Automator Workflow: Renaming and Sequencing Video Files

December 22, 2016

As a longtime Apple user, I believe Automator is one of the most underrated and useful apps for Mac OS. For many tasks I find myself doing over and over again, especially when moving and renaming files in the Finder, Automator has made it so simple to quickly create workflows to do those tasks for me. In the first of a series of posts about Automator workflows, here is a simple Finder Service I use all the time to rename my video files for better organization in my projects.

Installation

  • Download the file available at the bottom of this article
  • Unzip the file
  • Double-click on the workflow to install it
  • Click the Install button
Automator Workflow - Renaming and Sequencing Video Files Installation

Step 1 - Copy the video files to your hard drive

Automator Workflow - Renaming and Sequencing Video Files Step 1

Step 2 - Select all the video files in the Finder that you want to rename

Automator Workflow - Renaming and Sequencing Video Files Step 2

Step 3 - Right click on any of the selected files, go to Services, and select the “Rename Video Files (YYYYMMDD-Cam#-Sequenced#)”

Automator Workflow - Renaming and Sequencing Video Files Step 3

Step 4 - Enter the date (YYYYMMDD) the footage was shot on in the dialog box and hit OK

Automator Workflow - Renaming and Sequencing Video Files Step 4

Step 5 - Enter the camera number in the dialog box and hit OK

Automator Workflow - Renaming and Sequencing Video Files Step 5

You're finished! The workflow will take care of the rest and you will have renamed files when it completes.

Automator Workflow - Renaming and Sequencing Video Files Step 6

How It Works

This workflow is fairly simple, but really comes in handy when you have a lot of files to sort. Here's what the workflow does:

  • Takes the files you have selected and sorts them by their current names.
  • Asks you for two pieces of information. The first is the date on which you shot your footage, and the second is what camera number the files are from. The camera numbers obviously come in handy for multi-camera shoots.
  • Renames the files with the date first, the camera number second, and then sequences the files in numerical order starting with 1.

Download

  Download the Workflow