Lightroom: Inconsistent dates for files missing date/time metadata

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  • Problem
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
If an image or video is missing metadata date/time fields, then LR 3.4.1 uses the file's date-modified for filtering, sorting, and pre-populating the Metadata > Edit Capture Time dialog, but it uses the file's date-created to display in the grid view. It should use date-modified consistently for all of those. (When Windows copies or restores a file, the date-modified is preserved, but date-created is usually set to "now".)

This problem trips up people managing scanned images and videos, since scanners typically don't add any metadata and LR doesn't understand much video metadata.

See these threads for examples and details:

http://forums.adobe.com/message/37343...

http://forums.adobe.com/message/38293...
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Posted 8 years ago

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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hi John,

I've been investigating issues similar to this. Can you post a file that illustrates the problem? There are a whole lot of different possible date/time fields within a file's metadata so generic descriptors like "date/time" or "date-modified" unfortunately aren't very helpful.

Thanks,
Ben
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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By "date-modified" and "date-created", I'm referring to the Windows file date-modified and date-created fields. LR's inconsistent use of Windows date-modified and date-created affects people using LR with scanned images (scanners don't typically add date metadata) and with camera video (LR doesn't read the video metadata and uses the Windows file dates).

To reproduce LR's inconsistent use of Windows date-modified and date-created:

1. Download test1.jpg and test2.jpg:





Test1.jpg has EXIF:DateTimeOriginal set to 1/1/2010, and Test2.jpg has no metadata at all.

2.Using the free utility BulkFileChanger (from Download.com), open test2.jpg and change its Date Modified to 1/1/2009 and its Date Created to 1/1/2011. (The date-modified and date-created fields won't be set properly when you first download the file.) These file dates could happen if a file was originally created by a scanner or camera video on 1/1/2009, but then the user copied the files on 1/1/2011 (Windows copy by default preserves Date Modified but sets Date Created to now).

3. Import both files into a fresh LR catalog.

4. Verify in Metadata > EXIF that test1.jpg has Date Time Original is 1/1/2010 and test2.jpg has no Date Time Original:





5. In Library mode, select All Photographs, sort by ascending Capture Time, and open the Date Column in the Library Filter. Here's a screen shot:



6. Observe in the grid view that test2.jpg has the date 1/1/2011 displayed under it, the Windows date-created.

7. Observe in the Library Filter Date column that the dates 2009-01-01 and 2010-01-01 are shown. LR is using the Windows date-modified for test2.jpg here.

8. Observe in the grid view that test2.jpg comes before test1.jpg, even though sort-by-capture-time-ascending is selected and the date shown under the thumbnail for test2.jpg (1/1/2011) comes after the date shown under the thumbnail for test1.jpg (1/1/2010). LR is displaying the Windows date-created under the thumbnail but using Windows date-modified for the actual sorting.

9. Select test2.jpg and do Metadata > Edit Capture Time. Observe that the Corrected Time is prepopulated with the Windows date-modified, 1/1/2009:

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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This problem still exists in LR 4 beta.
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Dilip

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I have a similar problem related to video time stamping, as I documented at http://forums.adobe.com/message/42337... .
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LondonYank

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I am looking at a fresh import of shots I took yesterday with a Canon 7D. I did a straight import of files that contained both photos and video. I have not altered timestamps either during or after import, to the best of my knowledge.

When I view them in Grid view in Lightroom 4, sorted by Capture Time, then some of the videos show up in odd places. As in, many of the videos appear out of sequence, alongside pictures from 1 hour before, even though according to Lightroom 4 the capture time is correct. So you will see a video from 11:56AM right next to a photo from 10:56AM. Capture times are displayed correctly but the video is shown out of sequence in the initial view. You can see this in the screenshot I have attached.


