File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

rab108
Posts: 12
Joined: 12 Nov 14 12:48

File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by rab108 » 19 Nov 14 17:24

Scenario
I have over 400k of images and I want to catalog them and add key words to them. As part of the process, I intend to rename all of the images so that each will have a unique name. I have questions about (a) file names, (b) raw files, and (c) xmp files.

(a. file names)
The name scheme that will be used is like this: "Date_code_accession number.extension" For example, "20140613_svbd_0001.jpg", "20140613_svbd_0002.jpg", etc.

Codes will be cataloged in a spreadsheet and most codes will be reused quite regularly. I do not expect to use the codes so much for finding photos, but rather to provide a general idea of what is in the file and to create unique names though out the library.

File Name questions are:
1. Does anyone have suggestions as to how to improve this coding system?
2. Are there any better ideas?


(b. raw files)
I noticed that in some of my folders raw files (.CR2) accompany each image. Further, I noticed that the CR2 and JPG files have the same name. My question is:

3. Any suggestions as to how to "quickly" rename both files in a system where there are 1000's of these files/situations?


(c. xmp files)
Further, I noticed that not only do some images have CR2 and JPG files associated to one image, but some also have xmp files. So, i may have one image that has three files associated to it (CR2, jpg, and xmp)

4. Should I rename all three files? If so, any suggestions as to how to efficiently do this?
5. Can I delete the xmp file without any "substantial" losses?

As you might have guessed, I am relatively new at this and I realize that i have one heck of a long haul ahead of me before I get this right.

I should point out that I decided on Photo Supreme software for 3 reasons (a) it comes in a desktop and server version, (b) reviews say that the tagging system is very robust and easy to use, and (c) there appears to be a good user base on the forums where I can get my questions answered. Ultimately, I believe that I will have to move to the server version. However, I want to use the desktop version until I iron out my process. In time, I will employ a few people to help me, so being able to move to a server version is important for me. Until then, i have to figure out the process.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Regards, Allen

Mike Buckley
Posts: 1194
Joined: 10 Jul 08 14:18

Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by Mike Buckley » 19 Nov 14 18:14

One general suggestion is to purchase Peter Krogh's The DAM Book. Though it's in the second edition and the third edition will be released soon, he hasn't committed to when that will be and it's unlikely that his recommendations regarding basic file-management issues will substantially change. His book is widely considered a comprehensive resource pertaining to all things DAM.

Also consider becoming familiar with the content at http://www.dpbestflow.org/, which is produced by the American Society of Media Photographers to provide best practices. Much of the content is provided by Peter.
rab108 wrote: The name scheme that will be used is like this: "Date_code_accession number.extension" For example, "20140613_svbd_0001.jpg", "20140613_svbd_0002.jpg", etc. Codes will be cataloged in a spreadsheet and most codes will be reused quite regularly.
Rather than including those codes in the filename, consider assigning that information as a single catalog label or as a combination of catalog labels. Assigning catalog labels to provide that information about a particular file will be far, far faster than inserting that information in a filename and will be far, far easier to change in the event you change your mind in the future as to what the overall content of the image is. One basic aspect of the filename is that you should devise a convention that guarantees as much as possible that the filename of a given file will never need to be changed. More to the point, the catalog labels will provide not only the general idea, they can provide all of the details. Indeed, I think you're confusing the widely accepted purpose of the filename with the purpose of the catalog labels. So, consider using the proposed filename but replace the code with your name.
I noticed that in some of my folders raw files (.CR2) accompany each image. Further, I noticed that the CR2 and JPG files have the same name.
Assuming the JPG file is the same image as the corresponding CR2 file, there may be no reason for anything to be different other than the extension, of course. In fact, if your workflow allows for only one particular file format per image, such as only one JPG of each image, I see no reason to change the filename; just the opposite, it would be ideal for all versions of the same image to have the same filename with the only change being the extension.

