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BUG - "This image is unavailable for online viewing at this time" message.

This problem has been indirectly reported in other threads, but I thought it needed to be highlighted as a bug so engineers can fix.

I have only found this applying to restricted collections of digitised images. Clicking on the refresh / reload page symbol multiple times eventually leads to the display of the true situation, e.g. "To view these images you must do one of the following:
Sign in to Familysearch.org as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Access the site at a family history center."

Anyone not familiar with this problem would assume there was no immediate prospect of viewing the set of images and probably lose the opportunity of finding a record important to their research.

See screenshots at https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea....
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  • Just tested this by going to https://www.familysearch.org/search/f.... On the first attempt it took 7 screen refreshes to get the correct message, but with a second attempt it took 14!

    Incidentally, it would be interesting to know if this only applies when (like me) you are, firstly, not an LDS Church member and/or, secondly, if you are trying to view the exact (restricted) status of the film from home.
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    • I just tried clicking on the individual "Photo Not Available" frame(s) and just got the same "This image is unavailable for online viewing at this time" message that pops-up (unless you're lucky!) when you go to the main page for the collection. So there's no other way of viewing the restricted status (from home) unless you are fortunate enough to get the "correct" message. (Incidentally, tried 25 reloads just now and still got the "unavailable" message!)
    • This link or some other https://www.familysearch.org/search/f... ? When I click on it, home computer public account, I got the same when I click on "photo not available" image the first 4 times I got banner offline, I keep clicking on a different photo and the 5th time ( no refresh) and every one after that I got message about it being restricted to FHC, which it is. Generally if you take the DGS number (film number) at the top left corner and enter that in the catalog you will see a camera icon with a lock icon. The lock means it has a restriction of some kind, ( no lock means viewer-able at home by public) about 90% of the time it's FHC or affiliate but the only way to tell for sure is once the banner comes up about what restriction it has. I reported the problem to engineering but I have no idea when it will be fixed to show the correct banner the first time.
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  • 2
    From a comment by Stewart Miller 8 January 2019 on another topic (which I originated)
    https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea...

    he got this message when ATTEMPTING TO VIEW IMAGES AT A FAMILY HISTORY CENTRE.

    He said
    "However . . . repeated attempts to view any of the films did actually successfully display each of the films correctly.

    Just like an old motor car - seems to need warming up"

    I wouldn't like to be a person who had perhaps travelled hours to reach a Family History Centre and was met with the message "This image is unavailable for online viewing at this time" and not know it was a computer bug and the solution was to keep trying again and again until the films displayed.
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  • During that time frame we had some changes to the portal and we pushed the changes out to all the centers so please try again. Basically in a nutshell without making it to technical our corporate global group would no longer accept certain URL formats but eventually it would pass through. We sent updates out automatically to all FHC's and it updated the portal software as well as Tivoli. This was assuming they had active systems that checked in with us and were online. If not we have had to manually give directions on how to do the update. So please try again and let me know what happens if it fails please give me the film you were looking at or the link and the center you were at so I can check if the update was installed.

    Please don't lump all blogs together as that message is so generic each one has to be handled separately. I only say that as it's film level based so in one case it maybe a true restriction and another it maybe portal software and another it maybe a rights issue of some kind. They have to be troubleshot individually.
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  • If anyone reading this regularly goes to a Family History Centre or Affiliate Library it would be very helpful if you could check out, when there, a few of the films in the following series to see whether the film images can be accessed.

    https://www.familysearch.org/search/c...
    Bengal Army muster rolls and casualty returns, 1716-1860

    I think this is a series of films which in the past has had wording which said they can only be accessed at a Family History Centre or Affiliate Library, by both church and non church members.

    Due to the bug I can't currently access the information to what the viewing restrictions are.
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  • For the example I gave in the post above, you click on the catalogue entry for
    Bengal Army muster rolls and casualty returns, 1716-1860
    https://www.familysearch.org/search/c...

    This gives you a list of digitised microfilms, all of which have a camera icon with a key on top. The key indicates restricted viewing.

    You click on the camera icon which takes you through to the film reader, where there is a banner displayed which shows which restriction applies. However due to the bug, you may not get to see the "correct restriction", you may get the bug message instead.

    If you get the bug message, you cannot view the films, even if you are in a Family History Centre or Affiliate Library.
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  • I can access the film link Carolyn posted and see the images.

    One explanation is that if you are not signed in to FamilySearch, the restricted icon will always display, but if you are signed in the "correct " availability icon will show. Perhaps this has happened in her case.

    As many people will be looking at a catalogue entry before they are signed in, this aspect is confusing unless you know about it. Personally I think it would be better to show the same icon and also the resultant message, whether you are signed in , or not.
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  • 1
    I am having this issue with the records linked here https://www.familysearch.org/search/c...

    When I go to the page linked in red as per the instructions, I go through the index and every town gets the "https://www.familysearch.org/search/c..."

    I am logged into family search so that is not the issue.

    Does this mean I need to go to my FHC to view these records?
    • The message "These images are unavailable for online viewing at this time" is a software error on FamilySearch's end. If you refresh a few times, a message will show stating the ways you can access the records

      In this case the restriction is:

      To view these images you must do one of the following:
      Sign in to Familysearch.org as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
      Access the site at a family history center.
      Access the site at a FamilySearch affiliate library.
      At Il Portale Antenati. By clicking here you will be leaving FamilySearch.org (fees and other terms may apply).
    • I'm glad you got that message! I definitely didn't, even after refreshing the page dozens of times.

