Jerry Bates: First off, before we get into the media library, how long have you been a WordPress user?
User 4: Been using wordpress since about 2.5/2.6 first registered on wordpress.org in december of 2011
Jerry Bates: Awesome, about the same time I discovered it too. 🙂
Jerry Bates: How often do you write posts on your site? What kind of topics do you write about?
Jerry Bates: Or is it mostly just helping clients? [note: user said they were a dev before we started the interview]
User 4: Most of what i do is related to clients and technical wordpress articles.
Jerry Bates: Gotcha. How often do you find yourself on the Media Library page in your dashboard? Frequently, occasionally, almost never, or not at all?
User 4: i will publish a lot for people 30-40 times a day and about once every two weeks for myself.
Jerry Bates: You mean blog posts?
User 4: blog posts, yes but also pages, custom posts types
User 4: as for the media library page its probably one of the less frequently visited areas for me
Jerry Bates: I see. When you do visit the Media Library, what are you trying to accomplish typically?
User 4: i go there if i have to find a media item and grab the file url for something
User 4: that is the primary reeason
Jerry Bates: So typically you manage your media through the “Add Media” button in the post editor?
User 4: yes.
User 4: it would ve very useful if the media library had categories, or tags or something similar so you could organize the items into folders or albums and categorize them
Jerry Bates: Gotcha, What type of media makes up the majority of files in your library? Images, Video, Audio, Documents (word, pdf, etc.) or an even mix?
User 4: Primarily Images, then PDFS, then audio and now that video is supported in core that is growing too
User 4: no more need to use youtube
Jerry Bates: Cool. About the ability to tag/categorize media, how do you think you would use that? What problem does it solve?
User 4: The list in order of date uploaded is rather useless to me and i have heard that from a lot of people. When you upload say 100 images it would be nice to tag them at the time you upload them with a number of keywords or something that you can search for later. Looking through the media libraries in a number of my sites most of the files are titled img_0034.jpg or something like that so the search is rather useless on finding things and if I’m looking for a picture from an event or related to something 6 months from when i uploaded it it is a hard time ti find it.
User 4: If you could tag or organize or categorize it it would solve the search issue because it would provide a place to look and a starting reference point to find something rather than go did somewhere in the giant bin of the media library
User 4: organize things by the event or time frame it was uploaded or by content inside
User 4: etc
Jerry Bates: Gotcha. I can see how that would be helpful. As it is now, how do you locate things in the Media Library?
Jerry Bates: Do you tend to scan visually for the thumbnails, focus on the titles, look for where the media is “Uploaded to”, or something else?
User 4: right now i set the number per page to 100 and scary looking through haha
User 4: looking mostly at the thumbnails
Jerry Bates: Do you ever have situations where you need to use the filters at the top, or click the columns in the Media Library to re-sort your view?
User 4: so larger thumbnails wouldd help.
User 4: i can honestly say i don’t [think] i have ever used those
Jerry Bates: That is a fair answer, actually
Jerry Bates: Do you use captions with your media typically? What about the description field?
User 4: yes i enter in captions and descriptions but only when i need to use the image in something.
User 4: if i say upload 100 pics from an event I’m not going to go through them all and add captions at the time of the upload
Jerry Bates: Right
User 4: because i would have to go to the library and click through one at a time
User 4: and edit each one and it would be cumbersome and painstaking
Jerry Bates: What about renaming images, to avoid having files are titled img_0034.jpg, etc.
Jerry Bates: Do you do that?
User 4: not generally for the same reason, there is no easy way to do it
User 4: besides going through one by one.
Jerry Bates: Yeah, I can see how that is cumbersome
User 4: the only time i fill in the information is when i actually need to use an image
User 4: and then its through the media modal
User 4: in the attachment settings pane
User 4: almost never use the options on the media edit page itself
Jerry Bates: to edit metadata or edit the image (crop, rotate, etc.)?
User 4: most of my cropping/rotating i do in photoshop before upload or i grab the image and download and then reupload
User 4: editing metadata i do on the media modal on the post, page, etc
Jerry Bates: Makes sense. So aside from the idea of tagging images, are there any tasks you wish the Media Library would allow you to do currently?
User 4: One other thing i have run into in the past is related to using the media library for document storage
User 4: say you upload a PDF and then you publish a link to it somewhere else
User 4: or someone links to it from their site
User 4: etc etc
User 4: you discover an error in the PDF or need to update something
User 4: so then you go to update it and the link that was published before is now invalid
User 4: would be nice to have an option to directly replace a media item with a newer version and keep the URL
Jerry Bates: I see. Would being able to customize the link URL accomplish the same goal?
User 4: we ran into that at a huge conference here in the city about a month ago.
User 4: Yes that would solve the problem
User 4: are we talking about the link to the attachment page or the direct link to the media item in the wp-contents folder itself?
Jerry Bates: I had not really thought that far
User 4: if you could manipulate the filename post upload that would solve it but a direct swap out feature something say “Replace this version” would be very useful especially for documents and PDFs that can change over their expected lifetime
User 4: although the use year/month/ folder tree might get in the way with editing filenames
Jerry Bates: Well, assuming there are no limitations, it is an interesting idea.