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Elements Organizer - Photo Downloader renamed and organized files incorrectly PE14

New Here ,
Jan 12, 2017

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I just used Elements to import photos from my iPhone for the first time (previously I used the windows dialog to open folders to view files, and copied photos to my hard drive).

I chose to Create Subfolders using the Shot Date, and to Rename Files using the format yyyymmdd_iPhone_0001,JPG

I had 945 photos saved, so it took a long time to complete the upload, but I figured this is gonna be worth it because for the first time I will be organized!

HOWEVER Elements Organizer - Photo Downloader renamed and organized the files incorrectly!

My Pictures folder now has a lovely set of folders named 2016 11 30, 2016 12 05, 2016 12 06, etc. and the files inside 2016 11 30 are named 20161130_iPhone_####.JPG but...

The 2016 11 30 folder contains images with a "Date Taken" ranging from July 5, 2016 to November 25, 2016. as well as several videos with a "Date Modified" of November 30, 2016. There doesn't appear to be a rhyme or reason as to why these disparate photos were placed in the same folder.

Each and every folder created from this upload is similarly incorrect.

Photos from the same event, all taken on the same day, are scattered across multiple folders.

By looking within the folder in Windows, and sorting by "Date Taken" I can see that Windows has correctly identified the Date the photo was taken/created or modified.

What could cause this to happen? Is there a way to fix it? I would gladly trash all these folders and do the upload again if I thought that I would have better results a second time, but seeing absolutely no reason as to why the folders were incorrectly renamed, I imagine I would only get the similar results.

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Elements Organizer - Photo Downloader renamed and organized files incorrectly PE14

New Here ,
Jan 12, 2017

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I just used Elements to import photos from my iPhone for the first time (previously I used the windows dialog to open folders to view files, and copied photos to my hard drive).

I chose to Create Subfolders using the Shot Date, and to Rename Files using the format yyyymmdd_iPhone_0001,JPG

I had 945 photos saved, so it took a long time to complete the upload, but I figured this is gonna be worth it because for the first time I will be organized!

HOWEVER Elements Organizer - Photo Downloader renamed and organized the files incorrectly!

My Pictures folder now has a lovely set of folders named 2016 11 30, 2016 12 05, 2016 12 06, etc. and the files inside 2016 11 30 are named 20161130_iPhone_####.JPG but...

The 2016 11 30 folder contains images with a "Date Taken" ranging from July 5, 2016 to November 25, 2016. as well as several videos with a "Date Modified" of November 30, 2016. There doesn't appear to be a rhyme or reason as to why these disparate photos were placed in the same folder.

Each and every folder created from this upload is similarly incorrect.

Photos from the same event, all taken on the same day, are scattered across multiple folders.

By looking within the folder in Windows, and sorting by "Date Taken" I can see that Windows has correctly identified the Date the photo was taken/created or modified.

What could cause this to happen? Is there a way to fix it? I would gladly trash all these folders and do the upload again if I thought that I would have better results a second time, but seeing absolutely no reason as to why the folders were incorrectly renamed, I imagine I would only get the similar results.

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Jan 12, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2017

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jillniss wrote:

I had 945 photos saved, so it took a long time to complete the upload, but I figured this is gonna be worth it because for the first time I will be organized!

Well, I don't have the same criteria for good organization as yours...

I mainly trust the organizer catalog to do the job and I don't care much about folder organization and photo renaming.

One thing I have in common with you is to let the downloader create the date-based folder tree.

I don't rename. I know some LR gurus recommend renaming, which may be a good thing in some pro workflows. For me it's redundant and creates potential problems. That said I have tried your download options and did not find errors either in the subfolders contents nor in the renaming. I am on Windows 10 and download from several cameras and also from two Android smartphones. I must say I don't trust the date management from the smartphones...

Since I can't reproduce your issue, I can only imagine that:

- there is a bug in the downloader itself, a bug which is not always present (might be due to date templates or language or time zone versions)

- there is something wrong in the way the 'date_taken' is recovered from your files.

