I use IPTC metadata for tagging and rating my images. I'd like to create folders on my hard drive containing collections of photos based on the metedata (e.g. 5-star photos in 2015).

This would be just like smart collections in LR/Adobe Bridge/whatever, but I'd like them in real folders on my drive, for flexibility in doing stuff with them outside a photo manager (e.g. synching them to external harddrives, or whatever).

I've tried using OSX's Smart Folders, but as far as I can tell I can't use IPTC metadata for the filters. In any case, though, an ideal solution would automatically sync my folders as metadata changes, like Smart Folders. But if it's a solution that requires running a tool or a script every day, that could also work.

I'm mostly using Adobe Bridge as my photo manager, but could use LightRoom if it would make a difference for this.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In my Linux box, I do that with an hand-made Python script that simply read the metadata and copy/links the files appropriately. I have to run it manually though, so it's not exactly an answer... \$\endgroup\$
    – Rmano
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 17:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm ok with a script I run manually. I'm guessing your script would run with no- or minimal-tweaking on OSX? Would you mind sharing it, so I could use it as a starting point? \$\endgroup\$
    – Sam Fen
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 19:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's a very crude one and not ready for prime time, but... if you want to live dangerously, here it is: rgtti.com/misc/select_starred_images.py \$\endgroup\$
    – Rmano
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


A script to create folders from read metadata combined with a time based trigger (see https://superuser.com/questions/126907/how-can-i-get-a-script-to-run-every-day-on-mac-os-x) could do the job. See exiftool to get the metadata

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    \$\begingroup\$ A script like what? \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 7:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ See the discussion of the question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 22, 2017 at 6:25

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