Filename-based file aggregation for Epson FastFoto "enhanced" and "reverse side" photos

As discussed via email with Matthew, I’m proposing support for support of filename based file aggregation so that files created by my sheet fed photo scanner (Epson FastFoto FF-640) are treated as a single asset in PhotoStructure.

The FastFoto software creates three possible files for each scan:

  1. A base filename, which could be, for example:


or a filename constructed using the software’s suggested pull-down lists for dates/subject:


where the “001” is an incremental counter.

  1. An “enhanced” photo, if the user opts to create them, is saved as the base filename + “_a”, so:


  1. A “reverse side” photo, if the user opts to capture the writing or printing on the back side of the photograph, saved as base filename + “_b”:


For the Epson FastFoto software, the “_a” and “_b” suffixes are not customizable, so pulling these in to the library and grouping them with the base filename would cover this use case at least for users who are using the Epson branded software.

I think that for me, ideally the “_a” photo would be selected as the primary asset for these old scanned photos, since the Epson “enhanced” photo looks better than the original 8 times out of 10, but it’s fine if the file with the base filename ends up being shown, if it exists. :slight_smile:

Note that it is possible for users to end up with ONLY the “_a” (and possibly also “_b”) files, with no “base” filename files to go along with them. The software gives the option to create the “enhanced” files and either save them as separate files with the “_a” suffix or to ONLY write the enhanced version to disk and not the original scan.

I would imagine that this sort of feature would be useful for other folks as well, who have scanned fronts/backs of old printed photographs, but they may be dealing with other suffixes or chosen name conventions. Perhaps there’s some way to incorporate some settings for a list of suffixes or filename variations that would be used to aggregate files? Do you already do this? I searched and didn’t see it, but I may not have known what keywords to search on.

It might also be cool (pie in the sky, way down the road feature request here) to have a badge or some other indication that aggregated related files (other than variants that have the same image hash) exist for a particular photo in the UI. So while browsing, maybe have a little “stack” icon that would show up if the currently displayed photo has a related file, and allow the user to click on that icon to see the back of the photo. I know that adds another layer of complexity to the UI, but it would be super cool to have a way to see those “reverse side” photos in case there’s anything interesting written on the back of the photo.

Thanks for taking the time to write all this down! (You can vote on your own ideas, btw)

Yes, this is awesome. We have one of these and its a dream for digitizing boxes of photos.

I want to add, it might make sense to scrape some metadata out of this. But I will say I would first like to see sync work 100% perfectly then increase its functionality with great features like this.

Also, this needs to be a feature one enables in the GUI. Perhaps PS sees regex results that match this and asks you “hey…did you ever use one of these? Oh you did…great, let me scrape additional data from those file names”.

Also, once we have the AI component working, those back scans may give more meta data that would be useful to have scanned in.

All of this might need a super batch mode interface that lets the user quickly correct metadata across lots of photos and then all of that gets written to the photo meta data fields on the file.

Not sure if this is covered in another feature request, or if it would better fit as a new feature request (separate from the Epson FastFoto naming conventions)…

I have run across a bunch of photos that at some point were exported with an “_EDIT” suffix, where the “_EDIT” file is a pretty significantly improved version of the original master file. So I’ll have an original file (“photoname.jpg” or “photoname.CR2”) and “photoname_EDIT.jpg”. Ideally they’d be aggregated into the same asset, and displayed just one time in the web UI, but PS would copy each into the library, so there’s a choice of which file to grab when downloading a file from the web.

I know everyone loves adding new settings :joy: but I think having a setting for custom file suffixes to search for when looking for assets to aggregate might be very helpful for some users. I know PhotoStructure already looks for a bunch of different ones (“_1”, for example), so I’m wondering if it might not be too horrible to add custom suffixes to the mix.