Quick Tip: Bulk Rename Video Files In OSX With a Few Simple Clicks

September 7, 20152 Comments

This one is so easy and useful. Several mirrorless and DSLR cameras don’t create unique file names after the card has been formatted in the camera. You end up with folders of video files that all have the exact same name but in different projects or worries in the same project! If those files go offline it can be a real pain to relink. Here is a super easy way in OSX and it’s FREE!

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I'm a broadcast DP In San Diego. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on and testing new equipment. This blog is also part of giving back. I've learned so much from so many people.

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  1. Steve M. says:

    Hey Erik,

    Pretty cool! Thank you for that!

    One thing i’m thinking about on your ending comment is if you do rename, and the drive that holds the renamed media fails, you couldn’t relink to the original media because it no longer has the same file name. That is the only problem with renaming at the root level.

  2. Ken Jones says:

    Great tip. You used to have to use Automator to accomplish that. I’m glad Apple made it part of the Finder.

    Have you ever heard of QTChange? It’s not a free solution, but it only costs $24.95 and is very powerful. The cool thing about QTChange is that you can add timecode to each clip. So instead of each DSLR clip starting at 00:00:00;00, you can tell the first clip to start at 1:00:00;00 and then each successive clip picks up where that one left off. You can also tell it to use the camera’s metadata to write timecode that is the time of day!

    For example, I do a lot of shoots with 3 to 5 DSLRs shooting interviews. QTChange allows me to not only give each camera its own reelname, but I can tell it to change the clip’s timecode to the time of day that the camera recorded the clip. The first thing I do in the morning is go around to each camera and set the time of day to the same. After the shoot I use QTChange to change the reelname to Cam1, Cam2, etc. and also change the timecode to that camera’s time of day. Granted, the timecodes are not exact, but they are within one second of each other. This sure makes it a lot easier to line up all of the shots!

    Here’s some features:
    Add Timecode, ‘free run’ or ‘rec run’ style
    Add timecode based on THM files / metadata (more accurate, works with Canon created clips)
    Extract THM files if they are embedded in the QT (like a Canon 60D writes)
    Add custom reelname

    I don’t work for the company – I’m just a big fan of this very simple software.
    http://www.videotoolshed.com/product/42/qtchange

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