Changes to Photo/Video Import in the Live Photo Gallery Beta

For most users, the first step to enjoying their photos and videos is to get their files onto their computer.  In Vista, we focused on streamlining this process, by minimizing the steps during import.  After doing so, we heard feedback from some users that they wanted more control over their import experience.  We’ve listened to this feedback, and we’ve incorporated it into new import features for the Windows Live Photo Gallery: users can now view and select photos and/or videos to import, and they also have the option of organizing photos into folders before importing.  We automatically help you create an event group, based on the timestamps of your photos.  And for those users that loved the simplicity of the Vista import experience, we will continue to provide that streamlined option in the Windows Live.  To get to this experience, simply choose the ‘Import all new items now’ option.

View,  Selecting, and Grouping Photos and Videos to Import
If you’d like to select the photos and videos you want to import, choose ‘Review, organize, and group items to import’.  On first use, you’ll see that we’ve automatically grouped your photos/videos into event groups, based on the timestamps of your photos and videos.  The two thumbnails you see represent the first and last item in the event group.  By default, a new event group is created if there are 4 hours or more since the time the previous photo or video was taken.  If you want to adjust this time gap, you can move the ‘Adjust groups’ slider on the bottom right corner of the dialog.  Moving it left will decrease the time in between groups, resulting in more groups.  Moving it to the right will do the reverse, therefore creating less groups.  By moving the slider to the right-most point, you can put all items into a single group.

To view the items in a group, simply click on the link that lists the number of items in the group (ex. View 10 items), or on the group thumbnails.  Clicking on the thumbnails again will collapse the group.

Once expanded, you can select the items in the group to be imported.  Simply use the checkboxes select individual items within a group, or select the checkbox in the header of the group to select all items within a group.
Only checked items will be imported.

Each group created will be saved to a different folder that you’ll see in the gallery after import. We recommend that users enter a name for each folder, so you can easily find the group of photos/videos later.  You can also assign one or more tags (separated by semi-colons) to the group of items.  Doing so will also help make it easier to find the photos and videos.

Note: To get the most out of our automatic event group feature, you must set the date and time on your camera.

Previously Imported Items
We know that a lot of users don’t delete their photos/videos on their camera after importing.  In the Vista photo gallery, we automatically detected items that were already imported into the gallery, and did not import them again to eliminate duplicates.  In Live, we will show these items in the ‘Review, organize, and group items to import’ option, but by default they will be unchecked.  You can go ahead and check these items if you’d like to re-import them into your gallery.

– Karen Wong (Program Manager)

Comments (6)

  1. anony.muos says:

    Thank you for listening to users. I am hoping for export abilities (save as JPG, PNG, HD Photo, BMP etc) as the next improvement. Batch conversion would be even nicer just like how you’ve added batch rename. And, since the DWM is available on all Vista editions except Business, can you please please add the themed slideshows which have been omitted from Business/Home Basic editions. Now that even Windows XP users have Windows Live Photo Gallery, it would be appropriate to add themed slideshows to Live Photo Gallery for all Vista editions.

  2. anony.muos says:

    I forgot to include a point. Can you update WLPG to rotate pictures and thumbnails to match the portrait/landscape orientation information present in most files, as most digital cameras now include this EXIF info.

  3. anony.muos says:

    This article compares WLPG with Picasa. Get your feature ideas from here MS.

  4. pixblog says:

    Thanks for all of your feedback. We will be posting more information about the themed slideshows and batch resize features soon

  5. cosmin2007 says:

    Why can’t I import locally into Windows Live Gallery Beta the pictures included in the personal Pictures folder ? This is very disappointing for me, making me uninstall the beta live gallery and return to the windows picture gallery. I have re-located my personal data folders on another partition than the system one, to be safe and easier to manage in case of Windows re-install. When I try adding the Pictures folder I get an error message telling me that the folders are marked system or hidden and that i should move my pictures to another folder. But those are my own pictures, I’m not willing to share all of them into a non-secure extra folder, nor in the Public pictures folder. Can someone please explain why this was made like that ? Please, I need an answer to this. I’m very happy with the Live suite of desktop applications, but this thing is really frustrating me…

  6. pixblog says:

    cosmin2007 – When you try to add your folder to the Gallery, are you seeing an error message stating that the folder is a ‘system’ folder? This is a known bug, and we’re sorry that you’re running into it.

    What’s happening is that some application (we’re not sure which, it could be anything) is incorrectly marking your folder as a ‘system’ folder. There’s no reason that your pictures folder should be marked as such. The Gallery’s normal behavior is to ignore these folders (typically, they do not contain pictures, but do contain a large number of files which are changing frequently), which is why it’s becoming an issue for you.

    You can correct the problem somewhat easily (depending on your comfort level). Open a command window (Start->Run->cmd)

    In the command window type in "Attrib -S <folder>" where <folder> is the name of the folder in question.

    Sorry for the inconvenience, we are working on improving this situation for people like you who are running into this issue