Synology Moments Vs QNAP QuMagie – Photo Recognition for NAS

Synology Moments Vs QNAP QuMagie Photo Applications for NAS

One of the most popular reasons these days for purchasing a network attached storage device is to have some of the thousands of photos that they have captured personally or professionally in the last few decades stored neatly and safely. Smartphones have had cameras now for such a long time and create photos so fast that the idea of cataloguing them now in the present seems a daunting task. Sure, those photos from holiday will all be in a neat little album called ‘Holiday 2008’, but you will not individually name those photos and what about all the photos that happened in between. With most people’s backups having images (.jpeg .png etc) more than any other file type, the need for smart AI-powered photo cataloguing and recognition is something that both Synology and QNAP NAS now provide. Both brands now arrived with software that will analyse your photos and then present you with the means to search through them using far more human-friendly means. However, if you are on the verge of buying a QNAP or Synology NAS, you will need to know which one of the Synology Moments or QNAP QuMagie software best suits your workflow. Although these applications are similar, they approach photo recognition and cataloguing (from a UI perspective) in a very different way and how they compare will ultimately make the choice between which NAS brand you buy, so let’s compare QuMagie and Moments.

Synology Moments Vs QNAP QuMagie – User Interface

Both Synology Moments and QNAP QuMagie have a very similar user interface when you first boot their respective applications. Both apps provide a clean user interface that opens in a separate tab. Both provide folders that denote facial recognition examples. subjects and things, geographical cataloguing and recently added.
This interface is clean and easy to understand on both the Synology and QNAP application. In terms of general user interface design, the two are remarkably similar, although the QNAP QuMagie software does give you an extra feature that Synology doesn’t, this is the means to access your photos on a file and folder level.
this is synonymous with the tuna brand and all too often when using a QNAP NAS you will be able to choose between smart assisted albums or the choice of the file directory of the NAS. You cannot really give QNAP an advantage or disadvantage for this, but I know full well there are a number of users who would prefer the ability to be able to switch between these two search methods.

Synology Moments Vs QNAP QuMagie- Face Recognition

As both Synology Moments and QNAP QuMagie support facial recognition with AI support, you will be pleased to know that of the 1,200+ photos I uploaded on both of these NAS drives, both recognised almost all of the faces. Although QNAP QuMagie managed to identify a few more faces, it did break them down into a fraction more stacks.
Either way both Synology Moments and QNAP QuMagie performed remarkably well and adding names to these tagged photo groups and merging them was equally easy, fast and user-friendly on both platforms

Synology Moments Vs QNAP QuMagie – Thing and Subject Recognition

It was when the Synology Moments and QNAP QuMagie applications needed to identify things and subjects that these two apps differed a great deal. Once again, whether this is a good or bad thing is down to you as it is very much down to personal tastes on file access and how you want to interact with your data. The Synology Moments AI recognition identified many different subjects from food to landscapes, from drinks to wildlife – it recognised a number of clear and key subjects that would enable you to search later if required to find these photos based on these terms.
However, the QNAP QuMagie software also identified all of these same broad search terms, but also provided much more precise search terms and tags. Two of the best examples were clear almost immediately. On one photo collection, the Synology NAS and Moments identified 7 photos of flowers, the QNAP identified these same photos as flowers but also provided tags such as individual flower types like hydrangeas and cherry blossoms.
If the way you want to search your photos required more than general searches, this would be enormously advantageous, especially if your photo quantities range in the hundreds of thousands. Likewise these Synology Moments application was able to identify certain types of food but again these were a little broader in their description (fish vegetables meat etc), whereas the QNAP QuMagie AI recognition managed to identify individual food and drinks right the way down to their types, identifying dumplings by their name that I ate last month in Taiwan.
It is also worth mentioning that both Synology Moments and QNAP QuMagie apply multiple tags to an individual photo, therefore making searching much easier, but straight away it has to be added that the QNAP QuMagie software does MANAGE to give you a better diversity of subject tags overall. Once again, this is something that individual users should factor into their NAS purchase, as the pros and cons of both approaches will differ depending on the user.

Synology Moments Vs QNAP QuMagie – Indexing and Album Building

How the Synology Moments and QNAP QuMagie applications index their photos could not be more different. You would assume that both of these software platforms would create their databases in very similar ways from the perspective of the end user, however, in reality, they approached these things in their own respective brand wise.
Synology Moments requires you to place your photos in a specific directory on your NAS folders, namely ‘Moments’ own media directory. This means that you will need to either have a copy of your photo directory in the second location of your Synology NAS or you will need to always have your photo collections in this preset Moments directory for indexing and cataloguing within the app permanently. This is clearly for reasons of efficiency and speed, also there are workarounds for this, but they are not ideal and definitely do not sit well within the synology user-friendly experience. Once indexed, these photos and their respective face and subject tags will begin to be indexed by the system. The extent to which these photos are catalogued will be similar on all Synology NAS, but the time taken to build the index will depend on how powerful than theirs is.
QNAP QuMagie, as you would expect from this brand, does things in a much more Android and Windows style. In order to index and catalogue old/new photos, QuMagie arrives with another brand new official app known as Multimedia Console for QNAP. This is a new one-portal access point to all multimedia scanning, cataloguing, indexing, transcoding and thumbnail generation across the whole NAS. From here you can control all the individual multimedia apps (not just QuMagie) and select which files and folders you want them to access for their collections, which you want to exclude, when you want them to regularly index in order to avoid system resource being taken up, as well as smarter and more configurable transcoding and thumbnail generation schedules.
It is all presented in a fantastically user-friendly wine and designed to make sure that you can have these CPU intensive operations take place at times when they will not affect connected users. Also, the QuMagie application does not limit you to accessing photos in a single directory, and allows you to let QuMagie to search any and all directories on your NAS without having to duplicate your content. QNAP has a history of providing this kind of content access customization in other apps and it is going to be good news to existing QNAP NAS owners that this architecture is still present in QuMagie and Multimedia Console. Adding an additional app to get the most of your photo recognition might seem to some as a bit fiddly, but it DOES give you a heck of alot of personalization and control that is not present in Synology Moments. Ultimately, we have another ‘personal choice’ here, automation vs customization.
Maybe you don’t want a 1 portal access point” such as Multimedia console, and because you don’t want these options, the Synology setup will be more attractive. Finally that the Moments application is the embodiment of how Synology run their apps. This is not favouritism or personal commitment, but more that I have to be balanced in saying that this kind of setup is attractive to some users. Turn back the clock to the old iPod days. Want to put music on an iPod? Sync with iTunes, very all-or-nothing it is architecture, unthinkable when compared to 95% of MP3 players at that time which used standard USB-Drive protocol with drag-drop transfers. But, there was a whole bunch of people who LIKED this setup, as it was streamlined. Restrictive as hell in many ways, but streamlined. Same argument I have regularly as Console vs PC gaming…one limited, but streamlined – the other more adaptive, customizable but with more variables to consider. Once you know the variables and options, it is painfully simple, but many I.T concepts are daunting as hell to day-to-day users!

