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General USB Usage Comments/Questions

 OK -- I know y'all are still playing catchup on software, and as far as I've seen there isn't a manual to say how we should *expect* this device to work... so I'm hoping there can be some discussion here on the forum that can help us understand better how we should be using this, and also to provide some feedback.


Some key questions would help us to plan how this is all going to work:

1) When you plug in a USB drive, does Monument take full control of it, or does it only create certain files/folders to use and the rest of the data is left alone? --A. It seems to me this is the case.

2) When Monument does import photos (from anywhere) do they get pulled from the import location and stored (as files) and databased/indexed within the monument folder on the drive?  i.e. after importing, the import source can be removed and all is stlil well?

3) If you want to move to a larger drive, can you eject the drive, take it to a computer and copy over just one sub directory (monument?) then insert the new drive and have everything work the way it was?

4) If you add a second drive, can you use that for just more storage?  It seems like the only option when adding a second drive is to use as a 'backup' -- and it isn't clear exactly what that means.  At some point it mentions "RAID1" -- which would imply it turns the 2nd drive into a mirror of the first, which sounds incredibly dangerous if you have other stuff you want to keep stored on that second drive.


I recognize that once a baseline of photos has been established, the use case for incrementally adding new photos will probably be fairly different than the use case relating to initial setup.  Not that I've tried yet, but it seems that the use case for incremental/continual use has been given the highest priority.  However, most of us have quite a backlog of photos that we want to import initially.  My plan to do this was to copy them onto a hard drive and plug that into the device to be imported.  However, when I first got my device that wasn't yet supported... so I waited.  Of course I wanted to see a little bit how the device worked, so I uploaded a few pics to play around with.  In the meantime, I copied most of my photo collection onto a 2nd disk and wanted to insert that and import from that 2nd disk onto my primary disk that was already being used by monument -- but I see no way to do that.


At the moment I'm waiting for the photo directory that I had on my original primary drive (that I couldn't import at first, but can now) to be fully imported/sorted.  One bit of feedback/suggestion -- while in this initializing state, it would be very helpful if there were status messages available on the HDMI output so you can see what state things are in.  RIght now I just see the logo/pics bouncing around.  Given that I read it "Might take days" to import lots of photos, and that this is happening on the local device, not the phone/app -- it is very awkward that the only way to get info is to have your phone within range of the device and check status on the app....  It would be much better if you (or family members) could just check status on the HDMI output and now when it was finiished.


Sorry this is such a long post/rant... this seems like it will be a nice device, but I think there is a large lack of information out there, and I'm hoping to spur some discussion, both from support folks, and other users.


The answers in bold


1) When you plug in a USB drive, does Monument take full control of it, or does it only create certain files/folders to use and the rest of the data is left alone? --A. It seems to me this is the case. 

2) When Monument does import photos (from anywhere) do they get pulled from the import location and stored (as files) and databased/indexed within the monument folder on the drive?  i.e. after importing, the import source can be removed and all is stlil well? No, they are left in the original folder. You cannot remove the pictures if you want to continue using them

3) If you want to move to a larger drive, can you eject the drive, take it to a computer and copy over just one sub directory (monument?) then insert the new drive and have everything work the way it was? Migration not yet supported, but relatively trivial, and will be supported soon.

4) If you add a second drive, can you use that for just more storage?  Will be possible in the near future. It seems like the only option when adding a second drive is to use as a 'backup' -- and it isn't clear exactly what that means.  At some point it mentions "RAID1" (we created a little bit of confusion with this one, we have "backup" and not RAID1 using the strict definition of RAID1, Backup creates a backup of the 'imported' picture folder and the monument data folder. -- which would imply it turns the 2nd drive into a mirror of the first, which sounds incredibly dangerous if you have other stuff you want to keep stored on that second drive. There really is no mirroring.


> Of course I wanted to see a little bit how the device worked, so I uploaded a few pics to play around with.  In the meantime, I copied most of my photo collection onto a 2nd disk and wanted to insert that and import from that 2nd disk onto my primary disk that was already being used by monument -- but I see no way to do that. please refer to this.


It would be much better if you (or family members) could just check status on the HDMI output and now when it was finiished.


Good idea, suggest you put this in feature requests.


Cheers.

Thanks for the answers... I just submitted the suggested feature request on that forum topic.

Based on your answer to question 2 above, it sounds like when you import data from the USB, it just references the location -- so you can't really use the USB drive as a temporary way to "bring in" new photos, monument would just have an index to points to the new (2nd) drive and those pics would need to stay in that location to be accessible.  Is this the way it works if data comes in on an SDCard??  I would have thought (at least in that case) that monument would *copy* the image files off of the SDcard and stored them somewhere on the primary USB drive for permanent storage.

As I understand it then, if I really want one "primary" drive to hold all my photos, I can't import from a 2nd drive and bring them in (or even copy them over) to the primary drive from within monument?  I would need to separately copy those files onto the primary drive via my computer, and then 'import' them into monument from that primary drive -- which just imports them into the database, and does nothing to the raw image files themselves, is that right?

Also -- as I've checked the status of my initial import, the app status shows:  "Analyzing content, 23528 remaining".  That number changed for a while (growing initially).  Now it has stopped growing but is not decreasing either -- after quite a while.  I assume at some point it should complete analyzing some of that data and that count should go down to 0, at which point it will no longer be analyzing?

 

We don't support USB key import the way you describe, because currently any additional drive on the USB will be seen as 'backup'. However, SD card import works exactly as you have described, as "true import" with files copied. While we don't support exFAT on SD and SDXC cards yet, we will shortly. Regardless, you can, today, get a very high capacity SDXC card, format it NTFS, put gigabytes of pictures on it. And Monument will copy and process as you describe. But no such support for USB keys, at least not right now.


To copy a folder to the primary drive, eject the drive as indicated in the picture import article, and copy the files over on your Mac or PC. RAW image support is coming the week after next. At that point in time, you should be able to pick rescan the folder option, and then it will add the RAW files. 


For 23528 photos to be imported, depending on the quality of the pictures, our guess is that it will import 4,000  - 5,000 pix a day. We are working on a improved thumbnail creation routine that is supposed to be 4 times faster, but we don't yet know how much it will make this process go faster. Check the numbers tomorrow, for example, it will have made a dent it by then, if it is working properly. If it is not, send us a diagnostic. In rare cases, it may hang up on a problem file.

Hey guys, so I disconnected my USB drive from the monument device ( did not unmount), tried to connect to my mac and pc and the USB drive did not show up (mount). I plugged it back into the monument device and now I receive the "USB device is not available.Please plug in the drive to continue"  :| 

Should I give it some time to rescan the USB drive or could something suddenly be wrong with my drive ?

@Prassanna: It is possible that your drive has a problem, but more like is the long scan time that Monument goes through when a drive was not properly ejected, and is reconnected. It needs perhaps 20 minutes or more to scan.

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