Support » Plugin: Media Library Assistant » Clarifications needed

  • Thank you very much for this great plugin. I have just moved a site from Joomla to WordPress and I feel lost trying to locate media in WP Media library, used as I were to upload media to folders of my choosing in Joomla.

    So since I cannot choose upload folders for each “medium” the next best thing is tagging them, the ability to do so in bulk is really valued.

    I was also torn on whether I’d like to use the default tags or a separate taxonomy: I like to have the large registry of existing media tags to tag items in Media library, but I don’t want these tags to point to the media items when clicked…I just want them for backend organization.

    Your plugin does that…here is however where an issue arises and I don’t know whether I have missed something or its a feature lacking in “Media Library Assistant”.

    –> if I am going to use those tags, I’d like them to be embedded in the default Media library, so that when I am working with a post and want to include media (images, pdfs) from past posts (or just uploaded there as archive/documenting material) I would be able to search by keywords/tags and have matching items show up, for me to choose from.

    This feature does not seem to be supported and you plugin Libray seems to be separated from the media library of wordpress which is accessed when adding posts.

    Am I missing something? If not would you consider including this in future versions?


Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Plugin Author David Lingren


    Thank you for using the plugin and for your kind words!

    With respect to “the default Media library” and “your plugin Library”, rest assured that there is only one library. The Media Library Assistant is just that, an assistant for the default WordPress Media Library. The plugin uses all the existing database and file storage functions built into WordPress.

    Your comments about searching by keywords/tags, etc. when adding existing media to posts and pages are right on target. In fact, this feature has been requested before:

    Feature Request: Add Media Dialog: Search by Att. Category”

    Thank you and question about possible future feature

    What I plan to do is add a new tab to the WordPress (3.5) “Insert Media” popup dialog with all of the filtering options up see on the Media/Assistant screen (mime types, date ranges, categories/tags, enhanced search box, author). It’s the right thing to do, but it’s a significant piece of work that includes Javascript and Ajax elements. I hope to add it to version 1.2, two releases from now.

    Thanks again for the suggestion and for using the plugin.

    That’s absolutely great to know.

    Will that dialog allow for tags to be applied to media items as they are uploaded, when writing posts? 🙂

    Another thing – which as far as I’ve tested currently occurs with Library Assistant, just want to highlight it – is to make sure that tags added through any dialog go through the normal slug-creation process.

    Maybe that didn’t make much sense as stated. For us working with languages that are not latin based, have hyphens etc transliterating the characters into latin (and getting rid of special chars) for the slugs is quite important, or we end up with those endless lines of code for a non-latin alphabet word that often break links, are slow to read and a nightmare to deal with when dealing with redirects, 404 links etc.
    I use a special plugin for that function.

    Some other relevant media-tagging plugins I have tested allow for proper slug creation when adding tags via some dialogs, but fail to support this through all tag-adding instances…(e.g. when adding tags individually they are transliterated, when adding tags in bulk for posts they are not)…so one may actually end up with at least two different tags meant to be one…one that acquires the latin slug and one that does not.

    Another good way to avoid duplicate/similar/bsolete tags is to support the auto-complete function for tags as the user is typing the letters in (as happens with WP).

    As I said, as far as I’ve tested Media Library Assistant has got it right (if I can universalize my own criteria) on that, but as more features are added it might be helpful to keep that in mind.

    For news sites where lots of tags are added – and exactly where keeping tabs on the tags is crucial (to make the taxonomy meaningful) – the above functions are very helpful.
    One of the reasons I personally switched to WP from Joomla (still no tags, or auto-complete for meta-keywords) was exactly that…

    Thank you for your fast response and the exciting news.

    Plugin Author David Lingren


    Thank you for these comments. With respect to your first question:

    Will that dialog allow for tags to be applied to media items as they are uploaded, when writing posts? 🙂

    The new tab I envision would be like the standard “Media Library” tab, i.e., it would let you select attachments from those already in the Library. The “Upload Files” tab is a separate feature. When images are uploaded, the plugin will apply the ITPC/EXIF mapping automatically. You can also edit the image(s) from the Upload Files tab, one at a time. Are you suggesting some kind of “bulk edit” feature that goes beyond that?

    With respect to proper slug creation, I think the plugin works as you suggest. All taxonomy additions and updates go through wp_set_post_terms(), which in turn uses wp_insert_term(), which calls sanitize_title() to create the slug. I believe that’s sufficient.

    Thanks again for your feedback and for using the plugin!

    You can also edit the image(s) from the Upload Files tab, one at a time. Are you suggesting some kind of “bulk edit” feature that goes beyond that?