I had this chat once with @Eddiethewebguy, might bring it back for a future video, but here goes… Right now, picture the list of every single one of your friends and family. Right, how many of them own a PC/Smart Phone/Laptop/iPad/etc? More than 90% of them I bet. Right, how many of them, if you bought them a new WiFi printer (still in box,) and handed it to them to set it up, would do it without issue? 95% of them? 9/10 of them? 90/100 of them? The point is that some times things need to be painfully direct in the most plug-n-play fashion for some users and though it’s my cup of tea, for that small demographic, a multimedia console is a bigger hurdle than you might think and are paying for CONVENIENCE.

Synology Moments Vs QNAP QuMagie – External Access

Both Synology Moments and QNAP QuMagie can be accessed via your web browser like any other NAS application from their respective DSM and QTS graphical user interfaces. Although it is worth highlighting that the Synology Moments application also arrives in client apps for Android and iOS.

This means that you have a smoother backup experience from these mobile devices within this photo recognition software and will upload them directly into the Moments folder on your NAS over Wi-Fi. For those who rely on third-party photo recognition software from Google or Apple currently, this will make the transition a lot easier.

Synology Moments Vs QNAP QuMagie – Conclusion

Choosing which of the photo recognition software you should go for is less about the Synology or QNAP brand than it is about YOU the user. Both of these cataloguing programs are designed in line with the individual brand attitudes to how they believe users should/want-to access their data. Synology tries to hide any tough decisions in the background and provide a smooth, if occasionally limiting, file experience. Whereas QNAP provides a much more customisable and versatile experience that appeals to windows and Android users who would get upset with any device that doesn’t provide a file manager by default.

For some simplicity is key and need their hand held along the way at the start, For these users, the Synology Moments application is fantastically ideal. but for me, the QNAP QuMagie software just gives so much more and with little or no learning curve whatsoever, better item recognition tagging, and that single multimedia handling application provided too, I think in terms of photo recognition QuMagie comes out the stronger of the two right now. Key options such as the ability to index multiple folders, rather than forcing users to stick with a single default directory should be changed and with more precise subject recognition options that branch out within others in breadcrumb form –  I can imagine these becoming useful in collections spanning decades that I know a number of recent NAS buyers have to contend with. i.e. Food > Sweet > Ice Cream > Sundae
if you already own a QNAP or Synology NAS, either one of these photo recognition programs are fantastic and are vastly superior to the older photo station applications. But if you are thinking of buying a new NAS for photo cataloguing and storage just remember that it is how you want to access your photos that is more important when choosing between these brands.


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    5 thoughts on “Synology Moments Vs QNAP QuMagie – Photo Recognition for NAS

    1. Has there been an (software) update since the article’s publication ?
      And if so, what are the changes ? Would you still advise QNAP for this particular use case ?

    2. Quick question. When I researched the QNAP vs. Synology topic a year ago, the result was, that while Hyper Backup does backup the Moments App without hesitation including all your pictures and the entire face recognition database. While QNAP does not offer a backup solution for their counterpart QuMagie. Considering that you spend hours organizing your photo database and telling the AI, which faces belong to the same person and hence should be merged together into one profile, the idea of not being able to back that up and potentially lose it in a system crash or a migration to a new model is not a very attractive outlook. So I went with Synology. For some reasons I would like to give QNAP another chance. But if there is still no option to backup the Apps and their databases, then this brand is just not for me (although I generally prefer Android over IOS and PC over Mac). Can you tell me what the latest status is?

      1. Very wise. I’ve just lost all my face recognition tags with Qumagie and I’m looking for a way to store all that metadata inside the jpegs and not waisting so much time if system crashes and you have to start from scratch again

    3. Hi there – thanks for sharing. I am looking for a photo solution for a school – and I am needing to cover 20 years or so of images. Have you got any views on limits on the number of images that can reasonably be stored in QuMagie? I understand there are limits in Moments and the platform slows down after 20-50k images. I need a solution for an existing 200k images and probably should aim for 500k images to address the years to come … Thanks in advance.

      1. There are no limits what I know of. You would rather be limited by a hardware trying to analyse all these images. I would get a NAS with at least Quad core Intel processor.