Brief review, feedback and comments

I am coming up on the end of my PS Plus trial and thought I would share my thoughts so far.

  • When I signed up for my trial, for some reason I was signed up twice. I noticed this when I received two notices that I was about to be charged for my subscription. I canceled one of the subscriptions but will subscribe for one year to see where PS goes.

  • I am truly hopeful for a delete/archive function coming soon. PS is fantastic in the way that it presents collections of photos for review. This would make it a great tool to begin macro curation of photo/video collections. For now, I am limited in using it for curation since I cannot tag for delete/archive.

  • Overall, PS is a good performer running in Docker on my QNAP NAS (TVS672x). It allows me to use my existing photo organization structure effectively alongside my other photo/video apps that I am using and evaluating.

  • Originally I was also looking for PS to handle face recognition but I concluded that I no longer see this as a “must have” feature for PS. I have started to use digiKam for my tagging and facial recognition since I can embed the tags very easily into the images.

  • Features I would like to see include profile support and map/geo-location. Profile support would be handy for sharing PS with friends and family. They should have view only access at least for the site and ideally by album or other division. Map/geo-location would be nice to show all photos/videos that are geo-tagged on a map.

  • Other products I am currently evaluating include LibrePhotos, PhotoPrism and PhotoView. On my short list for long term use are PhotoStructure and PhotoPrism.

I really want to like LibrePhotos but performance is slow and the product needs a lot of development before I could consider using it long term. It does have a lot of image metrics that are nicely displayed but my biggest concern is performance.

I really do like PhotoPrism and a delete feature is available if you become a supporter (I did). This product is stable and has good performance. Its UI could use some improvement but overall it is a viable long term contender.

For PhotoView, my strong appeal is for its UI but otherwise it is on the weaker side.

PhotoStructure has a slick UI. Scanning of my photo/video folders has been pretty solid. Aside from adding geo-location and profile support, it seems to tick the majority of my boxes. Search is still a bit confusing. While I can get used to the syntax, I can see this being very awkward if sharing it with family/friends.

Ideally I am looking for a public (i.e.: family and friends) facing option for sharing my photos/videos that I can self-host. Currently I am still planning on hosting with my SmugMug account (I still like their terms and conditions better than any other service I’ve come across) but self-hosting would be ideal for me.

That’s it for now. I am grateful that I came across PS and am duly impressed with the excellent work done so far. Thank you!


Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback! I just applied a discount coupon to your subscription.

I’ll check the server logs, but if you can DM me whatever you can remember about your checkout experience, I can try to track down this issue.


:+1: Thanks for your patience!

My goal is to ship an alpha build with these features by the end of this week.

There is a huge amount of new stuff in this new build, including archive/delete!


Like many, I have tried numerous photo management platforms, and each has strong and weak points. I like the direction of PhotoStructure, but really needed something more mature. I think, if the direction of development continues, it will be a major player.

I finally decided on using 3 components for my personal ultimate solution for photo management, presentation, and sharing:

  1. Synology NAS DSM 7.0 web services for album sharing.

  2. DigiKam with SQL database which syncs the database and image metadata very well. Also, the face recognition software is being frequently improved and works quite well, but still has some quirks.

  3. jAbum is my sharing and album creation tool. I can generate albums and easily upload to my Synology NAS DSM 7 website. jAlbum, in local host mode, allows pointers to folders and images so the albums rely upon the single master copy of the organized library.

The above solution set does not rely upon an cloud services. Everything is local host.

Just my two cents. I’ll be watching PhotoStructure as it progresses.

Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback.

Please vote (and join in the discussion) for the features you’d like me to build next (like face tagging and album generation)!

You piqued my interest in jAlbum. I just checked out their web site. It looks interesting but I was wondering if it can be run in Docker. I suppose it could be creating a Linux stack. I may explore it locally on my Mac first. Thanks for the suggestion.

For now, I am still going to stay with SmugMug. It is subscription but jAlbum may be worthwhile to consider since I also have a web site where I could upload albums to Wordpress or a standalone site. Part of what I like with SmugMug is that it provides a backup of all my photos as well. It is publicly accessible but web searches are suppressed. Not foolproof but also something I can live with.

Again, thanks for the jAlbum reference. As for PhotoStructure, I like it enough to continue using it to help with curating my collection.

If you’re interested in static galleries like jAlbum, you might check out Thumbsup - open source and will run in a docker - it’s what I used before coming to PhotoStructure.

@mrm please excuse if it’s inappropriate to discuss other products here… feel free to take down if you wish - I know this is for your world :slight_smile:

My Dad used jAlbum for his own website 15 years ago!

jAlbum and Thumbsup certainly have their place as static html image gallery generators. They’re perfect for generating a custom album with a handful or so of photos. The workflow (at least the last time I used it) was designed for a handful or so of albums, each with 10-100 assets.

PhotoStructure’s library view is dynamic, which means we can do fancy things like

  • render different views every time (like the home page with “tag samples”)
  • add assets, tags, and albums dynamically as assets are imported (without having to rebuild the entire “project”)
  • support search
  • do advanced image handling via both srcset and original asset streaming based on the resolution of the browser
  • stream video transcodes based on the browser
  • comfortably scale to hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of images

BTW: if either of you go with Wordpress, be sure to stay on top of security updates.

Well, interesting that you use SmugMug. I was a paying client and loved it before exploring PhotoStructure. If I was going to use a cloud service, SmugMug would be my choice. However, I decided to try to move all cloud services onto my Synology NAS: email server, web server, photo, video, and music sync, etc. Working good so far. PhotoStructure has a good base concept, but I’m an artist as well as retired engineer, and I really wanted two main features: 1) Album aesthetics like those in SmugMug, and 2) independence from SAS cloud platforms. The principal problem for me personally, with SmugMug, was the use of cloud infrastructure. The artistic album features are absolutely the best. With jAlbum everything is local hosted, if you want it that way, and the album formats with keyword tag indexes are very appealing.
Since this is indeed a PhotoStruture discussion site, I’d be glad to do further discussion via personal email. I intend to return to exploring PhotoStructure in the future. You can email me at:

Since I started this thread, I wanted to reiterate my purpose of this post. That is, to simply provide some feedback and comments on my evaluation of PhotoStructure alongside several other products. As a result of my evaluation, I decided to subscribe to PhotoStructure because it does what it does fairly well. I view it as a tool alongside other tools I use. The additional points @mrm made, especially regarding dynamic capabilities are spot on.

I am also going to continue using SmugMug since it works for me. I am looking at jAlbum; more out of curiosity than anything else but I don’t think it’s a tool for me. I use keywords to classify my photos and the ability to create dynamic albums is a great time saver for me.

As for NAS systems, I have used them for over 10 years now. I recently upgraded my NAS with my second QNAP system. I seriously considered Synology but ultimately decided on QNAP since I have other factors that made it a better fit. I may follow up with @SgBodzin via private message regarding topics that have taken this topic, off topic.

In any case, PhotoStructure is a good fit for me. It is not perfect but I am grateful for the efforts, ongoing development, commitment and subscription/licensing model that @mrm is providing.



(And a few more characters)


Thanks for the kind words!

I bought a QNAP for testing and writing documentation for PhotoStructure.

I have been, frankly, astounded at how lax their security is: it’s why their hardware (which is nice!) is conspicuously missing from my NAS guide. Just to get a taste of what I’m talking about:

I keep my QNAP powered off most of the time, only turning it on to reproduce a customer issue, apply an update, or to update PhotoStructure installation docs.

So what do I recommend?

  • Make sure you have backups for your files, especially with a focus to minimize exposure to cryptolockers.
  • Do not expose network ports to the WAN if at all possible. You can use cloudflare to expose self-hosted servers like PhotoStructure.
  • Disable uPnP
  • Configure your systems to automatically apply security patches.
  • Where possible, run software with “role users” with reduced permissions.

I wrote this up last night: Server hardening 101

Be safe out there!