October 26, 2008

Smart rename for photo image files (jhead)

If you have digital camera then you also have lots of digital photos on your disk drive. For you who want to better organise your photos here is one quick tip.

Cameras name photo files in non human friendly ways, for example last few photos I took have these filenames:

$ ls
pa198126.jpg  pa198130.jpg  pa198134.jpg  pa198138.jpg  pa198142.jpg  pa198146.jpg  pa198150.jpg pa198127.jpg  pa198131.jpg  pa198135.jpg  pa198139.jpg  pa198143.jpg  pa198147.jpg  pa198151.jpg pa198128.jpg  pa198132.jpg  pa198136.jpg  pa198140.jpg  pa198144.jpg  pa198148.jpg pa198129.jpg pa198133.jpg  pa198137.jpg  pa198141.jpg  pa198145.jpg   

Just from looking at the file names and not oppening these photos you can't really get much information. If you wish to smartly bulk rename your photo files so that the file names have more meaning continue reading.

First we need to install jhead. If you are using Fedora use yum for installing jhead and for Debian (Ubuntu) based systems use apt-get:

yum install jhead


apt-get install jhead

To give these images a new name we will use date written by the camera to their exif tags. Exif tags contain a lot of useful information like date and time the shoots were taken, brand and model of the camera, shutter speed and other info.

We will use only the time info for now, but you can play with all the settings as you wish.

To rename the images with date and time when they were shoot we can use jhead with these parameters:

jhead -n%Y_%m_%d_%H%M%S IMG*.jpg

After that we have a much more human friendly image names:

$ ls
2008_10_19_161728a.jpg  2008_10_19_162047.jpg  2008_10_19_172113.jpg  2008_10_19_173315.jpg 2008_10_19_161728.jpg  2008_10_19_162100.jpg  2008_10_19_172124.jpg  2008_10_19_173330.jpg 2008_10_19_161830.jpg  2008_10_19_162204.jpg  2008_10_19_172137.jpg  2008_10_19_173349.jpg 2008_10_19_161840.jpg  2008_10_19_162218.jpg  2008_10_19_172141.jpg  2008_10_19_173806.jpg 2008_10_19_161949.jpg  2008_10_19_171956.jpg  2008_10_19_172231.jpg  2008_10_19_173816.jpg 2008_10_19_162000.jpg  2008_10_19_172009.jpg      2008_10_19_173256.jpg       2008_10_19_162034.jpg  

If you have some more examples how this approach can be enhanced even more please post it in the comments.

I read a great article on linux.com about automated image processing. Highly recommended.