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Additional answers to common questions can be found in the Pixfer for Microsoft Windows XP FAQ.

The basic Pixfer for Windows XP functionality is free - you can do basic transfers for as long as you like. Of course, we'd like you to upgrade to the full version by purchasing a license key. This helps us to improve Pixfer, support new file formats, and eat. The full version supports multiple simultaneous transfers, verification, and much more. So that you can try out all of the functionality, it is fully enabled on Tuesdays - give it a whirl, and if you like it, purchase a license key to use it every day of the week!

There are three transfer areas on the left side of the screen, each like the following:

The top field ("Transfer #1") is a note you can enter - it typically has no impact on the actual transfer, although it can be used as a Job Code (%J) for advanced transfers. Type in the location you want to transfer FROM into the dropdown box ("c:\tmp\pt\"). The "^" button will attempt to eject the card if it is removable.

Next, enter the location you want to transfer the images TO in the Transfer To section:

You can enter an additional location to transfer to - all files will be transferred to both locations. For example, you can transfer to two separate hard drives to ensure that your photos are safe even if one drive fails or is lost. The "i" button will display S.M.A.R.T. information about the drive if it is supported. This information can help reveal possible drive problems before a drive fails.

You may want to set some of the options, described in the next section.

Finally, click the Start button in the transfer area to begin the transfer. While the transfer is running, you can see the name of the file currently being transferred, along with the amount of data that has been transferred and the estimated time remaining. To halt the transfer, the Start button changes to a Stop button while the transfer is running. Click it to stop the transfer at any time.

Pixfer supports a variety of useful options:

S.M.A.R.T. drive checking: This option queries the hard drive(s) being transferred to before each transfer. If the drive reports any potential reliability issues, a warning appears and the transfer is halted. If a drive does not support S.M.A.R.T. functionality, a warning also appears - if you want to go ahead and do the transfer anyway, turn this option off by unchecking it.

Only transfer known image file types: Often, cameras will place random files on the storage card in addition to image files. To only transfer known file types and exclude most of these other files, check this option. Known file types currently includes the following file extensions: jpg, jpe, jpeg, nef, cr2, crw, thm, tif, tiff, pef, mrw, raw, raf, orf, dcr, erf, bmp, psd, pict, dng, gif, avi, mpg, mpeg, mov, qt, wav. If there are others you think should be added, please let us know.

Include files in subdirectories: You'll probably want this turned on most of the time, since most cameras store images in multiple directories. Pixfer will transfer files in all subdirectories of the one you are transferring from.

Verify transfer: When turned on, every byte of the transferred file is compared against the original to make sure the transfer was perfect. Obviously, this can slow down your transfer, but if the images are crucial, you just can't be too safe.

Delete files from card after transferred: When turned on, each file is deleted from the original location as soon as it is transferred. This is useful if you want to automatically clear storage cards so you can take more photos.

Safely eject storage card when complete: You aren't supposed to just pull storage cards out of the PCMCIA slot or card reader without first safely ejecting them. Usually you need to do this through the Windows XP tray. Pixfer can attempt to automatically eject the card being transferred from when the transfer is complete. This won't eject your fixed main hard disk, so don't worry.

Rename files: When turned on, Pixfer uses the renaming pattern you enter into the dropdown field to rename each image. This renaming can be based on the EXIF shooting information contained within the image file. For example, the renaming in the image above renames files to their time/date stamp, including the subsecond information contained in Nikon DSLR images - the final image filename after transfer would be something like 2005-03-29@13-58-32-19.jpg. Each % item is replaced with the appropriate data. The following replacements are allowed:

%Y year [1900-2100]
%M two digit month [01-12]
%m three letter month [Jan-Dec]
%D two digit day of month [01-31]
%H two digit military hour [00-23]
%N two digit minute [00-59]
%S two digit second [00-59]
%U two digit subsecond [00-99] (Nikon DSLR images)
%T[Y..S] as above, but uses time/date of transfer, not the time/date file was shot. For example, %TY is replaced with the year that the transfer was initiated.
%F original filename
%a manufacturer name
%o camera model
%r firmware version
%n number from original name (IMG_0523.jpg -> 0523)
%#5 five digit sequential number (can use 1-9)
%J job description (text from description for the transfer)

Most of the renaming options are fairly straightforward, but to do really advanced image organization and renaming, there are some clever tricks you can use.

Organizing into folders: You can put a backslash ("\") into the renaming options to organize images into folders automatically. For example, if you want to put images into folders by the date they were shot, you would rename with "%Y-%M-%D\%H:%N:%S. Images would be placed into a folder like 2005-04-23 and renamed to the time they were shot. Folders are automatically created as necessary, and can be multiple levels deep.

Using Job Code to rename each transfer with different text: The job code (%J) functionality can really help keep images organized if you are shooting a large event, perhaps with multiple photographers. Here's the basic idea - let's say you're shooting a soccer tournament on three separate fields, and you want to sort the images into "Field1" "Field2" and "Field3" directories, with all the files renamed to their timestamp. To do this, you would change the transfer descriptions from their defaults (e.g. "Transfer #1") to "Field1" and so on. Then, in the renaming option, you would enter "%J\%H%N%S" The %J would be replaced with the transfer description, so images transferred using the first entry would be placed in a Field1 directory and renamed to the EXIF timestamp. Note that %J can also be placed in the Transfer To folder name, and will work correctly.

Using replacement options within the Job Code: You can use any renaming options in the Job Code. For example, if you want any images transferred with the first transfer slot to be renamed to their time and date, while those in the second transfer slot to include subsecond information, you would put "%Y-%M-%D@%H-%N-%S" in the first transfer description field, and "%Y-%M-%D@%H-%N-%S-%U" in the second. Then, in the renaming field, you would just put "%J".

Using renaming options in the Transfer To section folder names: No problem - you can use all of the same replacement codes in the folder names.