QNAP Systems, Inc. - Network Attached Storage (NAS)



Managing Photos with Photo Station

Photo Station is a photo management solution that leverages the Media Library database. It offers a better browsing and photo management experience on a QNAP NAS.

Basic Settings

Installing Photo Station

You can install and enable Photo Station in the App Center.

Configuring the Media Library Settings

You can configure the Media Library settings in “Control Panel” > “Applications” > “Multimedia Management”. Media Library scans and indexes multimedia files from the specified media folders. You can choose to perform a manual scan or scheduled scan.

The default media folder is “Multimedia”. You can add more media folders in “Media Folder”.

Filtering and Managing Content

To filter certain photos, go to “Settings” >“Content Management” and deselect the folders that you want to exclude. Alternatively, you can choose to add folders. You need to select “Photo” for a folder if you want Photo Station to display this folder and its content.

Note: Photo Station, Music Station, Video Station, OceanKTV, and DLNA Media Server share media folders. Any changes made to media folders affect all these applications.

Note: Shared folder permissions determine your access to files. Users with read/write and read-only access can see all photos in a folder. However, only users with write access are allowed to upload photos to a shared folder. To configure the permission settings, go to “Control Panel” > “Privilege Settings” > “Shared Folders”.

Basic Operations

Importing Photos and Videos

Thumbnails for the multimedia files are automatically generated to enhance your viewing experience. The duration of this process depends on your NAS model and the number of multimedia files. Perform any of the following tasks.

  • Drag and drop photos and videos to Photo Station from your local device.
  • Use “Media Upload” in Qfinder Pro.
  • Import via Samba.
    • Windows
      Open Qfinder Pro, select the NAS you want to connect to, and then click “Connect” > “Storage Plug & Connect”. You can open and browse NAS folders directly from your device or drag and drop files to folders.

    • Mac
      Run Finder and go to "Go" > "Connect to Server" to establish a connection with the QNAP NAS via SMB or AFP. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut keys "Command + K" on your keyboard.

Creating Albums

  1. Add to album
    1. Select the photos or videos that you want to categorize and right-click “Add to album”.
    2. Select an existing album or create a new album.
    3. Click “Save” to import photos to the album.
      By default, the permission for newly created albums is set to “Only me”. To share this album with other NAS users or with the public, select the album, right-click and click “Album Settings”. Beside Privilege settings, select one of the following.
      • Only me: Other NAS users cannot view or edit this album.
      • NAS users: Other NAS users can view this album, but only the album creator and NAS administrators can make changes. Click "Custom Permissions" to specify the permission for each user.
      • Public: Everyone (including guests) can view this album. Administrators can publish this album on the wallpaper of the QTS login screen.
      1. Only administrators can play videos using on-the-fly transcoding. Administrators can transcode videos by clicking "Add to Transcode" in shared albums, so other users can play them at a later time.
      2. On-the-fly transcoding is not available for some NAS models and video formats.

  2. Drag and drop
    1. Select the photos or videos.
    2. Drag and drop the selected photos to the left panel to import them to an album.
  3. From the left panel
    Click “Folder” on the left panel. Right-click a folder and select one of the following:
    1. Create New Album - Turns the selected folder into an album.
    2. Create a Smart Album - Creates an album that automatically imports new photos or videos when they are added to the folder.
    3. Create subfolder to Smart Album - Turns the subfolders of the selected folder into individual smart albums.

Creating Smart Albums

A smart album automatically displays photos or videos that match the criteria you specify. To create a smart album, click “Add Album” on the tool bar and select “Create a Smart Album”. You can then specify search criteria such as “This day in history”, “Period”, “Random”, “Tag”, and “Color label”.

Viewing 360˚ Photos and Videos

Photo Station automatically displays 360˚ photos or plays 360˚ videos in the panorama mode if their metadata contain the 360˚ tag.

If the metadata of a photo or video does not contain the 360˚ tag, you can still click  to view it in the panorama mode.

By default, the 360˚ panoramic view button is always displayed on the Media Viewer. To change this setting, go to “Settings” > “Miscellaneous”.

Playing Videos with VLC media player

For better viewing experience and playback compatibility, QNAP recommends using VLC media player. To play videos with VLC media player, right-click a video and select “Play with VLC Player”.

Note: QVHelper and VLC media player must be installed on your computer. Photo Station will guide you through the installation process.

To set VLC media player as the default player, go to “Settings” > “Miscellaneous” and then select “Always play with VLC Player”.

