Please make my life easier with file shuffling
March 21, 2011 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Is there an easy way to transfer and rename files automagically from a micro SD card?

I have three cameras that produce avi files, each onto a separate Micro SD card that I need to transfer and rename to a folder on my Mac (OSX SL). At present, I have to drag and drop the files, rename with a cut and paste text, and then delete the files from the card in the Finder. I need to do this in a pretty time constrained manner and so it is a lot of dicking around to do it manually and I'd like to streamline the process. It also means I waste 4-5 minutes of messing around per camera, with shuffling files, waiting and then going back to replace the card in the camera again and get the next one.

Now I have touched on Automator, but I'm really not up to speed with what it is capable of nor if it is the best method, but I'd like to have the following happen:

- Each card is recognised when it is inserted and the files copied to a desktop folder.
- They are renamed with a date/time plus an identifier from the name of the card (if I name the cards 'Driver A', 'Driver B' etc., I want that added to the file name).
- These files will then be deleted from that card.
- Either there would be three processes (one for each card) or the process would recognise the card and modify the renaming accordingly.

I am then theoretically (and ideally) free to put the card back in the camera (I have other downloading I can be doing while this is going on) and not walk back and forth between the cameras the whole time and so losing those damn fiddly Micro SD's. I want to end up with files that are similar to 2011-03-26_0945_DriverA.avi. Even better than that would be a prompt for adding 'race1' or 'qual'/'practice' like this: 2011-03-29_0945_DriverA_qual1.avi. I think that is harder, though, and maybe not worth the extra effort.

Ideally, all this would happen entirely in the background. I have an iphone version that automatically syncs my pictures to a desktop file that pops up and sorts it out without any input from me, so clearly something is possible, but I'm not sure how complex it is.

I have iView Media Pro, which would do some of what I need (it occurs to me this morning) but it isn't automatic and is a bit clunky. Now it may be that the level of automation I want is unrealistic, in which case I'll hit the next best option. I think Automator will do this, but I'm not sure if it will be automatic nor if it can prompt for the session (Race, qual, etc) at the right moment or if I need to start it manually each time. That may not be an issue so much, but I'd like to avoid it if possible.

Any ideas? Is this easier in Automator than my knowledge suggests?
posted by Brockles to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Best answer: I like Hazel for this sort of stuff:

Automatic, point-and-click rules, etc.
posted by unixrat at 9:29 AM on March 21, 2011

This wouldn't be hard with a shell or Perl script started by a LaunchAgent with the StartOnMount key, but that may be more hacking than you're up for. Try Hazel as unixrat suggests, there's a 14-day free trial.
posted by nicwolff at 9:43 AM on March 21, 2011

Response by poster: Holy crap, that's perfect. It does exactly and precisely what I want from my initial testing. Hopefully it'll perk up it's auto-detect of a card install, but even if it doesn't, the menu bar drop down to run a rule is super easy.

Saved me some hassle there, you have. Many thanks.
posted by Brockles at 4:50 PM on March 21, 2011

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