using DT as digital diary: text+photos+QT: question

Hi there,
I’ve been looking for a diary/journal software app that would allow me to include text and photos and even the odd QT movie that I shoot with my dig. camera.
I’ve had absolutely no luck.
Someone on another site suggested I try DEVONthink - - I should have thought of it myself, given I already own DT (and love it).
I’d send a screen shot of what it looks like, but I don’t think I can add a jpeg or tiff or png file to an entry on this forum, can I?
My question is this (I’ll describe it since I can’t show you): when I add a QT movie (by exporting it from iMovie to the desktop and then dragging that into DT), a window asks if I want to copy the contents of the dragged item into the text, and I say yes. This puts the QT movie, with the first frame of video right there, all ready to press ‘play’, right into my DT page, which is great.
But when I leave this DT entry and then come back to it, the QT movie is now a QT icon - - it will open the QT movie, but it’s not nearly as nice as having the movie right there, ready to play.
Does anyone know if I can keep keep the QT movie in DT, without it changing like this?
Thanks for any advice!


If you drag a QT movie onto a rich text page in DEVONthink, it will behave just as you wish, and you can also add text describing the event, etc.

[quote=If you drag a QT movie onto a rich text page in DEVONthink, it will behave just as you wish, and you can also add text describing the event, etc.[/quote]

Bill, I’m confused. If I drag a movie into DT it does what Malcolm says it does. It shows up fine as soon as you drag it in, but then when you leave and come back it is an icon that you have to click and it opens a player.

If you import the movie via File, Import, Files and Folders, you will get the movie permanently, but it’s enlarged and often distorted and you can’t resize it. I also see no way to add text.

I brought this up a while back and one of the developers said this would be fixed in a later version.

So I’m not sure what you are referring to. If you have a way to import movies and have them appear as movies that you can add text too, etc., within a page (not as an icon, etc.), I’d love to know about it.


Malcolm and Alexandria:

I see what you mean. The difference in behavior appears to be whether one chooses to Alias the QT movie into the rich text file, or copy it into the file.

The alias choice works great. The copy choice results in the appearance of an icon of the movie, rather than the first frame, when the document is reopened.

Is this a bug? I’m not sure. If one were to copy a number of movies and graphics into a rich text trip journal or diary file, that file would grow to enormous proportions. With that in mind, I’ve always dragged movies and images into my RTF file and chosen the Alias option. That keeps my travel journals and movie selection documents small in size. And they look good when opened, showing movie frames and images properly along with my descriptive text.

Example: To tease a PC-using friend, I downloaded several of Apple’s switcher ads and dragged them them into a new rich text document, choosing the Alias option in each case. As I have a broadband connection, each file was nearly 4 MB in size. So five or six movie clips would result in a large document (and duplicate the movie files for no good reason, using up disk space).

Try that approach and see if it works for you. Leave your movies and images in the Finder, create a new rich text document in DT, drag the movies and images in from the Finder, choosing Alias rather than Copy.

Hope this helps.

Hi Bill,

Yes, this works well. And I tend to agree with you about how huge a DT file would get if I were to actually copy most movies into a file. Some of them are quite huge. This will work well for me, though at times, for smaller movies and in certain circumstances, I would like to be able to copy them directly into my database without icons or distortions. But this will do for most cases, and until this is fixed in a later update!

Many thanks,


[quote="I downloaded several of Apple’s switcher ads and dragged them them into a new rich text document, choosing the Alias option in each case[/quote]

Hi Bill,
Can you help me please. I’m trying to follow your advice, but when I choose an MVI file and drag it into a new Rich Text in DT, I don’t see how I have the option of making it an Alias.
Would you mind explaining? (I’m sure I’m missing some basic step).


I’m not familiar with MVI files and I don’t see that file type in the list of supported file types.

Can anyone on the Forum dive in?

Hi Bill,
I should explain. The MVI files are little 30-second movies I’ve taken with my digital Canon camera. I keep them in my ‘Movies’ folder, in my home folder.
I take it you’re dragging another kind of file that, somehow, gives you the option of creating an alias when bring it into DT.
What kind of files are you dragging that allow you to do this?

Hi, Malcolm:

From the Finder, I can drag a .mov file onto a DEVONthink rich text document. DT then presents the option of copying the movie file into the rich text document, or making an alias of the movie in the document. As noted above, I choose the alias option. This is also a neat way to drop pictures, such as JPEG images, into your journal.

Do your .mvi files open under QuickTime? If so, and if DT still doesn’t recognize the .mvi file type, try making a copy of one of your movies and changing the ending from .mvi to .mov, and try dragging that onto a rich text DT document.

Thank you Bill! I converted an MVI file to a QuickTime file - - when I dragged this into DT, I got just the message you said I’d get, and I chose ‘Alias’.
I really appreciate your help with this. Now that I know it can do some of these things, I’m going to try to figure out if DT is indeed my best bet for creating the kind of diary I’ve been dreaming of… a diary with pictures and movies as well as text.
I suspect there might just be a better way out there, some special diary software that would allow me to wrap text around pictures, and re-size and configure things in a very aesthetically-pleasing way, all within a daily diary format… but I haven’t found it yet.
You did answer this question about DT admirably, though, and I thank you.

Have you tried Circus Ponies’s NoteBook? It allows you to place images and movies into something they call “Media Frames” which then allow you to resize them on the fly and write text ‘around it’ – and it can be exported to HTML (if you desire) almost perfectly. (I am using it to develop an online portfolio of artwork and articles about art and it is working beautifully.) NoteBook lacks DT’s powerful database, and artificial intelligence features but has many more options for formatting. I use DT as my main database for storing info and research (I tried using NoteBook for this at first, but it’s not as good at that task as DT). I goto NoteBook for more formatting and polished presentation. They integrate nicely and have different strengths. NoteBook is also a very powerful outliner, and the options for incorporating images and text into collapseable outlines are very very nice. IMO, for a nice-looking diary that integrates images, movies, and text, NoteBook has many more features than DT. The new version 2.0 is vastly improved over it’s previous 1.2 incarnation. …But don’t stop using DT, just for other things :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tip, Moses. I did look briefly at Circus Ponies - - too briefly. I will now go back and check it out more seriously.