Media Management

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A Media Object describes an external file that holds media data, such as a scanned page, audio recording or a video recording. Media files can also be in document formats, such as a text file (.txt), portable document file (.pdf), word processing document (.doc), a web page (.html, .mthml), as well as any number of other file formats.

The “content” of the Media Object element is not the object itself but merely information about the object. The external file that contains the object is named by the xlink:href attribute.

Media Objects in Gramps are not the actual Media Files

Gramps does not manage Media Media files. Instead, it is more similar to a metadata manager. That means that Media object actions of: moving to another Gallery tab, duplicating, deleting, or merging; will do nothing to the actual Media file. They simply rearrange the pointers to those files.

There are exceptions. The backup and restoring of backups includes the option to make file copies of Media objects up to 1 megabyte in size. And some Media related addons recognize paths with internet URLs and have the option to automatically download and archive copies to local storage. Gramps also manages thumbnails and downloaded map tiles.

The Media Object Editor with an invalid file path.

However, the majority of the tasks managing of Media Objects have to be performed outside of Gramps. You can just toss objects into a directory and link to them. But it will create a disorganized mess that will become a maintenance nightmare. If the files have to be reorganized, Gramps won't be aware of those changes until you reset the paths. In the meantime the links will have a 'broken' indicator.

See also


  • The Third-party Addon Merge Media that searches your database for media file entries that are pointing to the same actual file and when found, they can be merged together.
  • The Third-party Addon Media Verify Tool is used verify a one-to-one relationship between media objects and files in the media directory. The main purpose of the tool is to locate files that have been moved and fix the paths.