IDigBio Media Appliance

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Deprecation Notice

Please note: as of December 21, 2019 the iDigBio Media Appliance has been deprecated. Development is discontinued and using the Media Appliance is no longer a supported method of getting images into iDigBio. Please see this letter from iDigBio's project director, Gil Nelson:

iDigBio Collaborators:

During 2019, iDigBio will be decommissioning its media ingestion appliance as well as its virtual machine support for Symbiota portals.

Media ingestion appliance

The iDigBio media ingestion appliance was developed with the goal of facilitating the ingestion of images into iDigBio, in particular, for TCNs who did not have institutional support to host Web images. It was developed as an improvement over a temporary FTP-based approach that was initially used by iDigBio, and it has been successful in serving several TCNs in this “on-ramp” role thus far. However, considering the scope of iDigBio as a rapidly growing aggregator, the primary workflow of ingestion being through IPT, and the challenges in sustaining the appliance software (in particular, maintaining client-side software across multiple O/Ss), iDigBio has decided to phase out the media ingestion appliance. Below is an outline of the process, proposed alternatives, and timeline.

The proposed future ingestion workflow will rely on IPT-based (i.e. Darwin Core Archive) ingestion. This has been the preferred method for ingestion, and the one most aligned with a path for sustainability of iDigBio, as it uses community standards and tools, and is aligned with the scope of iDigBio as an aggregator rather than the primary host of Web-accessible images and other media.

We recognize that there are still TCNs that rely on the ingestion application workflow, and that this transition cannot be achieved immediately, requiring a phasing-out approach that will take place over the course of 2019. In summary, the approach to this transition is: 1) iDigBio will provide documentation describing alternative approaches to upload images to external cloud providers (including Internet Archive and Amazon S3) using file upload libraries/tools available from theses providers; 2) iDigBio will no longer develop/maintain/update the appliance software; 3) iDigBio will continue offering use of the ingestion appliance for existing users during the transition period; 4) users with difficulties running the appliance software will be provided a path to uploading with the assistance of a third party during the transition period.

Decommissioning Symbiota Virtual Machine Support

Similarly, in the early days of ADBC, iDigBio offered support for newly established Symbiota-based portals to use servers and virtual machines at UF to assist with database setup and access. In the interest of sustainability, we have determined that we can no longer provide this service.  As a result, we are requesting that all TCNs who use Symbiota software running on an iDigBio virtual machine begin the process of establishing new hosts for their Symbiota-based portals and databases. We will also request that this migration begin at the earliest possible convenience and be completed by 31 December 2019. We believe this will provide much more control for TCN database managers and enhance sustainability.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.

All best,



The iDigBio Media Appliance is a cross-platform local web app that is used to upload media files from a local computer environment into iDigBio storage where the media become available on the public Internet.

The iDigBio Media Appliance fills the gap when an institution is not capable of publishing and hosting media on the Internet themselves.

Documentation for the iDigBio Media Appliance is located in the media appliance project wiki on github.

The following historical links and background documents may also be useful:

Download Links

Get the image ingestion appliance from iDigBio's latest github release.

What do I need to provide?

The appliance requires the following:

  1. A computer that meets the System Requirements as listed in the "Installing" documentation.
  2. An iDigBio account with corresponding UUID and assigned API key
  3. A set of media files residing on your local disk that are compliant with the iDigBio Recommendations on Acceptable Formats for iDigBio-hosted Media (PDF)
  4. A Creative Commons license that you would like to apply to all the images. If you need guidance on the selection, look at iDigBio Intellectual License Property Policy.

What are the fields in the input CSV?

If you already have metadata about the media that you wish to include when the appliance performs its upload, the following document may be useful:


How can I get the account UUID and API key pair?

  • You can get a account UUID / API key pair by contacting the iDigBio Technical Team (

I have trouble installing the appliance on a Mac machine and I get the error message "iDigBio Image Ingestion Tool" can't be opened because it is from an unidentified developer.

Why is the ingestion tool not working on my machine?

  • Please send email to Indicate your operating system, browser and the symptom or error message you get.

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