Distributing Your Multimedia Genealogy on CD
As you know, Ancestral Quest (all versions later than 1.1) provides superb multimedia capabilitiesyou
can link photos, scanned documents, audio clips, video clips, and other objects (such as documents you have created with your word-processor) to individuals in your
database. You can combine these into choreographed slide shows with background audio and
create interactive scrapbooks. What you may not know, is that you can easily store all
of your data on a CD so it can be duplicated and shared with family members. Also, by
putting the demo version of AQ on the CD, your relatives can enjoy the fruits of your
labor without incurring the costs of purchasing a genealogy program.
To make this feature work smoothly for you, you will want to follow a few guidelines:
- Create a directory underneath your data directory for storing your
multimedia objects. For example, if your data is stored in c:\ancquest\data,
you may want to create the subdirectory, c:\ancquest\data\scrapbk and put
all of your multimedia objects in that directory.
- As you link photos, audio clips, etc. to the individuals in your database, make sure
that the path name for the object is a relative path name. For example, if a photo
has the full filename of c:\ancquest\data\scrapbk\myphoto.jpg, you should
change this to just scrapbk\myphoto.jpg. This tells AQ how to find the file relative
to the current database folder. The reason for this, is that once you copy all of this
data to a CD, you won't know what drive letter a family member might have for their CD. If
you have full pathnames, they might not match on someone else's PC. If you are using AQ
version 2.0a or later, relative filenames will be created each time you add a multimedia
object. If you are using version 2.0, you will have to manually delete the unwanted
portion of the full path name for each object. (Download the demo.)
Once you have all of your data ready, you'll need to make a CD image of your data and
the AQ demo. This article can not cover all of the steps necessary to create an actual
CDyou may need to get advise from someone at a CD One-Off Shop (places that can
create small quantities of CDs for you). Here are some items to keep in mind as you make
- Go into the Alphabetic browse one last time to make sure your alpha file is
- Go into the Merge screen and push the Next Match button to make sure your merge file
- Download the installer for the unregistered version of AQ and place a copy of this installer on the CD. The recipient of the CD can run this installer to install a copy of AQ on their machine for use in viewing your data. (Download
the demo now.)
- Copy all of your database files and multimedia files to the CD image. In Windows, you
can use File Manager or Windows Explorer, or in DOS you can
use xcopy with the /s option to copy all subdirectories.
- Test your one-off CD to make sure it all works as expected. Make adjustments if
you found you missed something and try it again.
- Reproduce the final CD and distribute your hard work to grateful family members.