Lightroom: Make folder number available in filenaming presets.

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  • Updated 7 years ago
In our cameras, when the image number rolls over, the camera increments the folder number.

I propose making that folder number available so user may opt for an image number that does not rollover every 10,000 images.

For example, suppose you have a Nikon D300 and you name your photos:

ND300_{Filename number suffix}

the filename number suffix is only 4 digits, thus your filenames will not be unique after a while. Most people solve that by tossing in a date or a sequence number or something.

However the folder names in a Nikon D300 are:

{3-digit folder number}ND300. So, if you could name your files

ND300_{Foldername number prefix}{Filename number suffix}

then they'd always be unique without requiring insertion of a more verbose date (nor some arbitrary sequencing number...).

(Most cameras do the same thing for the same reason...)

Summary:
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This 'Idea' is to be able to insert a folder number as well as the filename number, effectively creating a unique 7-digit in-camera image number that will never roll over.

I'd settle for import-actions and/or the ability to rename files via SDK, but I think a lot of people would appreciate having this native.
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Rob Cole

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  • hoping filenaming will be more robust come Lr4.

Posted 7 years ago

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Geoff Walker, Champion

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Don't agree at all Rob "a lot of people" (I guess you done a survey) use naming regimes that are more robust than your example.
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Rob Cole

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"I guess you done a survey" - I don't appreciate your sarcasm. Treating fellow forum members discourteously is disrespectful coming from anyone. From a "Champ" its downright inappropriate.
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Rob Cole

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*All* people who use Lightroom's filename presets for file naming use a scheme that is more "robust" than my example - some because they want to, the rest because they have to.
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Geoff Walker, Champion

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Rob, I wasn't intending sarcasm, I was just stating it as I see it. You or I don't know what a lot or the majority of photographers or Lightroom users do or want period. Ny the way the site is not designed as a personal blog which in my eyes is the way you come across as treating it.
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Rob Cole

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In my original post, I said: "I think a lot of people would appreciate having this". Although, unlike some things, I actually have a pretty good feel for this one through personal experience. Note: I never said "majority". This is the kind of feature that doesn't warrant a majority of users to be worthwhile. A lot of options in the filename template editor are not used by the majority - that hardly makes them bad ideas...

PS - Your initial response was provoking, regardless of your "intentions".

I have frequent ideas and try to describe them thoroughly, and make a case for them. But I don't believe my posts are outside the scope of this site. Unless that changes, I plan to continue posting as I have been.
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Rob Cole

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To try and make this idea clearer:

Folder number + filename number suffix provides a unique value on a per camera basis such that camera designation is the only additional piece of information necessary to assure uniqueness.

Without folder number, the filename image number rolls over, thus one must introduce something else to assure uniqueness, like date (assuming no more than 10,000 photos will be shot in a day).

PS - RC Importer supports folder number and many people use it, including me up until yesterday. This request is not for me.
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Rob Cole

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One real-life example (please ignore this post if you aren't interested in a use case):

My filenaming scheme up until yesterday (import is via plugin that supports folder-number):

{camera-id}_{folder-number}{filename-number}.{ext}

for example:
NIK3_12345.NEF (so far, I have only used least significant digit of folder number). Note: 5-digit "image-number" - after reaching 100,000 photos, another digit of folder-number would need to be used.

Pros: Simple, short, easy to read, unique, yet sufficient information to find the matching photo on my card before reformatting or after undeleting should that become necessary.

Cons: viewing software does not always order them the way I want (details available upon request).

Starting yesterday:

{date}{photog}{time}{camera-id}{filename-number}.ext

for example:
20110635RC130325NB2345.NEF

Pros: all viewing software I use can display in my preferred order (by alphabetizing), even when photographs from multiple cameras and/or photographers. And, does *not* depend on folder number.

Cons: longer, more complicated, harder to read.

Final thoughts:
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Many people prefer a scheme that is as "short and sweet" as possible, as long as it suits their needs (I know this from experience). Having folder number prefix the filename number makes for the shortest scheme, assuming user does want to use filename number - some might even say its *sweet*.

PS - If one day all viewing software I use supports my preferred ordering, and adequately supports critical metadata, I may switch back to the previous "simple-as-possible" scheme, relying soley on metadata over filename for those needs. - contingent upon Lightroom supporting the folder-number that is (unless I'm still using an import plugin that supports folder number, of course). Switching filenaming scheme would also require either filename be settable in SDK, or more sophisticated bulk file renaming in Lightroom, although by then, I may have written a database app to do it - based on pioneering work done by Photographe.
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Rob Cole

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Perhaps the folder-number could be made more accessible to the masses if it were handled as an extension to the filename number, for example:

have multiple versions of the in-camera image number:
- 4-digit that rolls over every 10,000 photos (same as the filename number suffix we have now - does not use folder number).
- 5-digit that rolls over every 100,000 photos (uses least signficant digit of folder number).
- 6-digit that rolls over every 1,000,000 photos (uses last two digits of folder number).
- 7-digit that "never" rolls over (includes full 3-digit folder number).