Viewing and Editing Metadata

Photo Station supports metadata in the Exif, IPTC, and XMP formats.

You can also edit the metadata of a photo or video, such as date taken, tag, description, title, and coordinates.To edit metadata, right-click an item and then select “information”.

Note: The changes made to the RAW, PDF, and video files are not be saved to the original files.

To automatically save the changes in metadata to files, go to “Settings” > “Miscellaneous” and select “Automatically save changes to files”.

Note: Only changes made after enabling this option are automatically saved to files.

The table below presents the supported operations for each metadata property in Photo Station.

Properties Operations
Import View Search Edit Save
Tag Exif, XMP, IPTC V V V Exif, XMP, IPTC
Description Exif, XMP, IPTC V V V Exif, XMP, IPTC
Title Exif, XMP, IPTC V V V Exif, XMP, IPTC
Date taken Exif V V V Exif
Rating Exif V V V  
Coordinate Exif V   V Exif
Image size Exif V V    
Exposure time Exif V      
F number Exif V      
Flash Exif V      
Focal length Exif V      
ISO equiv. Exif V      
Camera manufacturer Exif V V    
Camera model Exif V      
Lens model Exif V      
Orientation Exif V   V  
White balance Exif V      
Metering mode Exif V      

Searching for Photos and Videos

You can search for photos and videos using their metadata, such file size, camera brand, date taken, tag, color label, rating, and description. You can also create a smart album with specified search criteria.

Sharing Files

Click on the tool bar or right-click photos or videos and then select “Share”.

Tip: You can click to minimize the “Share” screen for easier navigation.

Photo Station provides three ways to share your files:

  • Email
    Send the sharing link of the selected files via email. You can also set an expiration date and protect your files with a password. Before using this feature, ensure that you have already set up your email account. To set up your email account, go to “QTS Desktop” > “Options” >“Email Account”.
  • Social Network
    Select “Upload files” to upload photos or videos to photo sharing websites such as Flickr, Picasa, Weibo, and YouTube. Select “Link” to post the sharing link on social networking websites.
  • Sharing Link
    Create sharing links that you can post online or use in instant messages. People who received sharing links can download files and view the content in the slideshow mode. Other users can access sharing links on their computers and mobile devices.

Streaming Content to Media Players

To use this feature, you must first install “Media Streaming Add-on” in the App Center. Click to open multi-zone streaming control panel and view all the devices on your network. Drag and drop the files you want to play onto a device or its playlist.

Note: This feature now supports DLNA, Airplay, Chromcast, and HD player.

Backing Up or Restoring Album Information

We strongly recommend backing up the configuration files of albums and smart albums before rebuilding the Media Library or performing system migration.

Go to "Settings" > "Backup/Restore" and click “Export” to back up the configuration file to your PC. When the need arises, you can import the configuration file to restore your albums. Please note that importing the configuration file twice results in duplicating all albums.

Photo Station Extension

Photo Station Extension recognizes human faces in your photos and converts PDF files to images.

To install the Photo Station Extension, go to “Control Panel” > “Application” > “Multimedia Management” > “Media Add-on” > “Photo Station Extension”.


  • Photo Station Extension is only available for x86 models.
  • Photo Station Extension 2 supports Photo Station 5.6 and later versions.
  • Photo Station Extension 1 supports Photo Station 5.4.4 and earlier versions.

Recognizing People

After Photo Station Extension 2 is installed, Photo Station automatically scans media folders and recognizes people that appear in your photos. To configure related settings, go to “Photo Station” > “Settings” > “People”.

Tip: Face recognition may affect system performance. QNAP recommends using this feature at off-peak times.

After recognition is complete, go to “People” > “Suggested” on the left pane to view the people suggested by Photo Station.

Add names to the suggested people. You can then find these profiles in “Tagged”.

Note: If you add an existing name to a suggested person, Photo Station will merge two profiles that share the same name.

You can double-click a profile to view the photos in which this person appears. After profiles are established, Photo Station automatically classifies photos based on the recognition results of uploaded photos.

In Media Viewer, you can click to enable face recognition. Photo Station will search the database and identify the detected faces that appear in a photo.

You can manually add a name or adjust the rectangle around a detected face. Photo Station automatically suggests the most probable people when you type names.

Browsing PDF Files

To view PDF files such as comic books or blueprints, install the Photo Station Extension in the App Center. Once the extension is installed, right-click a PDF file to create convert the PDF file into an album. You can then view its content using Photo Station. You can even stream the files to media devices on your network.

Release date: 2018-01-12
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