LIghtroom 4: Date Modified on raw file is updated when saving first keyword for image

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  • Updated 6 years ago
I have found a condition where Lightroom will change the file system "Date Modified" on a raw file when you add the very first keyword for an image. This happens both when using the Save command (Cmd-S/ Ctl-S) and if you have "Automatically write changes to xmp" turned on.

Once the first keyword is added any subsequent additional keyword change only change the Date Modified of the xmp sidecar file.

This has significant effect on backup data sets as every raw file in your catalog will be essentially duplicated in the backup set as you add your first keyword.

I don't know how long this has been happing but I know for sure this was not the case with LR3.x

-louie
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Louis Sherwin

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Posted 6 years ago

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Louis Sherwin

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Ok I have some more info but I still can't explain why this is happening.

This seems to be occurring only with images in one folder in my library. I can trigger changing the Date Modified on the raw file by simply doing a Cmd-s on any image that has not already been saved. Both the CR2 and the xmp file get a new Date Modified but neither appears to be modified. I have confirmed this by running the Unix sum command on both files before and after saving.

The only thing I can think is that this may be related to the fact that this set of images all had their capture date modified using "Edit Capture Time..." command because I had the wrong time set in the camera after returning from a trip. I thought that maybe this change had not been written to the file and now when I request another save LR was just catching up by updating the CR2 file. However, using exiftool I could see that the dates had already been changed in the disk file.

In summary this is so far limited to a single folder and once I save the metadata once additional changes and/or saves only update the xmp timestamp. But I have no idea why LR believes it needs to update the Date Modified on just these images.

-louie
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Beat Gossweiler

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The problem seems to be related to having "Write date or time changes into proprietary raw files" checked in the catalog settings and writing back metadata to file.

I experienced the following behaviour:
If I have "Write date or time changes into proprietary raw files" checked in my catalog settings, changing the capture in LR time does not immediately trigger a writeback into the raw files. But when I first save metadata to file on such images, LR is writing the changed capture time into the raw file (as asked), therefore changing the update timestamp of the file.

Beat
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Louis Sherwin

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Thanks for the additional information.
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Louis Sherwin

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I have not yet been able to reproduce the conditions that cause this to occur. However, I did decide to clean up my library. I have almost 13,000 raw files in my library from half a dozen different cameras.

Initially tried using a filter on "Metadata Status". I got over 100 hits but none on the images in the folders where I first detected this problem. These I mark up to workflow issues for now. So I decided to see if I could find out when this started happening.

Going by year in reverse order 2012, 2011, 2010, etc., I used a filter to select all the raw images the Grid. I selected all the images and used Cmd-S to save the metadata. Both write Date changes to raw and write xmp were turned in in the library preferences. Then I created a Spotlight search on the same folder hierarchy looking for any raw (.CR2) file that had the Date Modified set to current date.

To summarize, I found that a significant percentage (almost 30%) of all my raw files ended up getting the "Date Modified" set to the current date/time. And this started for raw files going back to 2005 when I started shooting raw. I should note that I started using Lightroom with one of the last of the LR3 beta releases. Before that I was using Photoshop and ARC and Bridge.

Doing a quick non scientific survey believe that virtually all if not all of this can be attributed to using "Edit Capture Time...". It seems that I simply cannot remember to reset my camera clocks when I travel or across Daylight/Standard time changes and that at least twice a year I'm having to adjust the capture time on one or more shoots.

I wish that I could recreate the problem but so far I can't. However, I'm glad that Beat has seen this so it is not just my system or workflow. My library is now cleaned up and I am monitoring changes using spotlight to see if there are any more anomalies.

Finally I am bothered that the Lightroom "Metadata Status" did not reveal this supposed inconsistency. I say supposed because in every case where I examined the internal metadata of the raw file (exiftool) there was no change when the Date Modified was updated.

I think that one of two things should happen. Either flag this situation in Lightroom as a metadata status inconsistency or if it really isn't that, do not change the "Date Modified" on the raw file when saving metadata to the disk.

I suspect that this is happening to many people that simply don't realize it. I only caught it because I was monitoring my backups and wondered why the incremental backups were including raw files.

-louie