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A simple database-backed software system using information recovered automatically from image file headers allows considerable reductions in the manual content of functional PET image analysis. Programs using this information to create deterministic directory and file names gain autonomous file access, enabling automatic processing. Abstraction from file names and other computer-related restrictions allows control of the system through a user interface based upon more relevant subject and study details. A simple and flexible approach to automating the retrieval and routine analysis of image files is presented. Using information extracted from image file headers, files are stored using a consistent naming convention and organizational hierarchy that can be extended to diverse files, strengthening the association between images and their associated data files. Further processing is implemented through a graphical user interface, improving the speed and accuracy of complex procedures and reducing the need for advanced computer skills for researchers.