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Multimedia Files

Version 2.4 of FamViewer supports display of multimedia files, like jpegs, movies and others, that are associated with records in a GEDCOM file. The multimedia files must have been added to your database in your desktop genealogy application. The multimedia files must be included in a zip archive with the GEDCOM file and then the zip archive is imported into FamViewer in the same way that plain GEDCOM files are imported. The multmedia files are accessed from a row on the Person view or other views in the app.  There is also a multimedia list that displays all the multimedia files associated with the GEDCOM file.

When you first launch FamViewer there is a new KennedyFamily sample, which has some multimedia files in it.

  jfk person page  jfk portrait  multimedia list

Supported multimedia file formats include image files (jpeg, bmp, tiff, png), text files (word documents, rtf, txt), sound files (mp3, wav), movies (mov, mpeg) and pdf files. The limit of what file types are supported is mainly the support of iOS. If you have a file that doesn't work but you think should work you can contact Aster Software support for more info.

If there are two or more images associated with a record then you can swipe left and right to move from one image to the next. You can also pinch to zoom in or out for images that are larger than the screen. Also these gestures on images are supported:

double-tap - zoom in one step until the maximum and then zoom out
single tap - zoom all the way out
two-finger double tap - zoom out one step

Movie and sound files are displayed using the iOS media player. Some files may not be supported and the media player will appear and quickly dismiss itself in this case.

The information displayed in the rows in FamViewer for each multimedia file corresponds to the Title you've entered in your genealogy application as well as the file name.


Create a folder that is named the same as your GEDCOM file without the .ged extension.
Place a copy of your GEDCOM file inside this folder.
Create a folder named "media" inside this folder.
Place copies of your multimedia files inside the media folder.
zip the folder.

It should look something like this:


Then transfer the file to FamViewer. This works by iTunes file sharing or the Upload or Download methods.

If you wish to see an example you can download this file to your computer and unzip it:

When a file is imported using iTunes file sharing you will see a blue screen during the copy and unzip step. Once the blue screen is gone you can tap the file in the file list and it will be imported.

Time and Space

The GEDCOM import process includes two steps for GEDCOM files that have multimedia files. First is the GEDCOM parsing step, as in previous versions of FamViewer. Second is the multimedia file import step.  Multimedia images that are much larger than the screen size of the device are processed so they can be displayed on the device. Unfortunately this step can take a long time. Progress is reported as the files are imported.  The amount of time will be related to how many image files you have and how large they are. Also, older generation iOS devices will take longer. The important measure of the size of an image is its height and width, rather than its size on disk. Images that are 2000x2000 or larger will take several minutes each to be processed. Resizing your images to be smaller will speed up the process.  Once the file import step is complete the image files should display quickly in FamViewer, even the large ones.

Each GEDCOM file with multimedia files will take up about three times the size of the zip archive of space on your device. So if a zip archive is 10MB then 30MB or more of free space is required.  If there isn't enough free space errors will occur.

It's possible that with an image that is too large the multimedia import step will take an extremely long time, or cause FamViewer to crash. Rebooting your device may free up some memory, preventing the crash. Also, resizing any large images to be smaller will also help.

It's not required that all the multimedia images be included in the zip archive. If any are not present they are tagged as "missing" in the application.  You might wish to start by adding a few images to your zip archive to see how things work and then later add the rest.

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