To get my brain wrapped about the logic here.
1. Serve the image from a php script.
a. that tells me that rather than use the actual url of the image i would need to have a form in the chat to do the post value to that gallery php file to process release of the file or block it.
b. or assign specific url just for private albums and have a seperate table for private albums.
Then if i do the rewrite in htaccess and someone requests the image that does not meet the condition of the rewrite then they are taken lets say to the front page of the site instead.
So basically what your saying is block all normal urls for the image in private albums thru htaccess. And only allow the specific url to access the php file by grabbing the referrer and if it does not match certain criteria then just reset the url value to a page that says not authorized.
Is that the main concept here. I would like to do this without having to split my private albums into a new table that would be miserable to do with the number of members i have.