UPDATE: Looking again, I noticed that all of my displayed Capture Times were 1 hour off as I had not changed my camera's clock to daylight savings time. I made a capture time adjustment to all files - photos and video - and now the videos display in their expected position within the photo timeline. HOWEVER, the issue still stands, as initially imported. I think there is still a bug with some part of the import or grid sorting in Lightroom 4 as evidenced by the behaviour I observed on the initial import.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom 4: Videos are showing up in the wrong place according to their timestamp..
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Miroslaw Lawczys

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I created a Lightroom Catalog from Photoshop Elements Catalog. I have noticed that sort of movie files and some other files in Lightroom Catalog by date and time becomes very erratic. Lightroom reads date and time of when the movie was taken correctly and displays it correctly, but it displays these files in a catalog in very unexpected places and out of order with other file types. For example it may put movies from last month with pictures taken several years ago. This happens even though my sort order in catalog specifies by time picture was taken.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Problem with Lightroom catalog sorting of movie files.
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Daniel Arbeeny

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I have the same problme as both Miroslaw & LondonYank.
I am struggling with this because after importing ~37k files from PSE I am LOST. The new Vids i create are off also.
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Peter Schmollen

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I could fix the problem bei editing the time the video was taken in LR4 and then simply apply the unchanged date/time of the videofile. Afterwards LR sorted things correctly.
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Paolo Avezzano

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I have a certain number of photos and movies I took with a Fuji X10.

As you can see from the screenshot below (photos removed), I have a group of nine time-contiguous movies from 20:32 to 21:08 which are placed before the rest of movies/photos which start at 19:20.

It seems that, despite being everything correct on the metadata side, those 9 movies have being ingested as if they were shot two hours earlier, so 18:32 to 19:08.

Note that I didn't change any date/time setting on the camera nor in Lightroom for none of the movies/photos.
They have been imported all together.

No need to add that the current sort order is "Sort: Capture Time".
Checking with exiftool, all the date/tim metadata is OK.



This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Fuji X10 movies wrongly sorted by Capture Time.
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Paolo Avezzano

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Waiting for Dorin to split back my thread which has nothing to share with this discussion, here is the proof that both the correctly sorted movies and the wrongly ones have good date/time attributes set.

Wrong one:
File Modification Date/Time     : 2012:08:05 21:08:40+02:00

Track Create Date : 2012:08:05 21:09:04
Track Modify Date : 2012:08:05 21:09:04
Media Create Date : 2012:08:05 21:09:04
Media Modify Date : 2012:08:05 21:09:04
Modify Date : 2012:08:05 21:08:32
Date/Time Original : 2012:08:05 21:08:32
Create Date : 2012:08:05 21:08:32


Correct one:
File Modification Date/Time     : 2012:08:05 19:20:00+02:00

Track Create Date : 2012:08:05 19:20:24
Track Modify Date : 2012:08:05 19:20:24
Media Create Date : 2012:08:05 19:20:24
Media Modify Date : 2012:08:05 19:20:24
Modify Date : 2012:08:05 19:19:49
Date/Time Original : 2012:08:05 19:19:49
Create Date : 2012:08:05 19:19:49


Lightroom thinks that the former comes before than the latter!
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Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață, Champion

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Paolo, the fact that the video has some metadata (be it correct or not) does not mean that Lightroom necessarily makes use of it in a way or another.

I think that the problem is not in sorting per se, but in the fact that Lightroom does not correctly handling the capture date/time metadata and video metadata in general (which is a different topic). Lack of metadata or misinterpreting, in this context, is the same thing.

Take a look at all the merges above: many of them gave exactly the same symptoms — there's some capture date/time in the Metadata panel, but the capture order is incorrect.
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Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață, Champion

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By the way, try the old trick that is mentioned here up the thread.

Select all the files that you think are not correctly sorted, invoke the "Edit Capture Time" command and without changing anything clikc the "Change All" button.
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Paolo Avezzano

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The trick did actually work. It still doesn't explain why should Lightroom read time correctly for certain movies and wrongly for others. They have been shot with the very same settings. Metadata-wise they are identical.

What it seems to me (working with databases, locales, DST and so on), is that Lightroom may be internally adding +4 hours to the time for all the movies.

If you look carefully: >= 20.00 will become >= 00.00, while less than 19.59 will still remain <= 23.59. That would validate the strange (dis)order.
Some time ago I had a similar issue with certain SQL queries.

The trick did work, tried on a single file.
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Paolo Avezzano

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Still waiting for my thread to be split up again, I found the very same issue with some Sony DSC-RX100 videos.

They got ordered on Capture Time as if they were shot 2 hours earlier.
The very same bug for two completely different cameras. It can't be a coincidence!

