Big Mean Folder Machine 1.5.1 review

Despite the never-need-to-organize-files promise of Spotlight, there are times you want to organize your files. Perhaps you have hundreds of photos that you want to file into folders by date; conversely, maybe you have files in various folders you want to merge into a single folder. While you could do this manually, or even using Mac OS X’s Automator,’s Big Mean Folder Machine (BMFM for short) makes it a snap to organize huge collections of files.

Once you’ve decided whether you want to split files into multiple folders or merge files into a single folder, BMFM’s wizard-like interface walks you through the process step-by-step.

To split files from one folder into multiple folders, you drag the source folder into the BMFM window. Then you choose how you want to split the files: hierarchically or by batch. Batch mode automatically splits files into folders of a particular size—useful for burning CDs or DVDs—or containing a particular number of files. You decide how BMFM sorts files before splitting them: by name, modification date, creation date, size, EXIF date, or name and sequence number. (If you choose a sort method that could result in multiple files sorted identically—for example, if you sort by size and several files have the same size—you also have the option to choose a secondary sort criteria.)

BMFM's sort options when batch-splitting

Hierarchical mode splits files into hierarchical folders based on the criteria you decide, ignoring the size of, or the number of items in, the resulting folders. You choose the top-level splitting criteria: first, second, or third letter (or pair of letters) of each file name; file type; photo date in numerous formats; creation date in numerous formats; or a custom criteria you design. Custom criteria can be based on file name (for example, character positions or delimited characters); creation, modification, or photo date; or MP3/AAC tags.

You then choose the criteria for the second-level and third-level folders in the hierarchy, if desired. By taking advantage of just two levels of criteria, BMFM can, for example, take a folder containing hundreds, or even thousands, of media files from your video camera and separate them into dated folders; within each folder, it can place image and movie files into separate folders. (I wish one of the sorting criteria was EXIF Orientation, so BMFM could split portrait and landscape images into separate folders.)

NEXT: Working with the results

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