Image Transfer Automation for the Lazy
January 12, 2008 12:03 AM   Subscribe

On Windows, what are my freeware or cheap options for image transfer? Preferably something that automates the image transfer from flash card, usb, etc. into folders such as "January 2008", according to the EXIF data. Picasa doesn't seem to do this. The bloatware that came with my HP printer/scanner does, but it's ... bloated.
posted by Xere to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I believe Irfanview will meet your needs.
posted by sharkfu at 1:02 AM on January 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've used Cam4you instead of my camera's software for years now. It's for Canon cameras, but it'll work on directories of your choice too.
posted by alexei at 1:26 AM on January 12, 2008

I empty my camera after use by docking it, so I don't make use of the EXIF data. The method I use puts it in the following folder structure: My Documents > My Pictures > %YYYY-MM-DD% > IMG.JPG. As long as you dock your camera, the same day as you take pictures, this method should work.

I use SyncbackSE for this. SE is the paid version, but the SyncBack Freeware version (English Download) should do you just as well. Wish I was at home right now so I could run through the profile setup for you.

What you would do is start a new profile and set it as a Sync profile. Choose you source and destination folders. You will be offered more options, one of which is 'When.' This allows you to tell it when to run this profile. There is an option for when a device is connected. It will allow you to choose the device path or the device serial number. Serial number is more effective as the path could change if you have a thumb drive or other hardware installed after you build the profile.

Off the top of my head, I forget the name of the next section, I think it is 'Decisions.' This section sets rules on what to do when new or changed files are encountered. Basically... 'If new file found on SOURCE, [Move/Copy/etc] to DESTINATION.' Go through these and set the rules you need to accomplish what you need. If you want to plug in your camera and suck all the pics off it and into a new folder, tell it to 'Move' from SOURCE to DESTINATION. If you want it to stay on the camera but be copied to the new folder, COPY.

The next trick is to get it to store into the %YYYY-MM-DD% folder. Again, I wish I had Syncback in front of me so I can give you better info, but you want to modify the DESTINATION path by placing something like %YYYY-MM-DD%. These operators are documented in the Help documentation (F1).

Sounded like a lot, but automation takes a lot of work. If you got through that, you set up a rule that states 'When I connect X DEVICE to the PC, move any new files to DESTINATION/%YYYY-MM-DD%.'
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 2:02 AM on January 12, 2008

I just use a little bash script to move my files from the camera to a directory based on today's date, and then open an explorer window on the target directory. I'm on windows so I use cygwin. My camera always connects as the k: drive. If you don't know bash or cygwin, this won't help much, but here's my script:
    if [ ! -d /c/home/photo/`date +%Y` ]
        then mkdir /c/home/photo/`date +%Y`
    if [ ! -d /c/home/photo/`date +%Y`/`date +%F` ]
        then mkdir /c/home/photo/`date +%Y`/`date +%F`
    mv /k/DCIM/100NCD40/* /c/home/photo/`date +%Y`/`date +%F`
    /c/windows/explorer c:\\home\\photo\\`date +%Y`\\`date +%F`

posted by DarkForest at 9:17 AM on January 12, 2008

Hmmm. I guess the <pre> tag doesn't work all that well here... If some mod wants to clean that up for me, please do.
posted by DarkForest at 9:19 AM on January 12, 2008

Cygwin also has an exif command available for extracting exif data from jpegs. You could use this to use the actual exif data to set the target directory for each file, though you'd have to rewrite the script.
posted by DarkForest at 9:40 AM on January 12, 2008

I've actually been trying to figure out how to do this in Windows for a while. This is the script I use to sort pictures into folders by date on an Ubuntu Linux system, but I haven't found a similar way to get photos and read EXIF data from the command line in Windows. I can try to see if I can get it to work through Cygwin, but ideally it would be a lot easier than that.
posted by finrod at 10:32 PM on January 12, 2008

just found this one: Namexif Batch Renames Digital Photos by Date
posted by sharkfu at 6:43 PM on January 15, 2008

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