What does Converting actually do?

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themdg
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What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by themdg » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:16 pm

Hi from Utah. I'm a newer Synology user, and a brand new Photo Station experimenter. I have loads of photos, and really don't want to store two copies of them (one in the archive folder, and one copied to Photo Station.)

I'm experimenting with adding my image folders to Photo Station, but want to know if the photos are being changed in the process. So far, it looks like they're not being changed.

I see the option to exclude an album from Conversion. I've tried this, and tried without ticking that, and I don't see a difference in the files, or the album in PS.

Can anyone tell me what's happening when Conversion is allowed?

Thanks!

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Re: What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by saumil » Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:01 pm

I have the same question. Can anyone answer it please? TIA.

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Re: What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by HardyK » Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:58 am

"Converting" is a slightly misleading term. As far as I can tell (and read about), it seems that only videos are converted (compressed) and thumbnailed but photos are only thumbnailed. The advantage of the Photo Uploader is that this task is done using your PC's processor. For photos at least, the same process happens anyway if you just copy the files from your PC/Mac to the photo share. It just uses the NAS processor instead.

This might help:
https://www.synology.com/en-global/know ... tion/photo

As you and I have found, the photo appears to be untouched after uploading. This is good news if you then want to distribute the photos outside of Synology products.

What I like best is that the NAS indexer continuously scans for changes to your photos. This is good news because you can map a PC drive to the photo share on the NAS and use your favourite PC photo management program to tag photos directly on the NAS. For example, I use Picasa on my PC to mass-tag faces and locations on my NAS. After a delay of up to a minute or so (you need patience here) the changes appear in Photo Station. Equally, tags added by users in Photo Station appear in Picasa. I guess you could also use Lightroom or Digikam in this way but beware because tags are not necessarily located in the same place in metadata. Fortunately, Photo Station and Picasa have a common understanding of where these should be placed. This was one of the primary reasons for my choosing Synology.
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Re: What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by fawazomr » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:33 pm

I have the same concern here and I would like to know more about this "conversion".

My question is the conversion change the original files in the photo share? video & picture?

I don't mid whatever the conversion does as long as I can find my original files exactly the same from all aspects. If not, I will unfortunately have to put my pictures in a regular share.

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syno.dustin
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Re: What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by syno.dustin » Thu Dec 29, 2016 7:09 pm

fawazomr wrote:I have the same concern here and I would like to know more about this "conversion".

My question is the conversion change the original files in the photo share? video & picture?
Please read the message prior to yours.
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Re: What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by fawazomr » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:19 pm

syno.dustin wrote:
fawazomr wrote:I have the same concern here and I would like to know more about this "conversion".

My question is the conversion change the original files in the photo share? video & picture?
Please read the message prior to yours.

Thanks for your response. How can I stop the conversion of the videos then.

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Re: What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by HardyK » Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:51 pm

In the case of videos too, conversion means "upload the original and generate a converted copy for use by Photo Station".

You can deselect all conversions in the PS Uploader app GUI if you like but that doesn't influence whether your original video material is archived. It is always archived which I think is what you're worried about. I checked what happens when you use PS Uploader to upload videos:

- As mentioned,the original file is uploaded, untouched and unconverted in the target album/folder. You can satisfy this for yourself with File Station or mapped drive on your PC.
- As per photos, Photo Station puts its video conversions in a hidden directory /@eaDir/videofilename below the each original file location. You cannot see this in File Station, you need SSH access.
- If you don't select any conversion, a Flash video is made by default by the NAS, consuming CPU time. Its thumbnail appears in Photo Station but it is not able to play it unless you have Flash installed.
- If you select a conversion, an H264 (AFAIK) file with MP4 file extension of the selected quality is made using your PC CPU. It is this hidden file that is played by Photo Station.
- If you have selected multiple conversion qualities, you get to pick which quality to play when you have clicked the video thumbnail.

I also found more on the topic here by someone who has done much more testing than I:
https://www.reddit.com/r/synology/comme ... ed_videos/

Hope that helps.
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Re: What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by fawazomr » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:27 pm

Thanks a lot! you have answered all of my concerns.

This means that whatever this "conversion" does it is creating additional files that are hidden and my original are not touched. I guess I can use it without being worried :-)

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Re: What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by fawazomr » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:29 am

I have sent a request to support previously and I got their response in this regards. So I thought it is good to share the response with you!

I think it is crystal clear now, at least for me.
The conversion is for the better browsing experience. The conversion didn't change the original files.

When you download the file still will get the original files.

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Re: What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by Paul Barrett » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:55 pm

What bugs me about conversion id that if you edit the metadata but not the image, the thumbnail is regenerated. Why?
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Re: What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by HardyK » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:26 pm

Paul Barrett wrote:What bugs me about conversion id that if you edit the metadata but not the image, the thumbnail is regenerated. Why?
That would be nice but I'm guessing that in order for Photo Station to know if the embedded metadata and/or image had changed, it would need to:
- Keep a master copy of each jpeg, thus doubling the required storage.
- When the OS indicates a files has changed, compare the master with the updated image to see where in the file it had changed. If the image part, then regenerate the thumbnail.

Seems like a lot of work if that's the case. Maybe the above could be avoided if the there are at least two checksums embedded in the jpeg: one for the image, one for the metadata and only regenerate the thumbnail if the former had changed but I don't know much about jpeg file format.
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Re: What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by DasKraut » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:00 am

Reviving an old thread. This was incredibly helpful for me! Thank you! One question though: Is there a way to refresh the cache of thumbnails and stuff that it's making? Or simply remove it all together?

Side question: I'm on a Mac, can I see the hidden thumbnails/vids if I show hidden files & folders though Mac OS?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by fannaf » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:20 pm

Thanks for your explanations so far. However I would like to renew the question as I have noticed changes in the image files.
I don't use video so can only comment on image files in .jpg.
For my large collection I have been using Aperture for years, with it being discontinued by Apple I have converted my labels and other Info from inside Aperture to keywords as part of the image file metadata in order to transport as much of the information to other applications.

I continue to use the keyword feature in other software chiefly Adobe Bridge. However, I have now noticed that Synology removes the metadata information if I copy the images to the photos folder from with they then are being converted automatically. This might be of concern to other too.

Does anybody know a way to turn the conversion of or at least the removal of metadata from image files in the photos folder?

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Re: What does Converting actually do?

Unread post by groovinzhou » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:38 pm

Hi,

If we right click the photo folder -> properties , we'll be able to get the total size of that folder in megabytes.

However, how to do that (to calculate total size in the folder), including all those "converted files (thumbnails and video previews)" ?

I wanted to know how much does the system add in comparison if I not using the photostation app..

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