Friday, December 4, 2009

Roots Magic Shareable CD - Creating CD

I've been looking for easy ways to share my family history data and images with my family. I have an online tree on Ancestry where I attach records that I find on the site. My dad is able to see the images that I have attached without a subscription (at least until he lost the password). I also have a tree on Geni, but I have not attached any documents.

One of my annoyances with online trees is that they do not update with my database. Therefore, I have to update every new fact I find 2 or 3 times to get it where everyone can find it. Although I will update my Ancestry tree with records I find on Ancestry, I do not add any other records that I find elsewhere. My online tree on Geni does not get updated often because I would prefer to upload a new Gedcom, but it does not allow that feature and I don't have the time to update every tree continuously.

In the spring, I purchased Roots Magic 4 (RM4) for my new database software. I have been very happy with it and have been using it to fix my source citations and how I organize my genealogy media. RM4 offers the feature of a shareable CD. It will create a CD or DVD using your database and also incorporate your media and sources. I decided to try this feature out and give a copy of my current database to my dad so that he could see all of the media that I have attached.

In order to make a shareable CD in RM4, you need to:
  1. Select Tools from the top menu and choose "Create a Shareable CD."
  2. A menu will prompt you that the CD will be created from the database that you have open or you can create a new database by exporting a GEDCOM file.
  3. You are prompted for a Title, Photo and Introduction for your CD.
  4. Then you are prompted for your contact information. At this point you can preview what it will look like.
  5. Then RM4 will collect your images and create a temp folder of the CD. This will take a while depending on the size of your media collection.
  6. You are given the option of burning the CD from RM4 or using your own software.
  7. Insert CD. Burn. You are done!
This is fairly simple to do, but I ran across some problems.
  • RM4 does not let you decide where to place the temp folder of your shareable CD. It places it in a very odd place (in my opinion) and is hard to find. (Mine was found in C:\Documents and Settings\Tina\Application Data\RootsMagic\Shareable CD.) If you don't have space on one drive, this process will most likely fail. It would be nice to be able to choose where the shareable CD files are created.
  • My genealogy files take up around 3 GB. There is no way that this can fit on a 750MB CD. But RM4 did not warn me about this. Instead, it chose to try to burn the CD and then failed when it ran out of space, wasting a CD. Now I was aware that this would be an issue and wanted to test out what would happen when you used media that would never fit your database, so it was no big deal for me an my many CD-Rs. But this is very annoying to someone who doesn't want to be wasting CDs (even more so for more expensive DVDs). It would be nice if it told you which size media you would need and warn you when you did not have enough room before it started burning the CD and wasting it.
These are two items that I would add to my wish list of things that I would like to see added or changed in RM4. Tomorrow I will discuss how to export a GEDCOM of just the people you want. Sunday, I'll post about my impressions of the shareable CD I created. When I give it to my dad next weekend, I'll get his impressions and post those as well.

Full Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of RootsMagic. Just a happy user.

1 comment:

  1. I made shareable CDs a couple of years ago with Rootsmagic 3 for my family for Christmas, I think maybe I'll make some again this year,I have a lot more research done now.