I live on +1 GMT and now we're under DST, so exactly +2 hours.
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Paolo Avezzano

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I keep replicating the bug every day.

Photos are correctly sorted while movies just ignore DST / Time Zone.
In this case 1+1=2 hours. Movies are ordered along the photos as if they were shot 1+1=2 hours earlier.

This is quite easy to fix if only this is indeed the bug and any Adobe Employee reads these lines.
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mrplus8

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Hi,

I'm evaluating Lightroom 4.1 and it is not useful for organize movie clip since all of the clips gets wrong "Capture Time". This also affects the import which I've set to rename the files based on the "Capture Time". I'm using a Canon S100. By the way the GPS data isn't read correctly either.

I've been using exiftool, which can read those fields, for renaming but I had expected Lightroom to be able to handle this as well.
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HHHeflin

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Bug Report
Lightroom4 R2
System Information"Operating System new – server roles
System Model - White Box
Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) Service Pack 1 (build 7601)
Install Language: English (United States)
System Locale: English (United States)
Installed: 9/7/2011 1:50:04 PM No details available
Processor a Main Circuit Board b
3.00 gigahertz AMD Athlon II X4 640
512 kilobyte primary memory cache
2048 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Not hyper-threaded Board: ASUSTeK Computer INC. M5A88-V EVO Rev X.0x
Serial Number: MF70B6G08900555
Bus Clock: 200 megahertz
BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. 0402 04/18/2011
new USB Storage Use in past 30 Days (mouse over last used for details) new Hosted Virtual Machines (mouse over name for details)
Last Used
Maxtor Basics Desktop -- drive 3, s/n 2HBE66XP, rev 0125 4/30/2012 6:08:28 AM
Generic Flash Disk, s/n E150C44B, rev 8.07 4/23/2012 11:46:24 AM*
2.0 Flash Disk, s/n 216418592346, rev 4.00 4/19/2012 4:16:30 PM*
Maxtor OneTouch II, s/n B60EFY2H, rev 023d 4/16/2012 5:28:27 PM*

* Possibly used again before the reboot following this time.
None discovered
Drives new – drive encryption Memory Modules c,d
1230.17 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
630.57 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

_NEC DVD_RW ND-3520A ATA Device [Optical drive]
ASUS DRW-24B3LT ATA Device [Optical drive]

Maxtor Basics Desktop USB Device [Hard drive] (750.15 GB) -- drive 3, s/n 2HBE66XP
ST3320413AS [Hard drive] (320.07 GB) -- drive 0, s/n 6VMW7WH3, rev JC45, SMART Status: Healthy
ST380011A [Hard drive] (80.03 GB) -- drive 2, s/n 4JV58LC8, rev 8.01, SMART Status: Healthy
ST380811AS [Hard drive] (80.03 GB) -- drive 1, s/n 9PS00AVH, rev 3.AAE, SMART Status: Healthy 12288 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Slot 'DIMM0' has 4096 MB
Slot 'DIMM1' has 4096 MB
Slot 'DIMM2' has 4096 MB
Slot 'DIMM3' is Empty
Local Drive Volumes new – volume encryption

c: (NTFS on drive 0) * 319.97 GB 236.73 GB free
d: (NTFS on drive 2) 80.02 GB 58.59 GB free
e: (NTFS on drive 1) 80.02 GB 65.66 GB free
h: (NTFS on drive 3) 750.15 GB 269.58 GB free

Situation/Condition:
Fully imported all photos on my photo drive.
Photo drive contains the Catalog and Cache Folders/Files
Folders arranged by shoot year/date
Files named by various useful names for me.
Year folders 2006 through 2012
Lightroom Library with Grid Mode
Sort by A-Z and Capture Date
Folders for years 2006 through 2011 all show in the grid as I would expect with the images sorted by Capture Date
Highlight the 2012 Folder with grid view order is miscellaneously sorted with the fires image in the upper left corner of the grid being
Select/Higliight the 20120102 Folder and all of the image files are properly sorted as expected by Created Date.

I deleted the Catalog and recreated/imported the image folders and files a second time creating a "new and clean" catalog with the same results. While I'm not the most experienced LR user; this does not seem to be O.K.