For the first hypothesis, it might be useful to run a download test with only importing in the date file structure, or only renaming.

For the second, you might have to search more to find the pattern of the date error.

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New Here ,
Jan 12, 2017

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Thank you for your prompt response Michel. I don't really know the best way to organize. Historically I have uploaded my photos into subfolders by date shot, usually using the camera's software. If I was looking for a picture from Christmas 2010 or my daughter's first birthday, I knew more or less where to look for them. However, it might take me a long time to locate a particular photo if I couldn't remember the exact date.

My New Year's Resolution was to get my collection organized. By now I have tens of thousands of photos, stored on two different computers. My old ancient computer got a virus or something - it is so slow it is practically nonfunctional - but I do have an external backup drive with the same directory structure as the computer. The trouble is, I don't have enough space to move everything onto my new computer because I never bothered to cull my images. To compound matters, I don't always delete the source files as soon as I copy them over, and as a result I have duplicate photos everywhere taking up gigabytes of space.

I have photos taken from various sources - my old Canon, my new Nikon, my old cell phone, my new cell phone, my husband's cell phone, scanner, emails, etc. - but the photos aren't tagged, so I quite often I might look under Nikon Transfer - search by date - look for an image, and not being able to find it, remember, "Oh yeah, I took that with my iPhone!" and then have to search in a different subdirectory.

I need a streamlined process for uploading, naming, culling, tagging, storing, and retrieving photos for editing and printing. Probably at least 80% of my photos can be deleted. I was hoping Organizer could help me identify duplicates in different folders. Right now, it can't even get the folders right.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2017

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I need a streamlined process for uploading, naming, culling, tagging, storing, and retrieving photos for editing and printing. Probably at least 80% of my photos can be deleted. I was hoping Organizer could help me identify duplicates in different folders. Right now, it can't even get the folders right.

You are absolutely right. You must trust your new organization and first find out what is wrong in the dates read and understood by the organizer.

The organizer being a catalog based system, you don't need to concentrate first on folder structure for the existing media which may stay in various drives and random folders. Of course, it's good to start on a sound basis for new files and your folder structure choice is a good one.

Your problem is not exactly that the folders are not right, it's that what the organizer considers as 'date_taken' (the criteria for the sort order in the browsing space) is not the good one for you. That will automatically result in false subfolders and renaming. If you can check that the downloader can recognize the 'date_taken', both for imports from files and folders and for import from camera or card reader, you can start to 'import' with confidence. You might try to see if the problems you encounter arise for certain cameras, for pictures edited with other softwares.

Before the big (and rewarding) job of culling, keywording, creating albums etc, a correct import will recover the 'date_taken' as well as many other exif data. That will make finding by date easy, even if the files are on several drives, have been edited with different softwares; same for finding by camera.

Removing duplicates will be easier if they can be displayed chronologically.

Suggestion: try first to import both from files and folders and from camera and card reader with the date-based folder tree without renaming.

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New Here ,
Jan 12, 2017

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I deleted the dated folders from my hard drive so I could test your suggestion. I now realize that was a big mistake because the list of dated folders now show up as "ghosts" in my Organizer catalog and I have not had any luck deleting them from Organizer. What now?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2017

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jillniss wrote:

I deleted the dated folders from my hard drive so I could test your suggestion. I now realize that was a big mistake because the list of dated folders now show up as "ghosts" in my Organizer catalog and I have not had any luck deleting them from Organizer. What now?

The golden rule in the organizer (as well as in Lightroom) is never tot delete, rename or move files from outside the organizer (eg from the explorer). The links to the location of the files are no longer valid, which shows as 'missing' or 'unconnected' items.

For more guidance, could confirm if I understand yout present situation:

- You had a former organization with a catalog of older pictures. The files in that catalog were first copied to your drive and 'imported' in your catalog 'from files and folders'.

- You tried to import in a new folder structure with renamed file names; there were errors in the process. (945 files)

- You have deleted the new additional file structure from the explorer. The files are now 'disconnected' which explains the folders are now shown as 'ghosts'.

Questions:

- How big was your catalog (number of items) before your test?

- Woud it be possible to 'undelete' the deleted files from the waste bin to get back to the situation before the files deletion?

- Did you create a backup from the organizer before the test?

If you can restore the deleted files, the correct procedure is to delete them from the organizer

If you can't, you should delete the 'missing' files from the catalog.

Waiting for those infos before suggesting more details...

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Jan 13, 2017 0
New Here ,
Jan 13, 2017

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Hi Michel,

Yes, you understand my problem perfectly. We are really only talking about 25 "ghost" folders but I can't even imagine how long it would take to delete them because Organizer is operating very slowly now.

- How big was your catalog (number of items) before your test?

I am not sure how big the catalog was before the test. I have tried to locate that information (the number of files in Organizer) but I am not seeing any Properties tab.Here is a screenshot showing about half of my organizer screen, but below that it looks like everything just repeats under a directory tree of C, Users, Jill, Pictures.

jillniss organizer.jpg

- Would it be possible to 'undelete' the deleted files from the waste bin to get back to the situation before the files deletion?

Unfortunately, no. I emptied the Recycle Bin already.

- Did you create a backup from the organizer before the test?

No, I don't even know how to do this. I have an external hard drive that I had connected to my computer prior to starting this "organization" task, but it told me there was insufficient space to complete the backup.

Organizer is giving me a "Backup Reminder" dialog box when I start the program, but because the current file structure is so messed up I have been selecting "Remind Me Next Time." 

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New Here ,
May 28, 2020

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I have the same issue - when downloading photos, letting PSE2020 create folders by photo creation date, the pictures are seemingly randomly dispersed, some are in the right folder, some months or days apart. Seems to display correctly in the organizer itsself. It appears to be a bug in the downloader.

 

Another annoying part is in the file tree view, there is a right click option to view all folders, but it is temporary, so you have to turn it back on every time you want to move a file to a newly created empty folder. No setting to make it always visible. 

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May 28, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 29, 2020

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"I have the same issue - when downloading photos, letting PSE2020 create folders by photo creation date, the pictures are seemingly randomly dispersed, some are in the right folder, some months or days apart. Seems to display correctly in the organizer itsself. It appears to be a bug in the downloader."

What is common with the original post is that files are not imported in the expected folder tree location. What we don't know is the reason of the failure. To report a bug, we have to be able to define a precise workflow to reproduce the issue. I am tempted to think that your issue is different from the original post. You assume the catalog recognizes the date_taken correctly. You don't mention either if you are also renaming at import time. 

Suggestions to find a pattern for the differences 

- if you are importing from different cameras/smartphones, try to check if the bug is the same for all

- check if you might have changed the date settings of your cameras or taken shots in different time zones

- exclude videos and pngs which are known to have difficulties in providing the right date_taken

- check if there may be an error in the date pattern local preferences, such as yyyy dd mm or yyyy mm dd

- exclude scanned files (another kind of issues)

- .....

 

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May 29, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 29, 2020

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"Another annoying part is in the file tree view, there is a right click option to view all folders, but it is temporary, so you have to turn it back on every time you want to move a file to a newly created empty folder. No setting to make it always visible. "

Yes, that's often very annoying. The trouble is that I can't imagine a way to make such a setting 'sticky'. The current option displays all subfolders of the current master folder even if they are unknown to the current catalog. That means scanning just a master folder and showing a limited number of subfolders. The 'folders' view on the left panel is manageable because it does not show 90% of subfolders unrelated to the catalog. When you want to 'drag and drop' a set of selected files, the system does not know if you want to drag to a hidden subfolder of a different master folder than the current one. Maybe someone can suggest a possible implementation to keep the 'show all subfolders' option active?

 

A workaround which helps me when I have a big batch of files already somewhere on my computer and I want to let the downloader create automatically my default folder tree by day (yyyy m dd). That's only possible by importing 'from camera or card reader', not from 'files and folders'. So, I just copy the whole batch on card or a thumbstick before importing 'from camera or card reader'.

 

 

 

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