I am relatively new to XF and I just recently started really diving into making my forum and I am at a lost for really "understanding" what the albums in the media gallery are for? I can't seem to find a good use for it and I am confused of what it's for - just random images? It seems to flood the "New Media" page and showcase on the index too. Why do 15 images have to take up the entire page on New Media and the index showcase? Why not just the thumbnail of the album? It is very confusing and frustrating. I may not be using it properly or just ignorant, so I really would like to know how to properply use this tool. I can't seem to find any other forums with this tool widely used in the appropriate (organized) manner either.
Media can be added to either categories or albums.
Categories can only be created by Admins. The Admin can decide what type of media can be added to the category and who can view or add media to the category. Categories can be nested. Categories can only contain media, they cannot contain albums. Some people prefer categories and don't use albums.
Albums can be created by normal users. The album owner can control who can view or add media to an album, including setting them to be completely private, completely public or only shared with certain users. Some people prefer albums and don't use categories.
Some people have a use for both.
Should you decide not to need or use one or the other they can be disabled with permissions.
The "New Media" page and the media index is ultimately an index of new media and so whether an album has one new image or 50 new images, they will show there. They are not grouped by albums.