My workflow requires regularly using three versions of the same image of which two of them are JPGs. So, I use the following convention in which "xxxx" is a four-digit sequential number:

NEF: Mike YYYY-MM-DD--xxxx-N.nef
Master JPG: Mike YYYY-MM-DD--xxxx-M.jpg
Large JPG: Mike YYYY-MM-DD--xxxx-L.jpg

My point is that if I didn't regularly have two jpgs, I wouldn't include the last character in the filename of my convention. So far, you haven't explained a need for that character in your convention.
some images have CR2 and JPG files associated to one image, but some also have xmp files. So, i may have one image that has three files associated to it (CR2, jpg, and xmp)
The XMP file is often called a sidecar file because it's much like the sidecar of a motorcycle; just as the sidecar goes everywhere the motorcycle goes, the XMP file is automatically moved, copied, renamed and deleted each time you use Photo Supreme to apply those actions to the corresponding RAW file. So, leave the XMP files alone. When they do appear, such as when seeing their thumbnail displayed by the operating system, ignore them. Otherwise, you could do considerable damage.

You also asked how to quickly rename files. Select as many thumbnails as you want, right click one of them and then select "Operations" and then "Rename Files." The same renaming function can also be called up using the Batch panel and stored for later use.

rab108
Posts: 12
Joined: 12 Nov 14 12:48

Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by rab108 » 20 Nov 14 11:45

Mike, Thanks for reply and the book suggestions. So happens that I already have Peter's book. Now, I just have to read it. One other thing I should mention is that the photo collection I am working with is not something I created. Rather it is a set of photos that have been collected over the years by an organization that I am helping. Like anyone without DAM experience, they have used a folder/file system to store images. There is some orderliness to it, but it needs DAM to bring it to the level where it can be used efficiently.

Regarding file names - Renaming files was less about cataloging the file so to find it in the future and more about creating unique file names for each file. I could just use "my name" rather than a code. Unfortunately, I also have multiple folders inside one folder, whereby the sub folders host different images from the same event, but are from either (a) a different camera (b) a different photographer, or (c) some for other reason. So, ultimately, I will have had may be 2 or even 3 codes in the file name (which is getting out of control), but I didn't really know any other way to ensure that file names are unique. May be someone or Peter Krogh will have some suggestions?

Regarding the RAW files - I believe that I didn't explain the problem very well. The situation is that both the CR2 and JPEG files are in the same folder and both have the same file name, but a different extension. So, they are like little pairs - one CR2 and JPG of the same image. There are 100's, if not 1000's, of images in the same folder. If I use the Rename function, I will rename all of the images with a new name. Which means that each image will have a unique name and that there will no longer be "paired" files; at least this was my experience while doing some tests with Photo Supreme. I was interested in knowing if there is a way to rename the files, using Photo Supreme, and not lose the pairing? Of course, I could use another software to rename the files, if i had too. I should emphasize that, again, this was about creating unique file names throughout the collection.

Regarding Sidecar files - When I rename an image, i noticed that (a) a new side car file is created and (b) that the old sidecar file is still in the folder. Can i delete the old side car file without any problems.

One other thing to note is that most, if not all of the images in this collection have ever been tagged or cataloged. I am not concerned about losing old tags that were added to the photos. However, I wouldn't want to lose the technical data or any other data that is auto generated by the camera.

Thanks again for your assistance.
Last edited by rab108 on 20 Nov 14 11:56, edited 1 time in total.

Mke
Posts: 453
Joined: 15 Jun 14 15:39

Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by Mke » 20 Nov 14 11:52

rab108 wrote:The name scheme that will be used is like this: "Date_code_accession number.extension" For example, "20140613_svbd_0001.jpg", "20140613_svbd_0002.jpg", etc.
My naming scheme is PhotographerName-YYYYMMDD-CameraCode-SequenceNumber_suffix.extension
  • PhotographerName because not all photos were shot by me; it's an obvious first item
    Date to distinguish between shoots
    Camera code because I may shoot with more than one camera on the same day (and sequence numbers can clash)
    Sequence numbers, obviously...
    Suffix to distinguish between various versions
rab108 wrote:Codes will be cataloged in a spreadsheet
You should find that you can do all your cataloging within PSU...
rab108 wrote:I do not expect to use the codes so much for finding photos, but rather to provide a general idea of what is in the file and to create unique names though out the library.
As Mike suggested, catalog labels are the best way of doing that
rab108 wrote:I noticed that in some of my folders raw files (.CR2) accompany each image. Further, I noticed that the CR2 and JPG files have the same name. My question is:

3. Any suggestions as to how to "quickly" rename both files in a system where there are 1000's of these files/situations?
Hmm.
rab108 wrote: Further, I noticed that not only do some images have CR2 and JPG files associated to one image, but some also have xmp files. So, i may have one image that has three files associated to it (CR2, jpg, and xmp)

4. Should I rename all three files? If so, any suggestions as to how to efficiently do this?
5. Can I delete the xmp file without any "substantial" losses?
No, as Mike says, don't delete them. If you keep them with the files and use PSU's renaming, they'll be automatically renamed too.
rab108 wrote: there appears to be a good user base on the forums where I can get my questions answered.
Good reason!

