Tips & Tricks

20 Jan, 2016

Demystifying the video encoder FFmpeg arguments

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:38+00:00 January 20th, 2016|Tips & Tricks|0 Comments

The Gallery Server Binary Pack includes FFmpeg, the popular open source utility that provides powerful video and audio capabilities. Gallery Server uses it to rotate videos, create web-optimized versions of your original audio and video files, and generate thumbnails from a video. Haven't installed it yet? It's free, so get it now (expand the 'more downloads' section to see it). Let's say you have a bunch of WMV videos you want to share with the world. Browsers must have a supporting plugin such as Silverlight in order for them to play in the browser, and an increasing number of operating systems and browsers don't support plugins (iOS, Android, Microsoft Edge). It would be better if these videos were converted to H.264 MP4, which is natively supported by most modern browsers and operating systems, including iOS and Android. That's exactly what Gallery Server does when you upload a video - it preserves the original and [...]

13 Nov, 2015

Get faster page loading with on-demand thumbnail image retrieval

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:39+00:00 November 13th, 2015|Tips & Tricks|2 Comments

We recently had a customer concerned about performance when viewing certain albums in their gallery. After investigation, we saw that these albums had a large number of media assets. In one case there were 4,120 images. Since each thumbnail image required an HTTP call to the server, that album had at least 4,120 calls to the server before the page was fully loaded. In Chrome that took about 20 seconds. In Microsoft Edge it was dramatically better, about 5 seconds. But in either case that's too much time. Our best practice advice is to try to keep fewer than 500 or 1000 items in each album, but this customer had business requirements that made splitting up the album impossible. They turned on the paging feature, which helped speed up the screen rendering but under the hood those 4,120 HTTP calls were still getting made, triggering the spinning circle icon we've all seen that tells [...]

25 Aug, 2015

Automatically upload camera pics & video to your gallery

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:39+00:00 August 25th, 2015|Tips & Tricks|0 Comments

Say you have people taking photos and videos you want to get into your gallery. Maybe they're field workers snapping pics of a job site. Maybe they're church members having fun at the summer picnic. Maybe it's you taking vacation photos with your lovely family. There's a good chance you're using a mobile phone. What's the best way to get those photos and videos into your gallery? Well, you have options: Use the browser in your phone to go to your gallery and manually upload the files using the 'Add assets' command in Gallery Server. Email the media files to yourself and then upload them to the gallery from a desktop computer. Plug your phone into your PC with a cable, copy the files over, and upload them to the gallery. Frankly, I'm not a fan of any of these methods. It feels clunky and like too much work. For my personal gallery, I have [...]

6 Jul, 2015

Use Gmail as your SMTP Server – even when using 2-factor authentication (2-step verification)

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:39+00:00 July 6th, 2015|Tips & Tricks|0 Comments

Gallery Server can send emails for various events such as errors, account signup verification, and admin notification of new accounts. To configure, you must give Gallery Server an SMTP server it can use for sending the e-mails. Many organizations have an internal SMTP server you can use and hosting companies often provide one as well. But if you are self-hosting or can't use the available SMTP server for whatever reason, Gmail provides one you can use to send up to 2,000 messages a day. This post tells you how to set up Gmail as an SMTP server for your gallery, including how to set things up when your Google account is configured with 2-factor authentication. Set up Gmail as your SMTP server Of course first you need a Google account. Get one here. Now open web.config for your gallery and find the system.net section. The file will be in the root of your [...]

4 Mar, 2015

Reduce your gallery’s drive space requirements up to 99%

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:39+00:00 March 4th, 2015|Tips & Tricks|0 Comments

When you add a media asset to your gallery, Gallery Server creates a thumbnail and web-optimized file that is used for most gallery activities. For example, clicking the thumbnail image in an album shows the web-optimized version, not the original. By default, web-optimized images are about 640 px on the longest side and - for JPG images - created with a compression quality setting of 70 (you can change this on the Media Objects - Images page). A typical web-optimized image is about 30-70 KB regardless of the size of the original image. It is common for today's digital cameras to produce files that are 8MB and even higher. That's huge, so it's highly beneficial to use the smaller file whenever possible. It downloads and renders quickly and uses far less bandwidth and server resources than the original would have. The original still exists on the server and can be downloaded through [...]

2 Sep, 2014

Secure your media files in a read-only gallery

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:40+00:00 September 2nd, 2014|Tips & Tricks|0 Comments

People who want to share their media assets with the world through a website typically have one of two views: I want to fully manage my media files through the website, including adding and deleting media. That is, I want a Digital Asset Management System (DAMS). I already have a process for managing my files; I just want to expose a read only gallery on my website. That is, I want a Web Gallery. Both of these are valid and supported in Gallery Server Pro. In this post I’ll focus on the second approach – exposing a collection of files in a read-only gallery. Who would want to do this? I would, for one. Like a lot of people, I have accumulated thousands of photos and videos over the years. My master collection of media files is stored on a desktop PC in my home. No matter how I acquire [...]

17 Jul, 2014

Did you know you can change your file names?

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:40+00:00 July 17th, 2014|Tips & Tricks|2 Comments

This is one of those hidden gems in Gallery Server Pro that is not widely known but can be really handy. You can modify the underlying file name of any media object through the gallery UI. You already know you can edit several attributes of your media assets in the right pane. The common ones are title, caption, and tags, but any property can be editable. In a default gallery, the file name is visible and read only: To make the file name editable, go to the Metadata page in the site admin area. Find the row for the FileName property and check the box to make it editable. Note that there is a quirk in the jQuery grid widget that requires you to tab *out* of the cell before saving, so be sure it has the green check mark when you save. That’s it. Notice you can now edit [...]

29 May, 2014

Migrate your DNN gallery to 3.2

By | 2016-12-01T16:37:40+00:00 May 29th, 2014|Tips & Tricks|0 Comments

Back in March we announced there will be no further releases of the Gallery Server Pro DotNetNuke Module. Since that time a number of you have asked about migrating your DNN gallery to a stand-alone instance of Gallery Server Pro. Some of the data in the DNN gallery is specific to DNN, so we can’t use the built-in migration path. But a few days ago a customer running clockdoc.org hired me to migrate the data, so I was able to dig into the details about what was involved. It’s actually pretty easy so I thought I’d write up the steps so you can migrate your own DNN gallery. As an alternative, you can hire me to do the migration. See the end for details. Start by logging in to your DNN gallery and turning off the auto sync feature if enabled (it’s on the Albums page in the site admin [...]