I got here through a rabbit hole of wanting to understand how upgrading to Synology DSM 6.x to 7.x would affect my family’s and my DS Photo experience and in amongst the various Reddit topics there were a few mentions of PhotoStructure. I thought it would help solve my other (common) problem of many photos, some organised, some haphazardly, some in various places.
I’m quite tech savvy and can work with tech easily but it doesn’t mean I can see the wood for the trees
I’ve read the majority of the PS website info and several topics on the forum. Although I applaud the developer, Matthew, on his passion, achievements, and ethos I, personally, wouldn’t agree that PS is intuitive (at least pre-installation).
And so I find myself creating this post. Sorry for the verbose intro.
I initially thought I could and would use PS as my System of Record/Trusted Source. From what I’ve read it seems this is not the intended function. I’m getting the impression that it’s for collating various sources into a more friendly usable-source. This includes the actual files (a copy) and a database. Also (something I’m excited about) the search and browsing capabilities.
A thing I’m not certain about is auto-organisation and not, and the impact to file copying. I thought that files were always copied from the source (unless considered dupes) but then I read in one of the forum posts that files are copied only on auto-organisation. So does that mean that PS references the source files when not auto-organised? ie. no files are copied?
If I was to use auto-organisation what would happen if I then edited the metadata on the copied, PS versions? Would metadata be over written on next sync or could I use the PS versions as the updated versions while keeping the originals as baseline?
Lastly, I’d to invite members to share their use cases and how they are organised as I suspect there are quite a few variations and I’d love to get inspiration from others before I start.
As far as your question about PhotoStructure making copies of your photos and videos, know that I support both not copying or moving anything from their original locations, as well as copying all unique file SHAs into a single deduplicated folder hierarchy. This is a question asked at installation time (and can be changed at any time). More information is here:
As far as how I’m personally using PhotoStructure, I wrote this up here:
Just to be clear, there was no implied criticism just my honest impression pre-install, after reading much of the site and several posts (before creating an account to make my post). I’ve definitely read the posts you refer to. I’m sure how PS works is easier to understand once it’s installed, which is something I hope to get to on a free weekend soon.
Making documentation sucks and one day hopefully AI will take that chore away. That said, imho you’ve taken on an ambitious goal and come so far, alone it seems, and written a ton of informative posts that I’m in awe.
edit: I’ve re-read the Auto Organisation article and you’re absolutely right, the 2 questions and the impact are stated. In my weak defence: I read so much afterwards that not having installed yet, that info dropped out of my memory.
I have noticed a “missing” 3rd option: copy all but leave the source folder naming intact (rather than the auto folder naming). Perhaps that’s already possible in some setting that I’ve seen but not remembered!
This is doable, but you’ll have to set an “advanced” setting.
In an effort to not overwhelm users too much, I only have a handful of settings available via the welcome flow, but there are several hundred settings you can use to tweak almost everything within PhotoStructure. More details are here:
The setting that retains parent and grandparent folder names is available in the “prealpha” build, which is actually pretty stable on Linux/Docker, but that build isn’t yet validated on Windows or macOS: it will be soon.
Here are details of the prior assetSubdirectoryDatestampFormat setting and the new assetPathnameFormat: