backup at 1:00 each morning to an external hard disk.

In short, if you want your files in Dropbox, I would suggest put the whole kid and caboodle in the Dropbox folder (the folder can be designated under Options, as you pointed out.)

Re: FTM 2012 Media Directory Preferences

Posted: 1360168967000
Classification: Query

I'm not sure if you've ever noticed but the .ftmb file generated by using "backup" is actually a zip file with relative addresses in it, i.e. no absolute path information. It contains the .ftm file and all the media files. The Autogenerated .ftmb contains only the .ftm file.

Probably to reduce errors all media files that do not live within the standard folder are copied as though they are in the standard folder (not the media folder) and then saved in the zip file - it can be opened using 7-zip, amongst others. I think this means that every .ftmb has its own copy of the media files.

Even if the media files are kept in a folder on another disc, they will be copied across to the "standard" folder and saved in the .ftmb file and the .ftm file "adjusted" to point to the new location before being saved as well...

[standard folder on my machine is My Documents\Family Tree Maker]

That's what my testing a few weeks ago showed. I expect it's to stop errors when the .ftmb is copied to a totally different computer.

It's possible to have several folders within the main media folder and put the various images in those. They'll be saved in the .ftmb retaining that relative path information. I haven't tried this so I'm not sure what happens on restoration.

Re: FTM 2012 Media Directory Preferences

Posted: 1360217605000
Classification: Query
Hi Silverfox

Your detailed response has been very helpful and I agree with your “copy not link” suggestions.

You say that the FTM Media folder is normally in the same directory as the FTM file it relates to, and this agrees with Tools>Options Help which says
“Default directory for new tree files:
Designates the folder on the computer where Family Tree Maker creates the tree files and media folders for your trees”.
However, for me the Media Directory is created in the separate C:\ drive or Working Directory by default, even though I have attempted via several trials to re-set to a Custom (Dropbox) Directory in Tools>Options.

So this is my precise problem. Tools>Options allows a default directory to be set up for new FTM Family 2012 files, which are small as you say. But the Media files are in a different directory.

As you suggested, being able to put the whole kit and caboodle in my Custom (Dropbox) folder is essential for syncing, but the Media files always revert to C:\drive.
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