Ideas for revolutionary photo organization!

The project is growing in too much directions and the multimedia area is not one of them, I would prefer to have a better focus in the files area (and that involves multimedia), the frontend, theming…

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In my opinion Nextcloud is a way to degooglify yourself (for private users) and demicrosoft companies.

Degooglifying also includes getting rid of Google Photos. Of course there are other platforms as mentioned above by a few users, but its more comfortable and better integrated if the alternative would be within Nextcloud (think of user/file managment).

Apart from that, I don’t see too much work left for Files, for my need this is already pretty damn perfect. But that is just my opinion of course : )

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I don’t know if someone pinged @jan yet?

No, I don’t know the team well enough. But viewing his profile, it seams like a good idea. Thanks for your input.

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degooglify, demicrosoft, Photos, Files, …

I think the problem (or the feature) of nextcloud is the fact that the “photo app” is only for the logged-in users but for public anonymous shares there is only “files app”. Perhaps that must be changed, too.


Shared Link (same folder, same files, png, mp4 and md-files also listed):

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Yes definitely. I’d imagine something like my screenshot #4 and #7 (gallery view and fullscreen view of an album/picture) but also when accessing over public link.

I’ll add it to my list.

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Thank you for this!

So, I’ve been following this thread closely over the last weeks. There are looots of interesting things!
For the UI @jan have the last words. But we can discuss features in the meantime.

Like you mentioned in some posts, a lot of what you suggested already have opened issues.
While I like the forum for questions and help, I don’t really like its way of working the features requests and discussions :wink:

Ideally it would be super great if you could make individual issues on the github repo.
Even if lots of people complained here, the photos app gained a lot of attraction real quick after release, and lots of people have wonderful ideas! :tada:

On a more opinionated note, I find your mockups not very practical :thinking:
I see a lot of interesting things, but the UI is really off (I understand it was quickly done)

  • We don’t want the same UI as files/grid, this would defeat the purpose of having a photos app.
  • The goal of this app is to move towards a photos-edition/viewing focus. So you can quickly check your latests photos, edit them (, slideshow them, etc etc. Photos is not a file manager, if you want to manage files, rename, delete, whatever, you need to use files. Photos aim to be used for quick photomanipulation and preview :slight_smile:
  • Having metadata integrated into NC is definitely something that we want (will unlock the ability for us to sort by taken date, group by locations, (or whatever things that those new data provide us)
  • Having virtual albums is a super hard decision to make. While it totally make sense, we cannot have both folders and virtual albums. And I don’t see how we could easily migrate the existing way we have things to a virtual one. People will expect to have the old way and the new way, and they will just complain no matter what we decide :wink: Retro-compatibility is a pain to manage.


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Thank you for your extensive answer, it feels nice being heard.

In my opinion it makes sense to first discuss the big picture. Only when this is clear and agreed upon it makes sense to really brake it down to manageable tasks, ergo issues on Github. Otherwise you risk implementing stuff, that soon becomes obsolete when the concept evolves. But alright, I will feed some of my ideas to Github.

Because of that, I thought it to be sensible first to have a visualization of a rough possible concept, even when everything is just copied together. I didn’t know yet if anybody would anser my thread :wink: If the only thing about my screenshot bothering you is that it is only done roughly, well great, tell me in what form you need it and I try to deliver a UI that meets the quality expectations (no dev skills though).

Agreed, but my first screenshot shows a files view just in order to create albums from folder(s). If for instance in the context menu in files there is an entry “create album from folder content” which then appears in Photos, this would maybe a nice way of having it both ways. And a list view for managing an album would make this easier, see more on albums below.

Well, here I don’t agree in terms of deleting. When previewing photos, in my opinion you also need to have to possibility to remove them. Otherwise it is just a cumbersome workflow to change between Photos and Files.

I understand that this is difficult and no matter what, some will complain. Like me right now :yum: Let me say this:

  • I think (hope) my screenshots above highlighted the advantages of virtual albums that are seperated from the filestructes folders
  • It would help creating a timeline for low performance servers. Right now, I have a timeline containing 42’688 pics where it is impossible to go far back (even on mid-range performance: Xeon D-1518 and 64GB DDR4). And I have an “albums” view, where I first need to click through to my Photos folder where everything is organized in yearly folders with kind of album-like folders below. But some are also just miscellaneous pictures not worth of an album
  • I was also giving some thought, if I would really want to make the effort to recreate albums from folders. The answer is yes, if I could select multiple folders and with context menu “create separate albums from folders” where everything within the folder is displayed flattened in the album. But surely this is very individual. But I doubt that you guys know perfectly what everybody wants. Maybe we could do a poll? How do people organize their pictures today and how do they want to see them within photos?

