Batch File Rename with Automator

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I’d been searching high and low all over the web for an application that would let me rename large amounts of files. With our timelape cameras producing Hundreds of thousands of files this is a real necessity at work. I was getting rather frustrated with not being able to find any “free” apps as i thought this was a really simple process but i couldn’t find any.
Then I had an epiphany!


So i set myself the task of figuring out how to create a Finder Plug-In to do this and I did it – woo me! See the guide below to find out how to do it yourself:
This will create a plug-in that you will use on a folder in your finder.
1). Open up Automator and start a new workflow by selecting: File -> New

2). Select the “Custom” option and hit “Choose“.

3). Using the search box top left search for the term “Get Folder Contents”

4). Drag the result into the main window

5 ). Note the tick box” Repeat for each subfolder found”

6 ). Now do a search for “Rename Finder Items” and drag it in to the main window underneath the current “get folder contents” action. When you do so you will be asked a question by the system. It will suggest adding a “copy” action to the process. By default this is set to copy each file that is being processed to the desktop. This may be useful to you but for this demo i don’t need it so i selected “don’t add”

7 ).You should now have a window with two actions. The first action will look at the contents of the folder. The second action will rename the file as per your settings. There are several options to choose from but for this demo i am going to make them sequential:

8 ).This is where you set your action but you need not worry about getting this perfect. I’ve elected to give all my files an entirely new name that starts with Holidays_Christmas_09. You can see the rest of the settings in the image below. Its all pretty self explanatory

9 ). REALLY IMORTANT BIT!!!! The most important thing next is to select the options button along the bottom of the “Rename Finder Items” Action and then to select the “Show this actions when the workflow runs.” Without this this plug-in will rename all your clips with the same criteria.

10 ). When you think you are finished then you need to save this workflow as a plugin. Do this by selecting: File -> Save As Plug-In
Name the plugin something simple but easy to identify like “Finder Batch Re-Namer Plug-In” and select “Finder” from the drop down menu. That’s it done – Well done! Now you want to know how to use it don’t you!!! Its very simple.

11 ). “Ctrl+click” on the folder the files you want to rename are and select: More -> Automator -> Finder Batch Re-Namer Plug-In (or whatever you named it). This will begin the workflow and your options window will appear allowing you to change the settings to better suit your needs on any given occasion.

12 ).It’s always a good idea to double check your settings. You don’t want to end up renaming all your accounts files when you wanted to rename your photos. Always double check and if you are worried then you can always use the copy function in step 6.


By | I Laughed, Photos | No Comments

When one buys a new mac, one is compelled to use photobooth on the first sitting:


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So we are now back from our amazing holiday over in Ireland. It was AWESOME! There is a massive gallery below..

We set of on Monday morning and drove to Pembroke which was a loooong drive. Easy but long. I’ve never driven to the end of the M4 and then some so it was a first for a dull fact. When we set off I’d had the idea of stopping off for a McDonalds breakfast – mmmm Sausage & Egg McMuffin – only to realise that when a motorway services has loads of signage stating that it has a McDonalds does not necessarily mean that there actually will be one there! I didn’t let this break my stride of happy holiday joy joy feelings. I settled for something else which was…i can’t remember.

Anyway. We got to Pembroke in good time with an hour to spare so we chilled out and read some of our books. AH Yes the books – I’ll get on to them later. We boarded the Ferry fine and the sailing was – windy. Cut to 3hrs later. We got off the ferry at Rosslare. I found this very exciting indeed. It was great to be arriving on Irish soil with my Wife. I’d never been to Rosslare port so that was also new. We got on the road and zoomed…well no for about 5 mils we got stuck behind some guy who insisted on driving at 20 mph. I put that down to him panicking about the metric system and deciding slower was better-  not for the massive queue of traffic that built up behind him. Luckily i was jus behind him and was first to be free of the confines of his diabolical driving. Off we drove.

We arrived at silver strand at about 8:2o that eve. This was a little later than I had expected. It was also raining a little more than I had expected. I was expecting there to be no rain – at all! It wasn’t pouring by any means; it was a fine misty rain. It was wonderful pulling off the road and opening the gat to the campsite and seeing Ruth’s reaction to it all. We decided to visit the Loos first off as it’s been a while in the car.

The Nostalgia Boom began

It didn’t end till we got back home to Acton.

