Apple wants you to only use DOS names

by Volker Weber

Oh, the irony. If you want iPhoto to recognize your photos, you have to use DOS names. Look at the screenshot. I duplicated the last photo and renamed it. It's the only one iPhoto sees. iPhone and iPad with camera connection kit have the same problem. How hard could it be to look for *.JPG instead of ????????.JPG?

Not a problem for Picasa:


So I have to stick with the original file-naming of most cameras (IMG_1234.JPG) What happens if I shoot more than 9.999 photos? Buy a second Mac? ;-)

Peak Apple.


Sascha Westphal, 2012-07-08 22:33

Si tacuisses.

It's not quite as easy.

Volker Weber, 2012-07-08 22:40

The reason for this is you still have the media card selected. It is formatted FAT32 or FAT16 by the camera, and is not able to be formatted any other way if you want it readable by the camera. To get a different file naming convention you must put the file first on your hard drive before dragging it into iPhoto. They do that so older PCs without Windows can read those cards.

sudo brody, 2012-07-09 01:27

Wrong. You can just drag the files from the card to iPhoto. But it won't recognize the files without dragging them.

Volker Weber, 2012-07-09 01:28

You should always use correct naming, and .jpg isn't really that hard to do.

Use GraphicConverter to batch name your files using EXIF dates instead of the generic naming from the camera. It's better because it avoids duplicates. For instance, 2007-08-26-07-51-53.jpg. The first is the year-month-day-hour-min-sec.jpg.

Plus you can add other words after the EXIF date if you like.

Ron Jamin, 2012-07-09 16:37

Ron, there is no need to rename the files. Read the comment above yours.

Volker Weber, 2012-07-09 16:44

It does seem like odd behavior on the part of the iPhoto application. If you find it annoying and don't wish to rename files just use Picasa. Is there something special iPhoto can do to the photos that Picasa can not?

Martin Hess, 2012-07-10 13:06

This seems to be hard to understand. See the comment above yours.

Volker Weber, 2012-07-10 13:10

The comment above mine IS yours and refers to a comment above his which refers to dragging files as a work-around. I presume you wish that iPhoto would see these files. Correct? I agree that it should also. It isn't much of an issue for me as a non-photographer and all my most recent photos were made with the iPhone 4S and so they are automatically in my photostream as soon as I take them. Have you considered a WiFi SD card?

Martin Hess, 2012-07-10 19:21

I think this is OK as it is. AFAIK the DCIM specification mandates an even more restrictive file name format. See

If your NOKIA produced such file names, they are doing something wrong.

my 2ct.

Thomas Vogler, 2012-07-11 15:14

Ooops. VoWe posted the link already. Never mind.

Thomas Vogler, 2012-07-11 15:18

There are two ways to handle this. I think Google is smarter than Apple.

Volker Weber, 2012-07-11 17:27

Are their Android notebooks and desktops that haven't been announced? How does Chrome handle this?

Martin Hess, 2012-07-12 14:45

Picasa, see above.

Volker Weber, 2012-07-12 14:47

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