Is there a program out there that can sort my massive picture backup?
July 25, 2013 2:57 PM   Subscribe

I have a huge number of pictures backed up. They are terribly organized and located in a thousand different folders, some by date, some by whatever was on my mind at the moment. Is there a program out there that can help me set this right?

I have tens of thousands of pictures on a backup drive. I have let this get so out of hand!

I need a program that can sort through a huge number of pictures and sort them by date taken, then put them in a neat organized folder. Here's the trouble: I am terribly organized and these are mixed in with a bunch of other files, many of which are duplicate pictures and small picture files like graphics I made. So I guess detecting duplicates and being able to filter out small meaningless pictures would be nice too!

Help me dig myself out of my picture hole, hive mind!
posted by Willie0248 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
What operating system?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:19 PM on July 25, 2013

Please let us know the OS for more specific advice.

On Windows 7 I recently did this using the built in search. Searched my entire computer for "*.jpg". Left that running a while then after all the results were in, moved everything into one folder. Did the same for "*.jpeg", "*.bmp" and any other image formats I had, consolidated all pics in one place.

Then I went into that folder, right clicked on the columns at the top and added "Date Created" and "Date Taken" columns. Not all my pics had a Date Taken, but that was my initial sort. I manually created the folder structure I wanted - by Year, then Month subfolders and just selected and moved for a couple of hours. I didn't have quite as many as you, but it wasn't far off. As long as you're moving them on the same hard drive it'll go pretty quickly.

Now that they're organised I use Picasa, which at least on the Windows version has a pretty good duplicate finder.
posted by IanMorr at 3:29 PM on July 25, 2013

If you're using Windows, then ThumbsPlus may be able to help you.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:43 PM on July 25, 2013

Response by poster: Ah, sorry, I should have mentioned the OS! Windows 7, my knowledgeable friends.
posted by Willie0248 at 4:19 PM on July 25, 2013

Best answer: Digital Image Mover (DIM) is a Java app written by Alan Light. It will sort images into folders based on date taken, using EXIF data. It will only work on the file extensions you specify (defaults are jpg and mov). You will have to change the default settings to make everything work, but it will find and skip duplicates, rename images (or not), and can be coerced into deleting originals after verifying that copying was successful.

It's designed to pull photos from a camera memory card, but can use any folder as the source and any other folder as the destination. I use it for pre-sorting of images dumped off of my iPhone, to get them into the YYYY/YYYY-MM-DD folder structure I prefer.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:59 PM on July 25, 2013

PS - it's free, and cross-platform. Please see note on download page regarding command line switch for more recent Java versions, too.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:00 PM on July 25, 2013

You might also want to consider Everpix. It is a web service that sucks up all your photos from as many sources as you specify (disks, smart phones, Facebook accounts, etc), organizes them all for you, and then makes them available to you through the web and via iOS apps. It stores the full quality photos in the cloud, so you have your full photo library with you everywhere.

Everpix also has a bunch of tricks and hacks that make your photos easily accessible and browsable. They pull out highlights that make it easy to see what you have and then dive deeper where you want to. You can browse by date, location, theme. They (optionally) send you e-mails showing you photos that you have taken on given date in various years. I put my ~25,000 disorganized photos up there a couple of months ago, and since then I've looked at them more than I had in the previous two or three years combined.
posted by alms at 7:00 PM on July 26, 2013

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