I'm looking for a program that will grab media files (photos and videos) from my camera (or cell phone) via USB and download and rename them.

As a benchmark, I'm comparing against cam2pc which has some crucial features -- and I can't find a Linux tool that handles video files as well. Unfortunately cam2pc doesn't run very well under Wine, otherwise this question would be unnecessary.

This is what cam2pc lets me do, which is what I'm looking for on Linux:

  1. Start the program (or have it start automatically when a camera device is connected).
  2. Select from a list (or preview) of photos and videos to be downloaded.
    • JPG, AVI, MOV must be supported.
  3. Review/edit the renaming pattern that will be applied to the photos and videos after the download, in particular taking the date from their creation timestamp and not from EXIF because videos don't have EXIF.
    • Must support a user-customizable pattern for the downloaded files, like
      path/year/year-month-day hour-min TOPIC serial#.lowercase-extension
      e.g. photos/2009/20091218 1214 Skiing with friends 003.avi
      (In cam2pc, that would look like %Y%m%d %h%u %P %{num:3}.%{ext})
  4. Click start, lean back, end of story.


  • Renaming according to EXIF won't do, because video files don't have EXIF data but they should be renamed to fit into the same pattern. I don't want to do this manually for video files, after the photos have been renamed (it's what I do now, and it's no fun).
  • I attempted to write an elaborate shell script to copy the photo/video files and rename them according to their creation timestamp. I am not a developer or shell guru, so this quickly became too complicated. I'm thinking there must be someone besides me that downloads video shots off their cameras, who also want to rename the shots. What to they do?!
  • Most photo-management tools I've found ignore video altogether, and they certainly can't rename them. If anyone can point me to a program that does this (well), I would be most grateful!

1 Answer 1


While preparing to re-write the shell script and looking at Launchpad.net, I came across Rapid Photo Downloader which on first view looks to be an exact match.

Rapid is a very cool program but for some reason it doesn't see any pics in my iPhone. I think that's not a problem with the program but rather with my phone or my computer.

Update 2:
According to Rapid 's developer, the problem likely is that some Gnome component needs updating and that it won't make it into Rapid for a good while. Too bad for me.

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