Anyway, the loos are on a slope and while we were pulling away the backend swung out and we went sliding in the car! I’d forgotten that can happen when it rains! After a quick recovery we drove across the field in search of my folk’s caravan. At this stage we were very pleased to not have to face the act of setting up a tent in the dark in the rain. The timing of my parents move couldn’t have been better. As we drove across the field it became apparent that, while there were a few other caravans dotted around and the usual static vans, thee were no other people in the field at all – not even in the static’s – We had the place to ourselves completely! It didn’t take us long to find the Robinson’s caravan. We unloaded some of our stuff and then headed in to Wicklow town as our bellies were getting cranky! We got ourselves some Fish and Chips and headed back here we ate them by LED light – how romantic! We set up for bed and went to sleep soon after.

The following day we went to see Mom and Dad’s place. On the way I sowed Ruth the house I’d been born in and some of the schools I’d been to. We called Mom and then told her we were near by. We got some food and headed over to see their house. Mom was delighted to see us. I was a bit shocked by the place. I know they had said it needed work but I hadn’t quite expected it to be as bad as it is. It will take them a long time to get it back to a state they will be proud of… It was great to see Mom in her new home. Dad was in the UK that day for a meeting so we dint see him that day but we did see them both twice more on other occasions.

At his point the list of things we did began:

  • Walked Bray Head
  • Cooked dinner in the dark
  • Found a candle
  • Cooked dinner by candle light
  • Read more book
  • Slept

We then woke. I woke up facing the air vent in the roof of the van. I looked up and saw a sliver of pure blue sky – I reached over and slid across the curtain and the sun blinded us by flooding in and blessing us with a beautiful site of the sun shining on the water. It was amazing. From this point on the weather stayed beautiful for the rest of the week. I even got sun burn.

We went in to Dublin city centre and we did some of the touristy things. I realized that my knowledge of history of Dublin is not what it was so it was a bit half a**ed. I promised Ruth that next time I’d arrange a tour or something. In the Evening we met up with Dar and had a nice dinner and a drink with him before heading back down to Wicklow.

The next day we did beaches. We went down to our own beach and read and sunbathed. We waded out t the long rock and got stuck. There used to be a path back up to the other campsite but it is no longer there so we had to wade back with the tied coming back in. This ended in us walking back down the road absolutely soaked wet. It was great though. That afternoon we wet down to Britta Bay and walked along the beach there.

The following day we decided to do Killiney Hill and see the Obelisk. This is a place I hung out a lot as a kid. It was terrific showing Ruth my old haunts. We called Mom again and went and had lunch. Then we got invited for dinner so we said yes – we hadn’t seen dad at this stage and we were dieing to see him too. Too kill the passing time we went down to Dun Laoghaire. We went and got an Ice Cream at the infamous “Teddy’s” which fueled our walk down the pier. We got a great surprise when we reached the end and were able to actually enter the light house enclosure. For all the years I walked down there I never had that opportunity but now its open to the public. It was wonderful. It was such a beautiful day that we were almost getting head-aches from he glean of the sun on the water. After this we had a coffee and strolled down through the main high street back to the car. When we got back o Mom & Dad’s we had a nap before having dinner – and a wonderful dinner it was too. Dad told me of some of his plans to make changes and repairs to the house which was great.

The rest of the holiday was full of wonderful moments relaxing and chilling out. One of the other highlights as reading a sequel to a book that we both read during the year. It was a trashy horror novel called Contagious (sequel to Infected”) by Scott Sigler. We took turns reading this out to each other which turned out to be really great fun. It would have been nice to see some relatives and to see other things and re-live other memories but I realise that w can do that next time as Ruth and I both firmly agreed – there will be LOTS of next times…

Below is the entire gallery – first time i’ve been able to upload a BIG gallery to wordpress – the key has been – do it on a mac!

bad from low angles

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I have realised that when i really need a shave, and I am lit from the back, and I am tired, and I am using a crappy flash, and I’m being shot from a low angle  that i look rubbish……

…the rest of the time i look just dandy!

Henley Happened

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Wifey and i had a really great weekend in Henley. The plan as to do NOTHING! that pln was achieved. We mostly slept, chilled, read, walked and …well…did nothing…as i …said.

We saw some firends on sat afternoon down in twyford which was cool

On a whole – it was justwhat the doctor ordered. I didn’t realise how stressed i had been until i stopped!