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I'd wish to use WP 3.x standard Media Librery rather than relying on 3rd party plugins like NextGen no matter how well they're written. I just don't like duplicating functionalities.

Media Librery actually can handle well images, provides thumbnails, captions...

But I think lacks of organizing images in collections, folders, categories, terms.

Is there a way to tweak/extend wordpress to add certain images in the media gallery to collections, categorize them and assign custom terms to each image?

In this way, from the frontend, one would be able to generate page with galleries pertaining similar subjects or displaying images belonging to the same category/term...

Any ideas? Everytime I google something related to gallery / image / media management for Wordpress I end up with pages suggesting to use Nextgen... but I don't see why it should be almost mandatory to use to achieve these goals.

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if I'm not mistaken the media library is a custom post type? could it be extended as other post types with custom taxonomies? –  nekojira Apr 12 '12 at 8:12

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've had this same problem for ages and have currently landed on the following combination of plugins to resolve the issue:

  • Media Tags
  • Tag Gallery
  • Cleaner Gallery

Additionally, I made two modifications to the tag gallery plugin (to remove TimThumb and allow reverse ordering)

This solution still has a lot of downsides including that it uses three plugins, one of which I hacked, but it's also the best solution I've come up with after months of thinking and searching.

(@fulvio, The "Media Tags" plugin does register a custom taxonomy onto the attachment post type, so you're certainly right. It also improves the UI. If WordPress ever just supports the normal taxonomy UI on attachments, a lot of this problem would resolve itself quite quickly...)

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thanks mrwweb, in the end I think I'll be forced to switch back to Nextgen, at least it's a solid plugin, better use one than three, at this point –  nekojira Apr 18 '12 at 20:27
Update: With the changes to the media gallery in WP 3.5 (out today!), this will all become much more possible to do with a good plugin in the very near future. –  mrwweb Dec 11 '12 at 18:08

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