Hope you can solve the issue prior to full release.
Cordially,
Howard H. Heflin

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom 4 RC2: Library Sort Issue.
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Daniel Arbeeny

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I just realized that the movies I import get sorted wrong and LR does not seem to know the creation date/time. They get sorted by the time they were imported. I then have to go in and individually select each one then go to metadata menu, time and have it change the time... WEIRD. I am now going thru 75 days of this to correct them all.
What is up? This is trivial because it works on my images perfectly and should do the same for videos.
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Jon9999

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In Lightroom 4.3, an image's Library Grid label sometimes displays the File Creation time rather than the Capture time, even though the label option is set to "Capture Date/Time."

See attached screenshot. The image shown was captured (by a cellphone camera, alas, but with a correctly set clock) on Nov. 17 at 18:46, as correctly shown in the metadata. But the label in the grid shows the date as Nov. 23 at 00:54, which is the time I uploaded the image from the phone to my computer -- even though the Grid View option is Capture Date/Time, not Creation Date/Time. However, when sorting the Library Grid by Capture Time, the image correctly sorts in its time slot on Nov. 17. The sort order is correct, but the label is wrong.



The Edit Capture Time dialog also shows the "Original Time" (=capture time) correctly as Nov. 17 at 18:46 (actually, it shows Nov. 17 at 06:46, presumably because the image was taken 12 time zones away from my current location) and also gives the Creation Date as Nov. 23 at 00:54.



Interestingly, pictures taken with my real cameras have the correct Capture time showing in the grid. I see this incorrect behavior only with my cellphone camera. Clearly the phone is doing something wrong with its metadata, but the odd thing is that LR is reporting the Capture time correctly in the Metadata panel but incorrectly in the grid label. Shouldn't these be the same?

Until this gets fixed in LR, any ideas of external tools I might use on the metadata to trick LR to label the file correctly?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: File creation time/date mistaken for Capture time/date in Library label.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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The file's metadata contains an EXIF:ModifyDate field but not EXIF:DateTimeOriginal. The former indicates when the photo was last modified by the user (e.g. by editing), while the latter indicates when the photo was taken. It's curious that the phone added EXIF:ModifyDate but not EXIF:DateTimeOriginal.

It's also curious that LR decides to show EXIF:ModifyDate as the capture date, even though that's not what's recommended by the standards. It's doubly curious that it shows the file's modified time under the thumbnail in the grid view. But this is a symptom of a general problem that LR has when a file is missing DateTimeOriginal.
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Jon9999

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So, are you going to fix it? I can see now from this merged thread that you've been working on this for over a year.
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Ray Vran

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I use the following workaround for video files that have the "right" capture time but the data used for date/time based file naming on import and sorting in grid view is incorrect. After import, filter for video files, and select all video files, select "Edit Capture Time" from the metadata drop down. Select "Adjust to specified time and date" this should be selected by default; leave the "original time" and "corrected time" windows untouched (you will see the correct time in both windows for the first video file in the batch, or maybe the most selected), then click on change. All the vidoes will be adjusted appropriately (to their own correct times) as a batch. I then rename the videos as a batch using my own date/time preset. So three steps to fix a batch. Video files from a different camera brand that have GMT as their capture time I use the above process but need to add the increment to GMT.
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Anthony Waitz

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
LR 5.2 "Sort: Capture Time" not working.


I just imported a bunch of photos & videos from my cell phone into LR 5.2. I noticed that all the .JPGs are at the top of the grid view while all the .MP4s are at the bottom. They should be interspersed in the grid view because that is the order that I took the photos/videos in AND I have Sort: Capture Time selected. This looks like a bug to me.
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Anthony Waitz

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The above was merged from a bug I had filed. So this is why it appears that I have not read any of the preceding content before filing it - I hadn't.
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Alexander

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It's 2014 and this still isn't fixed. Am I missing something? This is core functionality that is broken and has been ignored by the Lightroom team for 3+ years.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Based on all the Library and metadata bugs reported here over the past few years that haven't been addressed, it appears that Adobe hasn't put much effort into that part of LR.
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Jon9999

