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hpolack Sep 6, 2004 6:40 PM


I have been looking for software specifically to capture photos from a directory, flash card and/or camera such that it will store according to the DATE TAKEN in the EXIF file. Specifically, it needs to look at the EXIF date taken and determine whether or not that directory exist for each picture. If not, create the new directory. If the directory exists, look at the number sequence of the photos in the directory and either continue with thesequence, or create a new sequence.Typically, the directory would depict the year, month, and day. I then put those directorys in a high-level directory labeled for that year.

+My Pictures




I know that 99% of the software will let you display your picture according to the date taken, but the added advantage of storing the photos that same way rather than by date upload (totally meaningless) is overwhelming. If you just want to browse through photos with a browser you can quickly target the right date. If you want to backup photos or provide to others on a DVD or CD, they instantly have it organized.

So enough with my speech. There is one software package I am forced to use and it is ok to put it politely. That software came with my Canon Camera called ZoomBrowser. Now I have discovered what I think is near perfection as to a capture program called DateTree, butsadly I would have to switch to being a MAC person to run it. Below is a link to the software. The software lets you determine the heirarchy such as having a two level folder by year and subfolders by month.

I contacted the author, but he said it can not port and he will not be creating a PC version. If you to are interested perhaps we can get enough donations or contributions to persuade him.

Ultimately, I am hoping someone sees this and can turn me on to PC based version of something similar to DateTree

eric s Sep 6, 2004 9:52 PM

The easy part is to have it download into a directory which is the date the picture was taken. ZoomBrowser (which you already listed) can do that, and I bet others can too.

It sounds like you want to number the pictures based on the sequence in the directory and not what the camera produced. So you want to rename the pictures as you copy them. This I'm not so sure about. I've never heard it listed as a feature before, but I'm certainly no expert.

I haven't used it, but I know many, many people who like the software from breeze systems called... Downloader Pro. Their other product (breeze browser) is very well respected. You can find out more about it from here:

I can't specifically say that it does what you want, but it's worth looking at to see if it does.


hpolack Sep 7, 2004 5:55 AM

Thank You. The Downloader program seems sophisticated enough to download based on Date Taken, but I think it is limited to Date Modified. So, if you have modified to remove red-eye for example, it would put that picture in a folder when you modified it regardless of when you took the picture.

I hope it is just that I can not figure it out as it is a command line based software package to some extent. If anyone else knows how to do this or can recommend another software package, I would greatly appreciate it.

hpolack Sep 7, 2004 5:55 AM

Thank You. The Downloader program seems sophisticated enough to download based on Date Taken, but I think it is limited to Date Modified. So, if you have modified to remove red-eye for example, it would put that picture in a folder when you modified it regardless of when you took the picture.

I hope it is just that I can not figure it out as it is a command line based software package to some extent. If anyone else knows how to do this or can recommend another software package, I would greatly appreciate it.

eric s Sep 7, 2004 1:03 PM

I hate to send you off to another forum, but you might want to check to see if breezesystems has their own forum just for their products. You might get an answer faster that way.

I'm not sure I understand your problem though. Maybe your way of working is different than mine. This is how I work with zoombrowser and I don't think it would change with Downloader Pro.


1) I have a CF card with some pictures on it, so I put it into my card reader.

2) I run zoombrowser and tell it to download the files. I tell it to copy them into a directory based in /pictures/pictures originals, and to create a directory in there based on the date the picture was taken. I then select only new files and tell it to start copying..

3) When its done copying, I startup Photoshop and start looking at the pictures. If I edit one, I create a directory in /pictures/pictures edited that has the date the picture was taken for the name. I save the edited copy into that directory.


It sounds like you are mixing step 2 with step 3. Why are you want to use Downloader Pro to "download" files that you edited? It's for downloading pictures that are on a portable flash media card (SD, CF, Memory Stick,...) Once the files are off the media card, youn're done using the downloading software (zoombrowser's downloader or Downloader Pro.) Can you describe what you are trying to do in a way similar to how I describe it above? I think I'm missing something here.


hpolack Sep 7, 2004 1:30 PM

At the heart of the matter is I have hundreds, if not thousands of photos, that are in file folders, but not organized by Date Taken. Canon in their infinite wisdom will not let you use the software to read from a directory instead of a camera or flash card and save according to the Date Taken. I have been copying files up to a Flash card just to get ZoomBrowser to read it and sort it down. What a pain. Also, one of the past versions of ZoomBrowser would not allow you to read non-Canon taken pictures. My wife has a Kodak camera, so I was unable to upload those pictures by Date Taken due to Canon's great foresight and controlling nature. They have removed that limitation in the latest version. Finally, the ZoomBrowser is just a pain in the A to work with. It takes all of this time to shutdown the browser to load the reader program and then closes that program when you are finished uploading and reopens the browser again taking a lot of time.