Also worth adding that, although I use PSU if I need to rename files in the catalog (rarely), it suits my workflow to rename new files before they reach PSU. For that I use FreeCommander (on Windows) - the 2009 version, rather than the latest - which has a great bulk-rename facility.
Last edited by Mke on 20 Nov 14 13:10, edited 1 time in total.

Mke
Posts: 453
Joined: 15 Jun 14 15:39

Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by Mke » 20 Nov 14 12:42

rab108 wrote:Unfortunately, I also have multiple folders inside one folder, whereby the sub folders host different images from the same event, but are from either (a) a different camera (b) a different photographer, or (c) some for other reason. So, ultimately, I will have had may be 2 or even 3 codes in the file name (which is getting out of control), but I didn't really know any other way to ensure that file names are unique. May be someone or Peter Krogh will have some suggestions?
The scheme I outlined above should would work in your situation and allow you to rationalise the folder structure, should you want to.
rab108 wrote:Regarding the RAW files - I believe that I didn't explain the problem very well. The situation is that both the CR2 and JPEG files are in the same folder and both have the same file name, but a different extension. So, they are like little pairs - one CR2 and JPG of the same image. There are 100's, if not 1000's, of images in the same folder. If I use the Rename function, I will rename all of the images with a new name. Which means that each image will have a unique name and that there will no longer be "paired" files; at least this was my experience while doing some tests with Photo Supreme. I was interested in knowing if there is a way to rename the files, using Photo Supreme, and not lose the pairing? Of course, I could use another software to rename the files, if i had too. I should emphasize that, again, this was about creating unique file names throughout the collection.
Yes... Personally I'd probably rename them using FreeCommander, and apply renaming to CR2s and JPEGs in separate batches (you can save the renaming rules). I'm not sure how, but if you rename files in FreeCommander when PSU is running in the background, any sidecars are normally automatically renamed with the file (I say 'normally' because from your next question perhaps some of your sidecars aren't being recognised as such). But, since I only rename files being exported from PSU, rather than files already cataloged, hold tight for other suggestions first.
rab108 wrote:Regarding Sidecar files - When I rename an image, i noticed that (a) a new side car file is created and (b) that the old sidecar file is still in the folder. Can i delete the old side car file without any problems.
I suspect that the reason that the new sidecars are being written is because the old ones aren't being (or can't be) read or recognised. To confirm that you'd need to compare the content of some samples using a text editor such as Notepad, or a file comparison utility. However I don't use sidecars much, so maybe someone with greater knowledge will contribute some thoughts on the topic.

jstartin
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Joined: 23 Aug 06 13:47
Location: UK

Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by jstartin » 20 Nov 14 13:45

You might need to consider not just where you want to get to, but also where you are starting from. How are the files named now? Are they all (or mostly) as named by a camera (eg IMG_nnnn.Ext) or have they been renamed previously? Are all of the images from digital cameras and with Exif metadata included, or are there some scans of slides or negatives? Is there useful additional information conveyed by folder names?

By the way, my own naming scheme is: DateImageTaken_TimeImageTaken_CameraModelCode_NumericPartOfOriginalFIleName.Extension. This requires that I start with a file with a name as given by the camera or phone used.
Jim (Photo Supreme: AMD Quad-Core A8-5500 Accelerated Processor 3.2 GHz; internal AMD Radeon™ HD7560D; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM; Win10x64)

Mike Buckley
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Joined: 10 Jul 08 14:18

Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by Mike Buckley » 20 Nov 14 13:46

File naming recommended by dpBestflow: http://www.dpbestflow.org/node/291

Mike Buckley
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Joined: 10 Jul 08 14:18

Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by Mike Buckley » 20 Nov 14 13:52

If you are going to include a sequential number in your file name (highly recommended to help ensure uniqueness), the only way to rename the pairs of RAW and JPG files is to apply the same renaming rule to them separately, as Mke explains. Be very careful to ensure that, indeed, the same renaming rule is being applied. When using Supreme, the previously used renaming rule is always displayed when loading the renaming dialog menu.

