Some of these questions are overlapping and possibly irrelevant. However, when setting up albums:
1. Are the original photos copied (taking up double the hard drive space) or are links to the originals made? 2. Are the originals affected? 3. Where are the albums stored? 4. Are the albums accessible as albums outside of the program?
The photos are not touched at all. Photo Manager indexes the folders it is pointed to and store the image file names and locations in a database.
When you create albums, add tags etc these entries are also stored in the database against the relevant image data which is not accessible by other programs.
If you edit an image in Photo Manager this is destructive unless you have the "Non-destructive" button active - in which case the original image will not be overwritten. More information is in Help, Content or PDF manual if you have downloaded it.
. . . . Can the albums be exported to create a separate file? . . . .
That depends on what you mean and what you want to do with it?
My wife and I are going to go through many years of photos, selecting our favorites and putting into albums in the program. Our plan is to then send them off to be printed, grouped as the albums will be, for example "2016" or "Disney 2017". I would like to also save those same collected photos as folders on my computer containing only those photos, viewable outside of the program.
. . . . selecting our favorites and putting into albums in the program. Our plan is to then send them off to be printed, grouped as the albums will be, . . . .
Thanks for the clarification.
Once you have created the album in PM you can right click album name - Save everything to... option to save the album file and copy the images to a selected folder, however the printers will be using their own software and most likely cannot use the album file.
How are you going to specify the layout, size, number of images per page and order of the images for printing?
Have you considered using an online photo album company for creating the printed photo album where you select an album template and add images, titles, captions etc and they then print and send it to you?
The whole process is a developing work in progress. We have thousands of photos from over many years on my computer. My wife wants some to be turned into printed books using an online service, some simply printed to put in traditional albums, and each year's favorites burned to a CD and also available for viewing on my PC (outside of PM).
Will the Burn CD option create discs specific for PM or just a disc containing all of the photos selected to burn?
Will the Export option also create files viewable without PM?
Contrary to what Jeff @emmrecs mentioned, the albums are not part of the database and are actually for use outside of PM as well as inside. What Magix refers to as "Album" is a bit of a misnomer. It is actually a compilation of objects, photos, videos and audio files that can be:
Exported to create a slideshow. An old version of SlideShow Maker opens to complete the process;
Audio can be exported to a wave file;
The saved album has the extension .alb that is actually a form of video project that can be opened in most any of the Magix video editors (excluding Vegas products) including Video Pro X (VPX), Movie Edit Pro (MEP), and PhotoStory (PS). You can load the alb file as a project or start a new project and drag and drop the alb file and the objects will show up on the timeline like any other project, most likely with transitions between all video/photo objects. Audio, if any, will be included.
There are probably a couple more features.
The album is not a photo album in a format like an on-line type where you add in photos and text to a template and a book is created that can be printed or exported to pdf.
So, for creating slideshows (a slideshow is usually a video format like mp4), you can compile everything into an album as you are going through the material, rearrange the material in the album, and then either export it by going through the SlideShow Maker, or open it in one of the aforementioned video/photo editing programs. There, you can modify everything, add text, change/delete/add transitions, use effects, add music and narration, etc.
For a print version, I would suggest using Xara Designer Pro X to create either a presentation (web-type) for viewing on a web page or internet browser, or an ebook which is just a pdf document that can be viewed like any pdf file - printed or viewed on a computer.
Xara comes with ebook and presentation templates and many components to facilitate the process. Just modify/change whatever you want, rearrange, duplicate pages and change the photos and text to create an album.
Use PM to organize photos and videos into categories and albums.
Add categories to photos/video to quickly get all material for a category - like people, events, places.
Use albums to compile collections of photos and videos into one album or more as you are going through the material. For example, make albums for say, "Family - the 60's" and "Family - the 70's" etc. Rearrange the material in each album in the order that you want.
Create an ebook or presentation for each album using Xara, drag and drop the material from the album into the Xara file. Add text, Etc.
Create a video by opening the alb file in VPX, MEP (Plus or Premium) or PhotoStory. Edit, add titles, narration, maps, etc. Export to MP4 or burn to DVD/BR, put on YouTube or Vimeo.
I've been trying to figure out how I found out about this. I think it was quite by accident, dragging and dropping an alb file onto VPX and it opened.
IIRC, way back when, there was an item called Category or Categories or Database in MEP and one could select a category and everything all files for the category would show up in the Media Pool. I found this useful until it disappeared.
I have created a link to My Photo Albums in VPX, and the alb files show up. Just drag one onto the timeline.
. . . . IIRC, way back when, there was an item called Category or Categories or Database in MEP . . . .
That is correct - this was when MEP/VPX were using the Firebird SQL Server (pre MEP 2015 IIRC) for data storage while editing, the loading and saving of a project imported/exported that data from/into the project file.