If I want to transfer files from a folder, camera, or card it should be a quick easy processes with reports indicating what it intends on doing and what it did. Again, DateTree is ideal from a user interface (simplicity & robust), but alas it is MAC.

BTW, I spoke with the programmer of Downloader Pro and he confirmed the directories are built based on date modified and not EXIF date taken. He considered and is reconsidering Date Taken as an option, but thought the transfer time was greatly increased slowing down the transfer process to a point of detriment. I personally think the download process and time for only the download portion of ZoomBrower is acceptable….it is the switching back and forth between the Browser and Download program as well as thegeneral kluge nature of their product that I dislike (besides of course the fact that you can not point to directories rather than a flash card and camera)

Thanks again for all of your interest and assistance.

eric s Sep 7, 2004 3:39 PM

I've got over 8 thousand pictures (not including the ones I took on my 2 week vacation) so I can understand your desire to keep them organized. I'm thinking something better is needed myself.

Ok, I now understand what you're trying to do. What I don't understand is why you're doing it that way.

When you edit and then save the file, why don't you just save it to the directory based on the date the file was taken. I know that my editor (PhotoShop CS) defaults you to the same directory that you read the file from... so you're already in a directory named after the date the picture was taken (but not the time.) Now, maybe this doesn't work easily for you because you edit lots of pictures from different days. I don't normally do this, so my approach to the problem might not work for you.

Are you trying to save all the files into the same directory (no matter what day the pictures were taken on) and then you want to run a program which files them in the right directory based on the EXIF Date Taken field?

What I just described is not "Downloading". Downloading is copy the files from the camera or flash card to your hard disk. This is why you're having trouble finding a "download" program that works on directories.

You might have better luck looking for a robust file copying or moving program (ya, it's just a chance in terminology, but when put into a search engine it could make all the difference.)

I agree with you about your dislike of zoombrowser. I only use it because I'm too cheap to buy something like Downloader Pro that does a better job. Although the latest change to their download software is bugging me enough that I'm thinking of doing that (Canon changed the way they name the files when they copy them off the media.. talk about backwards incompatable!!! Come on guys!)


hpolack Sep 7, 2004 6:01 PM

The problem is that I have photos that have never been organized in the first place or were organized poorly and now I am paying for it. By poorly I mean I created a directory labeled x date to x date so I knew what the range of dates of the pictures in that subdirectory (i.e., Jan 1 thru Feb 2 1999). This obviously was when digital cameras just came out.

So with that being said, I also have a few pictures that have been modified (not by my hands as I am a purist and always retain the original seperately). Thus, I have a mix of pictures having the original modified date that equals the Date Taken and others where the modified date does not equal the Date Taken in the EXIF. Can you say YUK. Therefore when you use programs that claim to organize folders by the Date Taken and they use the modified date, you get two different directories for pictures that were taken at the same time.

A worst case scenerio would be those poor people who use Picasa and have it save in directories of what ever label tickles their fancy at the time (OMG-That would be my wife).

With all that said, I think I might have just come across a viable solution, but will know better later this week when I have time to play. The software is called cam2pc.

But you have to use their 4.4RC1 release to have most of the functionality I have been stating.

Let me know what you think and I will plan on providing my assessment later this week.

eric s Sep 9, 2004 8:03 AM

Ah, gotcha. I was lucky that I started using the Canon software and I've only had one camera to work with. If I had a whole set of files that were not organized.... I'm not sure what I'd do.

Interesting program you found. It doesn't explicitly say the criteria it provides for picking the directory to copy to... and it does more than you need in other ways. But if it gets the job done, you're all set!

Another potential might be to go in a different direction. If you have enough pictures something like IMatch could be what you really need. It's a package that organizes pictures and makes it easy to find the pictures you want. You can find the link here:

It doesn't do what you want in that it isn't a file copier or mover. From their web page:
Organize your photos in many ways
Create and use albums, categories, keywords
View, find, transform, rename and convert your images
Edit and enhance your photos
Work with RAW images from digital cameras
Use the embedded EXIF and IPTC data
Integrate other applications

And since it can read the EXIF data, you can search on the date taken.


luisr Sep 9, 2004 9:22 AM

Kind of late and I didn't read the entire thread but I use and highly recommend a program called cam2PC (I believe you will find it in - if not, then Google is your friend) that among other things, lets you download and store based on date taken or date downloaded and many other options.

Not sure if it can help with your particular problem of unorganized pictures in the hard drive but it might be possible to tell the downloader to look inspecific folders instead of a camera or removable media.

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