    Exactly. If one is writing an article and has prepared some images to be used in that article, it would be more time consuming to have to edit each file separately if a general tag applies that is taxonomically useful.
    Given that one would use them in the particular post, one would probably have the chance to apply tags to each and the bulk edit function is already there, so it’s not a deal breaker, but still it’d nice to be able to do so when possible and remove steps if they can be done without.

    Yes, Media Library Assistant does respect that normal slug creation process in different areas/ways to insert/assign tags. As I said I just thought it’s worth highlighting, as is the value of autocomplete for all tag-assigning/adding fields.

    I can just keep rambling on about these things cause I’ve been “hurting” trying to keep track of keywords in Joomla and maintain some level of uniformity across articles.

    Once again, thank you very much for you response and your attention to user comments.

    Plugin Author David Lingren


    I will think about how to add that feature to a future release. In the interim, you can try this procedure:

    1. Upload a bunch of images using the “Add media” button on the Edit Post screen. The images will be “attached” to the post automatically.
    2. Go to the Media/Assistant screen, find any of the images you just uploaded and click the link in the ID/Parent or Attached to columns. This will list all the images attached to the post.
    3. Use the checkbox in the column header and the bulk edit action to assign tags/categories to all the images at once.

    Once you get used to it, it’s easier than it sounds. Thanks again for all your comments.

    Thank you very much, I will follow your advice.

    Hi, thanks to David Lindgren for a nice plugin, I have to say I second the suggestions made by definitio! I propose giving priority to the filtering in the Upload/Insert Media dialog, that way one can 1) upload and tag the files in the assistant and 2) easily select those recently tagged files to be added to the post. I’m so enthusiastic about this plugin that I started looking into doing it myself as I know something about Ajax coding, but I can’t realize how to go about customizing the uploader. I’ve been looking at this as a starting point:

    Of course, generating [mla_gallery] shortcodes via the dialog in the same way that vanilla WP does with its own galleries would be a dream come true… (I especially hate that WP doesn’t have a quick sorting function there!)

    Plugin Author David Lingren


    Thanks for the encouragement and the kind words. Enhancing the Upload/Insert Media process is at the top of my list for the next version of the plugin.

    As you know, the Insert Media screens and process was one of the big advances in WordPress 3.5, which is one reason I haven’t looked into it until now. I have done enough research into the WordPress code to realize that it will take a significant effort to do this job right, and I want any work I do to be up to the standards the WordPress team has set.

    With respect to your final point, “generating [mla_gallery] shortcodes via the dialog … “, there is an easy interim process you can try. First, use the existing WordPress UI to generate a [gallery] shortcode, dragging and dropping images in whatever order you like. Second, simply change the [gallery] shortcode name to [mla_gallery] and then add any other parameters you need for your gallery. Since [mla_gallery] uses the IDS= parameter and the other [gallery] parameters in a compatible way your final result can be the best of both worlds.

    Thanks again for using the plugin and for your suggestions.

    Hello David,

    Thanks for working on what I believe will be a smashing plugin. I’ve been looking into the matter of customizing the WP3.5 Media Manager and wanted to share these links with you:

    WordPress Answers: Add a menu item to WordPress 3.5 Media Manager
    The gist related with the WordPress Answers post

    They’re not the solution, but they’re starting to point the way for taking control of the new Media Manager.

    Hope you enjoyed your trip to Central America! Cheers, Enrique

    Plugin Author David Lingren


    Thank you for sharing the above links – they are very helpful!

    I am making some progress on this topic and still working towards a version 1.2 solution. Mastering the Backbone and Underscore JavaScript libraries and understanding the thousands of lines of new WordPress JavaScript code are a worthy challenge. I will keep you posted on my progress.

    Thanks again for your encouragement, patience and interest in this topic.

    Plugin Author David Lingren


    I have released MLA version 1.20, which includes Media Manager support for filtering the library by date, taxonomy term and additional MIME types. It also includes an enhanced search box that matches the box in the Media/Assistant submenu. The enhancements are available for the Add Media, Create Gallery, Add to Gallery and Set Featured Item functions in the Media Manager.

    I have found customizing the WordPress 3.5 Media Manager to be surprisingly difficult. Some tasks, like modifying the toolbar and adding a new tab to the left-hand side menu are managable, but extending the “Router” across the top of the screen or the “Attachments” and “Selection” objects are much harder. I’d like to make a drag and drop interface for the [mla_gallery] shortcode but so far my experiments have yielded more questions than answers. I’ll keep at it.

    Thanks for your interest, your help and your patience. Let me know if the new release generates any problems or further questions/suggestions.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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