Musings on Photography

ImageIngester Pro – reprise

Posted in software by Paul Butzi on February 3, 2008

Canon-Powershot-G9-008020-0442
A little more on ImageIngester Pro, now that I’ve had a chance to get it all set up just the way I like, and actually use it for a little while.

Because it has really flexible macros that include the contents of the EXIF data in the image, it makes it very easy for me to completely automate what used to be an error prone part of my ‘download’ process – picking the right folder to put the images in, and creating the folder if needed. My current structure is that I have, under the root of my image directory, folders named for years (Gregorian calendar, for those who care about such things). That is, there’s a ‘2008’ directory, a ‘2006’ directory, and so on. Underneath each of these year directories, there are ‘month’ directories, named using the formula ‘YYYYMM’; thus, I have a 200701 directory, which contains all the raw files for the photos I made in January, 2007.

One of the problems that often occurred (because I am fundamentally a lazy git) is that I’d be downloading files off a card, and the files would span a month boundary, so that some of the files were destined for one directory (say, 2008/200801) and some for another (say, 2007/200712). This would then involved a great deal of error prone messing about, copying the files off the card, making sure I got all the files, making sure they went in the right place, etc.

With ImageIngester Pro, this is a snap. I set up the description of the folder hierarchy in the preferences pane, and I’m done. Every file is sucked off the card, and every file gets placed in the right year folder and month folder, without any action on my part. If I hit a new month, and the new folder doesn’t yet exist, it gets created automatically. Nice.

The same macro flexibility has eliminated another error prone part of my process – batch renaming of files. Using EXIF data and the macros, I no longer have to specify the camera when downloading/renaming. The macro I use automaticallly picks off the last two characters of the camera model (for my two cameras, that corresponds to ‘5D’ and ‘G9’) and uses them when renaming the file. Another source of error, eradicated.

Finally, there’s the support issue. I had a little trouble getting the automatic backup feature of IIP set up properly. After a bit of puzzling and head scratching, I sent off a question about it to the support email address. I got an immediate response back with some questions about exactly what I was doing. After a brief flurry of rapid email exchanges, I had my answer – a simple misunderstanding about how the backup feature was ordered – problem solved. Short, fast, sweet. Compared to my support issues with Big Software Firms, this was a pleasant surprise. No, that’s not right – it was a pleasant surprise, and it makes me wonder why I’m surprised that I should get fantastic, fast, friendly, and HELPFUL support on software.

The big software companies should take note – it’s not that these little guys are going to eat your lunch. It’s that they’re going to devour you where you stand, and you’re too slow to notice.

4 Responses

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  1. Ed Richards said, on February 3, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Downloader Pro is also good for this, and if you carry a GPS, it will match the times on the images to the track log and put the GPS locations into the metadata.

  2. paul mcevoy said, on February 3, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Could someone please tell me if I’m doing something wrong by letting Lightroom take care of this? It seems to do a great job of injesting images off a card and putting them into folders by date for me. Am I missing something? Is it going to eat my images?

  3. Paul Butzi said, on February 3, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Downloader Pro is also good for this, and if you carry a GPS, it will match the times on the images to the track log and put the GPS locations into the metadata.

    Yep. ImageIngester Pro also has this feature, although I’ve not tried it.

    Could someone please tell me if I’m doing something wrong by letting Lightroom take care of this?

    I doubt you’re doing something wrong. There are things with Lightroom I dislike and which make it a non-starter for me – I found image import was really slow, it couldn’t use exif data to generate file names (and thus couldn’t handle different cameras well), and so on.

    But if it works for you, it works for you. There are lots of tools, and everyone’s preferences are different. I wouldn’t claim that IIP is the ONLY way to ingest images. All I can say is it works well for me.

  4. paulmcevoy75 said, on February 12, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Ok cool, thanks. I don’t know if it’s faster in the new version or not, but it’s quite speedy. I should say that image ingestion changed from being a total pain in the *** to a non-issue with my Lexar card reader.

    I must say, I love the lightroom. File organization sucks. Ok, it’s non-existent. And some of the menus are a little wonky “quick develop” = totally useless. But it’s totally changed the way that I work…having everything accessible in one place is pretty awesome.


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