rab108
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Joined: 12 Nov 14 12:48

Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by rab108 » 20 Nov 14 14:36

jstartin wrote:You might need to consider not just where you want to get to, but also where you are starting from. How are the files named now? Are they all (or mostly) as named by a camera (eg IMG_nnnn.Ext) or have they been renamed previously? Are all of the images from digital cameras and with Exif metadata included, or are there some scans of slides or negatives? Is there useful additional information conveyed by folder names?
The file names are all over the place. By camera, some renamed, there are some scans, etc... I do know if the all of the images are from digital cameras with Exif metadata. Also, I suspect that many images came from phone cameras. The folder naming convention in this "archive" is horrible too. I will be renaming all of the folders as well.... But that is another story!

rab108
Posts: 12
Joined: 12 Nov 14 12:48

Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by rab108 » 20 Nov 14 14:38

Mike Buckley wrote:File naming recommended by dpBestflow: http://www.dpbestflow.org/node/291
Thanks. Fortunately, I had already done quite a lot of research on file names to know about most of the suggests at dpBestflow. Never the less, dpb has been book marked and I will use them as a resource. Thanks.

tstoddard
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Joined: 07 Sep 12 12:51

Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by tstoddard » 20 Nov 14 15:41

I have one thought to add. This may not be practical given the size of your photo archive and the number of folders they are stored in but I would suggest that you import the files into the catalog first without renaming the files or restructuring your folder hierarchy. Whatever renaming rule you use will probably be dependent to some degree on existing metadata and/or folder names so you will want to make sure that the metadata you plan to use in your file names is in the files and is complete and accurate. Especially dates. I think it's safe to say that most of us use the date that a picture was taken in our folder structure and/or file naming scheme somewhere. If some of your files don't have accurate dates in them, then you will have a hard time finding them after you've moved them into folders based on those dates. Having all of the files in your catalog first will make it easier for you to look for metadata inconsistencies and correct them before proceeding.

You have an ambitious project ahead of you. I don't envy you, unless, of course, you're getting well compensated for you time :D
Tom Stoddard

Mike Buckley
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Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by Mike Buckley » 20 Nov 14 17:05

tstoddard wrote:I would suggest that you import the files into the catalog first without renaming the files or restructuring your folder hierarchy.
I agree. To take that one step farther, I recommend using Supreme to both rename your files and restructure your folder hierarchy.
You have an ambitious project ahead of you. I don't envy you, unless, of course, you're getting well compensated for you time :D
I also agree with that, assuming of course that you aren't so sick that you actually look forward to the arduous process of making everything happen. :mrgreen:

rab108
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Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by rab108 » 21 Nov 14 9:58

Thanks tstoddard and Mike for your comments. Believe it or not, I am looking forward to make this happen. I already know that this is going to be a long process, so I am hunkered down with a nice cup of coffee...er, make that a pot of coffee!

lippe
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Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by lippe » 22 Nov 14 3:39

Assuming you have a backup of all your photos, you will need a reference to the old filename once renamed the images. Since this is the second time you will rename the photos, it is possible the xapMM:PreservedFileName is holding the original name of the camera or it does not exist.
But when the filenames before the renaming the second time are not unique, you will also need the folder/location to 'travel back' to the original photo.
Then it could be wise to store this information in the xmp before starting the renaming.
Photo Supreme V3, LR6, FPV, PSE14 - vaio i5 @ 2.5GHz + 8GB , 850 EVO 500GB - WD 1TB - Windows 10 Pro 64 bits- DS216play - EOS 600D

rab108
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Joined: 12 Nov 14 12:48

Re: File Name Conventions, xmp files, and raw files

Post by rab108 » 22 Nov 14 10:04

lippe wrote:Assuming you have a backup of all your photos, you will need a reference to the old filename once renamed the images. Since this is the second time you will rename the photos, it is possible the xapMM:PreservedFileName is holding the original name of the camera or it does not exist.
But when the filenames before the renaming the second time are not unique, you will also need the folder/location to 'travel back' to the original photo.
Then it could be wise to store this information in the xmp before starting the renaming.
lippe, thanks for the advice. After preforming a test on some copies of originals, i discovered that the original file name was in the xmapMM:PreservedFileName area. This is good. However, I do not know how to add the folder name. Could you tell me how this is done? Also, should I start a new Post for this subject?
Regards, Allen

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