IntroductionFreezeFrame is a photo and video collection manager. This means that it can import, annotate, search, filter and view your photos and videos.
A common way to store photos and videos is to save them in a structured folder tree. This can be for example in a folder called ‘My Photos’ in your home folder. The folder may contain sub folders based on a date or event. If you use this approach then you always know where your files are and can easily back them up or copy them if necessary.
FreezeFrame supports this by importing your photos and videos into a folder structure that you control. The whole structure of your videos and photo is referred to as your media library and can be configured in the settings.
AnnotatingYou can annotate your photos videos with a title, comment, keywords and address. This last one can be automatically resolved if your media (photo or video) contains a GPS location. You can import a separate GPS tracking file (GPX format) from your smartphone/GPS device to infer locations or assign a location from the map to selected media. Media can also be rated with a 0-5 star rating and marked as private.
All of this information can be used to search or filter your collection during browsing or viewing.
Annotations are stored in FreezeFrame’s database and can also be stored in the media files themselves as metadata. This metadata is stored as EXIF data inside the media file. FreezeFrame uses the well-known open source ExifTool by Phil Harvey for this purpose.
There are a couple of significant advantages when storing the information in the media file itself:
- annotations that are stored inside the media are also copied and backed-up with the media. If you ever need to reinstall FreezeFrame or want to use another program, all you have to do is import them and the annotations can be automatically extracted.
- It enables a multi-user scenario if your media is on a shared medium (network drive, NAS or otherwise) where multiple people can access it. If one person makes a change, all others will retrieve the change automatically since FreezeFrame can monitor a library for changes.
ImportingFreezeFrame can import your media in the following ways:
- media already in your media library location will be imported automatically if you checked the ‘Watch for changes’ checkbox in the Library settings. If you don’t use the ‘Watch for changes’ option then you’ll have to manually press the update button to check for changes.
- by pressing the import folder button .
You can import a folder in-place or have the media copied to your media library. Importing a folder in-place means that FreezeFrame references the folder and does not copy the media into its library.
- using the automatic import function in the Library settings. Using an automatic import location means that FreezeFrame will monitor this location for new media and offer to import it. You can use this to automatically import photos and videos from a connected digital camera as long as this camera is represented as a regular folder on your system. See FAQ: How do I import photos and videos from my camera? for more information.
Browsing & ViewingThe vertical menu on the left side is called the navigation menu. It offers various ways of navigating through your library. You can navigate by import date, creation date, folder, keyword or address.
You can also use the context menu (right click or long click on a photo or video) and use the ‘show’ menu to navigate to folders, dates and keywords related to that photo or video.
Tip: the context menu also works on markers in a map.
The filter button is used to exclude certain media from being show while the sort button is used to set the order in which the media is shown.
You can also use the search field to search for media. A search is always relative to the navigation menu. So if you used the navigation menu to select the year 2016, then the search will be performed within the year 2016.
Tip: make sure you select the library folder in the folder navigation menu to search all of your library.
Tip: you can also navigate through the interface using keyboard shortcuts.
ExportingYou can export media by email or by file (e.g. to a USB thumb drive). You can control the size as well as the quality and whether meta-data should be exported.
Since FreezeFrame is written in Java, it does not have access to you default email client and cannot directly use it to send out emails. You therefore have to manually configure your email settings before you can use the email export option.