OS Photos woes…

… or exdif and sorting pictures!!


Ever since Apple “upgraded” Aperture to Photos I have had issues with my Photos library. I have over 250Gb of pictures and videos! Aperture managed it beautifully, but Photos seems to have issues (not to mention all the missing features!!!).

So I decided to keep my pictures outside the main Photo library and link them. The big problem there was that I have almost 30.000 files and I wanted them sorted in chronological order in my own folder structure.

Terminal to the rescue. First you will need to download an amazing little program called exiftool here.

Here is my workflow. When I don’t feel like taking care of pictures I import them into a temporary folder called “toSort”.

Or in Terminal:

This gets pretty messy, pretty quickly. In this case I had 1.2Gb of pictures (just over 450 files!) to go through…

exiftool to the rescue. Run the following command in the folder with your pictures (toSort in my case):

exiftool -r -d %Y/%m/%d \"-directory<filemodifydate\" \"-directory<createdate\" \"-directory<datetimeoriginal\" ."

What it does:

-r recursively go through all folders and subfolders in specified directory

-d %Y/%m/%d date format to use; in this case Year, Month, Day

\"-directory<filemodifydate\" \"-directory<createdate\" \"-directory<datetimeoriginal\

Use either the file’s “filemodifydate” or “dateimeoriginal” metadata to create new folders and move the file there.

. do all this in the current directory.

I created an alias for the command for easier use like this:

alias sortPics="exiftool -r -d %Y/%m/%d \"-directory<filemodifydate\" \"-directory<createdate\" \"-directory<datetimeoriginal\" ."

After running it:

And in Finder the new Folder structure is very apparent. All pictures have been sorted into year, month, and day subfolders!!

Now I can merge this by option-dragging this folder to my main picture depository. Now import to Photos (without copying files to the Photos library!!!) and done… keep your pictures where you want them, how you want them!

Also, exiftool can do a lot more cool stuff like sorting your pictures by location! Check out the documentation…

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