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What's particularly disappointing about this is that 3 years ago, an Adobe employee posted here that he was investigating the problem. Apparently, he changed his mind, but nobody bothered to tell us that Adobe wasn't going to bother fixing this defect.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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In general, while we know that Adobe does read this forum and does participate, they rarely give any indication of their intentions. (Just an observation.)
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Alexander

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I was debating subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud last night...What exactly is the point of subscribing for software if critical bugs aren't addressed in updates? As a paying customer, I would like to know if this bug will be addressed in upcoming versions of LR -- minor or major. If not, I will take my money elsewhere.
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Jon9999

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No you won't, Alex, and nor will any of us. Adobe knows that they've got an excellent product that is much better than anything else out there, and that the product's (many) minor flaws are not sufficient to drive any of their customers away. That's the problem. Why should a company go beyond minimally viable product (and spend its resources in doing so) when it knows its customers aren't going to bolt from what is essentially the best-in-class product -- warts and all?
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Re the Creative Cloud: Updates to Lightroom aren't delivered any more frequently via CC. In the past few years, Adobe has provided about 3-4 updates a year to LR, in the form of point releases or new versions.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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"What's particularly disappointing about this is that 3 years ago, an Adobe employee posted here that he was investigating the problem."

Hey, that was me! Look at that picture of me, I haven't aged a day. Here's the update I should have posted three years ago: I am able to reproduce the problem, and have written it up in our bug database.

"In general, while we know that Adobe does read this forum and does participate, they rarely give any indication of their intentions."

That is true. Not because we're pathologically secretive, but because we try to avoid committing to any specific future action. Because if we say we're going to do something, and then for some reason we can't do it, people get understandably annoyed. Though as you obliquely point out, the alternative (not being told anything at all) is also annoying in its own way.

"Why should a company go beyond minimally viable product (and spend its resources in doing so) when it knows its customers aren't going to bolt from what is essentially the best-in-class product -- warts and all?"

Umm... thanks? Your award for back handed compliment of the year will be shipped out shortly. :-) In actual fact, when we defer a bug it's not out of a secret desire to be lazy and screw our customers. On the contrary, it's because we strive to prioritize our work in the best way possible. Everyone has their pet bugs or pet features, so of course no matter how we prioritize, someone is pissed off, but we do try very hard to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number.

Having said all that, three years is a bit on the long side, isn't it? I've given the bug a bump in our bug database, we'll see what happens. (As a side note, there are at least two separate bugs discussed in this thread: the issue that John reported originally is one bug, the issue of videos not sorting correctly is another bug.)

Thanks,
Ben
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Jon9999

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Thank you, Ben. (And if my backhanded remark came across as a backhanded compliment, then that was entirely unintentional!) You've taken my point well, which was that having a feature on the features list doesn't mean much when the feature doesn't work properly, and having a bug in the bug database doesn't mean anything when the bug doesn't get any attention whatsoever.

You guys have (understandably) moved well beyond fixing bugs in Version 4 at this point, so I know that for me anyway, I'll never see this problem go away unless I pony up for a new version that might just maybe not have this bug. It's frustrating, really.
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Heini Meier

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I'm new to Lightroom and noticed this bug the third day I used it. It took me several hours to figure out what the problem is and how to work around it (see http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...). I hope you understand that it didn't help to build trust in the product. Please bump your bug priority once again.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Official Response
This is fixed in Lightroom 5.5, which is now available. (Note that there are several distinct problems discussed in this thread, so when I say that "this is fixed" I'm referring to the problem which John Ellis originally reported.)

Thanks,
Ben
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Jon9999

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That's great, Ben. I wish the bug had been fixed during the lifetime of LR 4, though, for those of us still on that version. Three years and two major versions later is really too big a waterfall.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I just verified that the original problem I reported is indeed fixed in LR 5.5. Thanks!
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Daniel Arbeeny

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Umm, when I import a mix of pictures (raw and jpg) and videos from my Sony Nex7 the videos are 4 hours off.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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LR has never done a great job of importing video metadata. One problem is that LR will screw up the time zone of Quicktime-format videos:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

See this thread for more general issues with LR's handling of video metadata:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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Daniel Arbeeny

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Thank you John. I am now following those threads!
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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There still appears to be a problem for video files. See this new topic (since this topic has been marked as "solved"):

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...