Last question: what solution do you see for keeping common albums between users? I run Nextcloud in a jail on FreeNAS, therefore all data is mounted to the jail and exposed as external data. Seems like the majority of (9, lol) users do something like this according to this poll. When sharing a folder (i.e. album) this appears in the shared folder with the other user and cannot be moved to his photos folder in the external dataset. How could this be solved?

This poll is completely biased :stuck_out_tongue:
This is on a thread of people who dislike the new photos app. There are lots of variables to take into account, but let me tell you supporting external storage with a nextcloud app is a mistake we’re not happy about. Anyone using nextcloud should handle external storage mounted at the os level, this is much more reliable. I hope we’ll kill this one day, because this is causing so many issues :confused:


Do you also want to kill local external storage someday? This would be a shame because it works really reliable in experience. Or have I misread your comment?


Well, I’m no expert here, but all supported ext storage by the files_external nextcloud app, have dedicated drivers at the linux level. Meaning we shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel here. There are tons of issues and bugs and slow access issues with the php implementation. ANy admin should consider using proper mounts for the external data instead of our files_external app.
But that its unrelated to this topic, we’ll have this discussion if we do it one day I presume :slight_smile:


I have the same feeling, there is too much effort put into like, mail, talk, weather … this is really not that must-have functions, and you can’t compete with big companies in any comparable way. nextcloud should first and foremost be a files app.

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there are various web based photo galleries that run on PHP, everything from Piwigo to Wordpress and everything in between. Granted they usually need imagemagic or similar.
I love Nextcloud for basic file sharing and storage, but there are very limited photo specific tools, and I find the built in gallery less than useless…

There is a good and usable photo gallery: lychee. It lacks a lot of the features you would like to have, which IMHO most of are not necessary.

I agree that a good gallery plugin for nc would be phantastic but I think a very minimal approach is more feasible the trying to build lightroom into NC, which is basically what your proposal sounds like.

Unless anyone here is a talented php coder with a lot of free time, I think the next step would be to collect money as an incentive to take over this task.


TS has an great idea! I have been looking for one main place to store my pictures and videos, but there isnt many, piwigo is close, but lack of video support, and for HEIC format. This type of solution also has to merge jpg`s and RAW files, also.

NextCloud could really do something good by having a good storage base for photo and video. But it also has to have a proper file structures in the bottom in my opinion.

As there are a lot of open source projects for images out there a cooperation would be a great thing. Especially if you can separate the backends and the GUI so that you have a NC GUI but shared Backend stuff.

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I have to say, that I really miss proper photo management in NC like one described in first post. External open source projects are nice, but it’s forcing users to create another account and also it’s not possible to use when NC got server side encryption for better security

Looks like most of the wishlist from #1 will be available in NC 25, quite a chunk of the work is already merged:

  • Better tiling of thumbnails
  • Possibility to create albums from photos of different sources
  • Possibility to share albums with other users or as public link
  • Timeline view is already there

If I understood the changes correctly there will also be rudimentary image editing available.

Not sure about the rating since this might need additional work for common metadata storage on the server side - technical discussions are ongoing though.



I’ve been working on a “collaborative family/city archive system” for six years now… I’ve called it GeoArchive. It has cost a tremendous amount of time and I’m not done yet… The genealogy part is almost done and for the image part I’ve been “playing around” with NextCloud for the data handling / storage part.

To make the whole darn thing financially viable I use Nextcloud in tandem with S3. And I’ve (sort of) reverse engineered the inner workings of NextCloud in MySql. I now can sync a folder of a user with a GeoArchive project user. Next step is structuring that data and build the POC’s (Proof Of Concepts) I have built earlier so that a basic sorting of the data is done and I can log into the S3 via my GeoArchive front end and show the image, in groups, on a map etc…

The plan is that I hope to get the basics working this year and the front end next year and then I’ll be able to not only talk about it… but then after about 7 years can finally show people what I’ve been working on all that time…

The structure I’m building has more then a few similarities to what I’m seeing here… so when I finally can show stuff, I’ll write another post here (you do will need to forgive me that the initial version will be in Dutch… but images speak a thousand languages, so I think you’ll manage :wink: )

PS: you have no idea how grateful I am that my wife has supported me all that time and has given me the room to invest in my belief in this project :blush: