Too many picture folders under DCIM

Discussion in 'iOS 9' started by kmichalec, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. kmichalec macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2010
    Currently have over 1000+ pictures in my Camera Roll. When viewing the DCIM folder via windows explorer, those 1000+ pictures are spread out over 49 different subfolders, some with many pictures in the sub folder, but others with only 1 or 2 pictures. All of the subfolders are named in the format of 100APPLE, 101APPLE, 102APPLE, etc (all the way up to 148APPLE).

    Has anyone figured out a way to fix this, so all the Camera Roll pictures are under one folder?

    Was wondering if this would work: I back up all pictures in the Camera Roll from all the subfolders to my PC. Then I delete all the XXXAPPLE folders (and the pictures contained within them). Next, open the Photo App on the phone so it sees all the pictures are gone. Then I'm thinking I could take a single picture, so iOS creates a single new folder under DCIM. Once that new folder is created, I then copy all my backed up pictures to this one single folder.

    Anyone know if this would work? If not, any other suggestions to consolidate these? It's really frustrating to take a single picture, and then want to copy that picture from the phone to my PC, and have to search through 49 folders to figure out where iOS put that one picture.
  2. Armen macrumors 604


    Apr 30, 2013
    That is just how it's stored. Do this

    1. open DCIM folder
    2. search for *.jpg, *png, *.mov, *bmp in that folder and sub folders
    3. Select all > Copy
    4. create a new folder somewhere called Photos on your desktop and just paste them all there.
  3. Yun0 macrumors 65816


    Jun 12, 2013
    Winnipeg, Canada
    since the ios 9.3 betas i have 6 folders now, much better than the 20+ before ios 9.3.
  4. Bezares macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2015
    No, it won't work since you can't copy anything from any source to the iPhone using windows as OS, with a jailbroken device it is possible but not with a "normal" iPhone.

    You can copy photos now from a professional camera to iPhone, it's a feature recently available, but you can't do it the way you want.
  5. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    Surely if you use a photo importing tool (ACDSee can do this? As can applications like Lightroom) you can just import it all at once without having to do this?

    Those folder weren't meant to be browsed directly; they're organized so photo management software can import them algorithmically.
  6. digitard macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2004
    Gilbert, AZ
    Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 (I know at least 10 for sure) you can just use the Photo Importer that's built in.

    Plugin your iPhone.
    Select the option to import when it pops up. If it doesn't go to your iPhone in the COMPUTER menu, and right click and choose import.
    Select a custom destination if you want (I drop them to my Desktop in a folder w/ the backup date, and then move them later)
    It'll just import them starting with 1 through whatever # the last photo is.

    Much easier.
  7. kmichalec thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2010
    Thanks all for the suggestions. The issue I run into is that I don't always delete the pictures after I import them from the phone. So what happens is I have to reimport the entire list of pictures/videos (currently 14GB) every time I want to import the latest few new photos. That's just ridiculous.

    Just don't understand why the pics can't be in one folder, and then I can compare that folder to the my local pc's colder of pics, see I last left off with PICXXX, and start the copy from there on.
  8. gaanee macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2011
    Most likely explanation is that Apple does not expect iOS file system to be browsable. Those multiple folders are not noticeable to you on the iPhone until you connect it to a computer and start browsing. It's not ideal setup for the user accostomed to browsing filesystem

  9. gordon1234 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    It's an international standard for digital photo storage. Every camera maker—whether it's a phone or a dedicated device—uses it. If Apple changed it, they would break compatibility with basically every piece of photo management software ever made.

    You're not supposed to access this folder directly, any more than you'd read your email by browsing the raw contents of the database. If the built-in import feature in Windows isn't working for your needs, there are plenty of photo management applications that will compare the images on your device to what is currently on the system, and allow you to only import new stuff.

    This is a classic case of using something in a way it's not intended to be used.
  10. rza49311 macrumors member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Check out the photosync app. Well worth the money IMO. Send photos directly to your computer or NAS over WIFI. No more transfering to PC and having to deal with the folders.
  11. inkahauts macrumors regular


    Sep 7, 2014
    I haven't done it in ages but didn't picasa allow you to view the picture then pick which ones to download?

    Do you use iCloud for photo library? That's super easy to grab only the pictures or moments you want.

    But I'd say you need to look harder at the different import settings. Thing is if you change file names I'm not sure if they will compare property anyway.
  12. mrex macrumors 68040


    Jul 16, 2014
    the question wasnt about dcim itself but rather having so many subfolders and difficult to navigate.. since when apple started using standard? check how the music is stored and be overwhelmed by the standard filing system and naming :O

    you should be able to access directories; there is nothing odd to access to the photo directory, add/remove photos. but the filing system is so terrible in ios that apple doesnt want you to access there. no wonder even apps cant access to share the same folders but making dublicates...
  13. gordon1234 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    The complicated directory structure IS part of the standard.
  14. kmichalec thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2010
    I think the naming of the folders is standard (999XXXXX format), but the decision to make a bunch of folders under the DCIM folder (some with one single picture in them) is all Apple and how they designed their iOS. I've been a developer for years, and a business analyst for years on top of that. Someone please give me a valid use case of why a single picture, taken in the middle of a bunch of pictures all shot at the same time and the same way, should be in a separate folder by itself? Both of my digital cameras use the same naming standard, but everything is under one folder. And the argument that your not supposed to browse the picture folder file system is complete rubbish. Apple specifically MADE the file system for that specifically browsable (and all the other file system folders inaccessible). It's just like you are able to browse the pictures taken with a digital camera on an SD card.

    I know everyone wants to think Apple can do no wrong, but sometimes, they just make bad decisions. They get most stuff right, but sometimes, they get something wrong. This is one of those things. Doesn't mean I hate Apple. Quite the opposite. But I'm also not so infatuated with them that I can't see when they've made a mistake.
  15. gordon1234 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    It's not browseable on OS X. Most Windows photo management software simply looks for a mounted volume with that structure, so I assume that's why they exposed it in that way. Apple doesn't have much of an ecosystem on Windows, so chances are if people are connecting their devices directly, they're going to be using non-Apple software to manipulate photos and video.

    Seriously, just read the implementation details for the DCF format. Does that in any way sound like something anyone intended for users to poke through manually?
  16. iloveallgadgets macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2013
    Windows somehow can "intelligently" remember what photos have been already imported from those that you haven't, so it only imports those you haven't done so.

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