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How to get the original file number back in the metadata?

616 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Jun 29, 2011 2:59 AM by pdrcourious RSS
pdrcourious Calculating status...
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Jun 26, 2011 2:46 PM

Due to a wrong choice of import settings, the "Version Name" and "File Name" in the metadata tab shows identical dates and times: the ones from the moment the picture was taken. How to revert to the original (default) file name of my cameras: "DSC..." (Nikon D80), "DSCN..." (Nikon E5700), "IMG..." (Canon IXUS)?


I imported the - wisely - backed-up original files again, now in the right way. So the AP Library now has a duplicate of the project with all the originals masters, with two identical images side by side in the browser.

Is it correct to copy the original "File Name" from image 2 - by way of copy and paste - to the wrong "File Name" of image 1? Or is there an easier way to do (batch change)? Otherwise I have to copy/paste nearly 700 images, one by one...


Thanks for any advise.



  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,745 points)

    If you re-imported the images with the naming scheme you want why not just delete the images from the original import that have the names you don't want?

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,745 points)

    Easy bit first; To import screen shots use the camera icon at the top of the editor window:

    Screen shot 2011-06-27 at 09.16.44.png


    Now for the not so easy bit. There is no provision in Aperture for the most part to copy metadata from one image to another. Lift and Stamp is the only way and it doesn't really apply here (at least as I see the situation). There is also no provision to (re)name the actual image files. You can rename the version and apply the version name to the master but you can't just name the image file itself.


    How many images are we talking about? Do the original names from the camera have a consistent sequence to them? Are the images managed or referenced?


    I can't think of anything easy or that would work inside of Aperture itself but I may be over thinking this. Even doing it manually will be a real pain. The only thing I can come up with is to convert the images to referenced masters, rename them in the finder and then re-connecing them in Aperture but I'm not 100% sure that would work.


    If the naming is important and there are a lot of images involved you might be better off losing the work you've already done and starting from scratch.


    Hopefully someone else will jump and and say 'yeah just click the fracus and it will redo the names'.


    good luck

  • Neil G Calculating status...

    Not as simple as a click on a button, but I'll mention what worked for me...


    I added a YYYY-MM-DD to my version names in a large project and while moving masters around I (accidentally) checked the rename box, so I wound up with some misnamed files (e.g., 2011-06-24 DSC_8894) and others with just the camera-assigned name.


    When the images files are Referenced, Aperture takes great care keeping them in sync, apparently whether Aperture is running or not at the moment you rename a file. You can rename the files in a Finder window but since I had a lot of them, I used the Terminal application and created a "shell script" (obvious to you Unix and Linux fans) and renamed the files.


    Aperture had no problem picking up the new names BUT I STRONGLY CAUTION YOU to make a backup copy of the files and Aperture Library FIRST.


    Good luck.


    (I'll add that this worked for me because the image name/number that I wanted to retain in the file name was still somewhere in the file name.)


    Message was edited by: Neil G

  • Neil G Level 3 Level 3 (740 points)

    Alas, the technique I outlined is for Referenced files and they aren't 'in' the Vault. My technique requires that you Relocate Masters and then rename them.


    I see in the images you posted that you 'lost' the original image-file numbering when you renamed them. That makes my scripting solution harder -- maybe sorting files on dates and merging lists. I don't have a good/easy solution for you on that.


    (I was editing this while Frank's suggestion arrived. Yes, once exported as Referenced and then renamed, they can be Consolidated as Managed. My suggestion above was to emphasize that Peter shouldn't go poking around in the Library.)


    Message was edited by: Neil G

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,745 points)

    True but once he's done he could relocate the masters back into the Aperture library turning them back into managed masters.


    Message was edited by: Frank Caggiano

  • Neil G Level 3 Level 3 (740 points)

    I haven't spent much effort re-importing images between iPhoto and Aperture, so I can' t comment on what properties follow.


    Renaming the Master file didn't lose any adjustments, etc., for me because that info is in the Library (database) not the files, and the rename 'found' the renamed file(s).


    Of course you can't rename a file in the same folder as another file with the same name, so you have to Relocate Masters of your 'correctly' named files to put them in another folder than the files you rename.


    I don't have any firm suggestions how you 'script' the file renames. One person might use a series of Unix editor commands, while another would see it as a 'spreadsheet' where column 1 is the "mv" (Unix/Linux command), column 2 is the filenames to change, and column 3 is the target name. Filling those columns and making sure the names align/match your intent is left to the reader.


    The unfortunate thing is that you've lost all connection between the Version Name(s) and the original File Name(s). The only common property that may still be there is the timestamps on the pairs of images probably match.


    Good luck.


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