About the Megabyte Method Demonstration Collection

The collection I will be working with in the Megabyte Method Demonstration Video Series is a scaled-down version of a large and complex collection I organized for a client a few years ago. Words in folder names and filenames have been changed to protect my client’s privacy.

I asked my client for permission to use the collection for the demo because it is very complex, and I want to demonstrate that the Megabyte Method can handle those complexities.

The collection did include an Apple Photos Library (APL), and while an APL does add to the complexity of any project, I decided not to include it. I will demonstrate how I work with APLs at another time.

The project specifications are included in this document because without clear specifications, one cannot appreciate the necessity of many project tasks. Specifications are always part of the agreement between myself and my client.

I do not expect many people to read this, but it is important to include this information for the purpose of accountability.

At the end of this article is a link to the corresponding video.

Files Gathered

139,848 files in 3,812 folders were gathered.

Demo Collection Files Gathered
Demo Collection Files Gathered Open
Demo Collection Files Gathered Chart

Project Specifications

For the Megabyte Method demonstration to be more meaningful, I will be organizing the collection according to the specifications listed below. Project specifications vary by project and are set according to the client’s needs, goals, and budget. The specifications I decided to use are those that are included in most of the projects I organize. Please not that this is not intended to be a recommendation of specifications that professional photo organizers should adopt. There are other specifications I could have included but chose not to for the demonstration video series.

Handling of Undated Photos and Videos

Undated photos and videos will be separated out. When removing duplicates, I will hopefully find many duplicates with good Snap Date metadata.

After duplicate removal is complete, dates will be added to the metadata of any photos and videos that have date information or date clues in folder names or filenames.

Any remaining Undated photos and videos will be set aside. If the client provides dates for those photos, dates will be added.

Preservation of Added Metadata

If the collection includes photos with Star Ratings, Keywords, Titles, and Descriptions, that metadata will be preserved.

The client does not want to preserve any information added within Google Photos, so metadata in .JSON files will not be added to photos downloaded from Google Photos.

If any photos with added metadata are unacceptably small (pixel dimensions and file size) and bigger duplicates exist, the added metadata will be copied or moved to the bigger files.

Metadata may be moved to another field if a different field is more suitable. For example, a Copyright symbol in the Keywords field would be moved to the Copyright field.

For better compatibility with Apple Photos, photos with a Star Rating of 4 or 5 will be assigned the Keyword ‘Favorite’. In Apple Photos, ‘Favorites’ can be re-populated using that Keyword.

Useless photo metadata – like a Description that reads ‘Olympus Digital Camera’ will be removed.

Preservation of Meaningful Information

Meaningful information in the form of folder names and filenames will be preserved. If any photos with meaningful information are unacceptably small (pixel dimensions and file size) and bigger duplicates exist, the meaningful information will be copied or moved to the bigger photos.

Words from folder names and filenames will be added as Keywords and/or descriptions.

Part way through the project, I will send the client a list of folders with meaningful names. The client will then be able to indicate if any of that information does not need to be preserved.

Because Keywords cannot be added to videos, words from folder names and filenames will be added to the filename when videos are renamed.

Handling of Supplementary Files

Supplementary files are those that a client would likely not want included in their organized photo and video collection. These files are move to the Supplementary folder and delivered to the client so they can be reviewed.  The list below is not a complete list of what might be moved to the Supplementary folder.

Supplementary files include:

  • File types like BMP, PNG, GIF, and PSD, and others.
  • Very short videos. The client has chosen to keep only videos with a duration longer than 5 seconds.
  • Photos determined to be videos thumbnails.
  • Photos of documents, x-rays, restaurant menus, products in a store, food, screenshots, etc.
  • Duds. Photos that are very dark, overly bright, very out of focus, or obviously taken by mistake.

Duplicate Removal

Different versions of the same photo—such as black & white and colour versions—are not considered to be duplicates.

Only the edited or cropped version of a photo will be kept—but only if the size (pixel dimensions and file size) of the edited photo is acceptable.


For this project, I will cull burst shots – photos taken within the same second that are almost identical. I will choose one to keep and mark the others as duplicates.

I will also cull groups of 2 or more very similar photos of the same scene. I will keep at least one photo in the group and mark the others as duplicates.

The client has agreed to trust my judgement when culling.

RAW and TIFF Photos

RAW files will be converted to JPEG. The JPEG files will be included in the organized collection. The RAW and TIFF files will be delivered in separate folders because the client wants to have them for future possible editing. They will not be renamed.

The original filenames will be added to the Title field of the JPEG version so that the client can locate a JPEG version of a RAW or TIFF file.

Video Conversion

All videos not already in MP4 format will be converted to MP4. Only the MP4 files will be delivered to the client.

Renaming Photos and Videos

Photos will be renamed starting with the Snap Date in YYYY-MM-DD format, followed by the client’s surname, Stewart.

Video will be renamed the same way unless any videos are in folders with meaningful names. In that case, the folder name will follow the date, and the surname will not be added.

Folder Structure for Delivery

Photos and videos will be delivered in separate folder structures. Sometimes I create separate folders for big events, but I will not do that for this project.

There will be a top level folder for each year named as follows: YYYY Stewart Photos (or Videos).

There will be a second level folder for each month named as follows: YYYY-MM month name Stewart.

Project Delivery Specifications

I will deliver the same number of photos that were gathered, plus the RAW and TIFF files that were converted to JPEG.

I will deliver less only if the client provides written approval for me to delete duplicates that were removed, duds, very short videos, or anything else the client does not want to receive. 

Project Installation

I often import the collection to a client’s Apple Photos Library and recreate Albums and Favorites or set up the collection to be enjoyed and managed with other software or service. Project installation is not included in this demonstration project.

Watch the Video on the Photo Organizing Stuff YouTube Channel

Video: About the Megabyte Method Demo Collection

About The Megabyte Method Demo Collection

© Meg Macintyre, Photo Organizing Stuff