For the last 5 years I've have collected a lot of pictures. Mainly travel and family pictures. The problem is that I was not particularly strict when it came to my workflow.

Right now I have 3 USB hard drives + 2 computers on which I keep pictures. Some are on more than one device, others are not. To solve this, I just bought a nice big NAS where I want to consolidate my entire library.

What is the simplest way to do this? I would prefer to rely on free programs (I'm running OSX).

  • \$\begingroup\$ What software are you using now to catalog your photos? \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 20:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ I swear we've had this question before, but I can't find it. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 20:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @inkista also a mess. I used picasa for most of the time, but used the new OS X photo app recently. My wife runs windows so she just keeps them in folders and do it manually. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 9:04

2 Answers 2


Well, it might not be the most elegant solution but I did it this way:

  • copied all pictures from every source into a single device, even if they were duplicated
  • for the pictures in the OS X photo app, I just copied them out of there using the console (the photo library is actually a folder)
  • I used Photos Duplicate Cleaner, which I found for free in the app store, to delete duplicate photos. It does not offer many options, but serves its purpose.
  • I still have some duplicated Raw files which I need to take care of.
  • Import everything into picasa, from scratch. I decided for picasa, since it manages everything simply in the filesystem using folders, nothing complicated like the photos app.
  • manually moved pictures into folders by year+month. This took me several hours
  • copy to my nas.
  • \$\begingroup\$ for the manual sorting: some file renamers can use the exif data of jpg & raw files to creste paths (+ rename). with those you could select a whole dir (+ its subdirs if you want) and have a massive renaming of every jpg and raw that puts them in a "year/month/day/specificfilename" all in one go, saving many hours \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 2:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlivierDulac could you recommend a specific one? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 9:04
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I had a good experience with : bulkrenameutility.co.uk/Features.php (once I understood its limitations, and how to use it) : In a nutshell: it proposes many ways to rename/add information/etc : Just check [x] the kind of actions you want to do, and also check [x] if you want it to act on subfolders too, etc. You can do all your photos in 1 go, or subdivise it further (by selecting a few folders, or by selecting specific files in the list on the top right) if you prefer to rename them by "events", so as to include a prefix/suffix (for example: the event's name). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 10:45

I recently purchase mycloud from western digital. really fantastic to bring all stuff together. plugs right into the router. The whole family can access or limit as you choose. One thing I wish I had done is purchase little more expensive with self backup. Otherwise works great. Also it can be access from cell phone or computer(your). Really love it and it is in my home!

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The poster already has a NAS; he's looking for software solutions to consolidate his images, not another bit of hardware. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 20:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ right. the problem is a logistic one. BTW. my has is also a wd my cloud. Im happy with it as well \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 9:01

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