      If they're available at Antenati, that's great. I can view them there easily enough. I just wish the info page said this! If it just said "Source: Antenati" I would know right where to go.
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  • 1
    If you look further down the catalogue page for "Italia, Treviso, Ceneda. Stato civile, 1806-1815"
    https://www.familysearch.org/search/c...
    you will see that under format, all the icons are a camera with a key above. This means the record viewing is restricted in some way, typically that they must be viewed at a Family History Centre, or sometimes at an Affiliate Library, but if you are a LDS church member sometimes you may be able to view them at home.

    When I click through to the actual film I get the bug message "This image is unavailable for online viewing at this time". If you click away, I think another post said up to ten times, you may see the actual restriction, but probably only viewable at a FHC, unless you are a church member.
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  • 1
    I am still getting this BUG message
    I was just looking at
    An East-India register and directory
    https://www.familysearch.org/search/c...

    It took me 6 attempts to find out what the viewing restriction was for a microfilm in this series. This BUG seems to have got worse in that it seems to apply all the time
    now.

    This was reported in this topic 8 days ago, and had been mentioned in topics prior to that, see my topic
    Digitised microfilm viewing restriction query dated January 03, 2019.
    https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea...

    Is it likely to be fixed, or is it considered low priority?
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  • Thank you for contacting FamilySearch. We appreciate you taking the time to let us know of the errors you found in our historical records collections. We value patron support and feedback to help discover the errors that have occurred during our publishing process. We are working on ways to minimize future errors to provide the most accurate historical information possible. We have documented the errors and reported them to our records team. We currently have a backlog of corrections regarding our historical records. As a result, it could take longer than a year to correct the errors.

    We hope for your continued success as you search and find your ancestors.
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  • 1
    As I said on a concurrent thread

    "I don't think it is an individual film bug.

    I think it is a bug affecting digitised records which have a camera icon with a key above i.e. records which for non church members are available at a Family History Centre. There are too many instances of them for it to be an individual film bug".

    https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea...

    When people from all around the world are getting this message, using different records, surely there must be some underlying problem?

    I would also like to say that I don't think they are "errors that have occurred during our publishing process". This is a BUG which has occurred after the publishing process, if by that you mean the production of digitised microfilm. The digitised microfilm was produced, you could access the catalogue details about the viewing restriction, and as far as I am aware, the films could be accessed first time up.

    It is only since about January 2019 that this BUG has appeared, AFTER the publishing process.
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  • 1
    Phil

    I know you have posted a personalised response to this issue at https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea... but it is still very disappointing that you chose to put a "copy and paste" response above.

    Please do whatever you can to escalate a problem that is almost certainly preventing users finding vital information, as they are assuming these records are just not available for the foreseeable future, when they CAN (with much patience) be viewed, albeit usually only at a FHC or Affiliate library.
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  • I am sorry you may disagree with me but you can call it into support and open a case if you wish.
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  • Phil, I do appreciate your response. I haven't had much luck with support - they tend to not answer my questions at all.

    if it just means that I need to view my film at an FHC, that's fine, but I can't seem to find anything on the website anywhere that helps me as a user figure out that's what that message means.

    If there is any way that you can update the help file to just say "if you get this error, go to your FHC" I think you would greatly assist the many users who haven't found there way to this thread.
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  • Don't shoot the messenger folks. I know that sounds like a easy request but it is really a very,very complicated system and would take changes in multiple areas, messages, catalog, rights, DGS/films, help center, Knowledge articles and URL's. With the number of films we have that would take time. I have no control over any of that folks.
    • I honestly do appreciate that you have got involved in this, Phil, and tried to get something in action. But from the comments at https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea... you can surely now see this is a general bug - not specific to a small amount of films. As far as contacting Support?!!!! You very well know how useless that would be - that's why we post here in a hope an engineer will note our problems (including bugs) and, where possible, provide fixes asap.

      There are not many employees willing to offer direct help nowadays, so please don't let this issue deter you from providing the much appreciated responses you have provided over a number of threads of late.
    • Thanks. I do what I can but have lots of limitations. I can and do file bugs with engineering but have no control over them.
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  • I have been unable to view ANY images this afternoon (GMT). Repeatedly reloading the page isn't working - the usual "workaround" for those with a lot of patience.

    Have tried variety of collections for which I have never had any previous loading problems. Would someone please investigate as my planned work for today has come to a standstill.
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  • At last have got a "film" to load - but in spite of being able to view all the images the "Image Unavailable" message is still appearing on the screen!

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  • Just tested to see if images available via the indexes and got this message - hopefully a temporary problem.

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  • They've definitely broken something badly in the image viewer. I tried a random saved link from my files, and gave up after something on the order of fifty (!) reloads. Then I tried a waypointed collection (Hungary Civil Registrations), and it did the error-message-but-image-showing thing for thirty pages or so. (It's still going, but I don't have the patience to test more right now -- the reloads used up my day's supply.)
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  • It should be working like it was before this morning. We had a rights system issue that has now been fixed.
    • Phil Jeffrey, there is still a bug issue. Today (May 16), I got the bug message for these film numbers:

      1544215, Brooklyn marriages
      007857320, Manhattan NYC marriage records
      007458806, Register of marriages, NYC
      102170385, England, Leicestershire, Sapcote church records
      005259087, Great Britain, Board of Trade, civil registration index of births etc.
      102199021, Ireland constabulary records

      In each case, I was able to finally get a message saying how to view them but ony after multiple refreshes. As was noted a long time ago, people who do not know to keep refreshing will just assume that the images are not available AT ALL for some undetermined period, not simply that they have to go to an FHC, or sign in as an LDS member, to see them.

      Note that these are from three different countries, so it's a system issue, not a rights issue with one provider of records.

      Susan Rogers, Grass Valley, California
    • Thanks. Engineering is looking into the issues but good that I have some more to add to the bug report.
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