How-To Guide: Galleries

Galleries are easy to use areas on the site where members publish multimedia content (images, audio and video).  This content is presented on its own, separate from other web pages or blogs.  Images, audio and video cannot be mixed within a single gallery.  Administration and usage is designed to be simple for both the author and viewer to use.  Media published in the galleries can be linked to from other parts of the site if desired (see the Working With Images How-To Guide for how to do this).

Galleries are found in all member areas (click on the member avatar or name) and also in most groups.  To enter gallery just click on the Gallery link in either the member or group navigation bars.  The sections below show how to create new galleries and specific information for each type of gallery.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

When uploading media content (any type) be sure you have the rights to publish and share.  Just because you may have legally purchased an album or video does not mean you have the rights to distribute (publish).  Generally speaking you can store content that you have legally purchased for your own use as long as you do not make it available to others.   For instance if you have a favorite song you want to keep for your use, this is OK as long as you set the privacy to PRIVATE.   This makes it ONLY visible to you and not shareable.  If you own the rights to the content you are uploading (your own pictures, videos, etc), then it is up to you to set the visibility as you wish.

Note: uploading and sharing copyrighted material is piracy and a violation of the Terms of Service.

Creating New Galleries

To create a new gallery, navigate to either your member gallery or a group gallery you are a member of.  The examples below show a member gallery but with just a few exceptions the group galleries work the same way.   In the few cases where there are differences these will be shown.

When you enter an empty gallery you should see a screen similar to:

To create a new gallery, simply click on the Create a Gallery link in the Gallery sub-menu:

In the Type selector you can choose from Photo, Video and Audio.   This is the type of gallery to create.  The Status selector lets you choose who can see your gallery.  The choices are Public, Private, Logged In Users Only and Friends Only for member galleries.  Group gallery Status options are Group Only, Public and Logged In Users.  The Title field, as the name suggests, holds the title for your gallery.   This field is mandatory and must be provided for all galleries.  The Description block lets you enter a longer description of your gallery.  This can run many lines while the Title should be short and is limited to just a few words.

After you have filled in all the needed fields click on the CREATE button to make your new gallery.

Image Galleries

After you create your new gallery your browser will be redirected to the new gallery to upload photos.  If you are not ready to upload at the time you created the gallery this is ok.   You can always return and click on the Add Media link in the image gallery navigation bar.   You will see a screen like the following:

Image files can be dragged into the download box (desktop machines) or the SELECT FILES button can be used to upload photos from your computer or device.  In our example a photo gallery named Playground has been created to hold playground related stock photos.  When selecting files more than one file can be selected at a time and all files will be automatically uploaded into the gallery together.  After uploading your photos click on the View link to see the gallery.  Our Playground gallery (or part of it) can now be seen:

As the owner of the gallery each image has edit and delete links to make managing the images easier.  The delete link does as expected and removes the image from the gallery.   The edit link allows for setting the visibility of the image on an image by image basis.  The Title for each image by default is the file name that will used in the upload and can be changed here.   Additional descriptive information can also be provided for each photo.   When done making changes click on the SAVE button to make them permanent.

Maintaining Your Image Galleries

Once you have created your gallery there are many things that can be fine tuned to make it appear as you like.  The owner (member) or admin (group) can modify several settings including the cover image, the name of the gallery, access controls and the visual organization of the gallery content.  The owner/admin can also delete the gallery completely.

Galley Wide Settings (Cover Image, Title, Description, Gallery Renaming and Access Control)

The cover image is the photo that is displayed on the gallery listing page.   By default this is the last photo that was uploaded to the gallery.   The image that is displayed as the gallery cover photo as well as the name and description of the gallery can be changed together.  Go to the gallery you want to modify and from the gallery sub-navigation menu (either member or group) go to Edit -> Edit Details.  You should see a screen similar to the following:

To change the gallery cover image, select Upload New Cover and then upload your new cover photo.  To remove the existing cover image select Delete Cover.   This will remove the cover image and replace it with a system default image.   As the default image is not very attractive it is best if you choose an image you like that best represents the gallery content.  Note: for image galleries, changing the cover image results in the new image being uploaded and presented as part of the gallery (this is specific to image galleries only).

If you want to change the name of the gallery just enter the new title in the Title box.  A more complete description of the gallery can be entered or modified in the Description box.   The gallery access permissions can also be changed by making the desired selection in the Status drop-down menu.  This setting applies to the entire gallery but can be fine tuned (selectively turning access off) on an item by item basis (see Per-File Settings below).  When you are done just click on SAVE to make your changes permanent.

Per-File Settings (Title, Description, Gallery Renaming and Access Control)

To make changes to individual media first navigate to the desired gallery.   From the gallery sub-navigation menus go to Edit -> Edit Media.  This will bring up a page similar to the following:

There should be one block per image similar to the image above (only one is shown here to conserve space).  From here you can change the Title, Description and Status (access control) on a file by file basis.  When you are done making the individual file changes to your gallery click on the UPDATE button at the bottom of the page to make the changes permanent.

Note: if you need to delete many photos from your gallery at one time, first select them individually, choose the Delete option from the Bulk Action pull-down menu, and then click on the APPLY button to remove.

Organizing Your Photos

To change the order in which gallery images are displayed first navigate to the desired gallery.   From the gallery sub-navigation menus go to Edit -> Reorder.  This will bring up a page with the thumbnails of your images.  Just drag the images to the desired order and then click on the SAVE button to make them permanent.

Deleting Your Gallery

To delete a gallery first navigate to the gallery you want to delete.   From the gallery sub-navigation menus go to Edit -> Delete.  This will delete the entire gallery and its contents.  Be sure you want to do this as the operation cannot be undone.  Once deleted it is gone.   If you change your mind you will need to re-create the gallery and upload again.

Audio and Video Galleries

With just a few exceptions the maintenance of audio and video galleries work exactly the same way as they do for the image galleries above.  The main differences are the way content is displayed on the site.   Both audio and video galleries present content inside a built-in media player.   This content can be managed exactly the same as the image files and can be renamed and reorganized.  Permissions can also be set both on a gallery wide basis as well as on a per-file basis.

Audio galleries accept media uploads of the following types: mp3, wmv and midi.  Accepted video file types are mp4, flv and mpeg.  The remaining difference with image galleries is with the gallery cover image.   Unlike the image galleries, audio and video galleries do not display the uploaded cover image in the gallery itself.   There is also no default image assigned when the content is uploaded.  It is strongly recommended that you provide appropriate cover images for your audio and video galleries as the default icons are not very attractive to most.

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